Possible Mark Ashton Exit?

Discussion in 'Bristol City' started by wizered, Feb 27, 2021.

  1. wizered

    wizered Ol' Mucker
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    Bristol City CEO Mark Ashton linked with £17.5m takeover of League One Ipswich Town
    Mark Ashton has been an influential and important figure at Ashton Gate since first being appointed in January 2016

    Bristol City CEO Mark Ashton has been linked with a £17.5million takeover of League One club Ipswich Town.

    The Athletic reported on Friday that a US-backed consortium led by Los Angeles-based Brett Johnson want Ashton to take over the day-to-day running of the club if the purchase is completed.

    Bristol Live understands those reports to be accurate, although Ashton remains totally committed to his position at Bristol City with Nigel Pearson installed as manager and optimism that the club is moving forward.

    Johnson, founder of investment and real estate firm Benevolent Capital, has been co-chairman of Phoenix Rising FC, who play in the United Soccer League (USL), since 2015.

    In 2019, Bristol City held a summer pre-season training camp in Florida playing friendlies against Derby County and local teams and to also, according to a club statement at the time, “strengthen their partnership with the USL”.

    As stated by the club, Ashton also attended and delivered a presentation at the 2018 USL Winter Summit.

    Ashton has held significant power and influence at Ashton Gate since January 2016 after being brought to the club by owner Steve Lansdown, having previously worked at Watford and Oxford United.

    He has become a much-maligned figure at BS3, particularly over the last six months in the wake of Dean Holden’s appointment as head coach in August.

    His management of the recruitment team has often led him open to criticism as, while City’s record in selling players has remained excellent, the success rate over the raft of incomings over the last two years has been somewhat inconsistent.

    Part of Ashton's remit to ensure sustainability and balance the books at BS3 has been to "trade" in the transfer market, with a "buy low, sell high" concept.

    While that has benefitted the balance sheet with notable sales such as Bobby Reid, Josh Brownhill, Lloyd Kelly and Adam Webster, it has also led to a high frequency and often challenging turnover of players.

    Although Ashton was heavily involved in the recruitment of Pearson as new Robins manager until the end of the season, owner Steve Lansdown has taken a notably more public and hands-on approach as opposed to the summer when Holden was promoted from assistant to head coach.

    Lansdown issued a steadfast defence of Ashton on BBC Radio Bristol last week, when he said: "Mark gets a lot of stick from fans, but it's unjustified.

    “Mark's an easy target, but I can tell you now that Mark works so hard for this football club, he deserves a lot of praise for what he's done"

    Ipswich are currently owned by events millionaire Marcus Evans who took control of his local club in 2007 but the Tractor Boys have been unable to return to the Premier League and are marooned in 10th in League One under Paul Lambert, whose position looks increasingly uncertain.

    The Athletic also report that former Wigan Athletic manager Paul Cook, who was considered for the City job last summer only to miss out to Holden, is the consortium’s preferred managerial appointment should their takeover be successful.
    https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/sport/football/bristol-city-ceo-mark-ashton-5050586
     
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  2. wizered

    wizered Ol' Mucker
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    Nice to see the back of him, done some nice business with regard to player sales but any good product will generate interest and sales, not to difficult but god, some of the replacement players he and his team brought in have been awful, maybe 5 or 6 profitable sales in 5 years but been involved with over 65 plus incoming, contract negotiations with key players have ground to a halt, medical rehab department has been lamentable, his attitude and constant disappearances when things got difficult demonstrated his weaknesses, if true I will be glad to see the demise of this houdini, teflon like character.

    Also may explain why SL has been prominent in the signing of NP and the fact he has the title of manager.
     
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    Last edited: Feb 27, 2021
  3. RedorDead

    RedorDead Well-Known Member

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    Be interesting if they recruit Cook as manager. If they do you would have to question who choose Holden over him in the summer.
     
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  4. Redprintt

    Redprintt Well-Known Member

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    I'd love to see the back of Ashton. After listening to him when appointed I said then I recognised Slimeballs from business I've met over the years - full of self ego and cliches. 5 years is about how long they stay and move on before they're sacked.
    Should he leave now we'll here the well rehearsed 'he's done a great job and wish him well'.
    Not from me, he got the big decisions (HCs) wrong and arranged lesser players coming in. He blamed LJ who hasn't denied it, only they know for sure.
    Whatever I'm happy to pay his bus fare.
     
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  5. bcfcredandwhite

    bcfcredandwhite Well-Known Member

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    I think the problem with Ashton is that he was given too much power with his ego unchecked.
    He comes across as being very good at negotiating deals, but hopeless at man-management and selection.
    If he worked FOR the manager - rather than the other way around - he would be a fantastic asset to the club. However it's too late for that - time to go.
    He's a very efficient executioner who is trying to play the part of a judge.
     
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  6. invermeremike

    invermeremike Well-Known Member

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    One of the key factors in the success of any business is communication, a philosophy that City have spoken about for years and yet have fallen flat in that department. Perhaps the appointment of Pearson combined with the possible departure of Ashton could open up the vital communication line between the manager and the owner because I've always thought that Ashton gave us a block in those lines which led to confusion and possibly some poor decisions. When you have a strong ego as Ashton appears to have then the chances of you upsetting the wrong people on your climb up the personal agenda ladder then you risk being put out to pasture.
     
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  7. Red Robin

    Red Robin Well-Known Member

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    Pearson would not take orders from that clown-SL clearly brought NP to our club.Note Ashton has said nothing since his arrival.
    His days are numbered thank goodness.
    Never needed him in the first place.
    Quality manager was required and thankfully we now have him in Nigel Pearson.
     
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  8. brookksyboy39

    brookksyboy39 Active Member

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    I dont think Ashton has any interest in Bristol city at all, just an interest in feeding his own bloated ego
     
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  9. invermeremike

    invermeremike Well-Known Member

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    Absolutely right on RR. I only ever saw him as a nuisance that upset the apple cart.
     
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  10. Angelicnumber16

    Angelicnumber16 Well-Known Member

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    The owner, by definition, has either put too much trust in Ashton or has had his head firmly in the sand since his appointment.
    Either way he's been a large part of the issues with appointments and who has actually wielded the power within the football club.
     
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  11. Supcon72

    Supcon72 Well-Known Member

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    That’s our view as fans, but what we don’t know is, what’s his brief from SL? If it was too maximise profitability from player sales, then in SL’s eyes he has done a superb job. If it was too set us up to be a contender to reach the Premier League, then he’s failed.
    Never forget that SL is a money man, it’s how he amassed his fortune, so as much as he may say he wants on the pitch success, he may be telling MA it’s all about bringing in the maximum revenue from player sales and minimising expenditure on replacements!
     
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  12. realred1952

    realred1952 Well-Known Member

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    paul cook manager at ipswich
     
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  13. Angelicnumber16

    Angelicnumber16 Well-Known Member

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    I quite agree, but we've been treading water and/or going backwards over recent years on the pitch, and just maybe its the forums such as this has come to the attention of the owner where there is clear dissatisfaction with how the club is run and it's chances of promotion, or recently, avoiding relegation.
     
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  14. Redprintt

    Redprintt Well-Known Member

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    Watching SL's video after Holden's departure I was struck by his comment how he queried the level of salary paid to players and results achieved.
    For my 6 eggs I think SL appointed Pearson without Ashton having any or very little involvement.
    SL wants bang for his buck, he's taken poor advice from Ashton for the last 5 years and I hope he's seen the light.
    Ashton's departure won't be a surprise.
     
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  15. Supcon72

    Supcon72 Well-Known Member

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    We all hope this is the case. I don't think many fans will be sorry to see Ashton go.
     
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