Whether it is the Champions or Europa League for Newcastle United, they could have a key role in deciding whether the English Premier League remains number one in terms of club football.

UEFA’s system gives points to teams on the basis of reaching each stage of a competition and for wins and draws. You then tot up all the points for all the teams a country has in European competition, divide the total by the number of teams, and that is your country co-efficient. On the basis of five seasons’ returns, to balance out freak good or bad results, you then rank the countries and award places.

England (Premier League) are currently top but this is more to do with consistency than real success. The last time the English league was top in any particular season was 2007/08 when an English club coincidentally last won a European trophy, Manchester United in the Champions League.

Since then the English league has remained number one (average over the last five seasons) but the countries who have finished top in individual seasons since then have been Ukraine (2008/09), Germany (2009/10), Portugal (2010/11) and this current season it will be Spain – regardless as to whether Chelsea win the final or not.

Much of other countries’ success is down to performances in the Europa League where English clubs have been generally dismal, not helped by many of them putting weakened teams out.

Next season will be a real struggle for England to remain top because 2007/08 points fall off and will be replaced by next season’s European performances, Spain will start with a sizeable advantage and if the English teams don’t outperform them in both the Champions League AND Europa League then the self-professed greatest league on the planet won’t be, if you see what I mean.

The ‘big’ clubs won’t worry too much at the minute as the top three countries get four Champions League places and the top three (England, Spain and Germany) are actually increasing the gap to Italy in fourth.

The fact remains though that Newcastle will be representing both club and country next season and I have a pretty strong feeling the Premier League marketing executives will be praying that Newcastle United do the business, ‘second best league in Europe’ doesn’t quite have the same ring to it!

DownUnderMag 5pts

I think the lure of the pot of gold at the end of the season and the new bumper TV deal will be too much temptation for Ashley and he will have one last roll of the dice.  'Arry could well be tempted to take us on for a nice bonus if he keeps us up, but could he really do anything with the current crop of players?  I doubt it, I just can't see anyone getting this lot to gel as a unit let alone fix their attitude and lack of passion.  I don't think a big spending spree will fix it either, there's just no value in that for Ashley and he will be keen to see if Carr can find another couple of bargains...like it or not we are looking odds on to go down now unless we see a huge turn-around.

grantham mag
grantham mag 5pts

Great read, but Arry, his is dog short of a bob or two, bless him

GarethMarshall 5pts

Cracking read Wiz, thanks!. I hope all of it comes true, all except Arry getting the job. The guy is a dinosaur and not what we need. He is definitely better than SM, however, my little toe would do a better job than SM.

desree 5pts

Just a thought but could Redknapp be replacing Carr or Charnley? Carrs transfer deallings have been terrible since cabaye.

Charnley has taken the club to new depths, he makes JFK look good.

My guess is that the coaching staff and players have changed yet we are getting worse. Surely Mike Ashley must have little confidence that FLC has what it takes. With 25m of signings sat on the bench, Ashley must be fuming at the two of them.

Redknapp has little desire to be out on the training pitch but he loves being in front of the cameras and wheeling and dealing. Potentially lots of cuts of agents fees for him too.

RoboRat 5pts

The club is in profit and with the new sky TV deals is about to become an even bigger cash cow to the fat t**t. As long as he can keep us just above the drop zone and reap the profits, while having a free advertising platform for his Sports Direct company, he will continue to milk all the hard working supporters for all he can get from them.

It's heart breaking - but the only way we can get rid of him is to stop going to all games. So sad.

Bobbi Flekman
Bobbi Flekman 5pts

I see Rednapp as an addition to McClaren, not a replacement. The head coach will have a manager, albeit for a short time. 

toonrobbybobson 5pts

Completely agree. The article I agree with in the main but if markets crash and I do think they will he will still own newcastle, its assets (i dont mean our rubbish players), a relatively low wage bill compared to most epl clubs, its not shares he owns the club and can ride it out he has more than enough money. Anyone who thinks people wont buy sd tat are wrong just look at this 2008 crash sd went from strength to strength in that market because they sell cheap. In fact he will get away with more then because government will be so weak. With this countries debt maybe we should worry more about that than fooball, then again we willalways have our football.

Bobbi Flekman
Bobbi Flekman 5pts

@toonrobbybobson Quite, ironically, if there is another crash, we're better off in the hands of someone like MA with a very liquid asset base than in the hands of some highly geared chancer / investor.

MA has cash and he has a business that is fairly immune to recession. 

DavidDrape 5pts

great read and excellent perspective. ''Never say Never'' one thing is certain football is due another nighty crash and i wouldn't disagree regards stock market crashing again

Bobbi Flekman
Bobbi Flekman 5pts

@DavidDrape Markets will always go down at some point so the advice to sell before the crash is always going to be valid, the trick is knowing when. 

I suspect the internet telly streaming may affect NUFC's value more than a crash (whenever that may or may not happen). 

I can't see a world economic crash in the next year though unless we go into a war or something happens with China (which will happen in the next decade). UK, US and German economies are fairly stable with enough emerging markets in Africa and Asia to keep growth going. The UK is fairly well place (considering) Osbourne's cuts are seen as sensible and our businesses are not in the debt that they were in 2007. 

mactoon 5pts

The profit he will get from next years TV and sponsorship money means there is NO WAY he will sell. I think you are way off the mark in most aspects of your story

Bobbi Flekman
Bobbi Flekman 5pts

@mactoon Not really the argument, the money from TV means that the value of NUFC is at a high and fits in with the theory of selling now (or the next year or so). The TV money also fits in with the  idea that there will be more takers now than when / if the football bubble bursts or that internet tv kills the TV deals. 

mactoon 5pts

@Bobbi Flekman @mactoon  it makes money for Ashley but doesn't for a potential buyer who also has to pay Ashley a deficit of 129 million which he has invested to keep the club in the black.

ourlad 5pts

Wellcome to the house of fun Harry.

Goodbuy Ashley.

St.James as it used to be.no more Tic Tack boards around this great stadium.

If only.

magpiefifer 5pts

Redknapp is NOT the answer!

Ashley's speciality is hiring out-of-work managers - and how often does it work!?

Bishbosh11 5pts

What a load of claptrap!

Do you see Ashley selling off millions of his shares at present? No! So how is he gambling on a stock market crash? How could a stock market crash possibly help MA? A very large proportion of his wealth is invested in shares.

Also, if he feels he has had his fingers burnt by acquiring NUFC, why would he then go out and buy Rangers (or at least attempt to)?

Cripes 5pts

@Bishbosh11  Despite the fact I am calling myself Cripes, Bishbosh11, this is actually Wiz writing this reply.

No, I don't see Ashley selling off millions of his shares. He is not gambling on a stock market crash. He is afraid his investment in Newcastle will be worthless at the time of a crash. If Newcastle are still in the Premier League, this would probably not happen. If Newcastle are relegated, it could quite possibly happen. It will take Newcastle years to get out of the Championship.

Rangers are a much better bet than Newcastle in the long term. Cheaper too.

Brownale69 5pts

will he be able  to get players playing?

Paul Patterson
Paul Patterson 5pts

I'd never been a fan of his, but he/anything MUST be better than the tripe were watching.