I want to begin with a statement which may be regarded as controversial by much of the Newcastle United fan base, but I would completely embrace relegation.
To the point where, at this point, I find it preferable to Premier League survival. Now before you all reach for your keyboards to register your displeasure about such a ridiculous statement, allow me to expand.
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Beginning with the obvious, if we were to survive and begin next season in the Premier League, then what are the realistic expectations for what would likely happen?
Well the club would receive another obscene amount of TV money from Sky, most of which would vanish into an accounting black hole of ‘increased costs’, the club would cease to compete in matches when/ if safety was achieved, we would field a team mixed with infants, pensioners and the tea lady in any Cup competition and the excuses from Coach Lettuce Carver would flow as freely as goals leaked through our static defence. The team down the road would thump us twice much to everyone’s continued annoyance, more defeat records would be broken, more players sold and released to be replaced by YTS trainees earning benefit plus £10, oh yes, and the owner would become even richer from our misery.
Speaking of misery and the owner, I am perfectly sure that another season like this would swing the mood of the stadium from false hope, to fury and finally to apathy….again.
More demonstrations, more boycotts, more media attention, more pressure on the fan base and an owner who retreats to his giant Hobbit hole in Berkshire at the first sign that the natives are revolting, well some of them are.
I don’t want to see this, I don’t know if I could take another season like we’ve endure, I’m not sure what I’d do but it wouldn’t be pleasant and it could possibly result in my severing of all ties with Newcastle United….maybe, so what is the alternative? Let’s hear it for relegation!
So let’s have a think about what relegation would bring. Well firstly the income of the club from the Premier League would drastically reduce with the parachute payment, but as we don’t invest that money anyway and the club is sole owned, the only person who would feel the pinch is Uncle Mike, bonus!
There is a clamour from sections of our support for youth to be given a try, with the likes of Armstrong, Kemen and Satka knocking on the first team door, well in the Championship the club would look to jettison its top earners (who probably wouldn’t want to be here anyway) so the chance of the young ‘uns getting a game would greatly increase, giving us all a chance to see how the board’s investment in youth policy has worked out.
On to the football, there is a fair chance (but only a chance) that we would actually get to see the team win some games of football in the Championship. Wouldn’t that be incredible?
Imagine watching Newcastle United win football matches, amazing. I don’t think that the owner would feel the charitable need to lend the club (himself) more of his vast fortune to finance an immediate push back to the Prem, I could be wrong, but even so surely we could actually win some games, more than we do in the top flight at least.
We would also get the chance to see some interesting football backwaters like Doncaster, visit some other clubs who used to be famous like Leeds, Nottingham Forest, Birmingham and the Sheffield clubs ,their own league success and failure dependent – wouldn’t it be nice to see some old friends?
In short, we can stay in the Premier League quietly taking our seats and watching the team get thumped more often than not, all whilst the owner collects and stockpiles money ready for his inevitable dash into the sunset, or we can hurt his wallet, damage his corporate advertising vehicle with decreased media coverage and actually concentrate on watching a football team for once, safe in the knowledge that the owner is not collecting his pound of flesh from Sky.
As a side note, if the owner did show some ambition to get the club promoted again, wouldn’t it be nice to see Newcastle United play with some ambition again? To actually compete for something, and have a goal beyond simply existing, even if it is only promotion?
How long has it been since you saw a team in black and white play with passion and endeavour?
Well, relegation could give you that, and even John Carver might find his level in the lower league…..doubtful though.