Three major Newcastle United figures featured in a list of the most influential figures in Premier League history .

For the record, in this list of the 50 most influential, Kevin Keegan was rated 41, Sir Bobby Robson 24 and Alan Shearer at number 12.

It is a sobering thought that more time has elapsed since, than the length of the era (August 1993 – August 2004) that included both KK (first time around) and Sir Bobby’s managerial days.

Alan Shearer’s playing days may have carried on a bit longer (end of 2005/06 season) but it has been pretty much downhill since that now halcyon KK/SBR period.

The ‘influence’ of Newcastle United in the last decade has been pretty much all gruesome.

We are talking basically about the Mike Ashley era.

The talking points: changing the name of the stadium, a legal loan shark as shirt sponsor, profits on transfers despite TV cash increasing by tens of millions, turning SJP into a giant billboard for the owner’s retail empire, relegation, Joe Kinnear, character assassinations of club idols Keegan and Shearer, plus basically turning Newcastle United into a byword for everything that is wrong about running a football club.

Maybe it is best summed up by the fact that the better players were out of the door quicker than you could say ‘zero hours contracts’.

Cabaye stayed two and a half years, Ba and Debuchy a year and a half each, Loic Remy a year on loan.

Home grown Andy Carroll played only 25 Premier League matches before being sold on, whilst fellow (future) England international Fraser Forster wasn’t even given a single minute of Premier League football before being sold on for £2m.

When people think of Newcastle United these days they have mental images of a manager headbutting a rival player, Ashley laughing at the Newcastle fans and Joe Kinnear finding his natural/spiritual home.

It doesn’t have to be this way and nor should it be.

Newcastle United should be an influential force for good on Tyneside and a beacon of hope/light for everybody who lives in and/or believes in the region.