A Newcastle Gateshead Initiative That Will Actually Make Sense
When the Newcastle Gateshead branding was announced to try and win ‘city of culture’, it was met with much derision, but in a football sense is Newcastle Gateshead a no-brainer?
Unlike most other Premier League clubs, such as those in the north west or London, Newcastle’s geography means that it is very isolated in a football sense when it comes to clubs lower down the food chain, unless you count Sunderland and Middlesbrough…
You have League Two Hartlepool thirty miles down the road, then Conference side Gateshead on the doorstep.
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The recent daft idea for B teams was met with quite correct derision, however, another less publicised initiative included at the time, was the ‘Strategic Loan Partnerships’.
This allows clubs in the Premier League or Championship, to build partnerships with up to two clubs playing at League One level or below.
This would mean the more senior club could loan up to 8 players under the age of 22 at any one time to the partner club, plus also send coaches to give extra help to their ‘partner’.
Under this initiative, all loaned players/coaches would still be paid by the senior club.
Speaking to the Shields Gazette, Alan Pardew had the following to say about this less publicised proposal;
“This makes a lot of sense, we’ve got Gateshead and I would love to be manager of Newcastle and send a couple of players there.
“Our supporters can also help their revenues as well, they could travel there to watch our players.”
I think Newcastle have everything to gain from helping Gateshead in any way they can, not just by buying in to this loan arrangement.
If Gateshead could get League status, then loaning players who could then play at a higher standard than the Conference would make a lot more sense.
Newcastle of course should be putting much more time, effort and resources into extending and strengthening their ties with all parts of the local community, though that is pure fantasy while Mike Ashley remains in charge at St.James’ Park.
For starters, it would be great if Newcastle could send their first team to play at the International Stadium on July 18, rather than the reserves.
As Alan Pardew says, it would be great to help push more cash into Gateshead’s coffers to help produce a strong local partner. Not only helping out a neighbour but something that would pay long-term dividends to Newcastle United.
Unfortunately, under Ashley, long-term equals trying to survive another season in the Premier League whilst spending as little money as possible…
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