How Newcastle fans were brainwashed by Mike Ashley’s PR people over transfers
Newcastle fans have been brainwashed by the Mike Ashley PR machine.
Despite the scepticism/cynicism that was clear amongst the vast majority of supporters in recent years, the insiduous PR message spread by the owner’s people, still managed to fool most of the people most of the time, when it came to the summer transfers.
The two stand out pieces of evidence (amongst the many) are Florian Thauvin and Charlie Austin.
Yes Mike Ashley allowed money to be spent this summer, more than has ever been spent before in a single transfer window, but it was yet another massive gamble presented to us as ambition.
Most Newcastle fans were blinded by the total spent – surely paying out this amount of money must equal X amount of creativity, scoring goals and fewer conceded.
We are constantly told that Newcastle are trying to buy the best your European talent that is out there.
In reality it is just buying more tickets in the Euro lottery.
Washing away the PR pushed out by Keith Bishop and friendly media, we are left with a policy of gambling on young unproven (in the Premier League and overall in some/most cases) players who could hit the jackpot and move quickly through the gears and be tomorrow’s superstars.
Mike Ashley would make a killing on the fee and even if the club wanted to hang onto them, a player who proves himself to be Champions League standard (unlike Moussa Sissoko) will then automatically move to a CL competing club.
That is not groundbreaking news as most of us accept this as the reality, though no doubt some want to believe the summer spend was a sign of change.
Where it really comes unstuck though is that these gambles mean there is a very real chance of the immediate future becoming unstuck and the whole pyramid type scheme collapsing.
Buying players to be hopefully big successes/sales in the future, doesn’t really work if the club ends up in short-term disaster.
Yet, you had many Newcastle fans nodding in agreement when Florian Thauvin was signed for pretty much the same figure as was deemed way over the top for Charlie Austin.
Yes they play in different positions but surely the whole concept of the summer spending should have been to score more and concede less goals.
Thuavin may well come good and we all hope he does, but how did so many supporters swallow the idea that a winger who has never been called up by France and who has had an in and out career so far at club level, was going to be a great deal for the club and the fans?
The answer of course is in part that we want it to be true once he is signed, but the brainwashing had massively helped the process.
On the other hand you have Charlie Austin who because he is 26 and has only a year left on his contract, is supposedly a bad buy at a similar figure to Thauvin.
With 59 goals in 98 starts in the Championship then 18 Premier League goals in 35 games for hopeless QPR who were relegated, what part of that made Austin too expensive for Mike Ashley’s tastes?
Cabella and Ben Arfa are both French internationals and title winners in France, yet both have ended up not lasting the course at St James Park.
Yet it was all going to be different with non-French international and non-title winner Florian Thauvin.
I can see why Mike Ashley wanted to make the gamble (on Graham Carr’s advice) because that is what he does, but I can’t quite see why fans were so ready to go along with why Charlie Austin was supposed to be bad business.
Why should it matter to supporters that Charlie Austin might never be worth more in the future than the £15m or so he would have cost now?
At the age of 26 he could feasibly, if Newcastle got the rest of the team right, knock in 100 goals in the next 5 years and (could have) become a Newcastle United star.
Newcastle need players who will improve the team, that is all.
Everything else (future valuations or whatever) is rubbish.
Until the club dispense with this senseless transfer strategy, Newcastle United will always struggle.
We need to live and fight for today, then tomorrow will be a lot easier to achieve as well.
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