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Greed 1 Hope 0 – Newcastle United back to square one

4 years ago

Intense disappointment was followed by an overwhelming sense of anger.

Greed 1 Hope 0.

The much talked about takeover deal at Newcastle United was called off by Mike Ashley in a cack-handed media pronouncement. Back to square one. We’re used to that feeling.

He could have accepted an offer, got his money back and given the football club a new era. He has rejected it, for now. It’s annoying because for a brief moment you could almost see the chance we might be rid of this most rancid of regimes.

A fresh start under a new owner, who might actually want to invest some money and make it all a bit more enjoyable to be a supporter, has been taken away from us.

The whole episode once more exposed all that is bad with the Ashley era. Lots of lies, lots of stalling, lots of deafening silence and very little in the way of ambition.

How much longer do we have to sit by and watch clubs around us buy players while we flounder about preparing bids?

I see clubs like Huddersfield, Bournemouth, Brighton and Watford making progress in recruitment and it is very annoying that we can’t move as dynamically when it comes to getting the deals done. We really should be a much bigger pull than any of them and yet we cannot get any players in. We move too slowly.

Austerity FC is alive and well at Gallowgate.

The initial reaction to the news that Ashley refused to do business with Amanda Staveley was one of intense anger with the owner. His spin team then kicked in with plenty of briefings as PCP’s reputation was rapidly sullied, so much so she had to invite a journalist into her offices in an effort to set the record straight.

There were suddenly doubts about both sides of this situation. Fans caught in the middle of a war of words between buyer and seller.

One week on and the dust is settling. PCP’s credentials still seem to have some question marks over them and nobody really seems to know where it all stands. One thing is clear: they clearly need to up their bid and remove some of these clauses if they want to get the keys to the castle.

The media coverage has added to the mess. Three different national newspapers were at odds with each other.

The Times have Staveley still determined to get a deal.

The Telegraph said Ashley would accept £300m with no clauses in.

The Independent claimed he will simply not deal with PCP and won’t sell to them

Knowing exactly what to believe has been tricky. There are likely to be grains of truth in each report. One point all seem to agree on is that the situation won’t change for a while.

The new TV deal and the question mark over the club’s Premier League status muddy the waters further. There’s every chance we’ll be having the same debate about bids and asking prices come summer.

It has all detracted from the real scandal. The owner has presided over an underfunded circus of a football club. He’s shafted the manager in three consecutive transfer windows. He has left the club with almost farcical corporate governance. We’re being investigated by the HMRC and there are allegations of bullying at the academy.

Newcastle fans have every right to be angry. Never mind what some of these so called media commentators and pundit are saying about Ashley being treated badly. We all know where the fault lines are.

We now face a critical week of the January transfer window. Fresh blood needs to arrive. Money has to be spent or we could be looking at the return of the protests and a third relegation in 11 years.

Disappointment and anger. Never far away at a Newcastle United in the thrall of an absolute plonker.

You can follow the author on Twitter @DavePunton


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