On Wednesday, we asked Toon fans, what next at Newcastle United?
We wanted supporters to tell us what they THINK will happen, not what they HOPE will occur.
The three areas of interest were:
Newcastle’s transfer record has stood for 13 years, the £16m for Michael Owen in 2005 still the biggest paid out so far.
It is now over 10 years since Mike Ashley bought Newcastle United in 2007.
Rafa Benitez has been at St James Park for 27 months, arriving in March 2016.
So the question was, which of these three things did supporters will change first at Newcastle United?
We also asked the very same question eight months ago, the difference in the results is startling.
Here are the results (figures rounded up/down to nearest whole number) for the question posed yesterday (6 June 2018), with then in brackets what fans said back in October 2017:
5% (52%) Mike Ashley will sell Newcastle United
67% (32%) Rafa Benitez will leave the club
29% (16%) Newcastle United will break their transfer record
Two startling changes really.
Back in early October 2017, Mike Ashley had claimed the club was for sale and we were at the very beginning of the Amanda Staveley episode, after she was pictured in the crowd at the Liverpool match on 1 October.
Optimism rocketed that it was going to be all change, with suddenly a majority of fans believing the club would be sold and indeed 52% of them thinking that it would happen quickly enough, for it to be before Newcastle paid more than £16m for a player, or Rafa Benitez left.
Now only 5% of fans are believing Mike Ashley could go before either Rafa leaves or the club pay more than £16m for a player. Pretty depressing stuff.
The net result of that belief is that now we have gone from 32% of fans thinking Rafa leaving would be the first event, to now more than two thirds (67%) of supporters voting, thinking the manager exiting will be the first thing.
As for the third option, I take it that the more optimistic fans are the 29% (compared to 16% in October 2017) are the ones hoping for a middle ground, whereby Mike Ashley will accept that he has to allowed Rafa Benitez to compete at a decent level in the transfer market and for one or more signings to be made that go beyond that 13 year old £16m record.
The bigger question really, is that if Mike Ashley was serious about selling, then why is there nobody at all interested in buying Newcastle United, if he is honestly offering it at a true market price?
My take on it, is that he has no intention of selling the club and whatever figure he might be tempted to sell at, will be an amount way beyond the true value of NUFC, so why would any sane person/people do it?