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Opinion

Newcastle United – A club at a crossroads

11 months ago
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In my humble opinion, we are at a crossroads for the future of our beloved Newcastle United. The heartbeat of our city. An integral part of us all.

I do not want to get into a debate about the pros and cons regarding Mr Mike Ashley. You will quickly realise by the content and tone of this message what I want us to try to achieve.

It is apparent that there is an intention not to spend any of the funds the club generates back into the football club. For years the club has not benefited fully from the advertising and marketing revenues it should generate.

For the first time in years we have a world class manager who wants to be at Newcastle and has engendered a link between himself and the fans. Despite the lack of investment, communication and downright disdain for the fans, we all support the manager because we realise that he has a genuine affection for the football club and has our best interests at heart.

The public proclamations from Mr Mike Ashley is that he wants to sell the football club.

My understanding from various press sources is that an offer was made for the football club for £300 million by a consortium fronted by a Ms Amanda Staveley, which was rejected by Mr Ashley and deemed to undervalue our club.

You could argue that Mr Ashley owns the football club and he has every right to ask a price that he sees fit. In my eyes, this is fair enough. With this being the case it seems we are at an impasse with a difference of £100 million pounds.

We all know that many clubs, including successful and famous ones, none more so than Barcelona, are owned by their supporters. Surely there has to be a solution in creating an environment whereby any takeover by any group can be partially supported by the region to allow our club to succeed.

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Can we not create a model whereby the interested consortium owns 75% (£300m) of the football club and the Newcastle community own the other 25% (£100m). This giving Mr Ashley the exit he has publicly asked for.

I dread the future of our club unless something is done within the next 12 months. I fear that we will lose this opportunity and more specifically our manager.

Surely there is enough will from local businesses both large and small. Local business people, celebrities and the public, not even mentioning the loyal fans who travel home and away to support their team.

To have the opportunity to invest at a level that suits them in a scheme which allows us all to own a small stake in our beloved club, with the chance to allow it to thrive, rather than just stagnate with the year on year threat of relegation.

Ms Staveley, there are many people much brighter than me with greater influence and more finances in our region who would be interested in supporting you to buy our great club, if we could have a club that tried to be the best that it can be. We don’t expect success but what we demand is a club that endeavours to be the best it can be.

The will is there, I think it just needs someone to reach out and make this happen.
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