So, now that we have entered and are indeed a good portion of the way through the January transfer window, I feel it would be a good time to take stock of the current situation at Newcastle United.

I think all but the truly gullible have seen through the ‘takeover/fakeover’ story and all the counter PR that has come from the club in the last few weeks, so I won’t touch on that other than to say, that I believe that there is absolutely no chance of this club being sold in the short to medium term.

Expect a few more porkies to be told in the next fortnight as we progress through the window. My issues are based on the state of the current squad to remain in the league.

Starting at the back, we need not worry about the goalie Martin Dubravka (Manchester United rick aside) and we needn’t worry about the centre backs. Our full back situation isn’t the best as we only have one fit player that is any good on either side. We certainly needed quality cover at full back and money should have been made available in the summer to bolster this area.

At the start of the season, the glaring problem staring us in the face was the lack of a goalscoring centre forward and whilst this position is far from being totally rectified, Solomon Rondon is a cut above what we’ve had over recent years and we must pray that he remains fit.

I feel it’s issues in our midfield that will scupper Premier league survival in five months time.

We’ve gone from having a good few options last summer to having absolutely none by the first week in January. Isaac Hayden declared in the summer that he wanted to leave the club, Mo Diame’s form has reverted to its miserable worst from last season, Jonjo Shelvey has gone off to Spain to see a specialist on his thigh trouble, Ki Sung-yeung has tweaked his hamstring over in Asia and Ayoze Perez has slipped back to the kind of ratio whereby his bad displays far far outweigh his good. Throw into the mix that Kenedy ghosts his way through games all the time and it’s plain to see where our problems lie.

To go off on a tangent, we as a club don’t compete, that is abundantly clear. This is not specific to the cup competitions, as was a stated club policy a few years ago, we actually don’t compete in the league either. We appear on the face of it to be the only club in the league that is actually ran for the benefit of the owner and his subsidiaries rather than to actually achieve something football related other than simply staying in the league.

It’s not even up for debate any more, it’s even been spotted by much of the wider football population, if sadly not talked about as much. Balance sheet Champions we are.

Financially, we should be able to compete with at least around half of the Premier League teams, but we don’t.

Let’s take little old Bournemouth as an example. They have already had a great transfer window in my opinion, especially when compared to us. They’ve added Solanke from Liverpool and loaned Nathan Clyne, spending £17m on the forward and whatever on the loan fee. That’ll be roughly £20m spent on a team that is all but safe from relegation and looking to push on and maybe have a good crack at Europe. This is Bournemouth. BOURNEMOUTH? No disrespect, but they’d have to sell out their ground nearly five times in row to fill St James Park just once.

Now before any upset Cherries fans who feel aggrieved in supposedly demeaning their club, that’s not the intention and shouldn’t be seen as such. But when you see a club with gates of little more than 11,000, smashing yet again our now 14 year old transfer record, it highlights a glaring thing. Our club simply doesn’t want to compete.

It’s staggering that this club that attracts 52,000+ every home game are so far behind Bournemouth in professional standing, that they (Bournemouth) are the ones who want to build on mid-table security and push on and better themselves. Fair play to them and I hope their fans enjoy the ride, considering where they’ve come from in such a short space of time. Their manager Eddie Howe is getting backed to do the best job he can, while Rafa Benitez is shopping in a supermarket with a bank card that he has no idea how much is on it, if anything at all.

The club’s transfer policy has veered from where we could sign players for cheap and utilise their talents to the outrageously stupid where we provide an ex-England manager with millions upon millions of pounds worth of talent to mismanage, then we starve a world class manager of decent funds. Barmy, truly barmy.

Furthermore on the transfer policy, I seem to remember that we baulked at paying a fairly high fee for a centre back a few years ago. The powers that be thought the player in question wasn’t worth the risk and didn’t sign him. That player was Virgil Van Dijk (when at Celtic), now at Liverpool having gone there for £75m+. So even when we try to sign players to make a profit, we can’t get it right.

This club has been set up to fail.

Of course Mike Ashley doesn’t WANT relegation, but it won’t bother him IF we bounce back at the first attempt. That shouldn’t be the aim of Newcastle United.

I understand we can’t compete at this moment in time with the top four or even top six, but merely bumbling along and flirting with relegation year after year will result in my departure from actively supporting this club come May. For what is becoming clear, it will be without its Premier League status or without its current manager, or both.

If you don’t enjoy something, no matter how much you want to, you walk away. That’s where I am at this present moment, losing interest with each passing match. Fans will still support the club if it got relegated, but for the owner to not allow the club the best possible chance to avoid it, is negligent bordering on sabotage.

Rafa Benitez WON’T be here next season unless there is a takeover, which we’ve pretty much ruled out unless someone comes in with silly money. A great manager will leave this club in May purely because there are two things not present with the club’s owner, – trust and professionalism.

Rafa has had almost three years of this cowboy set up, the supporters of Newcastle United have had 12 years.

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  • Kenny

    Sorry Mr. B this card has been maxed out.
    would you like to try another one.
    😂😂😂😂😂

  • DZA

    Rafa won’t be out of work long in the summer.

    • Anita kick up the Hoop

      Who will have him…. and can he take Joselu, Lazar, Hayden, Murphy and Muto along with him?

      • DZA

        Budget buys due to Ashley.

        Who would have him, you find bigger clubs than ourselves.

        • Anita kick up the Hoop

          Here’s the head sheep … YOU were always the “who could we attract if Pardew leaves” head sheep … now you are the Rafa is a “world class manager” sheep … look at the state of our football!!!

      • Chuck D

        Nearly all of which wouldn’t have been signed if he’d been given the backing he required!

        Hayden did a sound job in the Championship, the sole reason he was signed.

        • Anita kick up the Hoop

          Bull
          .. Rafa wanted Lazar, Gamez and Sels, he wanted Hanley and Hayden … don’t give me the sheep stock off the shelf answer that “he bought to get out of the championship” That’s just spin…. Keegan bought to get out of the championship BUT he bought players he knew could step up once there! Rafa wasted his budget AND it was a healthy championship budget! He made a LOSS on all of those players AND gave Mbabu away in favour of Lazar, Hanley and Gamez!!!… “IF” Rafa had gotten HIS targets we’d have signed Sturridge on loan last January.. Joe Hart rather than Sørensen and another few in the mould of Muto, Murphy and Joselu.

  • Mr_Kinnear

    I can see a couple of loan players at best. Why would Rafa stay to fight the same battles every season. Trying to be asuccessful in the premier league is hard enough

    • KennyS

      Correct

  • Toontone100

    Love the comment “negligent bordering on sabotage”
    Also “A great manager will leave this club in May purely because there are two things not present with the club’s owner, – trust and professionalism.”
    I’m still clinging to the hope that Cashley took the money (far more I suspect than anyone has reported so far) at the start of the season (and probably again very soon) as he will actually sell up this season … we can all hope.

    • Anita kick up the Hoop

      “Great manager” …. great managers have the capability of changing tactics between home and away performances, between playing the better sides and the lesser sides… we are a one trick pony that every side we play against already know our tactic …. I rewatched the AC Milan V Liverpool champions league win and the way Liverpool set up at the start of the match was identical to how we play…Milan destroyed them in that 45 to the extent they put their slippers on for the second half … Liverpool scored three BUT Milan should have had 15!!!! …. that win was an utter fluke, a mixture of Steve Gerrard and Hamman grafting like mad men and Milan switching off .. his tactic is the same today .. no
      Genius here folks… move along

      • KennyS

        Tne record books don’t lie but I get your point

    • Leazes.

      Might be holding money back…. but he did go to his house in Switzerland over the holiday….. now call me a cynic but money disappeared in Switzerland, and he only needed a home there to set up banking facilities… he usually goes to his home in sunnier places for crimmy he has one in Majorca and one in Florida…..

      …..send in the monuments men from HMRC…. or the Swiss Rambler.

      • Carl Marks

        Ashley holidaying reminded me of “Nero fiddling while Rome burns”

      • KennyS

        😂 send in clowns I’m sorry they’re here.

  • Peaky

    Good article 👍

  • East Durham Mag

    Replace “takeover” with “miracle” and the headline would make more sense.

  • Anita kick up the Hoop

    Oh dear … I hope our home form doesn’t dip … oh wait…

  • Tweed Mag

    A good summary of where the club is at the moment. Shame the oaf won’t read it.
    Also a shame the local journalists cannot write something of a similar calibre.

    • Leazes.

      Shame too many United fans won’t either…. this site only gets up to a couple of thousand hits….. the Tyneside Press Corp have protected this regime for a long long time.

      • Kenny

        And will continue to do so.

        • Leazes.

          I feel sorry for the forthcoming generation…. I was at the Fairs Cup Final (Home leg) in 1969 and Wembley in 74 and 76, witnessed the entertainers….. its not much for 50 years but its a darn sight more than they are ever going to see.

          • Billmag

            Likewise, and not much to shout about in my lifetime, but when I was younger even in some of the darkest times you just got the feeling there was something better around the corner, don’t know if it’s because I’m older now but you just can’t see an end to this poisonous regime.

          • KennyS

            I always saw Newcastle as a big club and remember the 74 and 76 finals even though I was too young to attend.
            Younger ones havn’t seen a final or witnessed any regular success and must view the club in a different way to me, am I right in still thinking this is a big club or not?
            Any other opinons would be welcome because I’m quickly losing faith in football altogether.

  • Leazes.

    ASHLEY WILL STILL BE HERE IN TEN YEARS

    WANT OUT OF ASHLEY’S HANDCUFFS?

    From our Friends at the Chronicle.

    Our understanding is that a fan on a long-term deal who cancels their March payment will still have a valid season ticket for the remainder of the 2018-19 season – as long as they have made their final payment for this season in January or February.

    If they don’t pay that installment, they may risk their ticket getting cancelled for the remainder of this season. But the club will contact them for further information should they cancel their payment.

    CANCEL AFTER YOU MAKE YOUR LAST PAYMENT FOR 18/19

  • TheFatController

    There are so many people now aware that Ashley is a chancer and a blight on football ownership, that he’s conjured a perpetual sale, allowing him to deflect the flak with ‘oh I know, I am out of my depth, hence I’m selling.’

    So what needs to happen? Rather than the football world writing ‘he’s a blight on club ownership is that Ashely..’, the tone/question needs to be a new one?

    ‘Why haven’t you sold yet?’

    You don’t forever ask someone how their failing relationship is, do you? You start asking that, then around fourth time you meet you say ‘have you not effing left him / her yet??’

    Time to shift the discussion. Mike, why haven’t you sold yet? What’s not happening? How hard can it be?

    None of this tippy tapping around the issue. Sell it, you moron.

    • Lord

      It won’t be long until Sky change their colours. They are not stupid and asset stripping owners like Ashley are no good for their ‘product’. If even a third of PL owners acted like he does, the PL wouldn’t be the global money maker it is today.

      • Leazes.

        I think there’s a cross party moratorium on this guy….. nee one of any political persuasion likes him…. not surprising really he’s the worst type of ‘absolute bounder’ and a cad to boot.

  • Shipcote Willy

    Ashley is a lying, cheating FCB and Rafa has had enough? What a revelation, what next the earth is round? Rafa can walk away and who will blame him but it seems fans can’t. They will still fill the stadium when he leaves, moaning and chanting about the owner as the club continues to vanish down the plug hole.

  • Carl Marks

    I wish Rafa well,when,not if he walks
    away –
    I hope he spares a thought for us,as
    we don’t have the luxury of being able to walk away – instead,having the nightmare of watching a piece of subhuman filth DELIBERATELY destroy our football club,
    UNLESS
    our fans start the fightback sooner rather than later,and definitely not at all ?

    • Mr_Kinnear

      Ah but you do have the luxury of walking away. You choose not to. What do you tell yourself is the reason for attending games? Ashlru only wants your money and it’s willingly handed over.

      • Carl Marks

        You’ve misunderstood me –
        when I said “we can’t walk away”,I meant,we can’t switch allegiances to another club,like players,managers etc can,due a deep and abiding love of NUFC

  • Consett Mag

    Good article. Fully agree. I lived in Bournemouth for a few years in the late 80’s – it’s not a football-centered place at all. So what they’ve done is nothing short of magnificent.
    I also don’t believe that Ashley will sell – our club is doing almost exactly what he wants – free advertising and big profits – and good quality football will never be on the agenda. If we can survive this season, it’s another £70m more than he’ll get next year than if we don’t. But if we don’t survive I believe that he’ll still break even, so if he can engineer a promotion again, the project is still working for him.
    My sad conclusion to get rid of Ashely, is that we’ll need a proper fall; where his profits and advertising power dries up, before he’d consider moving on. So I’m braced for more pain, one way or another.

  • Lostprofit DBC

    Not only is it a right mess, screwed in fact, he will be enjoying every minute, looking forward to any further fan action, to turn fan against fan.

    • Damon Horner

      The longer the season goes then more fans will get restless, however we don’t help ourselves at times like using terms like “truly gullible” in the article when it wasn’t really needed to make the point.

  • Tony English

    100% agree. I can get tickets for me and my son to go to Chelsea this weekend…. seriously considering if I want to withdraw my support and funds until the manager is backed.

  • Flasheart

    Good article, sums up the situation pretty well unfortunately 👍

  • KennyS

    The most amazing part of the fat mans cunning stunt is to make a whole region of toon fans plus add ons from outside look stupid.
    He is taking on a lot of people in this area and is winning because nobody has the bottle to face up to him. The clubs following is watered down these days by people who were born/live too far away from St James Park, there is no love afair with the club anymore, it’s a day out with the boys and “let’s fit a match in as well”.
    How powerful we could be if only we could take him on united as one. This is a dream or a nightmare whichever you prefer, inevitably failure is looming fast and talk will run out.
    At the moment one man is bigger than a city!!

    • Mr_Kinnear

      It seems as if premier league football has become one of those trendy occasions. A big like Ascot and Henley regatta. One simply must attend but one has no idea what it’s all about.

      • KennyS

        😂

    • thewildchimp

      I realised that last season and hoped for people to wake up but, sadly, fat chance… I’m not even sure that the drop would do us good, ’cause the snake will find a way to wiggle out with minimum amount spent…

      • KennyS

        If fewer people turned up he might think twice.. but he isn’t normal so that might not work.

    • jason bright

      Spot on from you as well kenny, thats exactly how it is. I cant understand why fans turn up to a game knowing they are supporting fatso’s pockets when we all know staying away and taking away that money is the only way it will hurt him. He will never leave unless its no longer lucrative, the thought that he will never leave and this is newcastle utd for the rest of my life (im 48) thoroughly f***ks me right off….

  • Jonas

    we have the luxury of being able to walk away too – more than luxury it is actually vital that we do this if not to help force him out then for self preservation for otherwise if he stays fans are ensuring themselves an entire wasted life supporting a rigged sporting entity (the equivalent of a boxed paid to take a dive) and nothing but misery, not by failure, but by design – how can that be acceptable or worth it?

    • KennyS

      People are blind or just stupid or both.

    • Mr_Kinnear

      “Support the regime and the team”…..that is the new mantra.

      • Carl Marks

        Really boils my pee when our supporters get the blame for the negative things(99.9999%)
        eg “the hostile atmosphere is affecting the players”
        How dare they?!!
        Every single person knows that ONE person and only ONE person is to blame for the club resembling a motorway pile up at rush hour!!!!!!!
        grrrrrrrrrrrrrr

  • Peaco

    Not Sure that Ashley is that bothered about relegation. After all, by not spending owt, and trousering all the cash, he’s insulated himself against the impacts, and come relegation, he will no doubt “Lend” the club the money (he’s stolen through nil investment) back. When he dies, i’ll Arrange a Morris dance on his grave.

    • Wezza

      SPOT ON

    • Carl Marks

      You’ll have enough space for ten Morris dancing teams!

  • jason bright

    Great article, absolutely spot on with how we all feel.

  • Fiddler

    The Chronicle could help by ignoring the’ fantasy ‘ transfer rumours ,etc and leave the back page blank until there is something worth writing about .

    • Carl Marks

      they’re terrified about being banned from SJP –
      it’s been a long time,since the local media fought our corner –
      the biggest culprits being BBC Newcastle – seriously,have you heard the questions they ask after the match??
      Instead of asking important questions,eg
      “That was utter garbage,
      would you like to take this opportunity to apologise to the supporters – go even further and refund them”?
      Instead,they engage in a vomit inducing grovel fest

  • Dillon Tovak

    Rafa will leave in the summer, whoever replaces him will get £40-50m to spend, it will be pushed that Rafa not signing a contract has been holding back investment in the team, a year later no signings will be made and the cycle continues.

  • Carl Marks

    And FCB will stay if there’s the possibility of a takeaway