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This situation at Newcastle United is grim

2 years ago

Nothing at Newcastle United seems to have any positivity, and the whole approach to being a top flight outfit is cheap, badly planned and an insult to supporters.

We’re trying to use a Championship blueprint in the Premier League. It’s getting found out.

It’s out on the pitch over the course of a season where the harsh realities of the top flight expose our owner’s folly.

At the height of the Bobby Robson era – when you may recall we had a side that crashed the top four party – you would have been called bonkers if you’d been told that just a few years later we’d be in the grip of a sports shop owner from Berkshire who hasn’t got a clue about football.

But that’s where we find ourselves. It’s quite breathtaking how badly our football club has stumbled under the Ashley regime. Nothing makes sense any more. They defy logic with their decision making.

We’re currently right on the cusp of the latest implosion.

That Rafa Benitez finds himself amid this mess is something that has probably spared us all from the cliff edge.

At the time McClaren got sacked, it felt that we were done for as a long-term top flight outfit. Along came Benitez and saved the day.

Do some fans have a short memory? This is the man who delivered an instant return to the Premier League when many felt we were looking at an extended stay in the second tier.

This is where, sadly, it got grim. Promotion allied to Rafa’s presence restored hope. The wishful thinker in us all hoped that the Ashley regime was relenting and starting to do things properly. It almost looked that way, but the ensuing transfer windows have ebbed away at the Rafa project, the whole show has stagnated under the weight of cost control.

How other clubs can find money for players and proper wages to pay them with, when NUFC ‘can’t’, is just one of the  many nightmares under this ownership.

It almost feels like we’re right back to where we were at this stage in 2016. The club moved forward slightly last season with that tenth place finish but Ashley once again intervened and killed the momentum. Not only has he reneged on spending pledges, he apparently tried to shaft the players over bonus payments once again on the eve of the current season. They probably all hate him too.

The scenario we all hoped the club would avoid is now just a few months away.

Relegation or not, we face losing the best manager we’ve had since Robson and that will surely precipitate players sales, unrest, and the likely appointment of a manager well under qualified to take the club forward.

The good news is that most of the intelligent commentators in the main stream media have now woken up to the calamity that is being imposed on a footballing institution. They can see that it’s not right and fans finally feel they’re being listened to.

But this cold comfort won’t removed the problem – Mike Ashley.

This week sees the final days on the winter transfer window. We are likely to see more farce as the clock runs down on the last chance to strengthen the squad before the final run to the season’s end.

It pains all Newcastle United fans. It’s grim up north and it’s only going to get grimmer.

You can follow the author on Twitter @DavePunton


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