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Opinion

It is time for the Bin Zayed Group to step up

3 years ago
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There is never a dull week at Newcastle United.

I have lost count of the amount of times I have wrote that – and I am sure most journalists covering this extraordinary club would echo those sentiments.

Rafa has gone and it was by no means in a blaze of glory. An unexpected end to an expected conclusion is probably the best way to summarise the statement from Newcastle United that confirmed his departure. Does it shed any more light for fans on what is going on with the club? Not at all.

A few have said that the silence is deafening but we have almost certainly reached the stage now in which the silence makes no sense at all.

Yes Benitez’ contract expires on Sunday, and if there are any optimists left amongst the fanbase, I imagine they will be hoping for a strongly worded statement from Rafa Benitez on Monday, his first day as a free man. I think we all know how unlikely that is – given the professional way he has conducted himself over his career, never mind his three years here in the North East, I suspect it will be a while before we hear Rafa’s side of the story.

So what does that leave us with?

There is no way you can rely on the powers at be at Newcastle United to communicate with the fans, who literally pay their wages. Although, it would not take much to cover Lee Charnley’s salary – and other key decision makers such as Bishop and Barnes take the orders directly from Ashley – there is little accountability to Newcastle United.

There is now only one group we can pin our hopes on for clarity. The Bin Zayed Group (BZG). Where are they? Where have they gone? What is going on? In the words of a drunken Delia Smith… ‘C’mon, lets be having ya!’

One of the reasons why the BZG brought so much optimism for fans in late May, and the beginning of June, was their clear communication with fans. They did not speak in riddles, rumours, or via intermediaries – they did not even send a bizarre ‘letter’ to god knows who. Every rumour that had previously been laughed at by any sane fan throughout the Kenyon and Staveley saga, was backed up with confirmation through direct statements.

However, that was over four weeks ago now. So what is going on?

Now I am sure some people will take the line that silence is golden, it means something is in the works, but I do not think that is the case at all.

Let us not forget that we have been here before with both Amanda Staveley and Peter Kenyon. We sat back over January and February, expecting the silence to magically turn into a takeover but to no avail. We were not even informed by any party that talks had ‘broken down’ – just silence. Radio silence. Dead fu..ing silence. Is that fair? Does it not unfairly pull on the heartstrings of thousands of people whose happiness often relies on the communication given to them by their football club.

The Bin Zayed Group owe it to fans to make some sort of statement over the next week. If they are to take on the mantle of custodians of this wonderful football club – then I would certainly urge on them to make their ambitions clear, show that they are going to take be different to MA by giving us the one thing that we crave most – and that we have not received under MA. Communication and respect.

It might seem like I am criticising the BZG without them even taking over at the club – but I am not – I am merely calling on them to treat us fans with respect, because it is not fair that the heartstrings of good honest people are constantly tugged on my rich men in positions of power who do not have to suffer the human consequences of supporting this football club.

What certainly won’t help throughout this situation is a bizarre situation where 14 year old kids are ringing/sending messages to Midhat Kidwai (somebody discovered his mobile phone number and circulated it) in the middle of the night. Additionally, I would urge the local press, NUST and all other groups to stop urging the club to the right thing, or to appoint the right manager, because we are far past that now. If all of your efforts are not going into pushing Mike Ashley to sell the club then you are doing it wrong.

Fans cannot be allowed to be left in limbo for much longer. There have been reports in the local media, with Mark Douglas claiming the Bin Zayed Group have set a deadline. Although, that claim came with no evidence, no sources and no contact from the BZG so it remains a strange thing to say.

It is probably another example showing nobody really knows anything. Only Mike Ashley and the two men at the top of the BZG hold the cards, know the cards, and know how far along the game we are. We don’t want a running commentary, we don’t even demand answers right now – just some communication and respect.

Time for the Bin Zayed Group to stand up and be heard again.

You can follow the author on Twitter @JonathanComyn

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