At least my diehard Newcastle United mate had me in mind (or was I option 12 like Steve Bruce?)
Happy New Decade to everyone and I suppose the perfect opportunity to discuss the coming 10 years at Newcastle United.
Regular readers may remember that I don’t have much time for Mike Ashley and my gut feeling is, he’s running the club into the ground.
In this article I’m going to curb my natural instincts and take an objective and somewhat positive look at what’s to come.
One thing for sure, you’ll never see me setting foot in St James’ ever again and I would guess a lot of the disenchanted fans / protesters will find themselves in the same boat. I still love the team but once the habit and guilt has gone, you simply get into the routine of something else.
In fact I actually turned down the chance of a free half season ticket. At least my diehard mate had me in mind (or was I option 12 like Steve Bruce?).
Logic tells me that Ashley will stay on because despite the show he really wants to stay on, for the Sky prize money if nothing else.
He can control from a distance and even if gates plummet (further), he is prepared to sacrifice a million or two, to keep his advertising interests. If he was given an offer he couldn’t refuse, I think he would go, but there doesn’t seem anyone out there with the necessary funds or will to take us over.
Consortia seem reluctant and we’ve been on the market long enough now for any willing billionaire to show genuine interest. I’m afraid it’s Ashley for the next 10 years in my book.
So will it be more relegations and what of this season?
I predict a turbulent four months but think we’ve enough points to escape relegation, I often think heaven knows how but we aren’t safe yet.
As for coming seasons, will we be a yoyo club? I think not, I think Ashley paying out money on Joelinton was a cynical stab at Rafa Benitez but also big money, even given the money taken in. Was it wise, no but it goes along with other purchases taking us to new signings that broke records. At least £80m. Further money will be freed up or we will go down and stay there (then he might leave after sustained failure in the less affluent Championship).
I think we will stabilise in the Premiership but remain mid-table, largely because we aren’t big six material with ambition, sadly Leicester City and Wolverhampton Wanderers are, so we will merely make the numbers up as players come and go.
The main reason for our new found stability will be the opposition and trends within football. Being in the top flight has never been so lucrative. Once established, many teams will be controlled by Ashley Model tactics. There will be the elite and the awkward and the hype will try and say we have the best league in the world (hmmmmm).
So even my sensible head says it will be more of the same.
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