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Saudi PIF Newcastle owners to release mission statement and overturn furlough – Respected journalist update

5 months ago
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George Caulkin has given an  update on the Newcastle United takeover.

The most respected and relied on NUFC journalist when it comes to the important stuff, it is quality rather than quantity from the the writer for The Athletic (formerly covering Newcastle United for The Times).

With it seemingly only a matter of time before the Newcastle United takeover is formally confirmed, Caulkin has given us an insight into preparations behind the scenes on the buying side.

It is not exactly the best kept secret that the man from The Athletic is close to the bidding side of things, as opposed to the Mike Ashley and his minions side, having regularly contact with Amanda Staveley during the previous failed attempt to buy the club.

In Tuesday’s piece for The Athletic, George Caulkin says that the bidders are regularly having meetings, presumably remotely, to discuss their plans once taking control, with Caulkin saying that obviously they are having to now do this within the confines of the virus situation, refining their plans on what will happen once Mike Ashley hands the keys over. The report confirms what has been reported elsewhere with regard to a deposit having been paid by the bidders to secure the deal, with the balance to be paid once the Premier League have ticked all boxes.

As for timeframes, the Premier League process is expected to last up to four weeks and with that starting around Thursday 9 April, we should be looking at early May at the latest for a formal announcement. Though with virus lockdown in place in the UK until at least 7 May, it remains to be seen when the new owners can be there in person at St James Park to crack on and repair 13 years of neglect, failure to allow proper investment in any aspect of the club and wasted opportunity under Mike Ashley.

The Athletic report confirms the board of directors that are ready to take control and have the responsibility, Yasir Al-Rumayyan, (governor of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund) as chairman but fellow director Amanda Staveley to be directly in charge of running the club, Staveley’s husband Mehrdad Ghodoussi and Jamie Reuben also on the board.

Caulkin says that the plan is to turn Newcastle United into ‘the club of the north’ and investment is planned for not just the playing squad and club infrastructure (training ground, St James Park, Academy etc) but with more far reaching benefits in terms of investment in the city and region.

Top of the list of developing plans, George Caulkin says that a mission statement is being prepared by the new owners that will set out their aspirations for this NUFC project, this to be released when the Premier League give the green light for the takeover, or it could be earlier if Mike Ashley decides to release a statement of his own.

Much of what Caulkin reveals is music to our ears, doing the right thing instead of the shameful actions of Mike Ashley that have blighted our football club and indeed brought shame to the fanbase.

Ashley’s move to furlough non-playing staff and exploit taxpayers money will be immediately reversed, whilst there will also be a significant gesture of support shown to the local NHS.

No matter how much we may wish it otherwise, both Lee Charnley and Steve Bruce would be retained initially for the change over. The playing side of things made easier by the fact that there is still nine games left of the current season and we aren’t heading imminently into a new one.

A reform of the football club will take place from top to bottom, which will be no surprise, dragging NUFC back in line with other major clubs. Not just a proper board of directors but also a professional team running the club day to day and professionalism brought in all the way down through every level.

The big realistic message of course is that this is a long-term project and the new owners know that it will take time to build up revenue levels that will then help allow ever increasing investment in the playing squad. The message is that Newcastle will be challenging Liverpool, Man City and the rest BUT that will take time, how much time depends on getting things right from the start and making progressive decisions.

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