After Newcastle United Takeover will be Al-Rumayyan and Ghodoussi not Bale and Coutinho on fans lips
The Newcastle United Takeover is almost here.
Difficult to believe that only nine weeks ago Newcastle were taking away three points from Southampton after a late goal defeated 10 men Saints.
Six days after that (only eight weeks ago!) we saw Premier League football suspended, 24 hours before Newcastle were set to host Sheffield United.
Quite incredible just how long ago that feels, thanks to the virus crisis challenges that have gone global, not just on our small island.
Even crazier to think / realise that it is significantly less than even eight weeks, since the Newcastle United Takeover really became to feel like something that would, very likely, happen.
After the initial Wall Street Journal spark in January, things had died down in terms of any significant media coverage / claims, and only at the very end of March did we hear seemingly credible noises that this was on. Moving towards mid-April, a host of documents linking various shell companies went public at Companies House, confirming for most people that building blocks were being put in place for this Newcastle United Takeover to actually happen. The final act of course being for the Premier League to complete their process / checks and now we are awaiting this final announcement, freeing us from 13 years of Mike Ashley’s disastrous ownership.
To nobody’s surprise, the newspapers, local and national, have been absolutely shameless in running countless invented stories (every day!) claiming Newcastle are interested in, in talks with, have made a bid for, even agreed to sign(!), every single high profile expensive player who previously they would never have even bothered linking us with.
However, after this Newcastle United Takeover is completed, it will be Al-Rumayyan and Ghodoussi, not Bale and Coutinho, that will be the names on fans lips.
Back in April, George Caulkin at The Athletic confirmed that the board of directors is already agreed post-takeover, ready to take control and have the responsibility.
These being Yasir Al-Rumayyan, (governor of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund) as chairman, Amanda Staveley, Staveley’s husband Mehrdad Ghodoussi and Jamie Reuben also on the board (the latter representing the interests of his father David and his uncle, Simon).
To think that this imminent board of directors have already made arrangements to sign certain players is laughable. Even when the Newcastle United Takeover is (fingers crossed) confirmed this week, who NUFC are going to sign will not even be close to being a serious topic of conversation.
It would be the equivalent of taking on a massive house project, taking on a wreck that needs to be demolished before it is properly rebuilt, and making a choice of new curtains your biggest priority..
The job of turning around Newcastle United is huge and all kinds of urgent priorities…
The board of directors are ready and I think we can assume that it has also already being agreed as to who will be Chief Executive to head up the running of the club on a day to day basis. The board and CEO then having the task of also bringing in a professional management team to run the club, under the leadership of the CEO.
Urgent actions and priorities will then include obviously looking at what needs to be done to help prepare for the return of Premier League football, whenever that may be, as well as taking all staff off furlough and almost certainly, repay any money that has been taken from taxpayers thank to Ashley’ disgraceful actions.
Get all normal club staff back working wherever possible, as their help is needed to get things moving back in the right direction ASAP.
For starters, all monthly payment direct debits need to be stopped for 2020/21 season tickets, with payments made so far (and those who had full ST money taken by Ashley in March) refunded, the same with those who have paid for 2019/20 individual match tickets that will never be able to be used (for the remaining five home games of 2019/20 season ticket, I think fair that this can wait and at later date people offered choice of refund pro rata, or money off next season ticket, once we know what is happening).
Getting the retail side kicked into life and assuming all link to Ashley and Sports Direct ended, give fans the chance to put money into the club and help the turnaround, ordering merchandise online and pre-ordering 2020/21 new kits etc as soon as made available.
Starting the process to replace Steve Bruce is of course also a top priority, well ahead of then deciding which players you should go for. Only somebody like Mike Ashley would want a system where the manager (or head coach) doesn’t have a say on transfers in and out.
The appointment of a manager then also setting in motion a top quality senior coaching team to replace what is there now.
Then the new manager one of the key drivers in deciding how best to get a top end set-up place from the Academy upwards.
The new team boss also needed for input in guiding plans for a fit for purpose top quality training complex, something which even Ashley and his people said was urgently needed ASAP back in 2013!
You then have the need for feasibility studies ASAP on how best to facilitate letting as many fans as possible watch the team (when it is allowed again in the future), whether that is an expanded St James Park or completely new stadium. One of biggest priorities will hopefully be already in motion, taking back ownership of the land at Gallowgate. Plans that Shepherd and Hall had drawn up, showed that this land could help allow SJP be expanded to 60,000, who knows what could be potentially possible in terms of raising capacity with the money and expertise the new owners could make available?
The Newcastle United takeover will open up all kinds of exciting possibilities and better quality players will be one of those, however, not the big priority on the first day, week, or indeed month, after they take control.
If you would like to feature on The Mag, submit your article to [email protected]