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‘A few words need to be said about this media coverage of the Newcastle United takeover’

2 years ago

The Newcastle United takeover, football suspended, football now returning, Mike Ashley actions (and inactions), dealing with the virus situation in general, playing matches behind closed doors.

All subjects that as a Newcastle United fan you have had to deal with in recent months.

Ahead of the Magpies returning to competitive action, we have asked some regular and irregular contributors to The Mag, to answer some varying sets of questions relating to themselves and NUFC.

Next up now is Jonathan Drape-Comyn.

How would you describe the impact of these last three or four months on yourself?

It’s been tough and there are a lot of things I have complained about over the past few months for sure, but more than anything, this has been a time to recognise how lucky some of us are, what there is to be grateful for and that there are a lot more people in worse situations.

This should be a time to look out for each other and one another’s backs. The fact it has turned into quite the opposite has probably been the hardest part of all of this.

Being a Newcastle United fan, has that been a help or a hindrance in coping with these virus impacted times?

A big fat hindrance!

There was probably a two week period where I spent at least a quarter of my day refreshing my social media feed expecting an ‘imminent’ announcement. Thankfully I am well past that now.

There is no doubt that fans have been taken advantage of massively by the media throughout this period, especially those with clickbait business models like a certain local newspaper.

Newcastle win the FA Cup, their first domestic trophy in 65 years, and there isn’t a single Newcastle fan there to see it happen. Discuss.

It would make sense wouldn’t it?

No way will Newcastle win the FA Cup this year anyway. Although, more importantly, why is it still going ahead? With no fans? What is the point?

I understand the league has to finish, with so much money, sponsorship, contracts, as well as next season’s promotion/relegation, European places etc.

No need for the FA Cup though.

Is football without fans pointless, or is it just not as good?


Are you in favour of the Saudi PIF takeover of Newcastle United?

At first I was all for it, irrespective of the issues surrounding Saudi Arabia. Now I am not so sure.

Of course I want Mike Ashley to sell, at the end of the day that is still the be all and end all for me. However, I am not comfortable with my football club being used as a tool for a government that ranks amongst the worst human rights abusers in the world, as much as I am a tool for Sports Direct.

What observations do you have about the media coverage of the potential Newcastle United takeover?

Bloody hell. Where do I start? Here’s 10 observations:

How can newspapers honestly be reporting that Newcastle United are in talks with players when they are nowhere near completion of the takeover?

Why has the media kicked up such a fuss Re Saudis owning majority shares in Newcastle United but have had no issues with Saudis owning minority shares in some of the largest companies on the planet?

Clickbait. Clickbait everywhere. We have even reached a stage where outlets like the Chronicle have built their business plan on reporting the reports from the tabloids who are making up reports. Clickbait on clickbait.

Has the media completely forgotten about Mike Ashley? So little attention has been paid to the issues surrounding Newcastle United RIGHT NOW. Irrespective of whether a takeover is happening or not.

**Also, it was frequently reported, especially by the Chronicle again, that Mike Ashley would only sell the club to the right and proper buyers. Now that we know that is complete with the buyers currently struggling to pass the Fit and Proper persons test… will he be held accountable for those quotes that were widely reported as fact?

It is quite sad that people with twitter accounts seem to think they have some sort of credibility? You people know who you are but you are just a twitter page! Give it a break man! Or maybe I shouldn’t be such a grumpy git…

*Likewise, social media, especially twitter, has been filled with Saudi accounts knowing they can use Newcastle United fans’ enthusiasm for the growth of their own profiles.

One for fellow Newcastle fans – why do people see certain desperately attention demanding supporters as some sort of source of genuine information? It baffles me.

Why did Sky Sports report that Newcastle had offered Mauricio Pochettino 19.5 million per year to become the new manager, two months ago? Why do the likes of Downie and Pete Graves look past this and pretend that Sky Sports only deals in facts / solid information when they are arguably the worst of all for disinformation (see their colleague Jim White also).

A question to the local media – Douglas, Ryder, Edwards, that fella from the Daily Mail. Where are the decent articles? We have been stuck in the house for three months, with no football, no transfers etc. So where are the decent articles? Between the four of them I can count them on one hand. Just what on earth have you actually been doing? Perhaps some nostalgia pieces, the lack of interviews have been frightening, investigative pieces, opinion pieces… is one a day possible? Or one every two days? You guys are supposed to be passionate about NUFC?

Why do reporters and outlets continue to share information that is not true? Especially in relation to Saudi Arabia. If you don’t know the answer to something, just say you don’t know… and then go and find out! That is your job.

A lot of Newcastle fans really will believe anything you tell them… as long as it is what they want to hear!

**Oh yes! One more! That Miguel Delaney is clearly an ar.ehole but can people please stop trying to ruin the fella’s career just because he is doing his job? Sure, the way he goes on is embarrassing at times, and he clearly doesn’t like us! Ask yourself though, if you were a journalist, and lets say, hundreds of Arsenal fans were writing letters to your boss, making things up about you, trying to ruin your life… all because you are standing up for human rights abuses, you know – a half decent cause, then you’d probably end up having an agenda against Arsenal as well wouldn’t you?

How confident are you, as a percentage, that the NUFC will happen?


What do you think about the way Mike Ashley has ran Newcastle United during this virus crisis (furloughing staff, no refunds on tickets/season tickets, advance payments taken for 2020/21 season tickets etc etc)?

I am shocked that it has not received greater media attention. There is a terrible irony in all of this that the Premier League may reject the takeover because the Saudis are not ‘fit and proper’, just to leave Mike Ashley in charge.

Would any of the issues above have happened under new ownership? Hypothetical of course but probably not.

So who is the unfit one to run a football club?

Do you feel this takeover is the pivotal moment for Newcastle United, that whichever way it goes will dictate the future of the club for a long long time?

I don’t think so… I think Mike Ashley has already dismantled the club enough. Sure, the Saudis could come in and turn us into Man City and we might win the European Cup in 10 years. However, I don’t like viewing Newcastle United through polar opposite lenses.

All we need/want is an owner who ‘gets it’ and wants this football club to be the best it can possibly be. If the Saudis don’t take us over, then that does not mean it will never happen.

Do you think the takeover is taking this long because there is something stopping it happening, this is just how long it takes, or do the Premier League have to be seen to taking a long time…or any other thoughts on why no announcement yet?

I have absolutely no idea!

I’m amazed it has taken this long. Even factoring in different issues right now that the premier league has had to deal with… three months (and ongoing)!? The PL has a duty not only to itself but the most important people who make the PL and that’s the fans… by letting this drag on, with no communication, leaving people in limbo, they have let down the fans.

It is just a shame that I don’t think they give a sh.t about that. If anything, this saga has shown that the only thing they do give a sh.t about is themselves and their own money.

One thing I will say is that it would be sad for the takeover to be rejected on piracy. Sure reject it because you don’t think they can support the football club, do what is best for fans, the new owners may have a history of criminal wrong doing or because you don’t want a PL club to be used as a tool to take attention away from human rights abuses in that particular country… I get all of those reasons. To reject it on piracy issues? That would be more frustrating for me.

If the takeover happens, what ideally should happen with each of these four…

Steve Bruce – Sacked, hopefully never to be seen/heard of again in regard to Newcastle United.

Matty Longstaff – Just give the lad what he wants. A young, local player, who looks decent, has bags of potential, has chipped in with goals, can obviously play at this standard… I find it hard to believe he is asking for more than 30 grand a week. If you can throw 40mil at Joelinton then you can give Matty Longstaff a PL wage.

Lee Charnley – HMRC finally come back knocking…

Andy Carroll – Released… his record speaks for itself.

If you could press a magic button, would you choose to have pubs open as normal, or fans able to go to football matches as normal?

If it was truly a magic button we’d be able to have both.

You can follow the author on Twitter @JonathanComyn


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