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Opinion

‘Admission – I’ve written to Premier League asking them to block Saudi Newcastle United takeover’

2 months ago
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It is very much a case of between a rock and a hard place.

I have an admission to make.

Last week I wrote to the Premier League and asked them not to let Saudi Arabia PIF Newcastle United takeover go ahead.

It was on the back of Hatice Cengiz’s letter to Newcastle supporters, imploring us to unite and protect the club from the influence of the murderous, oil rich Kingdom.

Mine was a half-hearted demonstration. I didn’t get off my backside to put pen to paper as such – I just used the Contact us page of the PL website. I didn’t even do it as soon as Cengiz’s letter was published. I waited days.

But though the deed is done, I am conflicted. Each day, like thousands and thousands of others, I check my phone to see what the latest takeover talk is.

Has Pochettino commented?

How out of favour is Bale at Real Madrid?

Could we really afford a salary bill of XX millions every month?

The issue is simple.

My heart wants a team to be playing edge-of-the-seat football, winning the league, perhaps even being 12 points ahead at Christmas again. I’d like Keegan back so that my 18 year old can get a sense of how electric football can be.

My brain, however, wants the head-choppers and torturers as far away from the city I studied in, and the football club I loved, as is possible.

I say loved because I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve fallen out of love with Newcastle United. I’m not afraid to say it, and I know I’m not alone, but I once said I’ll just go and support the SMBs. The feeling doesn’t normally last more than a day or two.

Someone recently said, or wrote, that they love Newcastle, but they’re not in love with Newcastle. I’m kind of the same. It’s like the club and I divorced years ago, but I still want the best for them. When they lose or when something bad happens to them, I feel irritated, but when they win, the world is temporarily a better place.

Anyway, heart or brain?

Heart of course.

But when we win the league, as we surely will now, will it be as sweet as when Leicester did it?

Don’t fool yourselves.

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