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Opinion

‘As Premier League test currently stands, Newcastle United takeover should have passed it weeks ago’

5 months ago
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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 Steve Hickey.

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?

The potential Newcastle United takeover is absolutely pivotal.

Nothing will ever be the same again one way or the other but that goes for the virus too.

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’ve said in articles recently that I think the EPL are playing for time, waiting for someone to make the decision for them. They are scared to say yes but probably equally worried about saying no. Whichever way they go they will want it watertight but I’m afraid that simply isn’t possible.

As the test CURRENTLY stands, the Newcastle United takeover should have passed it weeks ago.

The hope is maybe that the buyer or seller get sick or the Government intervene. I fear the WTO report will be a focus and that might be the excuse the EPL are looking for but it isn’t a decision from a court of law.

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

These last few months have been a nice break from our Ashley instigated backs to the wall struggle.

That Southampton result has made it a lot easier.

Never really missed the stress though the potential takeover is playing on my mind. Missed my mates at the pub and feel heartily sorry for those affected by this horrible virus.

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

Being a Newcastle fan has helped me understand how I love our club but detest the mediocrity that we have had forced on us.

I’ve spent a lot of time checking on the potential takeover. That has helped with some of the boredom. As I say, didn’t miss our tedious football.

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.

Yes it will be our luck to win the FA cup with no fans there, that said I would still jump at the chance.

With our next opponents in town I’m not holding my breath. Win the cup and get relegated?

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

Football without fans is a necessary chore this season but it goes against the spirit of everything that’s good about the game.

The way St James has gone in recent seasons, the players maybe won’t notice!

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

I’m desperate and totally in favour of the Saudi takeover but will it be allowed to happen?

It should if it’s based on retrospective and current convictions like it’s meant to work.

I fear that morals might get in the way as an excuse is sought. On the moral side our Government sell too many arms and munitions to complain about a football club.

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

I recently wrote an article that was published on The Mag, criticising the way journalists have handled the prospective takeover. I wasn’t very complimentary and feel that many have led the fans up the garden path.

There is also an ongoing vendetta against this takeover and I’ve never known an evidence based test elongated and made open house to any sort of counter evidence and criticism. A one sided witch hunt.

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

I’m 50/50 that the takeover will happen.

Is there an American back up deal? I see that’s on the cards but in my mind it’s again 50/50. Yes on balance a takeover will occur.

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)?

During the lockdown Mike Ashley has shown the world what we’ve known for 13 years. He has behaved as I would have expected him to.

If the takeover happens, what ideally should happen with each of these four…Steve Bruce, Matty Longstaff, Lee Charnley, Andy Carroll?

I would keep all current players plus Steve Bruce until the end of the season, there’s no choice, get rid of Ashley’s man Charnley though with immediate effect.

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 I could ease current restrictions on pubs and football, would I? No, sorry, not with the virus about. Lives are more important.

If it did have to be one or the other with a magic formula to safeguard, this season I would open pubs, had we been taken over, the answer might have been different.

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