Schrodinger’s Newcastle United Takeover
Erwin Schrodinger’s famous paradox states that if you place a cat and something that could kill it into a sealed box, you would not know if the poor thing was dead or alive until you open the box to take a look.
It’s a perfect metaphor for Newcastle United right now.
In a week where the club released a pointed statement confirming arbitration against the Premier League we’ve predictably seen various sources claim that the Newcastle United Takeover is back on, and that PIF remain highly interested in concluding a deal.
I believe the word you’re looking for is purgatory.
Our fanbase have been living in this state for years now, where the Newcastle United Takeover is both on and off at the same time with no obvious ending in sight. Some would understandably tell you that they’d rather it fell through now and we move on, whilst others would gladly put themselves through two more years of uncertainty if it ultimately meant we saw the end of the Ashley era at St James’ Park.
Which camp do you sit in?
Whilst the idea of peace of mind does appeal, I sit in the latter. After all, peace of mind is fleeting as a Newcastle fan, whether inflicted on the pitch or in the one-man boardroom a storm of controversy and mismanagement only ever a moment away.
For that reason I’m willing to strap in, grit my teeth and accept my place as nothing but a pawn in a game now played by multi-billionaires and corporates, in the hope that maybe one day we can sit at the top table again.
The slow and arduous pace of the takeover and the legality that surrounds it is almost perfectly mirrored by what takes place on the pitch. No one really knows what’s going on and we hope that a saviour may grab us a lucky win against the “big boys”.
Nothing encapsulates the mentality of this team more than a throw in deep inside the final third of the pitch finding it’s way back to the feet of Karl Darlow within seconds. We’ve witnessed a regression happen over 18 months which has been slow and painful to witness. A side which was known to be difficult to break down and hard to out-work have become a soft touch.
We see the impact that Bruce’s anti-competitive mentality has had on players like Allan Saint-Maximin and Miguel Almiron. Players that would at the very least attempt to excite fans and play with attacking intent under any other coach have been neutered by a tracksuit manager who is in over his head.
As I write this I watch Joe Cole on BT Sport resemble a Peaky blinder, telling me that Bruce has provided that peace of mind, that he has come in and rescued us from the apparent rocking ship that Rafael Benitez left behind. There is nothing peaceful about this. I find no joy in watching this iteration of our club turn out performances that make us difficult to love and impossible to watch. In what is ultimately a game designed to entertain we find ourselves bored every weekend, more entertained by the headlines than the action on the pitch.
Joe mistakes empty stadiums and widespread apathy for a steady ship. We will see how smoothly she sails when 50,000 Geordies are allowed back to church.
However, in a world where we are on the verge of fortune changing transformation via the middle east whilst jointly existing as a lower mid-table bore-of-a-team, all is not entirely lost.
Whilst the waiting kills us and grinds away at our formidable patience the end result could be the sweetest pay off of all. Not the money or the potential success it would bring, but the ability to be proud of our club again and hold two fingers up to the powers that conspire to stop us.
The gratification of seeing the dirty underbelly of the game exposed for what it is. A victory for all fans who exist outside of the “Project big Picture” landscape.
For now we have the tiniest morsel of hope that we will be rewarded for our patience. The Guardian claim that the ever reliable and UK government are hopeful that the takeover is revived, although this doesn’t exactly tally with their record of investment in the North East. Whilst Chris Waugh at The Athletic believes that the PIF are set on returning to the table dependent on the outcome of arbitration.
So, approach with caution and apply a healthy dose of that well practiced pessimism that we’ve earned over the years. Take everything you read with a scoop of salt, believe nothing until it’s official. But, don’t give up hope that salvation could be ours.
Maybe someone will yet break open the box, take off the lid, and see the cat is still breathing.
You can follow Josh on Twitter @NotSoLocalHero
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