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Newcastle United Takeover finally on the way with help of NCSL or another false dawn?

2 weeks ago
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I have been following the NCSL (Newcastle Consortium Supporters Limited) with a certain amount of interest, regarding their campaigning about the Newcastle United takeover and the Premier League.

A long time reader / visitor to The Mag but the first time I have crossed the line and contributed (if this is used).

If you aren’t aware, they (NCSL) sent a letter to the Premier League threatening legal action on behalf of fans, alleging the PL had broken anti-competition laws in their conduct with regard to the failed takeover.

I was a little sceptical to say the least as to it having any impact but I thought good luck to them having a try, even if just to irritate the Premier League.

NCSL got a QC to write up the letter and to my pleasant surprise, the Premier League responded to this letter. So with that, they had already got a lot more done than I expected, with the PL obviously feeling duty bound to reply.

Since then it has all got a bit messy though.

We already knew that Mike Ashley had engaged QCs to take action against the Premier League and that was confirmed in correspondence between the PL and NCSL. Whether that Ashley action is simply for him to try and get some cash out of the PL and / or cause them embarrassment, or whether it is intended to help pave the way for a takeover still to go forward, nobody knows.

As always, we (the fans) will be the last to know anything when it comes to Mike Ashley and Newcastle United. Though in this instance, once things go legal, then it is simply a case of waiting to see what plays out, once it reaches the (virtual?) courtroom / hearing.

Predictably, into this void of nothing happening before any legal outcome is announced, we have started to see a lot of nonsense.

I don’t doubt that those behind NCSL are genuine and just want what is best for fans and club.

However, they have ended up engaging in a load of petty arguments with other fans on social media. Nothing EVER gets successfully debated / argued out on Twitter and the like. NCSL, in my opinion, should just limit themselves to making announcements when something happens, or they have a new initiative and leave it at that, people can take it however they want. No need to get into so much negativity and name calling etc from all sides.

What I don’t understand though is the whole thing of NCSL having a go at MPs and trying to pressure them into coming out and supporting them (NCSL) in demanding whatever from the Premier League. Surely if it is legal action that NCSL (and Mike Ashley) are pursuing, then it is absolutely nothing to do without elected members of parliament. For very good reason the judiciary are independent and can’t be leaned on by MPs.

Then NCSL writing to Boris Johnson and demanding that he intervenes in the issue is just beyond bizarre. Not just because it comes at a time when Johnson and his mates are busier than ever in making the virus and brexit situation so many levels worse than it would be anyway, but for them (NCSL) to threaten / promise a mass march to London and evoke memories of the Jarrow marchers in doing so, is all a bit embarrassing.

There will be no mass march to the capital by disgruntled Newcastle United fans, and the Jarrow marchers were forced to act because they and their families and so many others were in abject poverty and starving to death, not because they had a club owner who has starved them of any hope for their football club. To compare the two is not what you should be doing.

There is a lot of nonsense said about how all Newcastle fans, including all ‘groups’, have to be totally united, if we are ever going to have anything positive happen with NUFC. Well for starters,  not sure who these ‘groups’ are, it is only NUST that is a proper group of any shape who have members and a proper structure etc. Even NCSL don’t claim to be a ‘group’, they have ‘consortium’ in their name but make clear that there is only two of them involved. As for others, having a Twitter account does not equal being a ‘group’, I know that might be a shock to some but it is the truth. We don’t all need to think the same or do the same for a Newcastle United takeover to happen, or even minutely increase the chances of it doing so. When it comes to what you do or say, just have some personal integrity, if you think that going back to SJP and giving Mike Ashley money is the wrong thing to do – or the right thing, then do it yourself, don’t just lecture other people. It is that easy. Express an opinion either way on anything is of course what anybody is entitled to do, just don’t embarrass yourself by lecturing and abusing others on what they should and shouldn’t do.

So a big well done to NCSL for getting this initiative off the ground.

A big well done for getting the Premier League to engage with them.

Another big well done on NCSL for helping to shine extra focus on the Premier League and at least getting the national media interested again in what might be happening, even if only to a very limited extent.

However, please drop the criticism of other Newcastle fans who are sceptical about anything happening and also I would say, stop getting so many NUFC supporters so hyped up at this stage, with so much over the top hope of a takeover actually happening.

They (NCSL) say that they are in contact with both the Mike Ashley and Saudi backed consortium sides of the takeover and I am not doubting that is the case. However, this does not necessarily square the circle and equal a Newcastle United takeover definitely happening now, or indeed knowing for sure that this is what all parties still want / intend.

What is for sure though and should never be forgotten. Is that the Saudis aren’t the only people who can / could buy Newcastle United. If Mike Ashley had been genuine these last 12 or 13 years or so about being willing to sell NUFC at a market price, then the club could have been sold many times over.

Nearly every other major (and not so major) club have been sold (some of them more than once) in the time Mike Ashley has been supposedly trying to sell Newcastle United, Burnley the latest, sold just last week. I don’t want to hear anything about Ashley allegedly doing this for the benefit of the fans, I actually read one comment from a Newcastle fan claiming that Mike Ashley has not sold the club yet because he was waiting for the right new owner for our (the fans!) benefit. There is naive and there is stupid! Mike Ashley wants only what is best for him and so far that has involved waiting to see if somebody might come along and offer him far more than the club is worth, whilst in the meantime he drains all the benefits he can from NUFC (free promotion of his tat empire etc) and lets the club fall to pieces in the meantime, with no proper investment allowed in the infrastructure (training complex, Academy, St James Park etc).

A very final note.

If the Saudi consortium do get control, they are doing it for one reason only. They see an opportunity to benefit themselves.

For most of you that will be blatantly obvious BUT amazingly, for a significant minority of NUFC fans, for some bizarre reason they think the Reubens, Amanda Staveley and the Saudi state are suddenly our best mates and struggle to sleep at night, worrying about the future of Newcastle United and the well being of those who support the club.

They are as concerned about us, as are the owners of the likes of Man City, Man Utd and Liverpool about their clubs and the fans of each.

What the hope is with the Saudi consortium, or indeed any other potential Mike Ashley replacements, is that they see an opportunity for huge riches and / or power if they can take over at St James Park, with success on and off the pitch for Newcastle United, which would then prove to be a win / win for the supporters and new owners.

We want to see a successful football club and team. The consortium if taking over will be driven by power, money and prestige, which will then hopefully drive success on and off the pitch at SJP.

Abramovich, those at Man City and the Fenway lot at Liverpool, found success purely because of the above, not because they stood on the terraces as kids.

Happy New Year to you all and hopefully a happy happy Newcastle United takeover in the very near future.

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