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Opinion

‘Why Newcastle United Takeover arbitration delay is a big positive for fans’

2 weeks ago
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As the vast majority of you will be aware, the Newcastle United Takeover arbitration has now been delayed.

A joint statement from both sides (Mike Ashley / NUFC and the Premier League) last night (Monday 19 July 2021) stating:

‘The main hearing of the arbitration has regrettably now been adjourned until early 2022 due to issues with the disclosure of evidence.’

Not surprisingly, Newcastle supporters were less than impressed, many taking to social media in the hours that have followed, to let rip their frustrations at this seemingly never ending Newcastle United Takeover saga.

The result of this initial arbitration about on a par with the first team losing to sixth tier York City on Sunday.

Whilst I more than understand the immediate reaction of so many angry NUFC supporters AND I agree that this delay into 2022 is a total joke…I would also like to explain why this Newcastle United Takeover arbitration delay is in some ways a big positive for fans.

First things first, once we very first heard that this Newcastle United Takeover arbitration was due to start sometime in July 2021, we knew it was far from ideal timing.

Slap bang in the middle of pre-season preparations, surely all of us had the alarm bells ringing to at least some extent with regard to the health of Newcastle United heading into the 2021/22 Premier League season.

The full arbitration hearing and then the wait for a decision, was always going to mean that even with the most positive of results, new owners were never going to be into St James Park in time to influence the 2021 summer transfer window.

Sadly, this clash with NUFC takeover arbitration was always going to suit Mike Ashley down to the ground.

I saw one of the local journalists even backing up the current owner on not allowing any proper squad strengthening in this transfer window, with a comment on the lines of why would you spend a load of money on decorating if you were expecting to sell your house soon.

Well, what I would say, is that if you were hoping to sell soon, you wouldn’t want to risk your house (football club) falling down (getting into relegation trouble) before the sale is finalised.

For me, the good news now after Monday night’s news, is that Mike Ashley now has absolutely zero excuse for not ensuring Newcastle United are proper prepared for the new season.

It is only 26 days until Newcastle kick off against West Ham in their opening Premier League match and not a single new signing so far. This is day 42 of the 2021 summer transfer window and quite clearly Mike Ashley and his minions have made no attempt whatsoever to sign any players so far.

Whilst losing in a friendly to a sixth tier club is not a disaster on its own, it does at the very least point to this squad’s severe lack of creativity and goals. Massively overly reliant on ASM and Callum Wilson in these two areas, especially with no Joe Willock now. It wasn’t the result that was the big worry against York, it was the performance. No hard luck story in terms of their keeper playing a blinder – indeed 20 year old NUFC stand in Dan Langley had the most decent saves to make of the two goalkeepers, I can barely remember many / any points in the match where I thought Newcastle looked a class apart.

Mike Ashley might have still dreamt of pocketing his cash, handing the keys over, and doing a runner before the season started (15 August 2021) and / or the transfer window closes (31 August 2021), to leave the mess he’s created in somebody else’s hands for this 2021/22 season…however, that was never in the real world, going to be the case.

Anyway, now we all know 100% for sure, there are no new owners going to be making sure Newcastle United are properly prepared for this new season, it is purely down to one man, Mike Ashley.

It is easy to forget just how rich he is, it is multi-billionaire Mike Ashley, still at least halfway or higher in the table when it comes to Premier League owners and their personal wealth.

Just remember as well just how much the increase in his personal wealth these past 14 years has been due to how he has used and abused NUFC to promote his retail empire.

That of course is on top of other benefits he has gained, such as the £5.5m personal profit confirmed in accounts this morning, from the buying of land (opposite the Gallowgate End) off the club for £3.5m and then selling on to developers for £9m. Mike Ashley making millions of profit, rather than allowing the club to do so.

Plus, the most obvious reason of all for Mike Ashley ensuring there is proper investment in the squad ahead of the new season, it is his asset, the club when it is sold will see hundreds of millions of pounds pouring into his bulging pockets. It is he who has the very most to gain from ensuring Newcastle United aren’t sleepwalking into massive relegation trouble.

Yes we all want the takeover to happen but in the meantime Mike Ashley simply can’t allow the club to fall (even further) apart.

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