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Opinion

Derby County – It could be Newcastle United next…

4 weeks ago
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In 1972, the incomparable Brian Clough led unfashionable Derby County to the First Division title, ahead of Don Revie’s feared Leeds and Bill Shankly’s fabled Liverpool.

Three years later, Derby’s skipper from 1972, Dave Mackaay, repeated the trick as manager…. to the general astonishment of the footballing elite and establishment.

During this period, Derby County had a fantastic pool of players with the likes of Colin Todd, Kevin Hector, Franny Lee, David Nish, Archie Gemmill and Charlie George.

Whilst tuning into the Newcastle v Leeds game last night, there was breaking news from the Championship that the Derby County creditors had unanimously decided to take the decision to place the club into administration.

Derby County last competed in the English Premier League in the 2007/08 season. They only won one game all season courtesy of a Kenny Miller goal, ironically against Newcastle…..before bowing out with a record low points tally of 11 (actually four of those 11 points coming against Sam Allardyce’s NUFC before he was replaced by Kevin Keegan) .

Ever since, although there have been some ups (Frank Lampard), they have generally been on a downward spiral. Whenever the club has seemed on the brink of salvation, one takeover after another has ran into problems, led to frustration and ultimately collapsed.

Does this remind you of an even bigger club who have not won the top tier title for 94 years never mind 46?

Over the last few weeks we have been informed that there is no money left in the Newcastle United kitty to strengthen the first team pool. Even though it is glaringly obvious that our squad is inadequately suited to the rigours of a full season in the EPL, we have had to listen regularly to so-called expert analysists defending Steve Bruce and trying to make a case against disgruntled supporters.

I therefore ask this question.

Does anyone reading this actually believe that any other manager who valued his principles and integrity, would persevere in a job with metaphorically his ankles tethered and his torso in a straight-jacket? You see, there is no escape from the criticism and abuse (it is going to get a lot worse) that Steve Bruce deserves for continuing to tow the Ashley party line.

Personally, I don’t just think it, I believe I actually know that Bruce has no affinity or affection for Newcastle United. On this basis, the only conclusion I can come to, is that he is willing to put himself and his family through the mill and the inevitable hatred and vitriol that will follow…..that is soon to reach a crescendo. All because of sheer greed.

Throughout his career he has always put himself first, but this time I think Steve Bruce should carefully weigh up the scale of animosity that he has let himself become complicit in, by being a patsy to a wretched regime.

I believe that Newcastle United are finally in the last chance saloon and without a takeover the club are on the verge of going under. Some might argue that it is hardly worth worrying about because we have no intention of competing anyway. Mike Ashley began strangling the life out of Newcastle United 14 years ago and I have no doubt that after all the EPL payments (that are primarily meant to strengthen and sustain clubs) he will eventually call it a day and cash in his chips once and for all.

People have said that Ashley prevented Newcastle from doing a Leeds or a Portsmouth. They were completely different sets of circumstances. Our predicament is due to spiteful and wilful neglect by an owner who despises us and doesn’t care.

What has happened down Brian Clough Way last night in Derby, may soon be coming to Leazes Terrace, Barrack Road and Strawberry Place, sometime soon.

These things don’t just happen overnight, Derby County fans would verify that. They happen over a period of time. What the fans of any club that are ever faced with a potentially apocalyptic situation have to ask themselves is this – Did I do enough when I had the opportunity to have helped prevent it?

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