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Opinion

10 top priorities for new Newcastle United owners

1 week ago
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The new Newcastle United owners are now in place.

A quite mental time to be a fan this week, going from expecting nothing positive ever from your football club for the rest of your days, to dreaming of what could be possible in the days, weeks, months and years ahead.

We know things will take time and everything comes to those who wait (well, we are experts when it comes to that…).

However, here are 10 top priorities, in no particular order, for the Saudi PIF, Amanda Staveley and Reuben family new Newcastle United ownership to be cracking on with…

Expand St James Park

To anybody who has said in recent times that having the opportunity to expand the St James Park capacity is of little / no importance, what do you think now?

The fact that Newcastle United averaged 51,106 across 23 home games in the 2016/17 Championship season should have told everybody how important this was / is.

Now we have potentially all the ambition in the world, 52,000 is nowhere near what we need.

A massive feasibility study needs to be taken straight away to look at how St James Park can be expanded as much as possible and every modern design / construction solution looked into.

Top of the list though is an immediate approach to those who now control the land and development opposite the Gallowgate, that Mike Ashley bought from the club and sold to developers for a personal profit.

The Hall and Shepherd ownership had plans drawn up showing that by expanding the Gallowgate the capacity could go up to at least 60,000. I have a feeling that if looked at now almost a couple of decades on, even just by expanding at that end of the stadium it could be considerably more than 60,000 as a possibility.

New Manager

It obviously goes without even saying.

Steve Bruce can’t be still here when Newcastle play Tottenham, he has done enough damage.

Hopefully the consortium do have somebody already lined up, even if it is just a wise old head to see us through this season, before a permanent appointment next summer.

New Training Complex

Mike Ashley said in 2013 that a new state of the art training complex had to be built as soon as possible, stating that it was essential if Newcastle United were going to be able to be competitive.

Nothing has changed. Both in terms of not a single brick having been laid, nor the fact that eight years on this is still urgently needed.

New Managing Director

Much like the Steve Bruce situation, catapulting Lee Charnley out of St James Park ASAP is a no-brainer.

I’m sure the new owners will want to sit him down and quiz him just to see what info they can get out of him…but in terms of having any responsibility in running any part of the club, that is well gone.

The likes of Amanda Staveley and her husband, as well as Jamie Reuben, look as though they are set to be very hands on in terms of day to day running of the club. However, I’m sure that alongside that they will want to have, probably already identified, somebody who has very good experience involved in running a football club, to be in place to help the whole thing come together.

Fully Funded Properly Run Academy

Once again, long overdue.

Rafa Benitez saw this as a top priority and Ashley never had any interest.

Get the best possible coaches and facilities and let us get quality young players, especially local ones, thriving in the best possible conditions that can be created.

Director Of Football

If the new Newcastle United owners are ambitious, which I think we can safely take for granted. A Director of Football is another essential.

Somebody who can work with owners and manager to ensure both short and long-term goals are achieved

Safe Standing

There was a deadline of 6 October 2021 to be an early adopter, to apply to be a Premier League club having a safe standing trial in the second half of the season.

That deadline has presumably been missed but plans should now be put in place to have safe standing area(s) ready to be used from the start of the 2022/23 season.

Strengthen First Team Squad

Top of the list no doubt for many fans and January we will see the first phase of that.

It isn’t a scientific process and no signing is guaranteed to succeed BUT at least if we have the best possible people (manager, director of football) identifying potential signings, it will be a massive step forward.

Greggs Doing Stadium Catering

A no-brainer, lets get our club working with key local partners, lets really push that Newcastle United / Newcastle Upon Tyne identity.

Greggs are brilliant, their food is lush, it would be class. Even the Greggs branding at serving kiosks would look the business.

Serve Decent Alcohol

We want to give our money to Newcastle United now, as much as possible.

Give us things we can spend cash on.

Get rid of the slop they serve at the minute, get Moretti and Stella in, get whatever beers people like (not just put up with, get real ale in from local small breweries, give the people what they want.

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