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Main man at The Times brilliantly sticks up for fans on Newcastle United takeover shambles

2 weeks ago
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Henry Winter is arguably the best football writer around and whilst he isn’t a paid up member of the Newcastle United fanbase, the man from The Times has obviously got a lot of affection for the club and supporters. He also clearly believes in fairness and people being treated in the right way.

The Chief Football writer at The Times has regularly stood up for Newcastle fans in the past.

In complete contrast to so much of the rest of the media, who are only interested in taking cheap shots at NUFC supporters.

A few past instances…

Henry Winter speaking to BBC Radio Five Live – 5 February 2018:

“Newcastle United’s most important asset, along with Rafa Benitez, their most important asset is their fan base…this incredible support.

“It has been said a million times, it doesn’t need to be re-emphasised – they are fantastic. Without them, the club is nothing.

“What makes Newcastle tick, as with most clubs, but particularly with Newcastle because of the way it dominates the city, emotionally and geographically – that stadium – the fans are absolutely key.

“Ashley, sitting in London, has got to listen to these people. He has got to sell up, he has got to move out.

“I can’t believe that he sleeps particularly easily at night know he is getting vilified, quite rightly, by sane people.“He has to sell up, he has to move on.”

Henry Winter writing in The Times – 13 April 2019:

‘Newcastle’s owner, Mike Ashley, either has to sell up or become a proper owner, somebody who invests properly, and gives Benítez the assurances he needs for the future, sorting out the training ground, and also making permanent Salomón Rondón’s loan deal from West Bromwich Albion.

With more time under Benítez’s tutelage and work on the training ground, the instinctive understanding and complementary gifts of Rondón, Pérez and Miguel Almirón could prove a formidable attacking trident.

Ashley should be pleading with Benítez to sign a new deal, give him more funds to strengthen the team and then push on next season.”

Henry Winter of The Times via Twitter – 31 July 2020:

“Mike Ashley will leave one day.

“Newcastle United fans will have their cans festival.

“In the meantime, they deserve an apology and an explanation from the Premier League.”

Now the top man from The Times has hit out again on behalf of Newcastle United fans (and those of many other clubs) after Wednesday’s anti-competition CAT jurisdiction hearing stirred a lot of issues up yet again…

Writing in The Times, Henry Winter heading his 30 September 2021 article with:

‘Newcastle United takeover saga shows Premier League is not fit to govern itself – it’s time for an independent regulator. A neutral judge is needed to take a machete to Machiavellian manoeuvring.’

Here are a few key extracts from his article:

‘When a story becomes a saga, as the Newcastle United takeover process unnecessarily has, the temptation for many is to sigh, scroll down or turn the page. When lawyers are engaged amidst daily arguing over detail, a yarn can become a yawn, but not here. This Newcastle narrative is tied up with the future direction of English football.

One thing already very clear from the long-running Newcastle situation/farce is the urgent need for an independent regulator, a neutral judge on sensitive and complicated issues. Can the Premier League, and certain clubs with their own blatant agendas, really be fair-minded on the prospect of wealthy new owners coming in and strengthening a rival? Clearly not.

This is a national issue, not a localised, North East one. What is happening to Newcastle affects more than one club. It affects the balance of the whole Premier League as one team is effectively being hindered from running properly…’

‘It is a legitimate question for Newcastle fans to ask whether fit and proper organisations are running the game. A regulator, effectively an OfFoot with all the power of government behind it, represents a fairer alternative.’

‘Newcastle fans have been left in limbo by the Premier League, pretty shamefully really, with what appears to many either filibustering tactics or dancing to the tune of those clubs who don’t want a reinvigorated Newcastle challenging them.

The lack of proper dialogue with supporters, the ones who provide the passionate backdrop that the League exploits so lucratively in its broadcasting deals, is embarrassing by the league. Newcastle fans have been treated with near-contempt and their frustration is entirely understandable. It’s their club, their passion. The Premier League’s handling of the situation reinforces arguments for an independent regulator.’

‘It [an independent regulator] could provide a more balanced and swifter view on whether the Saudis were fit and proper owners. It could have talked to their partners, Amanda Staveley and the Reuben brothers, about the possibility of finding alternative funding to PIF. It could have worked with people, rather than against. It could have worked in the best interests of the game, not in the best interests of a cabal of clubs. Ultimately, a regulator could have prevented a story becoming an embarrassing saga.’

Brilliant stuff from Henry Winter and great to see such a top well respected journalist absolutely seeing the crux of the situation and where and why Newcastle fans have been so badly let down, by everybody!

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