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Opinion

Newcastle United – A club reborn

1 week ago
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Well lads and lasses, here we are.

Ever since news pierced the calm of a nondescript Wednesday evening that something was on with regards to the Newcastle United takeover, the whole fan community has been on tenterhooks with regards to what was going to happen next.

My initial reaction was “Here we go again” and “Yeah, pull the other one” and like most fans, this was the default setting much like it has been for numerous years under Mike Ashley.

Fast forward a few hours and my attitude shifted to a more optimistic feeling that THIS was indeed IT. There was something in the air, something was different this time. Something was afoot. Must admit, it helped that the TV piracy issue was eliminated. This being a big plus and a factor that caused even some moronic Toon haters to swallow hard and accept publicly that the times they were a changing. No more obstacles you see.

Since late on Wednesday night my mood has morphed from that of natural scepticism, curiosity and then nervous anticipation. Maybe this time it was going to happen. Maybe the guy eventually does get the girl. Maybe the genuine trier does win out and get his just rewards. This simply doesn’t happen to Newcastle United fans, it should, but it doesn’t.

Now that confirmation has been passed and that S****s D****t FC has finally been sold and Newcastle United has been reformed, we can now take a breath and sum up the last 24 hours with a bit of rationale.

Cut a long story short, this news is great for the club, its fans, the city and the region. A club has been transformed overnight, a fanbase has been given hope and dreams and the city can look at its football team and smile at what it might become, what joy it can bring and what success it can achieve.

This brings me on to the previous owner, exiting stage left. An utter parasite. A drainer of expectations, a dasher of dreams and a stripper of any history or honour that ever went before him. His roll call of crimes can be listed a mile long and the damage to the club’s reputation will be longstanding and a part of the new owners’ mission statement will be to repair it’s standing in the footballing world. Balance Sheet Champions? B.llocks to that.

And that brings me on to a rather awkward and twisted next point. I’m actually about to thank Mike Ashley.

Thank you Mike. Thank you for doing what you said over the last few years and agreeing to vacate the club when the time was right. Thank you for handing the club over to seemingly the right people who can (and will) take the club on and build it, make it realise it’s potential, something you refused to do. That’s where the grudging platitudes end. The new owners simply won’t tolerate deliberate failure.

When the dust has settled and the fans moved on, Mike Ashley won’t be forgotten, but he will be erased partially from the history of this great club. The last 14 years have been a void, a time where most deliberately blanked that the football club existed, other than with apathetic thoughts and attitudes. Farce after farce followed this oaf through a decade and a half of calamitous ownership and for what? His reputation tarnished but bank balanced obviously swelled and profile eminently increased. Still, it would have been nice to have been liked in the end, even just a little bit.

The haphazard approach to football club ownership took this fanbase through various states of happiness (yes there were some) to utter despair and ultimate apathy. When a fan ceases to care, you know you’ve done some emotional damage, which many had reached the point of no return under Ashley long ago.

Club legends were mocked, ridiculed and cast aside. Surely a good businessman doesn’t think this is a wise move? Ashley didn’t seem to care. So to him, I’ll give him the curtesy he withheld from numerous fan favourites. Goodbye, I wish I could say it was a pleasure. I mean that.

And what of the future?

Never mind the roar of the crowd that greets a goal, never mind the screams that celebrate a goal. Just the delight and pure joy at being in the stadium again cheering on whoever pulls on the black and white shirt and crucially – meaning it, will be a remarkable change of pace.

And to the naysayers, rival clubs, the media and those that loved a chuckle at the Geordies expense? Don’t you bloody dare. Don’t you bloody dare start lauding our new found standing of “richest club in the world” or begin to heap praise on the very saviours of the club that may enlighten the Premier League with another competitor that you actively wished to deny. It doesn’t wash. We may not get to hear the iconic shriek of a Sky Sports commentator in the way Martin Tyler screamed “Agueerooo” anytime soon but one thing’s for sure, as fans, we’ll have a lot more fun finding out what’s around the corner than the last 14 years have promised.

The new owners will not settle for yesterday’s men, third rate personnel or downright clowns masquerading in footballing circles. You can keep your plastic Pardews, your bullsh.tting Bruces, your moronic McClarens and god forsaken JFKs. To succeed at this club, you will need to know what you’re doing. That excludes the Managing Director (term used loosely) Lee Charnley and the Head Coach (term used loosely) Steve Bruce. Like I said earlier – the times they are a changing.

And what for the immediate future? We still need points on the board, we still need results. This will happen because I firmly believe Steve Bruce is close to the exit. This will provide impact on both players and fanbase and the effects will likely result in a boost on the field. Instant return on a £300m+ investment if you like. They’re quite savvy these new owners.

The next thing I would like to see is more personal and symbolic and bordering on dream world scenario, so please indulge me. I would like, when the team take the field next Sunday against Spurs, to see a few people in the stands. Friends of the club restored to the status quo.

One of the bad smells still emitting from the Ashley regime, was the way a few people were treated. Wouldn’t it be great, in fact wouldn’t it be fantastic, legendary even, if the likes of Jonas Guttierez, Chris Hughton and Alan Shearer were in the stands to be present for such a life changing match? The sort of PR that money can’t buy, yet comes remarkably cheap. I mention this simply because I harbour a dream that many other Newcastle fans may share.

I would like to see one sight at the match when Newcastle United take on Spurs next Saturday. I would love it (love it) if Kevin Keegan were invited to be in the crowd at that match. The first person that Mike Ashley shamelessly shafted in favour of his own agenda selfish goals to simply be there, a legend of the club, welcomed back into the fold and treated as the star that he was and is. Long gone are his managerial years but the uplifting effect will never fade. That sort of joy would inspire fifty thousand people already hyped up to delirium to even greater efforts and provide a symbolic thank you.

And what next of this great club? Sleeping giant? Call it what you like. The opportunity to simply be allowed to mix it with the big boys on an even playing field. To be respected as a football entity. We’ve been given that chance in less than 24 hours, something which was denied us in 14 years of the previous ownership.

And to every fan that has openly opposed the anti football and disgraceful ownership of the last decade, including those that took a stand and refused to continuously back a greedy chancer? Enjoy what will likely come and witness some meaningful history, rather than deliberate stagnation.

Good riddance Sports Direct FC. Welcome Back Newcastle United.

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