Astonishing – 11 weeks of new Newcastle United owners hasn’t put right 14+ years of Mike Ashley
What are the new Newcastle United owners up to?
They have already been here fully 11 weeks.
Quite astonishing they haven’t by now put everything right after 14+ years of Mike Ashley neglect.
For the benefit of any of the hard of understanding that happen to be reading this, yes, I am being just a little sarcastic.
Today marks exactly 11 weeks (77 days) since that amazing moment when we found out that finally we were free of Mike Ashley.
I think it was always going to be that way, completely out of the blue.
With the near two year campaign by the consortium to buy Newcastle United seemingly fading away, suddenly on Wednesday 6 October 2021 there were media claims that it could actually be ON.
A lot of scepticism naturally, due to the countless false dawns we had seen down the years.
However, only 24 hours after the media claims had emerged, the new Newcastle United owners were indeed in control.
A surprise agreement reached between beIN Sports and the Saudi state which took TV piracy out of the Newcastle United ownership issues. With then the Premier League having then swiftly been able to wave the deal through, not that TV piracy was no longer an obstacle, the actions of the Premier League having been carried out on a confidential basis as was fit and proper, which led to such a short run of time for Newcastle United fans to prepare themselves for that Thursday 7 October 2021 very special moment.
Thousands and thousands spontaneously gathered at St James Park to celebrate the departure of Mike Ashley.
At least now having some hope of their club trying to be the best it possibly can be.
After those long long 14+ years of Mike Ashley, these 11 weeks of the new Newcastle United owners have flashed by.
However, very important to repeat, it has only been 11 (ELEVEN) weeks.
That though hasn’t stopped our enemies from ridiculing both the new Newcastle United owners and the NUFC fans.
‘Newcastle United are still rubbish’
‘All that money and where’s the difference’
‘Would have been better off keeping Mike Ashley’
Yes, as well as fans of other clubs, we have seen the lowest of lowlifes who pass themselves off as journalists and pundits, mocking what has / hasn’t happened at Newcastle United these past 11 weeks.
If somebody had told me in the first few days of October that by this Christmas we would be free of Mike Ashley, Lee Charnley, Steve Bruce the all of the Sports Direct branding, I would have thought that all my Christmases had come at once.
The problem is, amongst others, that nobody outside of Tyneside has cared whatsoever about how Mike Ashley has ran Newcastle United for a decade and a half.
When Newcastle fans and others have tried to explain exactly how bad his ownership has been, the joke that is the media in this country has now been the faintest bit interested, never mind concerned.
No matter what has been said since 2007, quite amazingly, all they have wanted to interpret it as, is that Newcastle fans are deluded and think they have some given right to be winning trophies.
Something that bemuses pretty much any normal Newcastle United fan who has ZERO expectation of ever winning anything and just wanted / wants to see a club and team that tries to compete.
The new Newcastle United owners have got an absolute shedload to do.
Something made infinitely more difficult thanks to the timing.
As they said though, it was a case of getting the deal done in early October or else the opportunity to get it out of Mike Ashley’s grasp might have never came along again.
Inheriting a team in a relegation spot, not a single win two months into the season, a useless Head Coach in place, an equally useless Managing Director in place, a completely unbalanced squad that had been totally neglected in terms of proper professional appraisal and correction, then with still three months to go before any changes could be made to the playing squad.
And those were just some of the immediate issues to tackle.
Never mind that in over 14 years not a penny had been allowed to be spent on St James Park, the training ground or academy, unless Mike Ashley had no choice. Little wonder that one of the first things to be done was for the new Newcastle United owners to give both the inside and outside of St James Park a proper clean.
The number of key senior staff needing to be brought in is staggering, as Mike Ashley had stripped NUFC down to the bare bones and had Sports Direct lackeys like Justin Barnes and Keith Bishop running the club remotely on his behalf, Barnes in particular making the key decisions above Charnley’s pay code.
A Chief Executive and Director of Football are such important positions as so much else will flow from them, including assembling a proper hierarchy of key professional staff that are needed to properly run an ambitious Premier League club.
Yes we all want them to be employed ASAP but I think pretty much all proper Newcastle United fans accept the massive overriding importance of them employing the best possible candidates in these key top roles.
The two people who will effectively be running the club alongside the new board, overseeing a club that pretty much has to be rebuilt from the bottom up.
Yes, relegation is of course an important issue and I’m absolutely sure that the new Newcastle United owners will be doing everything they can to avoid it. However, that is only one of many plates that they need to keep spinning.
Eddie Howe will no doubt have identified various targets that he wants to bring in during January and the board with the temporary assistance of Nick Hammond will be doing their best to make those deals happen. I have no doubt much has been done already on that front and to be honest, I think far too much smoke and mirrors surrounds transfer windows, in the vast majority of cases it is simply down to whether you are prepared to pay the transfer fee and wages, that I think covers around 90% of the issues / work.
Mike Ashley showed this to be the case in January 2013, panicking because he had dragged the club into yet another relegation fight, the then owner pushed the button and as if by magic, we had five new signings within a couple of weeks.
As Ashley came to more and more rely on loan deals and free transfers for Newcastle’s signings, he dragged the club ever further down by the fact he wouldn’t then compete for loan deals that required significant loan fees (and wages), nor free transfers that were the best quality.
That is why we end up with a squad containing frees such as Hendrick, Fraser and Carroll, as well as joke loan players like Rose and Bentaleb.
The Willock loan was simply a a cheap and cheerful late transfer window fluke, a midfielder who had scored once for Arsenal in 40 Premier League appearances, suddenly scoring seven games in a row (hopefully those aren’t the last goals we will see from him…).
So we come to this January and I think taking all circumstances into consideration, in a relegation fight the vast majority of transfer targets were always going to be loan signings, though with possible permanent options in the summer.
Don’t believe the nonsense that players won’t come to Newcastle United, or that clubs won’t allow them to. It is a long time since clubs had the power in terms of dictating what players did or didn’t do AND bottom line, if you are willing to pay the price tag, especially if it is loan fee and wages, you can sign players.
I think we will see some very uplifting signings in January, albeit it mainly on loan.
As for everything else the new Newcastle United owners need to do, good luck to them.
The essential new training complex and academy won’t happen overnight, neither will improvements to and expansion of St James Park. Make no mistake, we need to maximise the capacity of SJP as much as possible, both in terms of as many fans able to get in as possible AND to maximise revenues that will allow the new owners to reinvest (money spent on stadium expansion, as well as on the academy and training complex, doesn’t count towards FFP, so extra match ticket revenue is indeed purely extra money when counting towards how much a club can then spend on transfer fees and wages).
Every Premier League home match is predictably selling out once again and we are second bottom and rubbish.
Imagine if we ended up second top (or better…) and not quite so rubbish?
Just how many people would want to watch Newcastle United?
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