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‘Newcastle United takeover – This is why opposition fans can’t handle it’

4 weeks ago
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Just what is it about the Newcastle United takeover that has got a lot of rival clubs’ fans all hot and bothered?

The biggest question I have been pondering is, since when has it been a crime to spend money on football players?

Also, why is it that certain clubs can build a team and it be perfectly acceptable, yet when another one decides to, everyone is up in arms? For me, the faux outrage against our new found position of wealth is completely false and it’s about time some opposing fans were given a reality check.

Let’s just be clear, pre Newcastle United takeover, Mike Ashley spent money on players. Let’s not rewrite that piece of history for our own ends or agenda. Mike Ashley spent money when he saw fit and not because it was needed, or that he wanted to push the club forward.

Large amounts of money were afforded to Steve McClaren to make a pig’s ear of things and Steve Bruce was gifted a (relative by Ashley standards) king’s ransom worth of players without any progress to show for it. Alan Pardew was also given a squad of players that he could hardly fail with, the excellent fifth place finish belied the manager’s ability and soon, when funds were withdrawn, the failings of said manager came to the fore and the club struggled. However, the key point is, money has been used at times even under Ashley’s shambolic and toxic ownership. That point is crucial and that’s where we come on to the outrage that has been seen on display since our takeover in October.

Opposing fans dismissed Newcastle United because we were set up to fail in comparison to where NUFC are now and it’s this that they can’t handle. Newcastle United are now set up to succeed.

The new owners came in, identified a problem with the then Head Coach and decided to act. They couldn’t spend money due to there not being an open transfer window at the time, so a new Head Coach needed to be sourced. Continuing with Bruce was not an option, unless relegation was being planned for. They did what anyone would have done and took the relevant course of action in changing the manager and nobody could argue that it was the correct decision. It’s when we got to the January 2022 transfer window opening that seems to have caused much consternation with some rival fans.

Just what exactly were people expecting the new owners to do?

Allow relegation to happen by keeping the squad the same, or try and spend some money to avert it? What would any rival fan expect their new owners to do if the shoe was on the other foot?

Mike Ashley, in his infinite wisdom, didn’t allow a single new player to be brought in last summer. He obviously knew that he wasn’t going to be around long and cut the purse strings once more, told Steve Bruce that he would have the same squad available that had finished last season, Joe Willock turned from loan to permanent, that signing was a no-brainer, but no others allowed.

Unfortunately, more was required to stop a calamitous season playing out as the squad was unfit for purpose. Changing the manager would have worked on it’s own IF the squad had been strengthened sufficiently last summer. It wasn’t, so what’s the issue with spending money in January 2022 to rectify the failings of the previous summer?

No team wins things without money. Both Manchester clubs at different times have spent fortunes to win their respective silverware. Chelsea were the ones that kickstarted the mega money revolution when Roman Abramovich came in and threw money around like confetti. Arsenal and Liverpool have always been pretty active in transfer windows and gone on and achieved success. Manchester City then took it to astronomical levels.

Going further back, Blackburn Rovers were the original big spenders. Without substantial money, they wouldn’t have won their league title in 1995. Kevin Keegan wouldn’t have been able to build the Entertainers and storm the Premier League. The figures may be different but it’s all a matter of scale. On the flip side, Leeds United have only just recovered from spending big in the early noughties with a massive financial meltdown and not a lot to show for it. Everton in recent years have spent huge amounts and could still be relegated this season on the back of it. So why the outrage when Newcastle United can do so?

Money doesn’t always secure success. Manchester United bought Harry Maguire for £75m and compared to the £80m Liverpool paid for Virgil Van Dijk, I know which one has been the vastly bigger success story. Closer to home we have £40m spent on Joelinton and he was one of the biggest flops in Premier League history, until a competent manager spotted something and now he’s a revelation.

There are other defending factors on the issue of money supposedly being the only reason we are staying up. Kieran Trippier has been fantastic since coming in but his appearances have been minimal due to injury. Chris Wood has come in for relatively big money, wouldn’t have shocked rival fans and actually has been derided by our own fans in some quarters. Dan Burn was hardly heralded as a massive signing at the time and only after seeing his performances have we been grateful for the foresight of getting in the big man to be a colossus at the back. Furthermore, Bruno Guimaraes has been a revelation since getting up to Premier League speed, but even he didn’t hit the ground running.

So what has been the ACTUAL reason for the renaissance since the Newcastle United takeover if it’s not simply down to the money factor being the simple reason people give for our now secured safety from the jaws of relegation?

The simple answer is that Eddie Howe and his coaching team have managed to change the fortunes of so many players who were already at the club.

We have Emil Krafth looking a good right back in the absence of new signing Trippier. Fabian Schar has slotted in at centre back alongside new boy Dan Burn with the Captain Jamaal Lascelles dropping out due to his own poor form, whilst Matt Targett has been excellent at left back – but he’s merely on loan.

Further forward, the rejuvenated Joelinton has been a revelation, as has Jonjo Shelvey. Joe Willock has come on leaps and bounds from his early season problems. These players have been supplemented by Bruno’s arrival but you also have Ryan Fraser looking a new player and Miggy Almiron has started to show some great improvement in recent weeks.

The one player who probably hasn’t gone on to better himself so far is Allan Saint-Maximin. He continues to frustrate while others improve and carry the club to Premier League survival. He’s one that Howe will no doubt be looking to work on and find out how to get better from him over the summer but he’s not a new signing and was here before the takeover.

We lost Callum Wilson, necessitating the signing of Chris Wood from Burnley and that has to be another worry for the summer. We may need TWO strikers signing rather than just one.

However, if we focus on the original point, money has certainly helped our cause but it hasn’t been the over-riding factor. The main reasons we are going to be a Premier League team next season and not a Championship team under Steve Bruce, is NOT what transpired in the transfer market, but the actions of the new owners and the excellent initial transfer of replacing Bruce in the dugout with Eddie Howe.

It may have cost them £8m to pay him off but that will go down as the best business they will ever do at the club and whilst a lot of money for a pay off, £8m is chicken feed to see Newcastle United’s upturn in fortunes.

If rival fans can’t see that, then I suggest taking off their rose-tinted glasses and shelving their bias, should be their first jobs for the summer.

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