‘Newcastle United owners – Speak as I find’
The Newcastle United owners haves experienced an ‘interesting’ few days.
Some of the media coverage has been quite extraordinary.
I am of course talking about the ‘leaked’ Newcastle United shirts for next season.
One of the change strips is green and white, which are also the colours of the Saudi flag and national team’s kit, plus of course they are the colours of the branding used by Saudi Arabia PIF who are the club’s majority owners.
There are all kinds of bizarre about the media coverage, not least the fact that nobody, particularly the journalists in question, even knows yet for sure whether the ‘leaked’ images are genuine.
Much of the reporting has been yet another grim reminder that when reporting anything on Newcastle United, journalists don’t ever feel they have to stick to the truth. The fact is, their reporting isn’t aimed at Newcastle United fans, indeed it is the exact opposite. Much of the reporting intended to whip up abuse towards the people of Tyneside, reinforcing all kinds of various negative stereotyping that various media are responsible for to start with.
Amongst the lies that journalists have come out with to back up their laughable reporting, is stating as fact that Newcastle United have never before used green and white as colours on a shirt. Something which is simply a falsehood as any number of times NUFC have done this, yet those who are not Newcastle fans will happily take this as fact from the deceiving journalists.
Similarly, journalists have also incredibly claimed that the ‘leaked’ green and white kit has been deliberately leaked by the club and this proves it is sportswashing, they claim the club have done this as a subtle putting the image out there as a clever dastardly move, instead of their usual big launch of a new shirt. Then many making the final claim of ‘proof’ on the sportswashing, by saying that the fact the club has refused to comment on the ‘leaked’ image of the green and white shirt, is the ultimate ‘proof’ that they are doing this in such an underhand unusual way. Difficult to believe that they can get away with such blatant misrepresentation of the facts, as EVERY year EVERY new shirt is ‘leaked’ before the official announcement, some leaks turn out to be not the real deal but eventually at some point the new designs are seen (usually online first) ahead of the official reveal. These ‘leaked’ images are nothing to do with the club and they never ever comment on any of these claimed new shirt images.
Anyway, I digress.
What I wanted to talk about was the ‘new’ Newcastle United owners.
I say ‘new’ because we are now just over seven months into this new era at NUFC and I wanted to take stock. I think once we get into next season we can then drop the ‘new’ owners bit, as we will have moved on from this very dramatic first part season in charge.
Anyway, I speak as I find when it comes to the Newcastle United owners, the same as everything in life. I will judge them on what I see, actions not words etc.
Now, at this point, I am going to do something that will no doubt further escalate the abuse from various journalists if they ever get to read what I have written below. Yes, I will judge the Newcastle United owners on how they run my football club. I know this is a radical idea but there we go.
Yes, I am bothered about what happens in Saudi Arabia in terms of human rights, just as I am bothered about what happens in any other dictatorship (China, Russia, Qatar, North Korean, Afghanistan, Iran and so on) around the world where so many people don’t have (by our western outlook, plus I am of course relying on the media as I haven’t been to Saudi and most of these other countries) the same rights and privileges as ourselves. However…when asked about the ownership of Newcastle United I don’t have any magic answers, as I had no say / vote in who owns our football club for starters and that has always been the case. The only person the media should be interrogating about this change of ownership is Mike Ashley, the only person who had a vote in whether to sell to Saudi Arabia PIF and the rest of the consortium, then walked away with £300m+, quite extraordinary how the journalists don’t go after him, you would almost think it was far easier for them to attack and provoke Newcastle fans to try and get a reaction…
So basically, we are stuck with the Newcastle United owners that we have got, whether we or journalists like it or not. From what I can see from afar, like Russia and China etc, Saudi Arabia does a lot of things which for me should mean that the UK doesn’t have anything to do it, unless things change. However, the real world is that the UK government sees Saudi Arabia as a strategic ally and very much valued trading (oil!) partner.
I have got no answer for the political aspects of club ownership in the Premier League, which is no surprise when you have the UK government allowing the ownership of Newcastle United, as well as those at other clubs where similar questions could / should be asked.
As I said earlier, I like to stick to things that I can see with my own eyes, things that I know for sure (as far as humanly possible), so…
I speak as I find when it comes to Newcastle United owners and…this is what I have found / seen so far
They have ended almost a decade and a half of Mike Ashley using and abusing our football club.
The embarrassing Lee Charnley has been removed.
The embarrassing Steve Bruce has also been removed.
The outside of St James Park has had a proper wash (yes, this wouldn’t be news at any other club but after 14 years of Ashley refusing to allow a penny to be spent that he didn’t have to, this was news for NUFC fans!)
A new site for a brand new training complex is being looked for, in the meantime plans have been lodged with North Tyneside council to make significant improvements to the current training facility, whilst the brand new complex is getting sorted (Mike Ashley promised almost a decade ago that an ‘essential’ new ‘state of the art’ training complex would be built, yet not a brick was ever laid, embarrassing pictures circulating of the kiddies’ paddling pools and wheelie bins that were used for ‘hydrotherapy’ and ice baths).
The women’s team is now being properly supported with big plans for the future, one of the first steps was organising the first ever NUFC women’s game at St James Park and over 22,000 fans turned up, making it the largest league crowd in England this season for a women’s match, despite the Newcastle United women’s team currently playing in the fourth tier.
A progressive young (but also experienced) new Head Coach was appointed, Eddie Howe making history by becoming the first ever Premier League boss to keep a team up despite winning none of their first 14 games.
The January transfer window saw the new Newcastle United owners recognise what needed to be done in the short-term to rescue NUFC from the mess Mike Ashley and Steve Bruce had left behind. A mess that included only one player signed in the past two transfer windows, the new owners injecting money into the club which allowed a January spend of around £90m to help give Eddie Howe a chance of keeping the team up.
The new owners backing Eddie Howe’s judgement in the transfer market (unlike Mike Ashley who forced Rafa Benitez out so he could employ yet another patsy / stooge and dictate transfers himself).
The new owners have committed their backing to properly fund and support the youth side at Newcastle United, to bring through the players of the future (Mike Ashley refused to allow any proper realistic funding on the youth side, summed up by the fact that once again the Under 18s struggled, finishing rock bottom of their league and winning only three league games all season, the final three matches of the season seeing combined 24-0 losses over the trio of games).
Part NUFC owners the Reuben family have pledged to match pound for pound this season any money that fans raise on matchdays for the local food banks (Mike Ashley never put a penny into the local food banks).
A top notch Director of Football has been appointed, Dan Ashworth currently completing his gardening leave period before being allowed to leave Brighton.
A new CEO is set to be appointed shortly, as the new Newcastle United owners put in place a high level business team to run the club properly and ambitiously off the pitch.
No doubt other fans will be able to list other positive that the new Newcastle United owners have brought these past seven months but bottom line, with my own eyes I have seen a properly run football club for the first time in a decade and a half. Plus this has taken place to a backdrop of inheriting an absolute shambles on and off the pitch mid-season.
If I had to rate the new Newcastle United owners on how they have done so far running the club, it would be a very strong 9 out of 10, there is always room for improvement and I think that is very much what we are going to see in the years to come.
If you would like to feature on The Mag, submit your article to [email protected]