Talking Points: What if the Takeover Happens…

With the Takeover rumours seemingly back at breaking point, this article will take a look at what could happen if the deal does go through.

Before we get into it, I just wait to clarify that this post is purely from the perspective of a fellow Newcastle fan speculating about the possible future of our club. I am not trying to suggest the deal is close, or claim to know anything more regarding the progress of the deal, than you already know.

Mike Ashley

The main reason everybody is idolising the thought of a takeover is due to one man, Mike Ashley.

Bearing in mind that statistics done lie, here are a couple to highlight the impact Ashley’s ownership has had on Newcastle United.

  • In the 12 years prior to Ashley, we achieved a top four finish on 4 occasions. In the 12 years following we achieved a total of 0.
  • Before his arrival we were a firmly established Premier League team, again using the 12 year comparison we are looking at 2 relegations after, compared to 0 before.

I could go on and on with statistics, but Ashley’s parasite-like behaviour digs down much deeper than just performances on the pitch. He has infected the very core of the club, disregarding fans, brushing aside club icons, and tainting St James Park with horrific advertising.

Our passionate supporters do not demand a team that wins, just a team that tries. This attitude could also be replayed against potential owners of the club. We get this is football, a sport which possess no certainties, but the least we want to see is an owner who genuinely has ambition, and who wants to make Newcastle United successful.

Mike Ashley has never once showed an inkling of ambition or care for our club. Skimming over some of his actions we saw the awful mistreatment of numerous managers. Kevin Keegan, Alan Shearer, Chris Hughton, Rafa Benitez, these managers were all chucked to the side after pouring their heart and soul into trying to turn our club around.

Most recently, Rafa Benitez talked about Newcastle United as a sleeping giant of European football. The Spaniard had managed Real Madrid, won the Champions League and been successful all over Europe. He wanted to make Newcastle successful again, but even himself knew his ambition would never be matched by our owner and reluctantly moved on.

We then have the renaming of St James Park, to the Sports Direct Arena. The stadium which once hosted Champions League matches, was to be tainted by the name of a bargain sports equipment store, known for mistreating staff.

The mistreatment of Jonas Gutierrez perhaps clinches top spot in relation to Mike Ashley’s most self-centred actions. Trust me there is a lot of competition, but to sack a fan-favourite who just saved you millions of pounds by ensuring Premier league survival is staggering. Add to that, the Argentinian had just recovered from cancer, and the lack of decency to even comprehend, let alone follow through with the dismissal over the phone really goes beyond belief.

Newcastle fans questioning Mike Ashley about the status of Newcastle United, once again receiving a muted response.

I personally believe the best part of a potential takeover would be to finally rid our selfish owner. The sense of actually getting our club back, and the return of a sense of hope would not just re-unify the club, but the entire city.

Ambition and Growth

If the Takeover does come to fruition, we don’t demand instant success. For me personally, and as many of you have voiced, we would just like to see some ambition and growth back on Tyneside.

It is hard to pinpoint a starting point for potential new owners as the whole infrastructure needs a rethink, however the training facilities at the club is perhaps most desperate for an upgrade.

Newcastle’s training ground has been neglected over the previous 12 years.

We would need a model that focuses on youth and development, a manager that has the ability to extract the potential from players, and coach them to be able to perform on the big stage.

There are many names which have been talked up. Of course giving Rafa Benitez the keys to the city is a scenario fans would dream of, but with a club as big as ours, under the correct ownership, I dont think the list of managers queing for the hotseat at St James Park would be a short one.

Admittedly we need investment into the squad, I would be happy with some marquee signings to quickly improve our starting line-up, but this will primarily only improve the short-term future. At a club that currently has no direction, we just need someone with a long-term plan. Someone who can bring in players to get the project underway, but then focuses on improving all aspects of our behind the scenes work to compliment this progress.

The footballing side of our club obviously carries huge importance, but the community surrounding it is the main ingredient of a football club. We need to connect the fans and the club back together. We shouldn’t be forcing loyal fans to reluctantly turn their back on the club as they cant stand watching it crumble. We shouldn’t be giving away 10,000 free season tickets to create an atmosphere. With the right people in charge we can get our club back.

No matter who the new owner is, it will be a long-term project that ensures the glory days return back to St James Park. After a sustained period (3-5 years) of continuous improvement to the squad and the facilities we will no doubt see Newcastle once again towards the top of the league table.

What the future may hold

Can you imagine the sense of euphoria when Ashley goes. Now add to this an owner who shows us light at the end of the tunnel.

Can you imagine how the city would react to news of stadium development, to the addition of a Kevin Keegan statue, to the prospect of once again competing on the European stage.

Amazing banner unveiled at the Gallowgate end at St James Park

Can you imagine the feeling of pride when the team is playing well, rather than the anticipation of which player will be sold for the biggest profit.

These are all things that everyone at Newcastle United is desperate for. This is why I am hoping more than ever that the Takeover rumours are true, and they are progressing well. With the right people in charge of our club we have such huge potential. I just want to see Newcastle United progress with a well thought long-term plan, and see us competing again!

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