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Now that the decision to sell Newcastle United has been made public by Mike Ashley and St. James Holdings, the rumour mill gets into full motion as to who will be the party or parties to take over on Tyneside.
Let’s get the fantasy out of the way first; in a perfect world, a group hailing from Newcastle and/or the surrounding areas who have the money to take the club forward would be the perfect choice. The last time Newcastle looked close to winning a title, they had a Geordie chairman, a Geordie manager and a Geordie captain and this is no coincidence.
Newcastle is a unique place within the UK and it has been proven time and time again that managers, coaches, owners and investors need to have an understanding of the people and the place to be able to act as one to take the club in the right direction.
It’s nigh impossible though to conceive of such a party having the means to buy the club in the current climate, with Premier League football clubs needing unreal amounts of investment to get the best players in.
The broker behind such deals as the Manchester City takeover by Sheikh Mansoor, Amanda Staveley, was at St James’ Park to see the Toon draw 1-1 with Liverpool and even met with Rafa Benitez after the game. Her appearance that day set social media alight around Newcastle and so this announcement is no big surprise.
Just who she may be working with though, if she is to be brokering a deal to buy Newcastle, is unclear at this stage. Talk of Chinese bidders being interested in the club has been around for a while and given the club’s sponsorship deal with Fun88 this season, it would be no surprise to see a bid from the world superpower.
With a Geordie owner, a British owner or even a European owner looking more and more unlikely in the current climate, I think the answer for Newcastle fans as to who the ideal people are to take over the club is obvious – the one which has the most money!
Newcastle have a fan base, a stadium and now a manager – 3 things which could serve as a base for a potential title-winning team. In the modern era though, the only thing missing, as repeatedly bemoaned by Benitez, is the lack of money to invest in the right playing staff. That could all be about to end.