Under the microscope; Newcastle takeover discussed

When a football fan thinks of Newcastle United, as far as recent memory goes, one will think of Kevin Keegan’s swash-buckling side of the mid to late 90’s and the side of the great and late Sir Bobby Robson in the early 2000’s.

Both of those sides were competing at the top end of the Premier League and in the case of Sir Bobby’s side, The Magpies got into the 1999 FA Cup final. Full of passion and spirit the Newcastle side managed by former England manager Robson was a team, the fans were proud to call their own.

Fast forward the period after the departure of one of the North East’s most iconic figures and there has been next to little or nothing to shout about. Relegations, promotions and relegations with another promotion followed for this very proud club.

A far cry from those dizzy heights of years gone by. Rafael Benitez and Alan Pardew (initially) did enjoy relative success with Newcastle United. St James’ Park arguably seen as one of the best stadiums in the country, were not enjoying the success on the pitch that their passionate fans cried out for.

Champions League winner Benitez worked minor miracles, but was no way near backed like he should have been by Billionaire owner Mike Ashley. The well respected Rafael Benitez left, but his place as a cult hero didn’t leave the Newcastle fans’ hearts.

A replacement was needed for such a popular figure, a man who made Newcastle punch above their weight. For fan power and size of club, Newcastle should be competing for Europa League minimum, but the standard of squad was a Championship one at best.

Current manager Steve Bruce, who we think will leave, is quite clearly in a near impossible job. It’s clear this Newcastle team is not good enough..

Newcastle United players, this is not a slant on you, it’s a slant on your owner Mike Ashley, who did help bankroll a French revolution under Alan Pardew as talented players Moussa Sissoko and Yohan Cabaye enjoyed a successful time in the North East, but when they left they weren’t replaced.

Investment has been scarce since then. To highlight the problem, Michael Owen until last season was the record signing at £17 for over six years. Only until Miguel Almiron was signed for £20 million was the transfer record broken.

Joelinton was signed for £40 million, but the less we say about the Brazilian Emile Heskey the better. The Geordie fans, over these 14 years have grown sick and tired of the running of the club and have protested on many occasion during and after matches.

The message was clear, Mike Ashley out, gone! Eventually listening to the fans the House of Fraser owner said he would sell the club, but false dawns, well dawned. The very unpopular Ashley took the club off the market and weren’t for sale and then were for sale again.

Was there going to be an end game, was there going to be light at the end of the tunnel Newcastle United fans? Yes, yes there is. Today 7th October, football fans got the news that they were dreading and Newcastle United fans the news they have been craving for, for probably near to a decade.

PIF (Public Investment Fund), which has the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman as its chairman, have bought Newcastle United for £305 million, with Reuben Brothers being one of the other investors.

It was announced today on 7th October a deal had been agreed for Newcastle to be sold. The deal which has been some 18 months in the making, initially broke down due to the Premier League not clearing the take over.

On top of the Premier League’s refusal to give the deal the green light, Newcastle’s new owners were embroiled in a legal dispute with Qatari broadcaster Bein Sports over alleged piracy.

With that stand off resolved, and the Premier League clearing the deal, The team here at The Sports Buff, wants to weigh on our opinion of the takeover. The takeover, which is a Saudi-Arabian backed one, is not linked to the government themselves.

The thought of Newcastle being owned by the Saudi Government, has lead to many protests stating the Arab countries record on human rights being the main issue of contention.

We respect this opinion, but one must realise this isn’t state linked, the Premier League are satisfied of there being no links to the state. Reuben Brothers (a Billion pound company) and PCP Capital are also involved in the takeover consortium, so PIF have done some due diligence.

We say this because, well they alongside Amanda Staveley have waited and didn’t back out of the deal with Newcastle United, despite the takeover talks looking like they went cold.

PIF have got someone in Staveley, who is very well versed in takeover deals. The 48-year old Staveley was involved in the process of when Manchester City was sold to their current owners.

Some unpopular opinions too, but PSG for example their human rights isn’t great.

The Qatari government backed PSG, the Qatari government who have been criticised for allowing construction workers for Qatar 2022, being put in tough working conditions. Some of those workers have passed away and many not paid for months, the fit and proper persons test for them too no?

Of course, PSG are a French club, but the issue of human rights is something they too have to answer for.

No, it’s only for one and not the other. Upon closer inspection Mr Abramovich is a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin (Mr no human rights), but he to has never been challenged on human rights.

We the team here at The Sports Buff are all for human rights, but don’t make it selective. There will be many jealous people in the world of football, envious of Newcastle’s new found wealth, but until Mohammed Bin Salman is seen doing keep uppies with Jon Jo Shelvey, worry not friends.

For issues with Saudi human rights issues, Borris needs to step in, but he won’t.

Newcastle fans it’s time to rejoice anyway, good times are not too far away.

The team the many Newcastle fans thought they could only dream of

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