This inevitably leads to discussion on transfer policy and opinions of the Ashley regime. I would like to explore whether there is a light at the end of the tunnel? Where are we heading? And question if we can ever be truly happy with our owner and club?
First of all, I would like to say, where Mike Ashley is concerned, I am well and truly sitting on the fence. I am more than happy to give my full support if we continue to move in the right direction, however I am obviously pretty cautious about declaring full support. It is very clear that there is a divide amongst the fans. Those who despise Mike Ashley and those appreciate what he has done and are desperately hoping he comes through in the end.
From here I will try to explain where we could be headed and how one day we will be united in all aspects of support. Since bouncing back from relegation I can honestly say that it has been one of the easiest periods to support Newcastle since Sir Bobby. The plan, in my mind, is sustained success like Man United/Arsenal as opposed to throwing money at players (which clearly hasn’t worked in the past).
Before we can reach the heights of the aforementioned clubs there is a massive infrastructure that needs to be put in place, which is money spent that the fans cannot see such as training facilities, youth development and scouting networks. Some fans should appreciate that this aspect has increased enormously since relegation. Also, although not out of debt thanks to Ashley it is worth pointing out that it is now manageable in the sense that there are no repayments or interest charges hinging on it.
So by putting our experienced and higher earning players on shorter, incentivised contracts (Giggs and Scholes), promoting from within (Tavernier and Ferguson), and by signing Europe’s top talent on the cheap such as Tiote and Ben Arfa surely we can achieve some minor success?
As the world gets smaller the footballing world gets bigger and bigger and there are many more good players out there. It’s up to us to find them.
Now success breeds success, and a journey into the Europa League will net more TV income and sponsorship deals which makes it easier to keep your top players and adds to wage and transfer budgets, which in time will produce bigger name signings. With sustained and continued improvement, could we not win the league in 7-10 years? Who knows, we could be a force to be reckoned with in the 2030s
To close, no-one can deny Mike Ashley has committed sin in his time at Newcastle however I like to look at it as pre and post-relegation. Would you be willing to forgive a man if he delivers long-term success and occasional cup runs in the meantime?
It seems that Ashley is asking for a lot of faith, too much for some, but for now he has mine. And I would love it, LOVE IT if we could all support NUFC in the same way once again.
Note from Toonsy: Thanks to Welshpie for submitting this effort. Well done. I’m sure it will get a few responses « You, the manager! | View from the away end – Everton. »