Three scenarios that now await NUFC – the biggest 6 months in the club’s history?

Where do we turn from here? What next? The questions and fears on every NUFC fans mind following last night’s news that a deal between Mike Ashley and Amanda Staveley if off.

In reality, things look bleak and it’s hard to be hopeful or ignore the situation we could now find ourselves in following Mike’s latest acts of incompetence. He’s more than likely burnt bridges with the one ‘serious bidder’ who’d come to the fore following October’s ‘up for sale’ announcement.

Not only does the news plague us with doubts that we’ll ever be able to get rid of Ashley, but it creates a huge surge of negativity around our hopes of survival, a crucial two weeks on the transfer front and Rafa Benitez’s future – the one man whose given us reason to be hopeful as NUFC fans over the last two years.

Moving on (it’s all we can do), we can only pray that things somehow work out in the end and we manage to keep a hold of Rafa Benitez. This is a situation that is currently hard to imagine, however.

Here’s three scenarios that await us (we are almost certain to encounter one) and a look into what each may mean for NUFC, Benitez and Mike Ashley. We’ll start with the potential bad news first, as this is what seems most likely at present, unfortunately:



Relegation – Rafa leaves (even if Ashley sells up in the summer)

We sit just 3 points above the relegation zone at present. Our run in looks the toughest out of all those scrapping in the bottom 10 and last night’s news will have done nothing to help our momentum in the race for survival.

It’s accepted that signings and an upturn in form at St James’ Park are essential to us staying up, but it’s hard to bank on either coming good for us in our current predicament – especially when you consider how the atmosphere could become negative and toxic (towards Ashley) at home games from here on in.

In all honesty, even if Ashley sold the club in the summer following our potential relegation, I don’t see Rafa hanging around. He was clearly having second thoughts about spending a gruelling year in the Championship last summer and I don’t see him doing it again unfortunately.

The worst case scenario in all of this is Ashley remaining and Rafa leaving following relegation. For now, let’s avoid thinking about how we’d tackle that scary scenario.

Survival and Ashley stays – Rafa almost certainly leaves

Now, even if we do manage to beat the drop this season and still be a Premier League side come the end of May, I do really struggle to see how Rafa remains at NUFC if Ashley isn’t looking like sealing a sale.

Rafa has experienced Ashley’s constant lies and awful communication as much as anyone over the past 12 months. Failure to do deals last January when Benitez wanted Townsend to seal promotion and prepare for the Premier League. Penny pinching over the summer and failing to secure his top targets when Rafa made it clear we MUST strengthen to compete in the top flight. And now, this month, he’s back at it again. When the club was officially put up for sale in October, Ashley’s lawyer confirmed that money would be spent in January even if a takeover was not completed. We are now in that exact situation, and not only have we not signed a soul over half way through the window, Rafa STILL doesn’t know his budget. What has Ashley been playing at over these past few months?

Benitez took over Newcastle as he believed we had the potential to become big again. With each passing moment, Rafa realises that his potential will never be unearthed under Mike Ashley’s ownership. Benitez stayed for us and I’m 100% sure he won’t walk out on us mid-season, but I think he’ll almost certainly leave in the summer if Ashley remains – regardless of what league we’re in.

Ashley has this club tied to chains and Benitez will have been desperate to see a takeover go through to break those. If it doesn’t happen, Benitez knows it’s a battle he can’t win and I don’t think any NUFC fan would blame him for leaving.

Survival and new owners arrive – Rafa stays

Now this is the scenario we must cling onto and pray comes off.

Starting with survival, we must use all our energy to get behind Benitez and the boys over the comings months. I totally understand why turning up at St James’ Park and remaining upbeat may seem difficult right now, but there’s still a relegation battle to be won here. We must come out on top in this race for survival if we have any hope of keeping Rafa – regardless of new owners arriving or not.

If we can secure safety, Ashley is then in a stronger position to receive his asking price. Don’t forget that the club is still up for sale despite last night’s major setback, and us securing our Premier League status will almost certainly attract more buyers. Dare I say it, Staveley and PCP *may* even return with an acceptable offer in the summer if this were to happen. Why? Because it seems one of the biggest sticking points for them was the threat of relegation and one of Ashley’s biggest issues with their offer appeared to be the relegation clause they insisted upon.

The fear would be Ashley driving up his price if Premier League safety was sealed, however he does want out and I imagine potential buyers would be far more receptive to firming up their interest if they knew they were buying a Premier League club with Rafa at the helm.

To say this is a huge few months for the future of NUFC is an understatement, but, for now, let’s focus on supporting Benitez and the team.  That’s all we can control and something that is essential if we are to stay up. What follows in the summer is out of our hands, but the chances of an Ashley sale and Benitez remaining may go up considerably if we remain in the top flight.

(Fancy writing for us? Send any articles/ideas over to us at [email protected] & we’ll get back to you!)

About Olly Hawkins

Born in Gateshead, Olly was a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan - he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC.

120 thoughts on “Three scenarios that now await NUFC – the biggest 6 months in the club’s history?

  1. And… Lads and Lasses.

    She is wearing a Hermes scarf.

    I am Mr. Fashionista ! Is she covering a neck tattoo ?

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  2. Stuart79: Manager and fan ambition is pointless and completely and utterly irrelevant if the owner doesn’t have any.

    Stu – so you would have been fine with Rafa playing a weakened 11 in the FA Cup then?. If we went out against Luton in the 3rd round well that’s ok coz what the point?!.

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  3. So still no signings or even any sign of signings or outgoings either for that matter apart from rumours of Saivet out on loan. I’d rather keep him to be honest.

    Mandy seems to have done an interview with details of the 3 bids so far which, if true, makes interesting reading.

    All those others that supposedly signed an NDA are silent and possibly non existent. I guess we will see nothing happen until the TV deal is announced. Most likely no additions either

    Another day as a Toon supporter.

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  4. Sharpy17: Stu – so you would have been fine with Rafa playing a weakened 11 in the FA Cup then?.If we went out against Luton in the 3rd round well that’s ok coz what the point?!.

    I’ve lost all enthusiasm, Sharpy. Ashley’s running off the club make it virtually impossible for us to win anything. On that basis I couldn’t care less what team Rafa picked. Like I don’t care what division we’re in. It really doesn’t matter while Jabba is here.

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  5. Interesting interview with George caulkin. 3 bids made one of £350m in instalments which he clearly stated he would accept before.
    Sovereign state money part of the investors on board and penalties dependant on HMRC investigation outcome which seems fair enough.
    Final offer of £250m no strings payable in full, not heard from his team for weeks !
    Chris Mort hand delivered all 3 written bids, yet Ashley says no bids made !
    He is messing around and has never intended to sell imo unless he gets an offer he can’t refuse .
    If he gets clobbered by HMRC this could be biting him on the arse.

    Right that’s me for the day, lads ill .

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  6. Interesting interview. She says enough without actually giving the answers we all would like to know.

    Personally, rather than knowing what she was wearing and drinking from – I’d rather know more about the 3 different offers.
    There’s clearly been commutation from NUFC because there has been 3 different offers – so what was unacceptable about each of them that has meant none have been accepted yet?!.
    What was Newcastle’s response to offer 1. Offer 2 looks good – what was it about that one (I’m guessing the relegation clause). I take it offer 3 is seen as too low by NUFC?. How far away do you think this is?.

    Also, I note that’s she will run NUFC as a business – isn’t this what we accuse Ashley of doing?

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  7. kimtoon:
    Interesting interview with George caulkin. 3 bids made one of £350m in instalments which he clearly stated he would accept before.
    Sovereign state money part of the investors on board and penalties dependant on HMRC investigation outcome which seems fair enough.
    Final offer of £250m no strings payable in full, not heard from his team for weeks !
    Chris Mort hand delivered all 3 written bids, yet Ashley says no bids made !
    He is messing around and has never intended to sell imo unless he gets an offer he can’t refuse .
    If he gets clobbered by HMRC this could be biting him on the arse.

    Right that’s me for the day, lads ill .

    hope its not that flu mate,hope your better soon

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  8. So, I was right. I said the Dow Jones Industrial Average would hit 26,000 in 2018. I said it 18 months ago on here. I wish my NUFC predictions were as good.

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  9. Sharpy17:
    Interesting interview.She says enough without actually giving the answers we all would like to know.

    Personally, rather than knowing what she was wearing and drinking from – I’d rather know more about the 3 different offers.
    There’s clearly been commutation from NUFC because there has been 3 different offers – so what was unacceptable about each of them that has meant none have been accepted yet?!.
    What was Newcastle’s response to offer 1.Offer 2 looks good – what was it about that one (I’m guessing the relegation clause).I take it offer 3 is seen as too low by NUFC?.How far away do you think this is?.

    Also, I note that’s she will run NUFC as a business – isn’t this what we accuse Ashley of doing?

    She also says she understands that it needs to be a successful business on the field. That’s not Ashley’s way. He’s quite clearly only interested in getting his SP advertising. Interestingly enough, every aspect of NUFC’s commercial activities has reduced apart from the TV income which he has nothing to do with.

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  10. kimtoon:
    Interesting interview with George caulkin. 3 bids made one of £350m in instalments which he clearly stated he would accept before.
    Sovereign state money part of the investors on board and penalties dependant on HMRC investigation outcome which seems fair enough.
    Final offer of £250m no strings payable in full, not heard from his team for weeks !
    Chris Mort hand delivered all 3 written bids, yet Ashley says no bids made !
    He is messing around and has never intended to sell imo unless he gets an offer he can’t refuse .
    If he gets clobbered by HMRC this could be biting him on the arse.

    Right that’s me for the day, lads ill .

    Kim – This source close to Ashley actually claims not to know of any bids without the relegation clause – not that he knows of no bid.

    Hope you’re feeling better soon though missus 😉

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  11. ‘Did you get the feel that she’s really genuine?” The question, imperfectly put, arrived by text and it was posed by a former Newcastle United player. It is a question that a lot of people have been asking about Amanda Staveley, the businesswoman who has been attempting to buy the club and who spoke to The Times about it yesterday. It is asked, in part, because Mike Ashley has bent the debate that way.

    There is no straightforward or definitive answer, but there is a context. Can you ever make a rounded judgement on another human being? Can you base it on three or four hours? With a newspaper deadline approaching, words to write and one eye upon the clock? Of course not. That home, that office, around the corner from Hyde Park, felt substantial — grand, if not ostentatious — but that does not mean very much.

    Except the room we were talking in — grey, wood-panelled walls — was where Theresa May based her leadership campaign for the Conservative Party. Staveley is not really political, she says, but she has the Prime Minster on speed-dial and counts her as a friend. Does the PM think that Staveley is really genuine? Well, we’ll probably never know one way or the other, but there is some evidence and it looks pretty solid.

    Staveley has had her genuineness questions regarding her three failed bids for Newcastle United
    Staveley has had her genuineness questions regarding her three failed bids for Newcastle United
    PA
    What of Staveley’s pursuit of Newcastle? “It is only right to let the fans know that there is no deal on the table or even under discussion with Amanda Staveley and PCP,” a source — apparently sanctioned by Ashley — told Sky Sports News this week. “Attempts to reach a deal have proved to be exhausting, frustrating and a complete waste of time.” Staveley countered that. “I’m very much still interested in buying Newcastle,” she said. “And our bid remains on the table.”

    Another source — or perhaps the same source — told Sky Sports News this morning, “We are not aware of any bid that doesn’t contain relegation clauses and we are not considering any further talks with PCP Capital Partners.” That was interesting, because The Times is fully aware of a £250 million bid — payable in full on completion — made for Newcastle on November 17, which doesn’t contain relegation clauses. And they can consider what they want, but Staveley is not going away.

    Her three bids are there in black and white and so, too, now, is her vision for the club. Can we make a judgement on that? Perhaps not; not unless or until she buys it and gets on with it, but this is not an idle fantasy. She has held meetings with people that matter in Newcastle, with businesses, bodies and leaders (we have confirmed this, independently). She would invest her own money — a lot of it — but says she is also backed by “sovereign wealth funds”.

    There is an insidious suggestion that she is flimsy. That she is courting publicity, in spite of this being the only time she has mentioned Newcastle in public. In spite of not doing television. And nobody ever explains why publicity about an attempt to buy a football club which has not (yet) come off makes you look more credible. She would never say this and almost certainly does not believe it, but is it because she is a woman? A woman and photogenic? A woman in football?

    Ashley has lurched from one PR disaster to another during his 11 years at NewcastleAshley has lurched from one PR disaster to another during his 11 years at Newcastle.

    But there is another point, too, because some judgement does not have to be deferred. A time-waster? You might argue that Ashley has wasted the past 11 years. Two relegations? Yet another skirmish with it now? A horrific record in the cups? The renaming of the ground, the employment of Joe Kinnear, the abysmal treatment of legends and good men such as Kevin Keegan, Alan Shearer, Chris Hughton? A club that makes less money, commercially, than a decade ago? All that time. All that waste.

    Exhausting and frustrating? Like the last three transfer windows? Like Rafa Benitez warning that Newcastle would be in trouble if they did not strengthen last summer and Newcastle not strengthening and then being in trouble? Frustrating like their inability to put two good decisions together?

    Frustrating like the knowledge that Benitez arrived speaking about Newcastle in terms of history, stature and potential, since when he has repeatedly been confronted by the smallness of their behaviour. It feels like an endless list: Jonas Gutierrez, HMRC, Wonga, written warnings to managers for talking about transfers, the truncation of ambition, the 52,000 souls who troop to matches with their yearning deadened, hope flickering only because of Benitez.

    I do not know Amanda Staveley, but I’ve met her and I’ve talked to her and that’s better than nothing. I don’t know Mike Ashley, either, and the only way I’ve got in front of him was by buying shares in Sports Direct (with my money, not the paper’s), and asking questions at an AGM, one of the most excruciating experiences of my life. I cannot judge Staveley, but I will judge Ashley and I do. Ask yourself the question: do you get the feel that he’s really genuine

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  12. Martin Samuel!!! A worse journalist than Ryder. FFS Sharpy. The worst journalist ever. Sorry Lee, he is worse than you.

    Maybe Neil (Cunt) Ashton is worse than both.

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  13. Also says there is written evidence of a bid for £250m without any clauses.

    As for Samuel he’s talking out of his arse. Why should she pay more than she thinks it’s worth? Her valuation could look way over if we go down. Which is looking more and more likely by the day.

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  14. Just back from GP, Lew is the ill one not me lads. Minging virus, coughing puking the works. Been ill for 2 weeks but got worse last night. He’s had the flu jab and so did I so hoping it’s not flu but there are 3 strains out there apparently.

    Thought Caulkins interview was good, She has been fair in her bids from what I can see.
    I think her interview will have blown any chance of a follow up though. 🙁
    She was told 2 other bids put forward for more than hers, so where are they ?

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  15. He won’t do a deal with her now, his lot told her there were two other offers for more than hers and if he hasn’t taken them there’s no chance for her.

    I think when and if he sells up , we’ll hear about it out the blue once it’s done and dusted a bit like when he bought us. That to me makes more sense.

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  16. Sharpy17:
    If she offers £300m – even in instalments, but removes the relegation clause then I think deal done.

    He will not sell mate,said he will take 300 mil now,but has said if we stay up he wants more the mans a dick

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  17. Nowt lost in her hoying in one last bid to know for sure is there?!.

    It would prove she is truly interested & committed to the club – and if knocked back would prove Ashley to be a total twat.

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  18. Sharpy17:
    Nowt lost in her hoying in one last bid to know for sure is there?!.

    It would prove she is truly interested & committed to the club – and if knocked back would prove Ashley to be a total twat.

    we are on to a loser mate,if we go down she would still want Rafa to stay but Rafa will not suffer another season in second tier so deal will be off anyway,we are stuck with the swine

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  19. icedog: we are on to a loser mate,if we go down she would still want Rafa to stay but Rafa will not suffer another season in second tier so deal will be off anyway,we are stuck with the swine

    Well the good news is we aren’t going down mate. 13-15pts left needed and Rafa and the boys are more than capable of achieving that – especially if she got on board and generated that positivity.

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  20. Sharpy with our home form I wouldn’t be so sure about that mate. We couldn’t even beat Swansea the worst team in the league. I cant see us staying up.

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  21. We came very close to losing against Swansea as well. We need a striker to put the goals in the back of the net. Ashley wont spend that much. I agree with Geordie two’s comment on eds blog unless we can loan Sturridge with Liverpool paying half his wages.

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  22. Stem:
    Sharpy with our home form I wouldn’t be so sure about that mate.We couldn’t even beat Swansea the worst team in the league.I cant see us staying up.

    It’s does look promising does it stem. But that’s why it’ll be so good when it happens – if Staveley wants to be part of it she best get her finger out 😉

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  23. Stem
    Sturridge is on £120k per week , and depending on loan fee and agents fee would probably cost us close to £4m to loan him to the end of the season.
    Batshuayi , on £75k a week would cost us nearer £3m to loan and kenedy about £2.5m.
    I would be very surprised if Ashley has not made at least £10m available to Rafa for loan deals in this window so he could well afford to take any of them.
    The problem is that they may not wish to come here .
    It is Rafas job to convince any loan players we need to come here.

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  24. 1. I think Amanda is genuine, because in every offer she made, she made sure Rafa will stay. That only means she share the same ambition with Rafa. It means she actually has plans for this club on football front when she owns it.

    2. Agree with Kim that MA won’t sell unless being presented with an offer he can refuse. But anyone with a sane business mind won’t do that.

    Knowing this I am not looking forward to any takeover news. Either I am not interested in transfer news as I know it will be next to nothing if it is not nothing at all, with MA as owner.

    I just feel Rafa is doing a favor to MA by staying to fight relegation. That is exactly MA wants. Fans are not interested in watching relegation fights year after year. He should leave. The club relegates. MA leaves. That is the time when Rafa should be back for a reborn Toon.

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  25. Stuart79:
    Aye, Ice. Just another player we required about but did feck all about. Next…

    where is the promise jabba said he will get three players for Rafa? oh i see like all his promises

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  26. so if Rafa knew three weeks ago the deal is off how come jabba hasnt come forward with some cash for players.
    jabba says he wont deal with Amanda any more,thats it then

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  27. Ice
    Ashley does not know what league we will be playing in next season.
    Most clubs will be trying to offload players surplus to requirements in this window or selling players that they are being offered ridiculous money for.
    That is why I think Ashley will only sanction loan deals in this window.
    I am sure Ashley will be trying to get the players in that Rafa has asked for , but only on loan or with maybe a loan to buy depending where we end up at the end of the season.
    The problem is , will the parent club , and the player, agree to the loan.

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  28. So newly promoted Brighton have broken their transfer record on a forward, fair play the owner doing all he can to give the team the best chance of survival.

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  29. Can’t say I’m bothered about Lennon like – pace but little end product.
    It’s a forward we need anyway.

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  30. I actually think Ash is jealous of Rafa’s relationship with the fans. I don’t see anyone coming in this window and he seems to be doing all he can to anger Rafa, I think he wants him to walk.

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  31. kimtoon:
    I actually think Ash is jealous of Rafa’s relationship with the fans. I don’t see anyone coming in this window and he seems to be doing all he can to anger Rafa, I think he wants him to walk.

    Nail on the head mate

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  32. And remember if he told Rafa the deal was dead 3 weeks ago then Ash cannot blame the takeover stuff for failing to bring anyone in as they have known they needed to invest since then if not before.

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  33. Ok .. I admit that one threw me.

    Why would he want Benitez to walk now. The consensus is he wants to cream the club for money and the best way to achive that is stay up for the tv money.

    Surely Benitez is the best option we have to stay in the premier league

    Icedog: Nail on the head mate

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