With the fantastic achievement of survival all but secured by early April, Newcastle can have an exciting future if we finally get things right off the pitch. We have been saying this for almost the entirety of the eleven year Mike Ashley tenure but you get the finally get the feeling that the situation has to come to a head this summer; something has to give.
Just what outcomes are possible in the coming months with regards to the long term ownership of NUFC?
1 – The good – Ashely sells and to a serious bidder
The situation I am sure 99% of fans want; Ashley accepts his race his run and sets a fair price tag, we know £300m has been mentioned (without clauses). A takeover is then completed to a well-intentioned bidder, like PCP, who seem the most credible at the moment even if some doubts remain. The deal is completed early enough in the summer so we can feel the effects with player recruitment and we can finally back Rafa in the market to attract the calibre of player he wants. This goes hand in hand with Benitez signing a new contract and a really exciting period could await the club.
It is also worth noting the transfer window has now been moved forward this year until the eve of the new season, which will be the second week of August. So if a takeover is to happen, we need to see progress if it is to happen – and quickly.
2 – The bad – Ashley haggles and remains at the helm
Ashley digs his heels, Staveley doesn’t come forward with a bigger offer and takeover talks continue to be tedious and exhausting. We then likely revert to the previous situation of Ashley and Staveley being apart on valuation. He ‘promises’ to help Rafa more than he has in the past and tries to commit Benitez to a short extension. It’s a positive to an extent, but in the long run it’s not what Benitez, or the fans, wanted. I also think it would be pushing Rafa too far this time and after three previous ‘failed’ transfer windows, he may walk at this point anyway. We can’t risk that happening.
3 – The ugly – Ashley digs his heels and Rafa walks
Ashley does the unthinkable. Calls off talks with Staveley (again) and pulls club off the market and/or alienates Rafa, failing to change his ways and forcing Rafa to walk. This would be a disaster for Newcastle and we would be left with the thankless task of recruiting a manager of a lesser calibre, one who would be willing to work with his hands tied behind his back with Ashley. Ashley won’t invest as per usual and we would have a limited squad whose biggest strength, strong character and good management, totally demotivated. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to this come August.
With the situation having to change soon, what outcome do you think is most likely at this stage?