What a little birdie told me at my desk in Dubai – Third time lucky for NUFC?

So, here we are again. Another transfer window, and another takeover story hits the headlines before we so much as get a sniff of our first swoop for a colossus going cheap.

The third takeover attempt in as many transfer windows, so will it be third time lucky I wonder? Amanda Staveley got as far a having a curry with our esteemed owner, before being blown out the water (near the end of the transfer window) as being a time-waster.

Peter Kenyon managed to write an impassioned open letter to the fans with our chubby leader saying that this was his preferred buyer… Then lo and behold, he’s gone too with no money and no consortium… and another transfer window almost gone.

As many of you may know, I live and work in Dubai, but born in Benwell in the Toon many moons ago. Last Sunday, I came into the office as usual, and a colleague says to me, “well it looks like the Toon will be City’s little brother, and I guess you think it’s your birthday”. I’m a little incredulous and ask him what he’s talking about, to which he replies, “well it’s documented in Reuters, the Toon have been bought by the cousin of Sheikh Mansour”. And so, it began. (Please note this is not the ‘big reveal’ and it gets better / more believable…so keep with me).

Needless to say, I had to check it out, and sure enough, the papers are full of it, Newsnow is in overdrive, and as the days go by, there is one contradicting story after another. It’s sold, it’s not, an offer is in, no offer made…the Premier league knows, and the Premier league knows not. Same old s*** but different transfer window, so I take a big pinch of salt and keep reading. After all, we’ve been here before, haven’t we lads and lasses, but hope springs eternal as they say.

The contradicting stories continue, ho hum, but then I start to see some articles appearing here in the local press and nothing is denied by the club (which usually happens when rumours fly).

I have a small glimmer of hope. I’m probably not alone, in that I’m ever an optimist, so I’m happy to cling to hope however big or small.

Then, a few days ago I was talking to another colleague in the office. We got to chatting about football as you do, and I told him about my concerns, and he says with absolute belief and surety, “no need to worry, it’s a done deal”. He goes on to tell me his wife, who works in a very high up position in the financial district here, (this I already knew), is working on the deal, and that her company is the financial group tasked with putting the deal together for the real estate part, the stadium, etc. He insisted that it is a done deal from the buyers side for sure.

The Bin Zayed Group and Sheikh Khaled are well known and certainly have the money to do a deal of this magnitude. BZG would not come out and say the things that they have said if they didn’t believe them to be true.

And so, my optimism has increased to a level where I’m beginning to believe!

306 thoughts on “What a little birdie told me at my desk in Dubai – Third time lucky for NUFC?

  1. Sharpy: we cannot build the team around Kane. He keeps getting ankle ligament injuires and they won’t stop until he stops lunging in. He does it a lot, but never gets called on it. We saw it at SJP where he should have been sent off but he is the Southern Presses golden boy and can do no wrong. The Refs would be strung up and never do another game if Saint Harry was sent off.

    I have been wondering as well if he is flat track bully and whether his goals come against the weaker team? I know he scores in spurts. If I can be bothered I will look into it.

    I am not saying Kane is not a good player but he is no Shearer that’s for sure and that’s the pedestal the southern press want to put him on.

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  2. Eric – I think when fully fit, Kane is an excellent centre forward and should be first choice going into the forthcoming tournaments – providing he is fully fit. Southgate got it wrong by putting him in tonight – that’s on him, not Kane.

    I’m not kissing Kane’s arse by saying that – I don’t think there is anyone better. Rashford maybe could be, but he’s inconsistent.

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  3. Sharpy: don’t get me wrong on Kane, I think he is a very good player. As usual with me it is more that the press are annoying me by making him a King, Pope and Saint at the same time. Somebody needs to tell him it is more important to stay fit than to make those lunges in the opposition half. tt is great that he is committed but he is no use to anybody injured. And we know now he has weak ankles.

    We don’t want another Jack Wilshere who was actually a good player before his lunges gave him ankle injury after ankle injury and took away all of his pace.

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  4. Gary Lineker never got a yellow card in his whole career. Do you think he would have made that lunge on the sideline in the opposition half that got Kane his latest injury and probably should have been a sending off?

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  5. And I am going to repeat something I said earlier.

    We should not be feeing any remorse for Donkeylu. He was never good enough. I don’t care if he tried hard, he was well paid for being a non-scoring striker and a total liability in front of goal. No crocodile tears from me I am afraid. I will be glad to see the back of him.

    I usually don’t criticize Toon players and really held back on the Spanish Donkey when he was here. Good riddance to a rubbish player.

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  6. I didn’t watch the England game as it was 3am here in Shanghai but glad I missed it now.. oh well, normal service resumed then..

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  7. England should never make a forward Captain ever again. Make Jordan Henderson Captain if you must, but never a forward.

    Sterling is our most in-form player and biggest goal threat but he caught the Rooney disease last night – coming all the way back deep into his own half to collect the ball and then trying to do it all himself. Kane does it as well, but he does it a bit for Spurs as well (not as much as for England).

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  8. georgio:
    The club who are buying Joselu have paid 2m euros. They’ll regret that!!

    could have sold him in Jan for 10 mil to China but Rafa would not let him go as jabba would not replace him

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  9. The takeover looks very promising, but nothing has happened just yet.
    It looks like there will be money to spend in the transfer window – but we don’t know how much, or who is likely to come in.

    So rather than speculate on who may or may not be signed, I would ask this instead – who do you think is good enough to stay as either first team or squad players?.

    I’d based it on the formation we ended with – 3-4-2-1. I’d also base it on gradual progression – so players who can get us competing for the 6-10th places.

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  10. Happy enough with all our CBs for now. Need wing backs. Atsu can go. Need a DM and creative CM. Need 2 good strikers, 1 if Rondon comes in. Still have a fair bit if dead wood on the books like Joslu, Colback etc that need ro be moved on

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  11. Would prefer takeover to happen before anything. If a had choice rafa or takeover be takeover every time

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  12. I may be missing something, but I don’t get how Rafas contract can be sorted before a takeover – or why Rafa would sign anything before an official takeover.

    Anything in that contract would have been agreed under Ashley’s tenure. What’s to say the new owners don’t come in and say ‘we didn’t agree to that’.
    I know we are all getting excited by the takeover, but let’s be right, they are still an unknown entity.

    Everyone Rafa is negotiating with just now could be gone this time next week. The only way Rafa could feel safe with any new contract would be to agree it and sign it with the new owners isn’t it?!.

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  13. The total silence from the club is worse than ever. There’s not even a denial of anything either. The journalists have zero to write about and us fans are just sitting and waiting.

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  14. Still don’t believe anything is happening, local hacks reckon fit and proper hasn’t even started which goes against what the buyers have said. 😕
    someones fibbing, lets see, who has a history of that then.
    If it’s all a hoax , then the lies and smokescreens are getting very elaborate as the seasons progress, 10 out of 10 for effort.

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  15. I don’t think there is any way that Hayden leaves before pre-season training with what is going on. After that he will be offered a pay raise if we have new owners or Ashley will cash in because his price has gone up. Either way, I see him back in Newcastle for at least 3 weeks.

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  16. kimtoon:
    Still don’t believe anything is happening, local hacks reckon fit and proper hasn’t even started which goes against what the buyers have said.
    someones fibbing, lets see, who has a history of that then.
    If it’s all a hoax , then the lies and smokescreens are getting very elaborate as the seasons progress, 10 out of 10 for effort.

    Kim – you beat me too it. I was going to say, if this is all a lie then it will be his last one – I don’t see how he could beat this one ?

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  17. Shamrock:
    Happy enough with all our CBs for now. Need wing backs. Atsu can go. Need a DM and creative CM. Need 2 good strikers, 1 if Rondon comes in. Still have a fair bit if dead wood on the books like Joslu, Colback etc that need ro be moved on

    Sham – agreed mate. I’m happy with the keepers and CBs, happy with Ritchie and Yedlin as back up WBs. Longstaff, Shelvey and Ki as midfield would need another 2 I reckon. I’m happy with Almiron and Perez – but need 1 back up, then have Fernandez move up from U23s.
    If Rondon was signed, I’d want 1 more to start with – coz I’d want to leave room for Sorensen or one of the other youngsters to move up.

    I make that 6-7 new arrivals to the squad. But there are 6-7 currently in the squad we’d want rid of – so lots to do … and we still don’t know who will own us, let alone manage us yet ??‍♂️?.

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  18. Sharpy, if it’s all BS and we end up come august with no takeover and no Rafa and therefore no plan , then i think there will be hell on mate i really do. You can only push folk so far and the anger will be palpable to say the least. I’m pretty sure i’ll be done with it all, especially if rafa’s gone, what’s the point.

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  19. kimtoon:
    Sharpy, if it’s all BS and we end up come august with no takeover and no Rafa and therefore no plan , then i think there will be hell on mate i really do. You can only push folk so far and the anger will be palpable to say the least. I’m pretty sure i’ll be done with it all, especially if rafa’s gone, what’s the point.

    Kim – for what it’s worth I don’t believe it would ever get that bad. Ashley is a prize tw@t at times, but even when we’ve been relegated he had a plan – and did what was needed to keep Rafa then.
    The takeover may or may not happen. But I am confident Rafa will get sorted, or I think he’d have washed his hands by now – didn’t forget, he’d be out of a job in that scenario too, so he isn’t going to leave it til the last minute.

    Best case scenario may or may not happen, but worst case won’t, I’m sure of that ?

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  20. I am not going to read the articles on Middle East Country politics and ethics unless we get bought. Even then I wont have any say in any of it. I know I should take an interest but for now I am choosing to stay ignorant.

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  21. I am not sure if I can support the England Women’s WC team. It is because of Phil Neville. I cringe every time he is co-commentator. He gets everything wrong. I just don’t see how his coaching can be good when the rule of thumb when he is on TV is to do the opposite to what he says and you will be correct. The Kostanza from Seinfeld theory.

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  22. Chronicle reaching a no low this morning. Headlines of “Rafa will have to sell to buy”. The article actually says he will have a budget of £61m plus what he gets from player sales. That really is click bait.

    On Rafa the more I see the more I am sure the takeover is the reason why he’s delaying. Who would he be working for? What has Jabba told him?

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  23. Stuart: Ryder is saying different things to Waugh and Douglas. They should have a meeting and get their stories straight. Ryder is acting like Rafa will sign a contract with Ashley regardless of if there is a sale or not. That makes no sense.

    But it is Ryder so what do we expect!

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  24. This England game is boring as hell!!. As a result I’m having to listen to Gary Neville – the failed England coach and failed manager of whichever Spanish team it was, tell me how England evolve as a team … what a drone ???.

    Not one have put the blame on Southgate picking the wrong players!!.

    You want to play through midfield, you need midfielders like RLC, Harry Winks and in time Longstaff – players comfortable with the ball at their feet.

    They bang on about Foden and Maddison – who are very good players, but play further up the pitch – number 10s, not midfielders.

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  25. Sharpy: RLC blew out his Achilles.

    Kimtoon: I will probably come around but cannot support the women because Phil Neville gets on my nerves so much. I am such a petty Diva.

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  26. Even if we get bought out who will we BUY? Really silly money with Wan Basaka talked about over 60 mil, Zaha 80 mil, Pogba 130 mil. Plus a lot of players with 1 decent season for 50 mil – Rice. And no name Frenchies for the same.

    You look in the papers and every day they throw out fees of 50 and 60 million for players I have never heard of.

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  27. Maybe the Southgate hype will die down now. He has the best players coming through since ’96 but doesn’t seem to know what to do with them. The performances at the WC were not that great but there was such a low bar set by previous tournaments that Gareth became a hero for mediocre football against bad teams. This will not change as England have the easiest qualifying group.

    So, no tests before The Euros and probably a decent enough tournament because we will be seeded. I think the final is at Wembley.

    I never trusted the hiring of Southgate because he had done nothing before. He has still to convince me. However, whatever happens at the Euros he will still have the job at the next WC so I better get used to him. Just hope that he doesn’t waste the talent he has available to him like every other England Manager for the past 20 years.

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  28. Eric Sykes:
    Even if we get bought out who will we BUY? Really silly money with Wan Basaka talked about over 60 mil, Zaha 80 mil, Pogba 130 mil. Plus a lot of players with 1 decent season for 50 mil – Rice. And no name Frenchies for the same.

    You look in the papers and every day they throw out fees of 50 and 60 million for players I have never heard of.

    Its all relative. If the club values Hayden at 20 then I dont see it unreasonable to value Zaha at 80. He would certainly bring is consistent goals, oportunities amd penalties.

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  29. Iceedog:
    Rondon rejects toon low pay offer looks like he’s going to Turkey 70 grand a wk

    Ice – I read that too, and wonder just how true it is firstly?!.

    But if true, it would really annoy me. It’s insulting to a lad who has spent the season proving his worth and shutting his doubters up – including me. I never thought he was a bad player, just doubted he would have turned out as well as he did.

    We already spent millions on loaning Rondon last season, and the try before you buy paid off.
    Now we are going to unpick that smart move by insulting the lad with a sub standard offer, and loose a tried and tested forward … if true.

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  30. Whilst I’m happy to show a bit of patience, as I appreciate things don’t get sorted overnight.
    I think we really need some kind of movement (good or bad) this week.

    Weather that be a verbal update and confirmation wheels are still in motion, or actual progress – or an equivalent negative update.

    I’m getting sick of reading BS and speculation now – both on the takeover rumour and the Rafa contract.

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  31. Sharpy i couldn’t agree more mate, it’s tiresome beyond belief now mate. The only comments are coming from BZG . It may be that Jabba has a NDA slapped on him , in so much as he cannot comment on the buyout and the sheikh has an NDA that prevents him speaking of the clubs accounts and so on.
    That said there is no reason why if this is all BS from the Sheikhs end and no sell is moving along or even happening that Jabba cannot just state that fact.
    I really feel all this crap suits him and his agenda of not sorting out Rafas contract at the moment.

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  32. We should all be talking about possible signings and who the manager is , not take overs , company house listings and so on.
    I wouldn’t mind but it’s every bloody window now for last few seasons and it’s weeks of angst for absolutely nothing to show for it.
    Like i said the other day, i don’t really think a takeover will happen and if Rafa goes i’m pretty much done with it all i think.

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  33. I think the take over will happen. The press are doing what they do best when they have no real idea what is happening… make **** up and speculate.
    Rafa will stay, if terms have been agreed to buy the club he will be well aware of what is going on.
    I am pretty comfortable with where everything is at. Hope some proper investment happens once it is all done and dusted.

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  34. Aussie Mag:
    I think the take over will happen. The press are doing what they do best when they have no real idea what is happening… make **** up and speculate.Rafa will stay, if terms have been agreed to buy the club he will be well aware of what is going on.
    I am pretty comfortable with where everything is at. Hope some proper investment happens once it is all done and dusted.

    Ditto Aussie.

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  35. History tells us that the takeover won’t happen. I am not comfortable that the BZG being so public.

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  36. What history? No one else has stated they have agreed terms with the club before. Most have sort self promotion more than anything. This does not come across like the efforts from the likes of Amanda and co..

    Stuart79:
    History tells us that the takeover won’t happen. I am not comfortable that the BZG being so public.

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  37. Aussie Mag:
    What history? No one else has stated they have agreed terms with the club before. Most have sort self promotion more than anything. This does not come across like the efforts from the likes of Amanda and co..

    Mike Ashley has tried to sell the club quite a few times and each time we have been told that he was close and people were very interested. Barry Moat, Amanda Staveley and Peter Kenyon to name but three. In fact Staveley briefed the press she’d agreed a deal with Ashley and indeed showed three bid papers to The Times. In the meantime clubs like Southampton, Everton, Arsenal, WBA, Wolves, Bournemouth and Palace have all been bought or got investment from people. Why is NUFC different?

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  38. None of them have claimed to have agreed terms though. All this was done with zero fan fare and with out the medias’ knowledge. All the BZG has done is confirmed what has transpired. They have hardly been vocal or putting it out there for public consumption.

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  39. The trouble is that the media write any old $hite and we take it as being informed. They write that Staveley or Kenyon has made a serious enquiry and we are that desperate to get rid of Ashley, we are all too ready to believe them. Then when it doesn’t come off, well it must be Ashley’s fault.

    Of the 2, Staveley was the only one who confirmed her attempts – there was nowt from Kenyon that I saw. She made public her 3 offers, but it’s through the PL she progresses the purchase, not the papers. I question whether she was ever in a position to really buy the club and take it forward.

    To be fair to Ashley, he’s tried to sell the club once – it’s just been one long ‘for sale’ process, with a couple of bites along the way. He has publicly said that he would only really consider selling to someone who had the money to take the club forward – this fella could certainly do that. This one feels different, more likely based on not just the rumours, but other goings on as well. I’m daring to believe, but not getting too carried away – because we have a history of being disappointed where Ashley is involved.

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  40. It’s looking 50/50 to me whether we have Rafa next season or not. He’s clearly unhappy with MA’s contract offer. I suspect for the way MA wants him to toe the line in the transfer market.
    Rafa’s not having it any more.
    So unless there actually is a takeover and the owners want Rafa to stay it could be bye bye Rafa.

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  41. Apparently Rafa’s been seen at the training ground. Saying goodbye to staff or back to work?

    And after finally coming good for us Perez is now in talks with Valencia. Get a move on BZG!

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  42. So Rafa has been to the training ground. Either a goodbye or to get cracking on things.

    Who would everyone want if Rafa did leave and who does everyone think Jabba would appoint? Obviously there isn’t anybody as good as Rafa who we could get but I would probably go for a Eddie Howe if he’d come. But I think Jabba might be looking at someone like Gary Rowett or Harry Redknapp…

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  43. Stuart79:
    So Rafa has been to the training ground. Either a goodbye or to get cracking on things.

    Who would everyone want if Rafa did leave and who does everyone think Jabba would appoint? Obviously there isn’t anybody as good as Rafa who we could get but I would probably go for a Eddie Howe if he’d come. But I think Jabba might be looking at someone like Gary Rowett or Harry Redknapp…

    Yeah I’d take Eddie Howe over Jose Mourinho (thats the latest rumourmill). Failing that, maybe Alan Curbishley, Fat Sam or Tim Sherwood…. ?

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  44. Whey no man. Rafa knows how we’ve suffered with fat lad in the passed. I really don’t think he’d have allowed the cameras to catch him at ground – which incidentally, was rather fortunate they happened to be there just at the time he happened to turn up ?.

    I suspect his contract is in the final stages of being sorted out and today was a show of commitment and readiness to start getting things sorted for the start of next season.

    It might have been conveniently captured on camera for the benefit of his potentially new boss ?

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  45. Ihttps://www.shieldsgazette.com/sport/football/newcastle-united/newcastle-united-transfer-news-bin-zayed-group-takeover-latest-as-mike-ashley-verdict-revealed-rafa-benitez-contract-talk-plus-20m-striker-scouted-1-9814703

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  46. I still feel it will happen but I’m not in Dubai at the moment so cannot see anything in local press. Let’s see…

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  47. Is Tutto Sport the Daily Express of Italy? I keep seeing stupid stories from them.

    You can tick Roma off Rafa’s list of possibilities now.

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  48. If reports are to be believed the £60m includes agents fees and wages. We might be able to afford a player or 2 .. . surely this can’t be right and is just poor journalism.

    More optimistic is Rafa’s remarks that something might happen.

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  49. Georgio: I fully believe the transfer budget includes Agent fees and wages. It is totally consistent with what they have said before and what Charnly said when explaining the net spend in the past 2 years.

    However, they really should be taking into account who we sell and what they are paid in their calculations. If we sell Shelvey for example and get Mata we would probably be ahead in net spend. Jonjo on 70k and Mata on 140k is a difference of 3.6 million a year. That’s 10 million on a 3 year deal for Mata.

    So if we sell Jonjo for 20 million, we are 10 million ahead of the game.

    I am sure they will look at it differently though to justify their no spend policy.

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  50. kimtoon:
    This article been up since 31st May !

    Just out of interest, would you like new pieces to come out at the top banner of the blog every week or so?

    There’s so many newsworthy stories that come out over the summer that it’s easy for us to miss out some of these more reflective / longer pieces.

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  51. There’s nowt happening at nufc!

    How long can the club keep with this silence and no comment bull sh1t? It’s utterly bizarre!

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