Paul Merson has told Newcastle fans that we shouldn’t get carried away if a Saudi takeover was to be finalised – saying we won’t be to attract a ‘top drawer’ players ahead of European giants.
The Sky Sports pundit believes it simply isn’t possible to do what Man City did over a decade ago, claiming we are ‘a million miles away’ from being a top side.
Here’s what he’s had to say in full, with him kindly reminding us that our star studded team in the 90s also failed to win any silverware:
“For a start, they are not going to be able to attract the very top drawer players for a variety of reasons. If there’s a really top grade player who is going to make the kind of difference needed, there will be other more ‘attractive’ clubs in for them.
“It would take tons and tons of money to put Newcastle up with the elite. Liverpool are set, Man City have got fortunes and the likes of Manchester United will always be a powerhouse.
“To get up in that sort of company isn’t a realistic dream. “They are a million miles from that great Newcastle side of Shearer, Ginola, Ferdinand and Batty – a million miles. A team that, incidentally, still didn’t win anything.
“So, why expect new owners, who are clearly astute businessmen, to throw money at it left, right and centre to see an improvement of a few league places?”
There are two ways to look at this. The first is that FFP regulations will make it more difficult to replicate what happened with Sheik Mansour and Man City back in 2008.
The other is a lot more positive, and it alludes to the fact that we would have the richest owners in world football – something he seems to be totally forgetting.
Saudi Arabia are trying to clear up their image as a country, and there have been positive noises coming from the likes of Eddie Hearn, who believes Prince Mohammed & Co would want to turn us into the best club in the world.
What we could become is open for debate, but as we all wait anxiously for further developments, I’m just hoping that this takeover actually happens!