As a fanbase we have been craving Mike Ashley’s departure for well over a decade now.
You would be lying as a Newcastle fan if you hadn’t assessed the hypothetical situation in your head of what it will be like when the asset stripping dictator’s reign finally draws to a close.
No more tacky Sports Direct signs. No more ice baths in wheelie bins. No more players using us as the stepping stone we have become during his tenure.
Finally, we could show some ambition and challenge once again at the upper echelons of the Premier League. When the transfer window arrives, as supporters, we could actually talk about who we were going to bring in to bolster our squad rather than anxiously panic over losing our star players.
The Saudis and their endless pit of riches would undoubtedly deliver this – and potentially a whole lot more.
Under a PIF regime, we would join a small group of clubs that are effectively owned my Middle-Eastern countries, something Mike Ashley has previously stated he cannot possibly compete with.
Man City and PSG have transformed into two of Europe’s powerhouses over the last 10 years, and we would no doubt be on our way to joining them.
This is what has gotten us excessively excited on social media. The thought of the next generation of De Bruyne’s and Neymar’s wearing black-and-white stripes at St James’ Park one day, inspiring a whole generation of the Toon Army after more than likely losing a few numbers in the last one.
What has escalated in the past four months has sucked the entire life and soul out of our fanbase. Somehow, an argument has embroiled further between Saudi Arabia and Qatar, with NUFC and its supporters being squeezed into submission right at its core. As perfectly summarised by @NUFCThreatLevel on Twitter yesterday, this geopolitical war has far exceeded the requirements that are set by the Premier League’s ‘fit and proper person’ tests.
Reports emerged in April that American tycoon Henry Mauriss is waiting in the wings for any potential slip-up in the Saudi deal. This speculation has risen further over the last fortnight due to the Premier League’s delay, with some media outlets indicating that he has already met with Ashley, and that Mauriss himself has bragged about being able to pass the owners and directors test in just three weeks.
The truth is we don’t really want him. Not one single Toon fan has voiced the opinion that they would rather him than Staveley & Co, and how could you blame us for that?
The Saudi state and the wealth that they bring would revolutionise not only our football club, but our entire area as well. The undeniable goldmine in the PIF’s pockets make Henry Mauriss look like a homeless chap in comparison. We, as Newcastle fans, have already bought into the Saudi Arabian dream.
Anyone other than the Crown Prince leading the charge would seem like a massive anti-climax. An unconfirmed rumour has often presented itself in the past that Sheikh Mansour once considered buying NUFC before he revolutionised Man City, and this has created a “what could have been” sentiment for some of our supporters – and rightly so.
These emotions would be multiplied a million times over if the Saudi deal were to be blocked by the Premier League. Imagine Henry Mauriss being announced as our new owner, we would be free from the shackles of Mike Ashley but potentially moved into a different prison cell, with nothing so far indicating that he has the serious backing needed to pull our football club out the pit it finds itself in.
Would it be a case of “different owner, same problem?” An air of negativity would immediately persist, especially if he didn’t back us in the transfer market upon arrival.
The whole forecast for our club’s future, alongside the hopes and dreams of the entire Toon Army, are being dangled right in front of the Premier League’s faces – and there is nothing we can do about it.