A devastating dagger was pierced through the heart of every single Newcastle fan following the news of our proposed Saudi takeover breaking down yesterday.
For 16 weeks, supporters have craved for the yellow breaking news ticker on Sky Sports to confirm our fantasies to be true. The end of Mike Ashley’s tenure, and the start of a new dawn. One filled with wealth and riches beyond even our wildest dreams, and the return of the club that we all love.
Instead, we got the polar opposite. The takeover is off. Our hope of having ambition as a club has been obliterated, and surprisingly, this time the blame does not lie at Ashley’s door.
What has unraveled during the last four months has been farcical, with us as supporters being embroiled into a geopolitical war that involves two Middle-Eastern states, an international human rights group, the WTO, a piracy scandal, and a dead journalist’s widow.
The outside parties that have opposed the Saudi bid may well be something that is totally out of the Premier League’s control. HOWEVER; the lack of clarity, the social media turmoil, the disillusionment among our fanbase, the uncertainty about Bruce’s future, and the hostile sentiments from all angles imaginable is ENTIRELY the Premier League’s fault.
Richard Masters has consistently deflected questions on the situation whenever asked, whether that be from MPs or journalists. Every time he did this, it added more vitriolic fuel into the fire of our fanbase.
He has proven to be completely inept and out of his depth as his role of the Premier League’s CEO. His spineless indecisiveness has changed our club’s landscape for the worst, and potentially cost our city millions of pounds of much-needed investment.
What Masters has done is play out a £300m game of poker – all while toying with the hopes and dreams of every single member of the Toon Army for FOUR long months.
The Premier League has sat and waited, dragging its heels to the point where the Saudis would inevitably throw in the towel. Ultimately, this move would nullify any threat of a legal case should they have decided to block the takeover altogether. To put it simply, Masters chickened out.
When Staveley & Co launched the bid back in April, their investment was financially secure. They were buying a club that was eight points clear of survival with 10 games to go, with only a slim chance of relegation.
Several months later, the goalposts have changed. With just six weeks until the start of the 20/21 campaign, and with no guarantees when a decision was going to be made, the consortium’s investment swiftly became a potentially risky one. This would have no doubt been a factor in the Saudi’s decision to pull out of the deal, but once again, the finger deserves to be pointed at the Premier League for forcing their hand.
Reports have emerged that the Premier League will now refuse to comment on the situation. All this does is strengthen the argument about how spineless they have been during the whole process, and proves that they have had nothing but contempt for our fanbase since day one.
The dagger I talk about in the first line of this article will stay in the hearts of Newcastle fans for a while yet and may never be removed. This may turn out to be our “what could have been” moment, and that fills me with pain like you won’t believe. I write this piece genuinely devastated that our Saudi fairytale may never come to fruition.
Keep the faith. Amanda Staveley has been trying to get us out of Ashley’s pocket for years now and still seems determined on doing so – although it’s hard to see how she’ll put together a third and successful bid to take over at St James’ Park after this huge setback.
Let us as a fanbase cling onto that small slither of hope that one day, our club will be everything we want it to be and more, no matter how far away that may appear right now.