How the Saudi takeover got me through lockdown…but ultimately broke my heart

On the 14th April, the news broke on Sky Sports that there had been a £300 million pound bid accepted from the Saudi PIF, Reuben Brothers and Amanda Staveley to acquire Newcastle United.

For a brief moment, I left the dystopia we had all been living in for a little over a month. I was filled with genuine excitement for the first time in a while. The cans were in the fridge, local hero was blasting through the household. There was hope.

For thousands of fans, I imagine the reaction was much the same. At a time when the pandemic was at its worst, Newcastle fans had a momentary escape.

There was something to look forward to; hope and ambition for the future.

It was something to read, talk and think to think about away from the pandemic. When the world was filled with depressing stories and it seemed to be only getting worse, Newcastle fans had something to at the very least, distract them.

But that’s why the ultimate failure of the takeover, announced on the 30th July hurt so much.

In a flash, all the hope, excitement and ambition that had distracted us from the events of the last few months disappeared. We were left to deal with the pain that ensued.

Sadly, the takeover will only ever be a distraction. It seems as though it will never materialise and has resulted in a ‘what might have been?’ situation for the fans.

However, we have a lot to thank the Saudi PIF, the Reuben Brothers and Staveley for giving our city hope in such horrific circumstances, even though it ended up amounting to nothing.

We can only hope that they get their wish and are able to to transform this club the way they had planned in the near future.

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109 thoughts on “How the Saudi takeover got me through lockdown…but ultimately broke my heart

  1. Bruce is never going to admit the truth to the media, is he? Everybody and his dog knows we desperately need a striker . . .

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  2. Sharpy17:
    RG – it’s got to be Gilly toon hasn’t it?!.

    Pleased you’ve got settled though mate, I know it’s been a mad few months for you.

    Did you manage to get everything sorted out there?, and work?.

    Thanks Sharpy, mate! We are almost sorted regarding Moving our things back. Builders just finished today (meant to be end of June), all our furniture is here and we are in the house. No job yet! Still need to go back to dubai at some point to get some personal things like my wife’s jewellery, perfumes etc that the courier would not put into the container. But getting used to rainy north east weather! Thanks all!

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  3. Gilly Toon: Thanks Sharpy, mate! We are almost sorted regarding Moving our things back. Builders just finished today (meant to be end of June), all our furniture is here and we are in the house. No job yet! Still need to go back to dubai at some point to get some personal things like my wife’s jewellery, perfumes etc that the courier would not put into the container. But getting used to rainy north east weather! Thanks all!

    Gilly – good man, sounds like the bulk of it is sorted it now – you might just have buy the missus some more bling mate 😂. Hopefully work will come along for you too 🤞🏼.

    Rowlands Gill is a lovely area though, pretty much grew up in that park!!, and we are still regularly through to Gibside with the boy & dog.

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  4. kimtoon:
    not good news for Maguire then.

    Do you think?? – I think he’s got away very lightly really.

    Be interesting to see what happens with Man Utd & England now like – both expect their players to be role models. I suppose he is to those England fans who would start fights with the Greek police when on tour 😂

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  5. kimtoon:
    Eze to Palace £16m looks like

    They are welcome to him Kim. He’s done ok at QPR, but he wouldn’t be my first pick if we were raiding the Championship – he wouldn’t be in my top 5 from the Championship I reckon.

    Besides, it’s a CF we need.

    I’m sure Bruce knows that too and is just trying to avoid admitting it in the media for clubs to then hold us to ransom … or I think that’s his thinking at least.

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  6. Carroll scored a worldie today, even if it was Crewe behind closed doors – but does anyone really believe he will be fit and able to play as few as 3 games in a row at any point of the season???.
    Equally, Gayle did really well after lockdown – but he managed less than 20 mins before going off injured today.

    They simply aren’t reliable fitness wise – but both will take a squad place this season. Along with Joelinton, I think that really only leaves room for 1 other forward this window.

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  7. If it’s true about Maguires sister then i don’t blame him kicking off. Southgate should of held off on naming him in the England squad though.

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  8. Sharpy, I wasn’t saying we should sign Eze mate, more pointing out that those around us don’t seem to be feeling the covid cash pinch . Given Palace are a smaller club you have to question our lack of spending.

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  9. kimtoon:
    If it’s true about Maguires sister then i don’t blame him kicking off. Southgate should of held off on naming him in the England squad though.

    Kim – if someone has done that to his sister then yeah, I agree – BUT, with all that money what the hell is he doing being in a place where that could even happen??. I can say I believe him – think it’s a tale to make what he did look more reasonable.

    That aside though, doesn’t excuse assaulting and then trying to bride the police (on more than one occasion).

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  10. kimtoon:
    Sharpy, I wasn’t saying we should sign Ezemate, more pointing out that those around us don’t seem to be feeling the covid cash pinch . Given Palace are a smaller club you have to question our lack of spending.

    Kim – Palace sold Wan Bissaka for £50m last season and only spent around £10m on players in. So I think they will have had a bit of money tucked away.

    Don’t know where Wolves are getting their coin from like – but I wouldn’t be surprised if they sell Adama Troure to balance their books.

    I have to say though, it is so ugly to see the money Man City & Chelsea in particular are shelling out.

    Chelsea had a year off spending and brought some young players through – and they done well. But it just goes to show – unless you force their hand, these big clubs will keep spending.

    We can talk about lack of ambition as much as we want, but the fact is, without someone like the Saudis, success is going to be top 10 and maybe a decent cup run.

    The gulf between the top 4 and even 5th & 6th is widening. But beyond that – it’s becoming almost a seperate league.

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  11. kimtoon:
    Sharpy, i guess the truth will out at some point

    Kim – I could understand it if he was a young daft kid getting paid a fortune. But he’s 27 and a father of 2. Why the hell is he out there acting like a drunk lout and putting him and his family in that position in the first place.
    He has all the money he could ever want, and afford to go pretty much anywhere on the planet!!.

    If he was 18/19 yr old you could say naivety of youth – but he’s been a bloody idiot to be in that position at all.

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  12. So Gayle hyperextended his knee v Crew, it’s 4-6 weeks of RICE therapy if minor but 12 months post op for recovery if ligament tears are involved . Having a scan today.

    I had my meniscus tear operated on 2 years ago and though i can walk now with some pain i cannot kneel on knee for more than 20 seconds and defo cannot run.
    Knees are tricky things to heal properly once they start playing up.

    Need a striker

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  13. I’m not making an excuses for Ashley, because he could have and should have done a lot more. I’m not just talking about how much money he’s spent, I’m talking about the appointments he’s made, the of invest in the infrastructure without the club, the improve of training facilities and youth development.
    As a club, we should be in far better shape, not just player wise.
    That’s why I think his £350m valuation is a joke – it could be worth that, but it needs a lot of work doing to it.

    But, when he talks about competing with Countries, I think he has a point really.

    Forget NUFC for a second. When you consider other clubs and the money they spend – WHU, Everton, Leicester for example. WH seem to have a nak of keep getting it wrong, despite spending good money at it.
    But Everton & Leicester – and Wolves, all seem like well ran clubs. They recruit good managers and back them – they are about the football first.
    But to what end?. Take Leicester’s freak league win out of the equation and where are any of those clubs when it comes to competing for the league or any of the domestic cups?

    Oh and if they start getting above their stations, we’ll along come one of the top 4 clubs to buy their best players – Kante, Mahrez, Maguire, Chilwell, dare I include Drinkwater? (he was a key player for Leicester).

    Look back over the last 10 years at who has won the league, and the domestic cups – look at the runners up. How many of those teams are out of what we would say are the top 4-6 teams. Maybe 2 or 3 I would reckon.

    So that begs the question – what is the true measure of success for everyone else?. What is realistic ambition?.

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  14. kimtoon:
    So Gayle hyperextended his knee v Crew, it’s 4-6 weeks of RICE therapy if minor but 12 months post op for recovery if ligament tears are involved . Having a scan today.

    I had my meniscus tear operated on 2 years ago and though i can walk now with some pain i cannot kneel on knee for more than 20 seconds and defo cannot run.
    Knees are tricky things to heal properly once they start playing up.

    Need a striker

    Kim – it may sound harsh, but we all know that Gayle and Carroll are more injury prone than most players – I really don’t know why we have stuck with them??.
    We have just handed Carroll a new 1 year deal – we might have him for half the season at best.
    Gayle was out for a large part of this season & has 1 year left on his deal – like you say, depending on how bad his injury, we may not get a game out of him now. But even best case, he won’t be ready for the first game and will be in and out most of the season.

    They should have got rid of both & started again imo – harsh, but neither have any real future at NUFC.

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  15. https://footballleaguefc.com/newcastle-united-2019-20-player-wages/

    When you look at the wages we are paying our forwards – and the return of goals from them, nothing highlights how bad our recruitment has been quite as well.

    Joelinton £80k
    Muto £55k
    Gayle £37.5k
    Carroll £25k

    Best part of £200k a week and they didn’t return as many as 10 goals between them.

    Then you get Bruce saying things like ‘we will only bring in players better than we have’ – as if he’s fooling anyone 🙄.

    Oh, and how do you go about shifting ANY of those 4 players to make room for better players coming in???!!!

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  16. Agree Sharpy re striker situation,
    Your point on us and other teams ambitions is interesting and i get what you are saying. For me though it’s the fact that he plays the pauper card every window, apart from Joe, who for some unknown reason Ashley had a hard on for , we don’t really spend on what is clearly needed to push on.
    When i say push on, i mean to the extent that we are in a position where we won’t likely be battling relegation every season. A club our size should not go into each season fearing we will drop and that’s the difference between us and Everton, leicester and Wolves, i bet none of them ever fear relegation and all have decent forwards or buy them if needed. Even Leeds are showing more ambition right now and they play good football.
    As far as competing against countries and states goes, it begs the question if the same 4 or 5 clubs keep winning everything then maybe a new superleague is the way to go. Though i guess the PL would loath that idea.

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  17. Bruce’s comments on our striker situation shows exactly why he shouldn’t be manager of our club. Nonesense. “We’ll only bring someone in if they’re better than what we’ve got.” They’re all better than what we’ve got, idiot. Blood boiling again.

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  18. Sharpy17: Gilly – good man, sounds like the bulk of it is sorted it now – you might just have buy the missus some more bling mate .Hopefully work will come along for you too .

    Rowlands Gill is a lovely area though, pretty much grew up in that park!!, and we are still regularly through to Gibside with the boy & dog.

    Cheers Sharpy, you probably drive past my house then! I’m on Station Road directly opposite Boots, red Jag F-Pace in front! It’s a nice place to be for sure!

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  19. Sharpy17:
    https://footballleaguefc.com/newcastle-united-2019-20-player-wages/

    When you look at the wages we are paying our forwards – and the return of goals from them, nothing highlights how bad our recruitment has been quite as well.

    Joelinton £80k
    Muto £55k
    Gayle £37.5k
    Carroll £25k

    Best part of £200k a week and they didn’t return as many as 10 goals between them.

    Then you get Bruce saying things like ‘we will only bring in players better than we have’ – as if he’s fooling anyone .

    Oh, and how do you go about shifting ANY of those 4 players to make room for better players coming in???!!!

    Re getting rid of our strikers… maybe we can do a buy 1 get 1 free sale? 😳

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  20. kimtoon:
    Agree Sharpy re striker situation,
    Your point on us and other teams ambitions is interesting and i get what you are saying. For me though it’s the fact that he plays the pauper card every window, apart from Joe, who for some unknown reason Ashley had a hard on for , we don’t really spend on what is clearly needed to push on.
    When i say push on, i mean to the extent that we are in a position where we won’t likely be battling relegation every season. A club our size should not go into each season fearing we will drop and that’s the difference between us and Everton, leicesterand Wolves, i bet none of them ever fear relegation and all have decent forwards or buy them if needed. Even Leeds are showing more ambition right now and they play good football.
    As far as competing against countries and states goes, it begs the question if the same 4 or 5 clubs keep winning everything then maybe a new superleague is the way to go. Though i guess the PL would loath that idea.

    Kim – no I agree, and that’s what I was saying in the first part.
    For me it’s not the lack of money, it’s the fact that we never address what’s needed in the window – we are always a player or 2 short of what we need.
    We could get what we needed without spending £40-50m every window – but we always fall short and make do.

    While I understand his plan of buy young and cheaper – sell high. I can’t understand why he doesn’t invest in our youth system – and why we have allowed so many of our young players to leave without getting any real chance in the first team … and why Shola is overseeing their development.

    Everton – Bill Kenwright was an owner on a limited budget, but I always felt he had Evertons best interest at heart – the progression of the club. He’s always tried to get the best manager he could & he backed them. Then, when the money has come along, he’s stepped aside and allowed the club to move forward.
    Leceister similarly brought in an owner who only cared about developing the club and area & Wolves have backed their managed – but sensible to start with. Quality players on loan then buy them once proven. I’d take that 🤷🏼‍♂️.

    But I suppose my main point is, what is there really to play for other than league positions for the clubs outside the top 6.

    Then you get the Man Utd and Arsenal fans twisting about how their clubs are ran 🙄

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  21. Gilly Toon: Cheers Sharpy, you probably drive past my house then! I’m on Station Road directly opposite Boots, red Jag F-Pace in front! It’s a nice place to be for sure!

    Posh git 😂.

    I’m through Great Lumley now mate but lived in Winlaton til I was 25, so would regularly venture down to the park – all day during the holidays. Footy, tennis and in the river on nice days – Maguires chip butty for our dinners – great days 😂.
    My best mate lives on Axwell Park, so if we aren’t through at his, we meet at Gibside with the bairns – class man 👍🏻

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  22. Gilly Toon: Re getting rid of our strikers… maybe we can do a buy 1 get 1 free sale?

    You can’t believe that for a club that doesn’t spend money – that’s about £60-70m on a strike force that managed less than 10 goals between all 4 of them can you?!

    Oh for the chance of Rondon or Mitrovic back 🙏🏻

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  23. I’d have Mitro back Sharpy, he may be a nutter but he’d be our nutter.
    And we should never of let Rondon go for the sake of £16m ! especially as Gayle was wanted by the Baggies.

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  24. kimtoon:
    I’d have Mitro back Sharpy, he may be a nutter but he’d be our nutter.
    And we should never of let Rondon go for the sake of £16m ! especially as Gayle was wanted by the Baggies.

    Kim – I know he’ll set the budget on how much we can spend, and the type of player profile he wants the club to go after – which is obviously massively restrictive and a big part of the problem.
    But how much involvement do you think Ashley actually has in the signing or selling of individual players?.

    How much input do you think he had in selling Mitrovic and Mbabu – or signing the likes of Muto & Saviet.

    I’m certain he had involvement in Joelinton – but what that is all about, I’m not sure we will ever know?!

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  25. Sharpy17:
    Great, so of the 4 forwards we have 2 have gone AWOL 🤦🏼‍♂️

    Club goes from one calamity to another mate, I’m just laughing at it now, zero use to getting upset angry about it as it’s out of my/our control.
    Those running the s hit show are wholly responsible for what ever state we end up in not us.

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