After a few years of non-stop writing, it was nice to be invited onto a podcast last week to talk all things Newcastle United now Mike Ashley is gone and ambitious new owners have arrived.
Speaking on Millsy and Mason’s Football Hootenanny, I discussed the Saudi takeover – including my urge to not write articles the week after my wedding or get the next train to Newcastle mid-honeymoon – my thoughts on Steve Bruce, the candidates to replace him, realistic signings and my hopes and dreams heading into a new era at St James’ Park!
You can listen to the podcast HERE if you’ve got some free time tonight and fancy listening to me chat about all of the above.
Or, visit us on Twitter and hit the link below to tune in:
Here’s a snippet from the podcase above, covering my response to those criticising fans for celebrating the arrival of Saudi owners:
“I haven’t really liked the number of journalists and everyday football fans who’ve almost tried to spoil the party immediately and tell Newcastle fans and not celebrate something which so many fans would be overjoyed with.
“I mean, for one, we’re kind of celebrating Mike Ashley leaving to begin with, because he’s been here for 14 years.
“The only ambition he’s had during that time was to try and keep us in the Premier League every season. If he got 17th each year he’d be happy.
“This doesn’t mean Newcastle fans suddenly expect to be back in the Keegan days or in the top four every year. It’s just we at least want a team that can compete.
“We look at the likes of Wolves, Leicester, Everton and West Ham – they’ve played some good football, they’ve shown a little bit of ambition and they’ve at least tried to compete.
“So going back to my point, it was a bit frustrating the fact that so many people almost tried to tell us off for celebrating, because we weren’t celebrating the human rights in Saudi Arabia.
“In that moment, we were just celebrating Mike Ashley leaving and becoming the richest club in the world.
“But yeah, when it comes to the Saudis and the human rights issues there, I think the big thing for me without knowing a massive amount about it is that fans shouldn’t turn a blind eye to that just because we’ve become rich, because there could be some fans who will create a really bad name for Newcastle supporters.
“Some may say, “I couldn’t care where the money comes from or what’s going on in Saudi…as long as we can sign Mbappe in a few years, I don’t care”, it’s those things and people who are championing Saudi Arabia by bringing the flag to games that we need to be careful about.
“I think these are things we just have to be sensitive about and, again, not turn a blind eye to what’s going on there just because we’re rich, otherwise it won’t take long, especially if we have success, to be seen as those fans who are just arrogant and so naive to where this money is coming from.“