Move forward to the 11th August 2017 and many on Tyneside are wondering (in hope rather than anticipation) whether history is going to repeat itself as our once venerated Billionaire announces to all who will listen that he can’t compete with the new world order of Millionaire Billionaires. It’s no secret that our Billionaire’s relationship with the supporters has been anything but harmonious. It started well but quickly turned sour when, having brought back the messiah Kevin Keegan he twisted rather than stuck and dealt supporters a busted hand when Keegan walked and the misery set in. Personal animosity and distrust quickly turned to downright hatred.
Ten managers, (including caretakers) 2 relegations, two promotions, two interviews, two attempts to sell the club and no silverware later and we hear that our Billionaire is In theory a Multi-Billionaire, but in reality his wealth is like wallpaper – “it’s all in Sports Direct shares”.
In an interview with Sky Sports our Billionaire informs us “I don’t have that cash in the bank” He then goes on to all who can hear that “People on the outside looking in think in wealth terms those funds are in the bank; They’re not. I am nowhere near wealthy enough. Basically, it’s a wealthy individual taking on what is the equivalent of countries. I cannot and I will not.”
So there we have it; the club is owned by a cash strapped Billionaire; one who bought a football club but found out that he hasn’t the inclination, desire or apparently, the cash to do anything with it other than to let it wither on the football vine. He has no desire, no passion, no feeling and no love for the club; and while many will say don’t tell me something I didn’t already know; the fact is that for everyone’s sake and particularly for the club that we love even if he doesn’t, now surely is the time for Mike Ashley to actively look for someone to take the club off his hands.
And what would an owner get for his or her money? Well, they would start with a club, worshipped week in week out by the most loyal supporters in football; Supporters who have stuck by their club without even the sight of any domestic silverware for 62 consecutive seasons; a club that generates gates of 52,000 for every home game and a club that the words ‘sleeping giant’ don’t describe what could be if its manager Rafa Benitez was given the resources to build the club on and off the field into the sporting dynasty that its supportive structure deserves.
So; you’ve said it Mike, you’re nowhere near wealthy enough for Newcastle United. We suspect your also nowhere near interested enough; so please get active, get that For Sale sign back out of your garage and let the estate agent and his clipboard get to work. You know it makes sense.