Newcastle United fans are in limbo.
Supporters waiting for that big announcement that will be a game changer for the football club and fanbase.
However, there is only one small problem.
I don’t think that the big game changer announcement is coming.
Not sure about you but I am sitting here thinking what on earth is going on?
Part of you thinks, surely something massive is set to happen, which would then explain the total absence of any credible activity in getting Newcastle United ready for the new rapidly approaching season.
A 2020/21 season that is only three weeks away from kicking off.
You / I think (or at least part of us does) that this total lack of activity must mean a Newcastle United takeover is happening. That serious movement is happening behind the scenes, a bit like the Swan gliding apparently effortlessly over the water, there is frantic unseen motion below.
However, the reality instead is that this almost certainly Mike Ashley at his very best (worst) at Newcastle United.
Never having a plan, simply doing as little as possible, usually at the last minute, to hopefully getting through another season.
This time though, it really feels like there is zero plan, that Mike Ashley blindly believes that somehow the Saudi PIF takeover will still happen and he can flee his sinking ship.
Make no mistake, he has really ran Newcastle United into the ground this time.
An ever ageing squad relying these past three seasons basically on the players that won promotion, supplemented almost entirely by free transfer, loan signings and the odd budget buy.
With using so many loans especially, it just means each summer you are already playing catch up on even the weak position you left the previous season.
Newcastle United are already one of the least mobile teams anyway, with the odd exception such as Almiron and ASM, and that situation only getting worse as players are in their 30s now or rapidly moving towards it.
Last season Newcastle finished it in relegation form, the 18th worst in the Premier League over the final seven months and twenty games, which included only four wins.
So many games where Steve Bruce looked so clueless, his only tactic for the whole team to defend and hope to get a goal from somewhere. No wonder the goals total was only 38, having to go back to 1997/98 when Newcastle scored less, However, growing problems at both ends as the over the top negative tactics meant that the defence were put under pressure so often, even the heroics of Martin Dubravka couldn’t prevent NUFC having the seventh worst defensive record in the Premier League last season, compared to the seventh best in each of the previous two.
Even Mike Ashley knows how serious weak this Newcastle squad is, so massively overly reliant on such a small group of players to try and survive. Dubravka and the centre-backs at one end, whilst Newcastle only won one PL game last season when ASM didn’t start…
Steve Bruce trotted out the Mike Ashley prepared script before last season ended, claiming Newcastle had signings being lined up to get business done early and essential new players into pre-season training. Instead, 24 days into the transfer window and only tumbleweed blowing down this black and white street.
Newcastle United fans live in blind hope of change because what else do we have?
It is quite another thing though when the club’s owner is doing the same.
Mike Ashley still sitting there with his bags packed, hoping against hope the Saudis will somehow still succeed in doing the takeover and he can flee the scene of his NUFC crimes.
A plan B? Mike Ashley has never ever had even a plan A.
If a takeover doesn’t appear magically now, we are heading into a car crash of a season with Mike Ashley and his hapless sidekicks Charnley and Bruce.
Rather than credible signings to protect his investment (football club), the only Ashley ‘plan’ will be to try and bring in late loans that will magically be good enough to create and score the goals to help stave off disaster, a third relegation in 12 Premier League seasons under Mike Ashley.
Like somebody hoping to solve their personal finances by winning the lottery, Mike Ashley is looking for the Saudi deal to magically resurrect and pay him the over the top, far above market value, price they agreed for NUFC.
We hoped for owners, new manager and new credible signings for Newcastle to at last progress again, instead we are relying on the combined talents of Ashley, Charnley and Bruce.
We had better get the buckets ready to start bailing the water out when the season starts, as the club is already sinking before a ball is kicked.