The world continues to watch Newcastle United from afar – everything that goes on at the club is a mini circus, with the media’s watchful eye, have you ever stopped and wondered why that is?
There are ‘bigger’ clubs, more fashionable clubs, the Tottenham Hotspurs, or Arsenal, or Chelseas, even the Manchester Clubs do not seem to get the media attention we do.
Newcastle is a great club, in size there are bigger, but with the fans and the city, there is no bigger club with the heart and passion beating through the city and the football club as one.
That ‘beat’ has risen in recent months, with ‘hope’ that this Newcastle United takeover will happen and in one fell swoop Mike Ashley will be removed and a sleeping giant may be finally awoken.
If you are reading this article, then you are still amongst the millions of Newcastle fans that still have a ‘glimmer’ of hope that after all these months of hard intense takeover discussions it will finally happen.
Or you are one of the other million that thought all along that Mike Ashley wasn’t in the business of selling ‘his Golden Goose’ and was using yet another vehicle to try and promote his self-interests and his businesses at the ongoing cost of our beloved Newcastle United.
Either way, you are still reading…looking, and if you sit in either camp, there will be a faint hope even if you don’t admit it out loud, it is there – ‘hope’ that Mike Ashley will be gone and your football club can rise again.
I have read almost every article on this and all previous takeovers in the hope that one actually comes to fruition. This takeover was the first and is the only one where I still believe; categorically will go through, the timeline may have been extended, but the outcome will be that our beloved Newcastle will be in new hands.
However, how the Premier League has handled the Newcastle United takeover is an absolute joke.
It is a disgrace – they have a plethora of material to hide behind as to why it has taken so long, or in fact is taking so long (present tense as it is still ongoing) but at the end of the day, the takeover of a football club is exactly that – a takeover of a football club.
The Premier Leagues fit and proper persons tests consist of very simple values;
1. Do you have the money to buy the club
2. Can you sustain the club over the next 10 years
3. Do you have a criminal record
That is about it.
Yes, there are a few other things, but this is the core essence of it. It does not cover geopolitics, or murder trials, or conspiracy theories of murdered journalists or bring into question the traditions of state, religion, or previous political movements, it focuses purely on the acquisition of the football club.
I mean let us be honest, the current owner of Chelsea cannot get a British Visa…
In case you missed that – THE CURRENT OWNER OF CHELSEA FOOTBALL CLUB – Roman Abramovich cannot get a UK Visa. He applied, it was denied, he appealed and then before the appeal came back he withdrew the application stating it was not needed…
Yet, his Chelsea takeover, went through without any outcry…no one from the press talked about him not being a fit and proper person – it was simple ‘ how much money will he invest’… a Jerry Maguire quotes comes to mind and is very fitting…‘Show me the money’.
Nevertheless, let’s not forget, his takeover of Chelsea was funded in such a way as to have left him in a position where he can’t easily return to Russia…a fortune accumulated in so many questionable ways.
With this in mind, we are now with Newcastle United and men in suits hiding behind geopolitics, not to try and seriously decline this takeover, but to try to get a ‘return’ for themselves, when it is inevitable the takeover will be passed.
Why will it be passed…why am I so certain?
It is very simple – the UK Government has a long history with the house of Saud – we put them on the throne! We have economic financial and military ties worth BILLIONS…not millions, but BILLIONS! Therefore, if there was any doubt on this takeover, the UK Government (unlike reports where they are saying they will not get involved) it is in fact the contrary – Boris himself would have been on the phone to the Premier league telling them to pass the deal. Have no doubt about this. This deal is far bigger than football.
So why hasn’t the deal been approved?
The answer is less simple.
With the world watching our beloved football club, millions of people have decided to make this deal their business.
Why? – it is a perfect opportunity for people from all walks of life to have an opinion – to have a voice – not a footballing one – but an opinion on the world, politics, war, murder, piracy, the list goes on, the takeover to these people is a side note to their ever so important voice.
This leaves the Premier league in a position where they have to look to the whole world that they are doing everything vigilantly.
Really, genuinely checking, rechecking, and challenging the purchase, so that when they ‘Do’ approve they can say that they looked at every angle to try and not approve it.
This will leave the Premier League in the best possible light (as they take their golden handshakes and vast sums from the deal all the way to the Premier League Bank).
I feel that this ‘circus’ that has descended upon us is only happening, because it is Newcastle United.
Where was the ‘outcry’ when PiF invested in hundreds of global entities such as; Disney, Tesla, Facebook and Bank of America? There was none.
If Saudi Arabia are the ‘Pantomime Villain’, where was the outcry when Prince Abdullah bin Mosa’ad bin Abdulaziz Al Saud purchased Sheffield United? – Unless I am mistaken, he is from the House of Saud, he is from Saudi Arabia? In addition, Sheffield United are in the Premier League are they not?
If the House of Saud had decided to pursue their long term initial plans to purchase the great ‘Manchester United’ – would we be into the 3rd month of a takeover. The answer is simple – NO. The Premier league would have ratified the deal almost immediately. The geopolitical situations would have been mentioned, but it would have been swift and simple – ‘YES’ as Jerry Maguire previously said ‘Show me the money’.
Or if we come away from Saudi Arabia and look at Qatar themselves, with acquisition of Manchester City, or indeed the Qatari bid to host the FIFA World Cup – would we not see corruption at every level? The Qatar World cup bid has effectively brought down multiple prominent FIFA figures with raw and unadulterated corruption, has the world Cup been revoked? Of couse not.
Why not? The answer is simple…Money.
So why at Newcastle has it been allowed to turn into a circus and people are simply bypassing logic and concentrating on events and things that are quite simply not relevant to the takeover of Newcastle United?
The answer is simple – the Premier League feel they are bigger than Newcastle – and can manipulate the situation using Newcastle as a pawn in a bigger game. To extract their pound of flesh from the takeover. From a business viewpoint, I have no issue with this as we live in a commercial world, with most people out for their own interests. So with a deal of this size and worth, with the main figures involved being truly global players, no one could turn down this juicy deal to laden his or her own self interests.
My main issue is how it has been done.
Many people at this time have been trying to preserve their self-interests, with the main contributor being Qatar. Frantically trying to do all they can to preserve their Billions of Dollars of investments into PSG, Manchester City and Sporting TV deals. As they know all too well that once The House of Saud gets involved in something, they do so not to be 2nd…
Currently, Qatar have an advantage as they entered the sporting world at a quicker pace than Saudi Arabia – (as they realised that sport is the perfect cover for ‘other less favourable activities) but that lead will be eaten up in no time. Not only on the pitch – but also off it.
One of the main thorns to this takeover comes down to TV rights and the vast sums of money Qatar have pumped into it. The new Premier League TV rights are looming and Qatar know, if Saudi Arabia wanted the premier league rights, NO ONE could outbid them. If beIN Sports and Qatar lose the Premier League TV rights – this would financially cripple them on a commercial level as it is the foundation to their income from sport globally.
Therefore for this reason alone, they are doing all they can to try to stop this takeover happening. It also just so happens that Qatar and Saudi Arabia are ‘not too fond of each other’ is an interesting side note. Qatar already know that they can’t stop it, but perhaps if they cause enough disruption, they might, just might, annoy Saudi Arabia too much and they themselves will pull out of the deal and purchase someone like Roma (who have already sent delegations of people to try and lure the House of Saud their way).
This would be seen as success for Qatar, as Serie A is a great league, steeped in tradition, but it is not the Premier League and is not the richest league in the world. That ‘jewel’ would remain in Qatari hands – however, I doubt that will happen. Too much time, effort and resource has gone into seeing this Newcastle purchase over the line. Also, Saudi Arabai will not want to lose face globally that they couldn’t purchase a Premier League football team…
If it was a simple case of – we will approve, but you need to do this, this and this – that conversation can happen over a weekend. The buying side would agree pretty much to all to get the deal done. The ‘bones of the deal’ could be looked at in an afternoon – so to be into the 3rd month is a total farce.
There is no logic, there is no reason, it is simply a disgrace. Mike Ashley will not suffer because of it, he is a billionaire and has apparently received a £17.5 million non-refundable deposit – so in fact if this deal were to fall through, he has made millions! So, no he won’t suffer. It is you and I who will. All those people waiting on refunds for season tickets and the staff who have been furloughed or contracts terminated because of a lack of leadership or even caring.
These decisions happen at the top and currently there is an empty office, with a big Sports Direct Mug on an empty table…
This takeover is fast becoming boring.
The media has even started to drop interest.
If you did but know it, this is a good sign – as it means the ‘circus’ and ‘fanfare’ that was there is passing. Therefore, the actual business can be sorted – as it should be behind closed doors and not on twitter! Therefore, if you look online and do not see any ‘up-to-date’ media stories this is a blessing.
From a pure football perspective, Richard Masters needs to approve this takeover to allow Newcastle United to plan and prepare for next season. We have a manager and backroom team that do not know if they are coming or going, a squad of players entering final year’s contracts and in simple terms we need to start planning for next season!
Currently the Premier league is not serving one of its members well. It is putting its own interests above all else. Whilst leaving our great football club to be left in total limbo.
‘The lights are on, but no one is home.’
Make no mistake, the Premier League want this takeover to go through. They want the millions pumped into one of its ‘popular’ teams. With the prospective rise of Newcastle’s image, the Premier leagues image will also rise. However, they want it to happen maintaining the illusion that they ‘care’ and so they remain ‘popular’ and they are not just bowing to the mighty dollar…
If the TV piracy is such a big deal (even though it goes on globally, including the UK, with billions worth of content stolen over the past 15 – 20 years without so much a whisper) IF now it is serious, surely the Premier League would want the supposed main culprit having a vested interest sat at the Premier League Table? Rather than from afar?
They will know IF they say no to this, it will be an unprecedented situation that will lead to an even bigger pantomime than this takeover debacle and at the end of the day this takeover is not only in best interests of Newcastle United, but the Premier League themselves.
Money makes money.