North East Connected

What next for Newcastle United if takeover bid is successful?

There probably aren’t many football fans who from time to time think that their club’s owner/s are a complete waste of space. Of course, that view usually comes with a poor run of results or the perception that there hasn’t been enough money made available during the transfer windows.

Without regular funding from owners, clubs can be in that tricky situation where the best players go elsewhere and some good, but lesser-known players come in. It’s down to the scouts and managers to get as much information as possible about possible new recruits but in the end it’s the owner who must stump up the cash.

And so to the Magpies and the possibility of a takeover by Amanda Staveley from the 10-year grasp of Sports Direct boss Mike Ashley.

Making the right deal

If you’ve been following Newcastle United for many years you may be one of the many fans who has had enough of Ashley and what you might regard as his poor running of the club. After all, Ashley has gone through managers like a fox in the chicken run and when he put the club up for sale in 2017 there were sighs of relief that things could be about to change.

However, that all depends on the deal and, as usual with takeovers, nothing is done and dusted until the final deal is signed. It needs to be the right deal for Staveley and Ashley, but long-suffering fans will be hoping against hope that it will be the right deal for the club.

After all, manager Rafa Benitez, despite being unable to prevent the club from being relegated from the Premier League two seasons ago, was retained and got the club to bounce back from the Championship as champions at the first time of asking.

Since then things have not gone so well and with the transfer window opening in January something needs to happen sooner rather than later, especially as the team dropped into the relegation zone in mid-December. So, the right deal is key to trying to boost the Magpies’ season.

A way ahead

Staveley is a shrewd business operator with excellent contacts in the Middle East, and her company, PCP Capital Partners, is a multi-billion-pound investment business with global links. Initially you may have heard that investors from China were interested, but that is now thought to have been a fishing expedition to try to find out more about the club’s valuation.

Staveley has put in a bid and it remains to be seen if it will finally go through. Due diligence has been completed but given the complexity of the legal and financial issues it may be that the takeover will not be completed until February, after the transfer window closes.

That may give Benitez problems if he is unable to strengthen the squad the way he wants and it would certainly give the club problems given the dangerous place it currently inhabits in the Premier League table. But if Staveley does take over there should be a significant pot of money available to boost the squad and that has to be a positive outcome for the team and the fans.

Where next?

Crystal balls in football are always dangerous because nobody really knows what will happen until it does. Most fans will be happy to see the back of Ashley, having been disaffected with him for some time, but invariably there will be concerns about what a new broom will do.

Bookies tend to hedge their bets when it comes to teams being promoted and not many thought Newcastle would get much further than mid-table in the first season back up. Based on their current form, you may be better off betting on Newcastle getting relegated on a sports betting site and without a successful takeover this side of the January transfer window this will surely be playing on the minds of everyone involved with the club.

Only time will tell if the takeover will be positive for the club but you could be forgiven for being excited and optimistic for the future given the rather dismal past 10 or so years.

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