Jun 12, 2017

Why the timing couldn’t be worse for a takeover at Newcastle United

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On Monday evening, Sky Sports broke the news that Newcastle United are attracting interest from potential buyers and a takeover of the club is possible. The potential of the club is huge after promotion as they have a great stadium, huge fan-base and one of the best managers in the world. Everything is in place to mould the Magpies into a team capable of challenging in the top six, if managed in the right way. There are few better options for investors looking to get into football, but it won’t be easy to attain, as Mike Ashley will be a stubborn seller.

The report states that there has been significant international interest in recent weeks, including one party from China. The Guardian reported a few weeks ago that a takeover was possible and mentioned the state of Qatar as another interested party. It is thought that Ashley is considering all options open to him, but the club can’t afford for this to drag on as serious recruitment is needed to get the squad ready for the Premier League.

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Would a takeover be good for Newcastle?

It is impossible to answer this question without knowing more about the interested parties and their ambition for the club. However, it can be said that this isn’t the best timing for a takeover and in that sense, it may be better if Newcastle remained under the ownership of Ashley. As a promoted team, the Magpies need to have a strong summer of recruitment and this would majorly hinder them in that. If Ashley is unsure of his own future, he won’t want to release funds and that will hold Rafa Benitez back as he plans for the new season.

Another viewpoint would be that sometimes it is ‘better the devil you know’ and that rings true with the rumoured takeover of Newcastle. The club is in good shape and everyone is pulling in the right direction. Ashley isn’t perfect, but the last 12 months have gone well for the Magpies and new owners could destabilise everything.

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There will be support for a takeover as it would finally end the sorry chapter of the Mike Ashley era. The Sports Direct owner has had a mixed relationship with supporters due to the decisions he has made, such as renaming the stadium. In addition to that, there have been two relegations and his lack of ambition has held the club back when they have looked like they could become a real force. There are positives and negatives to a potential takeover, but the overriding feeling is that this is bad timing.

What comes next?

New information will be released about the takeover and the parties that are interested in buying the Magpies. For Sky Sports to report the story, it suggests that this is further along than just interest in the club, but takeovers are complex and it will be difficult for this to be pushed through.

For that reason, it is crucial that Newcastle don’t allow this to distract them from the summer recruitment. The squad isn’t good enough for the Premier League in its current state. Under Benitez, they would battle to stay up without any investment and that isn’t the ambition of the club. The Spaniard will want more than that, which is why players need to be brought in. The timing couldn’t be any worse and that is why it may be better for the club if Mike Ashley remains in charge at St James’ Park.

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Featured image: All rights reserved by David Nelson

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Jake Jackman

Jake is a student based in the South East. He is a Newcastle fan and has a keen interest in Dutch football. Jake can be found on Twitter here - @jakejackmann.

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