It is often said that one must be careful what they wish for, this often only applies in instances where things can’t get any worse. In the case of Newcastle United, whilst matters on the pitch are going swimmingly at current, off the field it is a different story, as fans have had had to witness to a decade of mismanagement by owner Mike Ashley which has included two Premier League relegations. Indeed, news of Mike Ashley’s intention to sell the club by Christmas have dramatically lifted the mood around the city.
What does a Mike Ashley exit mean for Newcastle? The obvious answer is investment in the team, which undoubtedly leads to improved performances and a higher finish come the end of the season. For most informed fans of any club it is blindingly obvious that even if owners are in it purely for a financial return, substantial investment during the transfer windows is a sure way of achieving that. Clubs depend on quality footballers.
That is where the breakdown in relationship occurs between fans and owners. There hasn’t been a more pertinent example than Mike Ashley’s tenure at Newcastle. Ashley’s refusal to spend and satisfaction when finishing mid-table has often caused untold frustration and anger on the terraces of St James’ Park.
Hope does spring eternal as Ashley begins to make his way towards the exit signs. Rafa Benitez’s charges will now be focused and determined to get to January with a chance of a European spot still achievable, with Europa League qualification the far more likely of the two at this stage. If Ashley does indeed get his way and a deal before Christmas is finalised, it becomes probable that the new owners decide to beef up the wafer thin squad they have inherited during in the January transfer window.
Their positive start to the season has done Newcastle’s chances of success this season no harm, although what constitutes success for the North East giants is unknown. Many punters have taken advantage of still-high odds of a finish within the top six places of the league, and those who backed Benitez’s side for the drop will be bitterly disappointed. Indeed, many had even talked up the chances of Benitez being the first manager to leave his post this season, a bet that went the way of those who backed ex-Palace boss Frank De Boer.
What the club’s imminent sale does to their chances of success in the 2017/18 season is up for debate, although in recent days the number of updated UK free bets offers being spent on the Toon Army will have no doubt increased. St James Park will be filled with optimism again as the Geordies now eventually see the light at the end of the tunnel they have been desperately looking for. A few marquee signings after Christmas will make sure Newcastle shoot up the table.
Rafa Benitez will be monitoring the takeover very closely and is likely to have found a second wind since hearing the news. The Spaniard is one of the very best managers around and with the backing will guide Newcastle to domestic success. Along with the passion and dedication of the fans, Benitez is a manager who’s talent deserves considerable financial backing, and the St James Park faithful realise they will likely lose the Champions League winning boss should this not materialise.
Having the financial clout to keep up with the leading pack in the Premier League is undoubtedly a prerequisite for success. Even the deepest of pockets won’t find the silverware they are after unless they bring in an ethos of success. Too often Ashley was happy with mediocrity which brought about a toxic environment constituting of complete animosity towards his regime.