The Newcastle United Takeover… let’s talk about it

It’s taken me a week or so to just process the fact that my club, Newcastle United, has finally been taken over! Today I’m going to talk through 5 reasons why this takeover is the biggest thing to happen to the club. I feel like Newcastle United is a club that most football fans hold in deep reverence. Sleeping giant is a term used a lot, of course my sentiments are slightly biased having supported them my whole life but I think it’s fair to say that our fanbase is widely regarded as one of the most passionate in English football. I feel our history and the obstacles we’ve overcome over the years make our journey pretty unique. As some of you will know, my earliest memories as a magpie is the Entertainers Era…

An incredibly special time. Of course the contributions of Alan Shearer are remarkable — he’s still the Premier League’s record goalscorer.

In recent years, it’s no secret, we’ve had a laundry list of issues plaguing us. Well, not anymore I guess. Last week the club was acquired by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (also known as the PIF). The fee was £300 million pounds and anyone who’s not living under a rock knows that Saudi Arabia’s pool of wealth is deeper than whatever lies at the bottom of the Bermuda triangle. So, let’s break this down. I’m going to talk through 5 reasons why this takeover is the biggest thing to happen to us Magpies.

A New Contender Rises

Newcastle United is bound to make English football far more interesting. So far, this season has seen its fair share of exciting news, but with the crown Prince of Saudi Arabia having a say in the matters of a club like Newcastle, you can expect some rustling feathers. Speaking of that, recently, Leeds United’s owner Andrea Radrizzani spoke on record calling out for a strong enforcement of the Financial Fair Play rules, meaning that there’s already some level of intimidation being felt by other teams in the league. I think within the fan sphere we can expect even more discussions related to the integrity of competitiveness within the Premier League.

Some of you may be wondering if Newcastle has the potential to win the league or claim a top 3 spot in the near future - I’m sure we’ll be doing our best to work towards these kinda ambitions. With the kind of funding we see in modern day English football, the list of strong teams in the Premier League is ever-increasing. I think right now with Liverpool, Manchester City, Chelsea, Manchester United and others showing strong promise if you add Newcastle to that list too; I reckon the top half of the table will be rotating almost as often as a new Pogba haircut.

Newfound Domestic Success

Right now, if you’re a Geordie in the city of Newcastle, there’s a high chance that you’ll be getting some new visitors once the magpies start showcasing their new identity. It might take a while though. Generally, I’d say you’ll notice that most clubs begin to reap the benefits of their new ownership after two seasons or so. I feel this was the case with Chelsea for example after the club’s acquisition by Roman Abramovich in 2003. Then there’s Manchester City too — we saw how their fortunes changed from 2008 onwards after ownership was transferred to Sheik Mansour. I think a more speedy success story when it comes to new ownership was for PSG. Carlo Ancelotti secured a title in 2012 that was in his first season managing in Paris after PSG changed ownership.

Side note, I reckon we’ll be saying goodbye to Fun88 as Newcastle’s primary sponsor. I think with these Saudi Arabian owners, I expect we’ll see something a little more on-brand from the PIF. I’d love the return of the brown ale sponsor haha but I very much doubt that’ll happen.

Potential academy superstars

If you remember Abramovich’s acquisition of Chelsea in 2003, you’ll notice that some of Chelsea’s academy players were trained with some of the best resources available and in-class coaches such as retired first team player — Ashley Cole. Today, we’ve observed players like Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham and Callum Hudson-Odoi evolve into some of the best players in English football.

Meanwhile, Manchester City has also been busy with its fair share of training for youth academy players. Naturally, I feel like the new-Newcastle will follow the same patterns. Even in a team like PSG, you’ll notice that their academy has been pretty strong with the likes of Kingsley Coman showing strong promise (even though he had some trouble adjusting into their first team lineup).

A new club philosophy on the horizon

Now that Newcastle intends to truly compete for trophies, there’s an incentive to rebrand into a style of football that distinctly resides with the magpies. I mean, if you were a billionaire, you’d want your investments to be as innovative as possible. We can’t expect any different from Newcastle.

Historically, we’ve seen how football teams have seen a change in team philosophy after a transition in ownership. For example with Manchester City — Pep Guardiola’s team philosophy shines through in their playing style. Even in Liverpool, Brendan Rogers was able to ensure the team could successfully transition to get them playing more possession-based. As you may assume, a change in ownership doesn’t just introduce the most flashy and expensive players to a club roster. Instead, you’ll observe dozens of fundamental changes within a club. Personally I’m going to be patient with this though.. given the nature of organisation politics and internal affairs, I expect seeing a change of this scale can be expected within a five year period.

A-List Manager incoming…

As I mentioned, you may recall that just a few weeks into PSG’s Qatari era, Carlo Ancelotti joined the team, eventually securing a title just in his first season.

Similarly, in Newcastle, we’ve all been speculating a change for Newcastle, especially given our current manager. Steve Bruce’s win rate of 37% is less than attractive. Instead, a figure like Antonio Conte could be the missing piece to Newcastle’s managerial puzzle. I feel Conte’s playing style of intense football and tactical superiority would be welcomed. Welcomed is an understatement actually — I’d be absolutely delighted to have someone of Conte’s pedigree on Tyneside. Aside from his wealth of experience and ability to the best out of the players he’s managing, I think with the kinda man management he’d offer, Newcastle’s team confidence would soar with him onboard.

Final Verdict

To conclude, us Magpies have some great stuff coming on the horizon. I can’t help but be excited for what the future holds. I’m sure you’ve heard a lot of the Toon Army say this but it really resonates with me — to see us play with ambition again it honestly the bare minimum I can ask for. I know there are conversations to be had about Human Rights issues and it wouldn’t be right to disregard all that comes with a takeover of this magnitude and complexities but for today’s video — there you go. This video was brought to you by Kitbag (the worldwide leader in official football kits). You can check out all their stuff on the link below


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Eisha Acton

Eisha Acton

I write about English football and Indian Cricket.