I’m sorry Newcastle United fans, but this article might well be a difficult one for you to read, as I celebrate the fact that the takeover bid has failed. It’s not the fact that I like Mike Ashley, personally I don’t like him a bit and feel like he is ruining a once great club and an absolute giant of English football.
However, the takeover bid from PIF, PCP Capital Partners and Reuben Brothers threatened to rip out the heart of the club and transform it into the plastic marketing product that Manchester City have become. As much as I was angry about Manchester City winning their case with CAS, that is how happy I am that this takeover bid has failed. Of course, Mike Ashley is a terrible owner and has the run club horribly, pinching pennies wherever possible and failing to back a manager with significant funding, losing a Champions League-winning manager in Rafael Benitez.
However, there is reason to keep your heads up, Newcastle United fans, as American businessman Henry Mauriss is looking to put his hat into the ring with £300million bid.
Why Premier League Were Right To Take Their Time
The consortium looking to buy Newcastle United pulled out after the Premier League decided to take it’s time to review the bid in it’s entirety. Up until Wednesday of this week, it was still unclear who was actually going to run the club, with Amanda Stavely acting as the face of the consortium, yet Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman the chairman of the Public Investment Fund (PIF), who were looking to take an 80% stake in the club.
This shows clearly the shady nature of football club ownership. When you cannot prove beyond reasonable doubt who will actually be running the club itself, what else could the group have been hiding.
The aforementioned PIF is the sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia, with it’s leader as chairman. This means that it is a foreign state actor who could have been in charge of running Newcastle United Football Club. As well as this, it is a foreign state actor who has been notorious for “sportswashing” his countries human rights abuses. It is obvious, then, that Newcastle United would have basically become a vehicle for the Saudi Arabian state to show us that they are supposedly “the good guys”.
Why Mike Ashley Still Needs To Leave Newcastle United
Despite portraying the takeover bid in a negative light, that doesn’t mean at all that I am a fan of Mike Ashley, who has been running the Premier League club since 2007. He is a despot in charge and continually promises money for players that never seems to surface. When he took over the club, they were flying high, the stars of the Goal film franchise and semi-regularly qualifying for European football.
Since then, they have been relegated twice, once with club legend Alan Shearer as manager, ruining his chance of a career in management and what was supposed to be a match made in heaven. They could have progressed back to that point under the tenure of Rafael Benitez, who was a surprise appointment in the first place, before he resigned after not being backed by Ashley. This shows the lengths that Mike Ashley has gone to, to try and run a profit out of the club, instead of running it for the good of the fans.
As a neutral, I am a big fan of Newcastle United, one of the biggest clubs in the Premier League with one of the best group of supporters there is. They basically invented the fat, shirtless fan covered in body paint, while they pretty much always fill out their away ticket quota when they travel. I, for one, and to paraphrase Donald Trump, would love Newcastle United to be great again.
Why Henry Mauriss Could Be Good For Newcastle United
So, one chance to get Mike Ashley out of Newcastle United may have been missed, but there is another one on the horizon. This time, it is in the form of Henry Mauriss, an American businessman who is CEO of ClearTV in California.
This man would be a much better choice for the club for several reasons. Firstly, he is not a state actor, so therefore will not be acting in the interests of another country. Secondly, he is reportedly a sports fan, apparently a Spurs supporter, so he will know about the English game, whilst understanding what a fan expects of their team. That means that he would probably invest part of his sufficient fortune (reported to be around £5billion) in the club in the hopes he can return them to their former glories.
Finally, he has apparently made links with many of the larger networks in the USA, including NBC and CBS, meaning he could be a good contact to get Newcastle games a wider audience in the USA. The country is a new bastion of growing “soccer” supporters, and should Newcastle be able to get their Premier League message out there, they could become the leviathan they have always threatened to be.