It feels like years since the news broke that Mike Ashley has accepted a bid from a consortium made up of Amanda Staveley, the Reuben Brothers and PIF from Saudi Arabia.
There was undoubted excitement on Tyneside, and among Newcastle fans around the world, that an end to Ashley’s tenure could finally be at an end, and a brighter future was close for the club. An estimated timescale of 2-4 weeks for completion of the Premier League’s ‘Owners and Directors Test’ (ODT) was mooted, but we are well beyond that now….and then some.
The excitement seems to have dropped massively now, and the takeover now feels like a chore, something we just wish was over with an answer either way! And for a change you can’t blame Mike Ashley!
The ODT is surrounded in Non-Disclosures, and as Premier League chief Richard Masters keeps reminding anyone that will listen, it is a confidential process.
The longer this takeover drags on, the longer it puts the club at a higher risk of moving backward, instead of forward! Mike Ashley has essentially sold the club, and his eyes wants nothing more to do with it. But with the restarted season getting closer to its final games, and the new season drawing ever nearer Newcastle need to know which direction if any it is going in!
Simple things like a shirt sponsor, has at the time of writing not been sorted for next season, with Fun88’s deal now expired! The current regime cannot agree a deal with someone just in case the Owner’s in waiting have something else lined up!
Steve Bruce needs to know if he will even have a job come the start of the 2020/21 season. If he is to continue in charge he needs to know who he answers too, and how much he will have to improve upon the squad for next season.
The players are in a similar position, while some may be favoured by Bruce, if a new manager was to come in, they might not even be in the thinking going into next season. They need to know who they will be working for, if they were to leave, their agents need enough time to sort a move away from the club….the whole thing is a mess.
Like I say, for the first time in 13 years we cannot blame Mike Ashley! For once he has done the right thing. He has accepted a bid to sell the club he has had on the market pretty much since he took over. This delay is down to the Premier League.
While I accept that this was never going to be an easy process, but as we are coming towards the end of the three month mark, answers are needed!
You get the sense that the Premier League are trying to have their cake and eat it! Not only does it seem that they are conducting an ODT, which in these times of lockdown was never going to be easy, but it seems they are using it to try and settle the Piracy dispute in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
This is not the time for the Premier League to play peacemaker, and need to do the best for one of their member clubs. The longer they take to sort the test’s, the longer a Premier League side sits in adrift at sea, with no visible direction to go! The captain has jumped ship, and the first mate (Lee Charnley) has lost the rudder, and is walking blind!
Speaking to various MP’s this morning, Masters kept to his fallback of “I can’t answer that..”, which is as tiresome as the clubs normal “no comment”.
We have seen various words used throughout this takeover that have lost all meaning...imminent, close and shortly! These at the moment are not good enough. It shows how far Newcastle fans have been pushed, when a petition was started to get the Premier League to make a decision.
The longer it goes on, the worse it is for the fans and the club, not for the Premier League!
I’m sure Mike Ashley and his people are getting sick of it now, likewise with the Consortium hoping to buy the club, we as fans certainly are!
It is over to you Mr Masters. There needs to be news of some description to let everyone know what is going on. Until then you are aiding the failing of one of your member clubs!
NOW is time for some movement…not SOON!