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Is relegation Newcastle's best hope?

Relegation may be the thing to spur changes Tyneside. But, while taking the drop can be painful, Newcastle only has to look at their opponents from Saturday to see that relegation is not the end.

It will be a long road back to happy days for Newcastle. Could relegation spur on a change?
It will be a long road back to happy days for Newcastle. Could relegation spur on a change?
Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

There is not point in rehashing all that is wrong with Newcastle United. Even under a new manager, the problems that have plagued the clubs for years are still apparent. So, instead of writing about what we already know, let's focus on how to fix Newcastle United.

I would not envy those who are tasked with doing so. While a change in the owner's box might be the most necessary step towards Newcastle's long-term success in the Premier League, it cannot be counted on. A complete roster re-haul may be needed. The skill level and the dedication are not there. Inconsistent, uninterested play was a staple of Alan Pardew's tenure Tyneside, and it continues through today. Newcastle has flirted with relegation for years and have never fallen through the gap.

Doing so may be the only thing to save them.

Newcastle United have failed to heed the lessons the league has been trying to teach them, and now it is time for the club to face the consequences. In the Premier League, money must be spent on quality players and money must be spent on depth. Newcastle has refused to do so, except for stop-gap measures that have only served to prolong the Magpies' stay in the bottom half of the table.

Assuming that on some level, Newcastle has a desire to end it's "pathological failure to win anything" (as quoted by ESPN FC's history of the club) holding serve in relegation battles is not serving the club well.  Granted, staying in the Premier League may be more important to the club than adding a trophy, but let's assume they want to make waves in the top flight.

Relegation might be the best move for Newcastle. Relegation will give the club a handy excuse to cut away dead weight (such as, the entire back line). It would give an excuse to get rid of Steve McClaren (who, even though he asked to be judged after 12 games, I'm going to go ahead and call a massive disappointment). And it might be the event that prompts Mike Ashley to sell the club to someone with ambition.

Obviously, relegation comes with risks. There is no guarantee that Newcastle would bounce back to top flight. Middlesbrough, Fulham, Reading, and Birmingham City are among those that have languished in the second tier for multiple seasons after relegation. The third tier even sees some former Premier League teams with Wigan, Blackpool and Sheffield United.

However, a stop down in the lower tiers, even a longer stay is not a death knell to clubs. Manchester City lives as an example to that. Let's give you a brief history lesson on Saturday's opponent, and winners of two of the last four Premier League titles.

1992: Manchester City finishes fifth in the first division. That sounds familiar.

1993: The Citizens drop to 9th.

1994: MCFC go to 16th. And then 17th the final year. They have staved off relegation. For now.

1996: The door opens. There is no escape. City falls to 18th and goes to second tier.

1998: Manchester City finishes 22nd and drops to third tier. Disaster!

1999: On a third place finish, it's back up a league.

2000: Manchester City finish second and it's back to top flight!

2001: The Blues get relegated again.

2002: They bounce right back.

2004: Manchester City finishes 16th, but stay in the Premier League.

2008: City breaks into the top half of the league.

2012: Man City wins the Premier League.

Now, obviously, a lot happened in this time, including a new ownership group in 2008 (probably the biggest difference). But still, City has moved down as recently as 2001 and have bounced back to win trophies and become major players in Europe.

This also shows that the road back (or in Newcastle's case "to") glory will be a long one. Newcastle has many things to address. But the embarrassment of relegation need not be the nail in the coffin for the Magpies. If relegation is the event that prompts the changes needed to bring Newcastle to prominence, then this season might as well be the one where the club takes the plunge.