Supporting Newcastle never has a dull moment. Since the end of this season, we’ve woke up every morning seeing we are linked with another player. However, on Monday we learned that Newcastle are linked with a few financial “players” from China. It was reported by the Guardian that Managing Director Lee Charnley was in China for talks about commercial opportunities. Those talks likely led to our newest sponsor Fun 88. It seems Lee had other topics to speak about while on his trip.
According to Sky Sports, Newcastle United have gained the interest of a Chinese consortium for a possible takeover. This news is somewhat surprising as current owner Mike Ashley has been very vocal about not wanting to sell unless Newcastle “win something”.
The news brought both praise and criticism. “Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t”. We have seen a similar situation happen at other English clubs. Foreign ownership has taken over and that has led to negative fortunes. You can look at Aston Villa for example. Villa was purchased in 2016, with ambitions to go straight up to the Premier league and back to European nights. That didn’t happen. Instead they struggled to a 13th place finish in the championship and have a rumored insignificant £1M transfer budget for next season. It’s a risk for sure, and I know Newcastle fans understand that the grass isn’t always greener. I think most will agree, no one wants Rafa to walk. A new owner group could scare him away which could be the worst possible thing to happen.
On the contrary, foreign ownership has also been extremely beneficial, hence Chelsea, Man City and even Man United. This purchase could be the last break needed to bring Newcastle back to where we belong. Large budgets could bring glorious nights to St. James’ Park. According to some reports, Rafa was made aware a month ago about potential interest in a new ownership and Rafa still stayed. We are in the middle of a project. A project that has an unlimited ceiling. One of the requirements to reach such heights is money. Whether its selling the club, or just a purchase of shares, either could provide the necessary means to grow. Newcastle deserves that.
Also worth noting is Mike Ashley. We are coming up on 10 years under his ownership. It has not been a success by any means. Yes, I know we finished 5th, but we’ve also been relegated twice. Those relegations stain any success he’s had as owner. He is in it for the profit, not for Newcastle. If we have an owner that will give a pipeline of cash flow for our manager to use at will, who could stop us?
One thing that isn’t clear, is who is involved in the Consortium. Are they trying to get outright ownership? Just interested to buy shares? It’s no secret that Ashley loves to make a profit, and either would give him an opportunity to do so. A complete takeover would mean a hefty fee, but what’s not to love? Potential buyers see a club that has one of the highest attendances in Europe, a loyal fan base, Rafa Benitez, and was just named the fastest growing brand in the sport. This could be the best time to sell for Ashley. I leave you with a quote from our own Nicky Topping;
“In terms of Chinese Involvement, I’m all for it. I’ve been hurt too many times over the past 10/12 years that I would be willing to take a risk. As much as last season was great, the problems are only being repaired now. We have Rafa Benítez to thank for that, nobody else… Newcastle United + Mega Money + Ambition + Rafa Benítez = Exactly what we have deserved for many, many years. Amen”