Following reports earlier this month that Newcastle United was to be purchased by a consortium led by Amanda Staveley, and backed by the Reuben Brothers and Saudi PIF, fans greeted it with skepticism. “Just another PR stunt by Mike Ashley”, said some, and “it’s that time of the year again,” said others.
This time, it’s actually real.
It hasn’t gone as smoothly as some fans, myself included, would have hoped. The takeover is being greeted with increasing distaste from those in the media (again, myself included), and the fans have begun a pushback against that. And while my views on the matter have been published, what hasn’t been discussed is that throughout this whole pandemic, we have some sporting news to actually discuss.
Sure the NFL Draft just finished up — and if you want to talk to me about why the Eagles took a quarterback in the second round, I’d be happy to talk to you — and there is some talk of MLB making moves to Arizona, but unlike most sites throughout SB Nation, Coming Home Newcastle actually has a story. And for that, we’re eternally grateful.
And we’re not the only ones paying close attention. The entire world is watching Newcastle United closely. The takeover not only has political implications involving foreign state actors having a hand in the Premier League, but it has implications for the sport itself in terms of standings, player signings, and even financial fair play rules.
Newcastle United has hijacked the news cycle. I’m not entirely confident that if the world were operating as usual, we would be experiencing the same amount of publicity. Sure, I think the Amnesty International situation would have garnered some attention from foreign media, but in general, I do not believe that there would have been as much interest as there is now.
In a world that is struggling with a pandemic, people losing jobs, and a looming financial crisis, anything involving sports is a fantastic getaway from what is affecting us all very deeply. Newcastle United’s takeover, as contentious as it may be both politically and sporting-wise, is the closest we’ve been to a typical news cycle.
I also have to say, from a fan standpoint, it is awesome to see that the takeover is being discussed worldwide. Newcastle United is mentioned very rarely in U.S. media, and seeing the club being discussed on CNN and their website made me smile. Hopefully once this pandemic is over, and the takeover has been completed, we’ll be hearing about Newcastle United in U.S. media for different reasons.
Like winning the Premier League, maybe?