Despite the recent Newcastle United takeover, there are already signs that there may not be an immediate upheaval.
Firstly, it took four years for Mike Ashley to sell the club, having putting it up in 2017, while more recently, Unai Emery has already rejected the managerial role
Why Newcastle United Takeover Happened at the Wrong Time
A Poisoned Chalice
October 2021 finally saw Mike Ashley leave Newcastle United and Amanda Staveley come sweeping in with the Saudi Arabia backed consortium Public Investment Fund to take the sleeping giant into a new dawn. Fans gathered in their thousands outside St. James’ Park delighted at the departure of Ashley as they became fans of the richest club in world football. Nothing could take away that feeling of elation and the good times were about to roll once more. Or were they?
Once the initial joy had subsided, the first thing that was expected was that Steve Bruce would be replaced quickly and a new manager would be appointed. The new owners however decided against that and allowed Bruce to take charge of his 1000th game in management against Tottenham Hotspur. It was a perhaps commendable sentiment but Spurs won 3-2 and Bruce did lose his job on October 21. It was an early sign that the new owners may be powerful, have money to burn and be clever business operators but they also lack the football expertise when it comes to the most important aspect of running a football club.
Newcastle United Takeover: Managerial Search Continues
Bruce’s assistant Graeme Jones was placed in temporary charge of the side and oversaw a gritty if not attractive draw away to Crystal Palace before being on charge for a 3-0 home defeat to Chelsea where the enormity of the task must have hit the new owners right between the eyes.
The players that Newcastle have are simply not good enough to pick up results right now and a rebuild is needed with a new manager but two questions have not been answered by the new owners. Who will want to take over a team second from the bottom of the Premier League and which top-quality players will want to play for a side in that position?
Unai Emery Rejects Newcastle Advances
On Tuesday, November 2, reports that Newcastle were in talks with former Arsenal manager and current Villareal boss, Unai Emery. But the very next day, Emery was clear that he was staying in Spain. This was a bitter blow to the Newcastle owners because it had leaked to the news and also the speed in which the rejection came was rapid. Emery manages a Champions League team and the prospect of working for the richest team in the world just didn’t appeal to him.
Eddie Howe is one name that is now seen as being a candidate for the job but whoever is mentioned is going to have to consider some serious facts about the situation they face. They will be taking over a team in the mire of a relegation battle with games to come against an in-form Brighton & Hove Albion, at home to Brentford, away to Arsenal before huge relegation battles against Norwich City and Burnley. Those final two games are at home and will be vital to any chance of survival they have.
Players and Managers – Why Newcastle Look an Unfavourable Option
The main problem that the new owners have at Newcastle is that they are pitching the club as being the richest in the world but the reality is that that doesn’t mean anything in the current situation they are in. When Manchester City and Chelsea were taken over and suddenly had riches at their disposal they were both a much more attractive proposition than the North East club are now, and are likely to be for some time.
Any manager coming in will know that if they keep the club up they may well get fired and replaced with a bigger name who may be more willing to arrive knowing they can have a fresh start with a summer of potentially big-spending behind them. That in itself will raise a question for prospective managers that will be whether now is the right time to join the revolution.
The same issue will be in players minds as well. Yes, they could go to Newcastle in January and be paid a lot of money but they may also be playing in the Championship within a few months as well. Is that what the very best players really want to do?
Why Newcastle United Takeover May Only Paper Over Cracks
Ultimately, Newcastle United are the richest club in the world but they are also still the same crisis riddled club they have been for many years. The new owners had a chance to make decisive decisions quickly but have instead dithered and allowed the managers’ position to remain vacant.
Had the takeover happened with Newcastle free from relegation fears and mid-table, at least then there would surely have been players and managers ready to jump straight in and get the future started but as it is the owners have come in lacking a plan, lacking foresight and lacking football acumen and that could well be the biggest mistake they make in the immediate future.
Being the richest club in the world sounds great in essence but being the richest club in the world while playing in the Championship sounds worrying and almost inevitable. There will be more pain before there will be any sign of gain on the pitch and the new owners might just find they don’t have long to keep the highly demanding fans on their side.