Newcastle United takeover: Club can thrive under new owners but as things stand relegation beckons
Newcastle United supporters have been hearing the same news for 10 years - "Mike Ashley wants to sell the club,” writes Graeme Bell.
The sad truth for Newcastle fans is that there is no way of knowing when he wants to sell.
It has been Groundhog Day for Newcastle supporters for 10 years now.
The seemingly disconnected relationship between the Sports Direct tycoon and Newcastle supporters is astonishing.
Newcastle United will always be an attractive acquisition for any potential new owner.
The club really is a sleeping giant, that with the right investment Newcastle United can thrive.
Throughout the misery of Ashley's ownership, over 52,000 supporters packed into St. James' Park every home game. Perhaps that is part of the reason Ashley refuses to sell, blind loyalty from supporters resulting in easy money.
A potential new owner could restore pride and belief in Newcastle supporters, who have become fed up with the overall running of the club. A new owner has the opportunity to make supporters fall back in love with the club.
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It seemed Ashley went into this with good intentions, however, he was horribly advised along the way. Abuse followed and the owner who began his time sitting with the supporters, became public enemy number one.
The Newcastle owner never tried to fix the relationship between himself and the supporters.
In fact, the relationship between Ashley and supporters is like being in an unhappy marriage. They sleep in separate rooms and stay together for the kids. The departures of Rafael Benitez and Ayoze Perez may just start the divorce proceedings.
The way the supporters have been treated during Ashley's ownership has knocked the stuffing out of them. The passionate roar is still there, however not nearly as loud.
While supporters of other clubs are excited, Newcastle supporters are experiencing a feeling of fear ahead of the new season. A fear and sad acceptance that as things stand, the relegation trap door has Newcastle's name on it.
Once a shining jewel in English football, it's now a diamond in the rough. Polish it and it may just shine once more.
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