'So much happiness' - Alan Shearer delivers personal reaction to 'special' Newcastle United takeover
Newcastle United legend Alan Shearer has delivered his verdict on Thursday’s momentous takeover at St. James’ Park.
After an 18 month saga and a protracted legal battle, the Saudi-funded PCP consortium were finally able to seal a deal that brings to an end nearly a decade-and-a-half of Mike Ashley’s ownership on Tyneside.
And after the buyout was confirmed, Shearer reflected on the hardship that the Magpies have faced during the Sports Direct magnate’s tenure.
Speaking to Radio 5 Live, he said: "All we've done is tick along and survive for 14 years.
"We've had no real ambition, we've survived, cup competitions have been non-existent and this city and this football club and our fans deserve better.
"The fans are loyal, they love their football club and their life is Newcastle United. It all depends on whether Newcastle win on a Saturday. They work hard all week to spend their money on the club, so I understand why there is so much happiness in the city today and I feel exactly the same.
"Our fans also need to know that they matter, because they haven't for 14 years, so today is special for them."
The Toon legend went on to discuss what a change in ownership will mean for the Geordie faithful.
He added: "The dream is that we want a little bit of hope. Fans want their football club to try and be the best and I really understand their excitement for that reason.
"The Newcastle fans have not mattered for 14 years. Their money hasn't been invested and they've not been consulted. To have a football club that has such passionate support but not have that level of consultation is not good.
"We now have owners that will invest and I think that's really important for the fans to see that.
"It will need patience and that's fine. We don't expect to be winning the league in the next few years or winning the Champions League, we just expect a little bit of something to look forward to.
"The fans deserve that, they are such loyal and passionate supporters and they've been on the brink for so long. We were lucky enough to do so much at one time and it was a happy and thriving place, but there's been none of that for the last 14 years."
The takeover has not been without its controversies, however, and Shearer was also quick to acknowledge that it would be wrong to ignore the human rights issues with which Newcastle’s new Saudi owners have been linked.
"I understand that questions have to be asked about the human rights issues, it's really important that we don't brush them under the carpet," he added.
"We have to educate ourselves on that and this will highlight that even more... but already they are massively invested in this country and other sports.
"It is a huge issue but it's not Newcastle United fans' fault - they don't get a say in their football club and how it's run."