The NINE-point plan for Newcastle United's new owners – IF the Saudi-financed takeover gets the Premier League green light

The end of Mike Ashley's 13-year (unwelcome) stay at St James's Park appears to be edging towards a typically awkward end - but what next for Newcastle United?

Should the Saudi-funded, PCP Capital Partners and Reuben Brothers-fronted deal get the green light from the Premier League, then funds transferred without issue, Magpies fans will have new owners to welcome (well, post-coronavirus) and the departure of English football's age of austerity poster-boy to celebrate.

It won't take too much to convince Newcastle fans that brighter days may lie ahead - they've become so accustomed to the constant emotion drain, the hope vacuum their proud club has become, literally anyone would get the red carpet treatment from fans at SJP, never mind potentially the richest owners in the history of world football.

But what would any new owners need to do to really put the icing on the cake for United fans from the outset - here's Liam Kennedy's nine-point plan for fixing the ills of more than a decade as an arm of the Sports Direct bargain basement empire.

President and CEO of Saudi Aramco Amin Nasser (L) and Aramco's chairman Yasir al-Rumayyan answer questions during a press conference in the eastern Saudi Arabian region of Dhahran on November 3, 2019. - Saudi Aramco confirmed it planned to list on the Riyadh stock exchange, describing it as a "significant milestone" in the history of the energy giant. (Photo by - / AFP) (Photo by -/AFP via Getty Images)

Respect your elders - give them the return they deserve

Kevin Keegan, Alan Shearer, Chris Hughton, Jonas Gutierrez, the list is endless.

Disrespect is something that has flowed round the veins of Newcastle United for years. The balance needs redressed.

Now I'm not saying Shearer or Keegan would want or need a job but something honorary or ambassadorial would definitely work for all parties. This is an easy PR win.

Bin the paddling pools - if they're really still a thing

Newcastle's training ground, by Premier League standards, is a joke. Massive upgrade needed in this department.

Short-term upgrades at Benton would work but long-term you wonder whether the footprint of the site would be big enough for an all-singing, all-dancing training complex.

A spring clean and home spruce is 13 years overdue

St James's Park has been neglected. It may be seen as the cathedral on the hill by many, but it's fair to say, said dwelling is missing a slate or two off the roof, has leaks and needs the cleaners in to dust (even replace) the pughs.

Beyond potential extension, the whole place needs a lick of paint, bathrooms refit and facilities upgrade. In some parts of the ground the artwork and signs have not been changed for 25 years.

Employ football people in football positions - not old pals

Mike Ashley made a massive mistake within months of walking through the door. Initially he bought into the idea of the football club, you could even say he was enjoying it.

But that soon turned sour when a string of very, very bad decisions made by people who didn't know one's backside from one's arm joint turned crowd against owner. That's when the fun stopped for Ashley, and he chose to rain pain down on the United faithful.

Open up lines of communication - reunite a fanbase with THEIR club

No statements, no interviews, nothing. It wouldn't take much for the club to beef up its media department and start taking football club, supporter relations seriously.

Access and opportunities to speak to the top end players at SJP should not be limited to very rare or nowt, what's to hide? Speak out, there is a captive audience just waiting to be taken on a journey.

Charities and good causes should also be backed, while relationships with governing bodies in the area, and businesses, should be strengthened.

The people are this club, and the club is the people.

Make a decision on Steve Bruce - he's not YOUR man, but will you keep him?

Geordie Bruce has run a fairly steady ship this season - the least he deserves, new owner or not, is to start the job he finished.

And it sounds like that might well happen.

But it's a well-worn path - new owners like to make their mark by employing their own man as manager.

Kids are the future - tie them down and give younger generations the tools to thrive

I don't just mean Matty Longstaff here - although his deal needs sorted by old or new regime asap.

Players like him should be coming through at Newcastle every season, but it hasn't always been that way.

United's academy needs an overhaul, with coaches added, facilities upgraded and a real push to bring through the next gen, year, after year, after year. Money must be spent in this department.

Tear down those signs - they're an eyesore

Maybe the potential new owners should open up the gates, with social distancing adhered to, to allow fans to rip each and every one of those awful Sports Direct signs down, one-by-one.

In all seriousness, we all have to hope that this deal, should it go through, does not have any kind of Sports Direct sponsorship caveat.

Sponsor and kit overhaul - United deserve better

Let's be brutally honest about this, Puma kits are awful and so too are United's sponsors.

The money that could be made in this department, if done right, could be astronomic.

When I was growing up every kid had the Adidas home kit, away one, tracksuit, both keeper kits, the lot. It was something to be a part of, an identity, it felt ours.

That can happen again. Hopefully with nicer kits, without the iron on badges (stitches are so much better).

Local, national and international businesses would surely want to be part of a club on the up, without the toxicity of the Ashley/SD bandwagon.

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