Unrealistic ambitions? Newcastle United fans make clear their wishes to any new owner as Mike Ashley takeover saga drags on
Newcastle United fans want any new owners to prioritise a return to the Premier League top 10 and an improvement of the playing squad over any more lofty, outlandish ambitions.
Fans on Tyneside are often criticised for their ‘blue sky thinking’ by pundits criticising any form of ambition at St James’ Park.
But the latest results of The Big Shields Gazette NUFC Survey tell a very different story, with the fan message to any potential new owners very clear – ensure a return to respectability.
On Monday we published the results of our first polls into the future of Steve Bruce and impact of Graeme Jones, while yesterday’s story outlined how confident supporters are in the takeover saga, which continues to rumble on.
Now we turn to ambition with the question “Are you satisfied with Newcastle United remaining a Premier League club every season?"
And the results, as you would expect, are crystal clear.
Only 3.8% of fans polled came back with the answer “Yes, it is all that matters”, the rest – 96.2% – voted “No, a club like ours should aspire to more”.
Should United’s Saudi deal ever get the green light, or another deal progress and pass, what would be the priority?
The options given were “Improve the playing squad”, ”Revamp the training ground”, ”Better the stadium” or “Improve the academy setup and infrastructure”.
A massive 72.2% of people voted in favour of improving the playing squad, a further 18% decided improving the academy should be at the top of any new owners’ ‘in tray’ while 9.3% favoured revamping the club’s Benton training facilities as the main priority. The remaining 0.5% wanted a stadium upgrade.
And finally, we asked the question: “What should be the medium-term ambitions of any new owners at Newcastle United?”
The options on the table were, as follows, “Retain the club's Premier League place”, “Top 10 finish”, “Return to European competition”, “Top four finish” and “Win a trophy”.
In total, 56.6% of fans wanted to make sure any new owner walks before he/she can run and should aim for a top 10 Premier League finish. Unrealistic ambitions, eh?
Next best was a return to Europe (18.6%), followed by stay up (13.4%), win a trophy (9.3%) and a top four slot (1.9%).