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Archive for category: Thoughts and reflections.

Are the Bellagraph Nova Group all that they seem?

August 19th, 2020 | 32 Comments |

Bellagraph Nova Group
The Bellagraph Nova Group in Paris.
As Phaedrus once wrote: “Things are not always what they seem; the first appearance deceives many; the intelligence of a few perceives what has been carefully hidden.”

I have thought of Phaedrus’s wisdom more than once when investigating prospective new owners of Newcastle United. Who can forget Rick Parker’s infamous Mackem ‘fakeover‘ where a Sunderland supporting scallywag posed as ‘Richard Parkinson,’ a £250 million textile baron and offshore investor from Ponteland who declared an interest in buying the club for £90 million, promising to turn Newcastle United into a fan’s trust and reinstalling Alan Shearer as manager with a large transfer kitty. Then there was Barry Moat, the mysterious ‘Capital Group’ and several others… (more…)


Is Joelinton Right About Toon Fans’ Bruce abuse?

June 25th, 2020 | No Comments |

Steve Bruce.
Steve Bruce: Not a lot of respect from fans.
In a recent interview with Natalie Gedra for Brazilian ESPN, Newcastle United forward, Joelinton, spoke about several aspects of his time on Tyneside. One of those was his observations about the fans’ treatment of Steve Bruce since he became the Magpies’ manager in July 2019. On this he said:

“When he [Bruce] arrived, he came under a lot of pressure, part of the crowd didn’t want him because of his old work. A nice guy, a hard worker, but who demands, and is a friend, always with word of encouragement. The fans acted badly with him as soon as he arrived. He’s doing his best. For me, he’s a great coach.”

To say that Bruce’s welcome after the departure of Benitez was ‘muted’ would be an understatement, it was verging on hostile. Even now, after a 3-0 victory against a team (Sheffield United) who were 5th in the Premier League, and the second best behind Liverpool in terms of goals conceeded going into the game, a fan on this site reacted to the Magpies’ performance as follows: (more…)


Would a Saudi led Newcastle United be allowed to compete in Europe?

June 14th, 2020 | 8 Comments |

UEFA
Would UEFA close the door on Newcastle?
When a football club takeover involves a cast of characters including the World Trade Organization, the United States Trade Representative, Amnesty International, Saudi Arabian Pirates, Neil Kinnock, a Middle East proxy war, the fiance of a brutally murdered journalist, a former World Chess Champion, FIFA, UEFA, AFC, The Premier League, La Liga, Serie A, the Bundesliga, Ligue 1 and many others it could only be for one club, Newcastle United.

At this time, the Saudi led consortium’s bid to take over the Magpies hangs on the (much delayed) decision by the Premier League as to whether the prospective buyers are ‘fit and proper’ people to take over a Premier League club. Many column inches and web pages (mostly drivel) have been wasted on it. However, there is another aspect of the deal which doesn’t seem to have been thought of at all. What I mean is that overcoming the Premier League hurdle will not necessarily be the end of the story if the new regime have ambitions for the Magpies to compete in UEFA competitions such as the Europa League and the Champions League. (more…)


Magpies eye chance to take flight with new owner

May 3rd, 2020 | 53 Comments |

St James' Park.
St James’ Park – One of Britain’s finest sporting arenas.
Newcastle United are inching closer to having a new paymaster as the era of Mike Ashley finally seems set to end on Tyneside. There won’t be much wailing amongst the Magpies support and a teary-eyed farewell seems hugely unlikely. Ashley has long since forfeited the goodwill of Newcastle’s success-starved support.

The departure of Rafa Benitez last summer to be replaced by Steve Bruce was perhaps the final straw. Despite his local links, Bruce wasn’t a popular choice. His links to nearby rivals Sunderland did little for his popularity but more poignantly, Bruce is a typical ‘journeyman’ manager at this stage in his career. (more…)


Exciting times ahead as Ashley heads for Newcastle exit.

April 20th, 2020 | 5 Comments |

St James Park.
A new dawn at St James’ Park?
The news that Mike Ashley’s time as Newcastle United owner is coming to an end has unsurprisingly gone down extremely well with the fans.

A Saudi Arabian-funded consortium is set to complete a £300 million takeover and will pump in significant resources to try and establish the Magpies as a force in the Premier League.

We take a closer look at four key areas Newcastle’s new owners must address if they are to deliver success to the North East’s biggest club.

Time to say goodbye to Bruce.

Steve Bruce has done a reasonable job as manager in difficult circumstances, but he is not the man to take the club forward. (more…)