We have plenty on the moral dilemma facing Newcastle fans and one Mailboxer questions why the big boys would want Southgate…
Get your mails in for the afternoon mailbox to firstname.lastname@example.org…
Magnificent seven won’t touch Southgate
So Roy Keane said “He will have opportunities to go to club level. Especially I big jobs come around”.
There is noooooooo way any of the big six , soon to be magnificent seven with Newcastle will hire Southgate as a manager. Has Keane not seen the way England play with ALLL THAT TALENT. He plays wayyyyy to defensively for a magnificent seven to hire him. All top level club want to play attacking football and Southgate does not know what attacking football means.
There is no more “big six” anymore.
There is now “MAGNIFICENT SEVEN”
Trademark pending. I will be rich once my trademark goes through.
JP MUSIC CITY
Money, money, money
I was going to let my comments about the moral maze Newcastle fans will find themselves navigating stand by themselves – but Ashley Metcalfe’s email made me want to clarify some things.
There is explicitly not a correlation between “dodgy guy a long way away” and “nice chap in our neighborhood” or indeed “Bit of a Bastard but he/she either knows how to run a football club or pays top dollar to people who can”. All can be true but they don’t cancel out in some sort of ledger. My issue is with those who ignore any of those statements and just obsess over one of them.
My second observation is that this dilemma is often framed in terms of modernity and “The Premier League”. It’s been going on for a very long time indeed. Yet again, football was played before 1992.
The case of James Gibson is instructive. In the 1930s, when City were much the bigger club in Manchester with the better stadium and were winning trophies while United were a bit of a laughing stock, he sunk a substantial amount of his very large fortune into what was widely regarded as a basket-case.
Where did Gibson get the wealth he lavished on these lovable losers? In the Manchester rag trade, his business had a particular specialism. Military uniforms. His firm could produce at scale and speed like no competitor. Other years were profitable but the period between 1914 and 1918 was when he hit serious, serious paydirt. Those daily orders from the Ministry of War made him one of the richest men in the country. If you doubt this, Google is your friend.
Gibson was, however, not just a custodian of United in the way those miserable individuals who own the club now are not, he was also a great a charitable donor to various extremely worthy Mancunian causes. My moral compass guides me to say that in spite of the source of his wealth that I can picture from all those costume dramas, It is a scandal there isn’t a statue of him outside Old Trafford because if he hadn’t got involved they would have gone the way of Glossop North End. That’s just sentimental old me. Maybe it says something about where I am politically. But I really don’t think it is very much about my (clear and admitted) football partisanship.
The happy ending is that after wasting fortunes, he finally got it right. Shortly before his death, he appointed a famous former City player as his manager. This guy wanted to stop buying as many players and for the club to train more talented teenagers internally and get them playing in the first team as soon as possible even at the short term risk of poor results . A strategy was agreed. His name was Matt Busby.
This isn’t new. And if you support Liverpool and are feeling a bit superior, then let me tell you about that Tory landlord John Houlding who founded your club as an explicit money making exercise for him. And if you support Arsenal, we need to talk about Henry Norris. If you are thinking well that is all fine, but these other guys are white………………….then I hear you catching yourself and maybe you have just realised something City fans noticed at least ten years ago. I could continue. At length.
More Newcastle thoughts
As a long time, long distance (US), glory hunting plastic fan of Newcastle United, the swiftness of this sale is surprising, to say the least. As of October 5, I was fully resigned to another year of Mike Ashley, Steve Bruce, and another relegation. This wasn’t going to be another 1 year sojourn to the Championship, this had all the signs of being a long term exile from the Premier League. Ashley’s lack of interest in financially supporting & maintaining the club are crystal clear. There would have been a clearout of any players of value, & the club would likely have tried to get by with the players they couldn’t unload. Which, truth be told, are already at Championship level at best, as is the manager.
Then came a whirlwind of news & activity, and suddenly Newcastle United are potentially the richest club in the league, poised to spend money on quality players, get a proper manager, and invest in club infrastructure. How cool is that? Newcastle Uniteds infrastructure spend from 2011 to 2020 was the lowest of any Premier League club, 3x less than Norwich (per Keiran Maguire). Apparently using kids swimming pools & rain barrels for the players at the training ground was good enough for Ashley & Co.
The only problem? Morally dubious and/or corrupt Saudi state ownership? Not just Jamal Kashoggi or Yemen, but go back to 9/11, and their fingerprints are all over that as well. Throw in Wahabbism, and that really should set off alarms. Apparently not to the Premier League, and the governments of Britain & the United States. Money talks, BS walks.
What could the fans have done to stop this? Could they have taken a stand to prevent Saudi PIF from buying the club? Is it their responsibility to vet the bidders for the club & league?
Follow the money. Among their holdings, Saudi PIF is invested in Facebook, Disney, BP, Uber, Activision Blizzard & Electronic Arts (video games), & Carnival Corp (British/American cruise line)(Complete & thorough research on Wikipedia. Contact them for corrections to this partial list). Are the people who are eager to tell Newcastle United fans that they should quit supporting or following the club ready to stop their support of these businesses, and quit buying and using their products? Yeah, didn’t think so.
Credit is due to Mike Ashley though. “Money wasn’t my only consideration”? He claims he had a higher bid from a reputable bidder, but thought PIF’s bid would be better for Newcastle. Or did he think this would be his last chance to mess with the fans, by putting the onus on them for supporting a club owned by even more dubious/reprehensible owners? There doesn’t seem to be much mention that he’s the one who took the Saudi PIF money, not the fans.
Not to mention his slick bit of business to help out his syncophatic toady of a manager. By keeping Steve Bruce on a rolling 3 year contract, he ensured that he would be well rewarded when he got the sack from whoever the new owners would be, and he wouldn’t have to pay it himself. Bruce should contact Sam Allardyce to see if there are any villas near him for sale, maybe start a fired Newcastle United managers retirement community.
Before 10/5, my best hope was that we get a Leicester type owner (#14 on the F365 Morally Reprehensible Owners scale), who would invest in the club, and slowly climb to upper mid table respectability. That would have been enough, to have a club that gave hope, & seemed to be trying. Once Rafa was cast aside for Steve Bruce, that was shown to be woefully lacking at Newcastle United. Aspiring to win the 17th place trophy with the least investment isn’t a long term strategy for success.
For Newcastle United fans, well, it won’t be easy, but should they suck it up, quit supporting the club, & find another outlet for their entertainment needs? How much say in the matter did they have? They were an afterthought for all the years of Ashley in charge, and the object of derision from other teams fans. What a difference 2 days makes, from lovable losers to most despised fans! Now it’s their fault for the new owners, & they should give up their devotion to the club (which had been a one way street for the last 14 years). A lot of people think that it’s as black & white as a large “NUFC” tattoo on a shirtless Geordie, but does this mean that fans that have spent years, and generations, supporting Newcastle United, through good times & bad, must now abandon supporting them, or else take all blame for whatever Saudi Arabia does or has done? If only the answers to all of lifes issues were this easy! Before putting all of Saudi Arabia’s faults on Newcastle United fans, perhaps people can first examine their own lives, and see where their money (and their governments) goes to, and cast their stones accordingly.
Money won’t buy trophies, but it will buy the opportunity to compete with the big dogs, who up until now had the food bowls all to themselves. However, if there’s any team that could snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, it would likely be Newcastle United. They shouldn’t budget for a new trophy case yet.
John Prine sang “Ain’t it funny how an old broken bottle, looks just like a diamond ring”. It’s far, far from me which this takeover will be in the near & distant future, & whether it pans out as sportswashing, or just another shrewd investment for a large fund to make them more money. Things have definitely changed, but only time will tell if it’s for the better.
It’s still 2021 NUFC. Tottenham 3, Newcastle United 1.
Mitch, NUFC since 1998, still waiting for the glory.
That’s how it’s done
What a fantastic game of football but even more, what a fantastic example of how VAR can be a benefit to the game when in the right hands.
No, not Chilwells goal, Lydon Dykes for Scotland, whoever was acting as the VAR showed a complete understanding of the game. It’s easy to see why the on field official would give a free kick, but the over-rule was 100% correct, my only disappointment was that the Israeli defender was not booked for simulation! He may have hurt his shoulder, but there was no contact with his face.
I’ve little doubt though that this would not have happened in the Premier League where the “jolly boys” club supports almost every decision made by one of its’ members, but this is precisely why VAR was introduced.
It helped make a good game, a very good one, Scotland’s second half performance was everything you would want, desire, effort, skill and the backing of a raucous crowd and no doubt those supporters went home ecstatic in the knowledge that an Australian had set them on the path to victory which was completed by the only Englishman on the pitch!
Howard (sorry, had to get the last bit in, seriously am happy for them) Jones
Rich man’s game
Lee put in the Sunday Mailbox a point about “Rather than complain that Newcastle have activated the infinite money cheat, give every single club the same cheat. Just allow every single ultra rich person to buy a club. Because if everyone has trillions of oil dollars then nobody has any kind of advantage.”
I actually would love to see this, of course it would never happen but even though i am a Chelsea fan and even though Lee and i quote “In fact the only people who might not will be city, Chelsea and united fans because their biggest advantage will be wiped out over night.” i would not be against it because it means the league would have more competition, of course i love to see the club i support lift the trophies they win, but when you have lifted those trophies due to the strength of the competition being so strong it makes it sweeter, just think about when Inter won the Champions League, that year you had some of the European elite in their primes, from Barcelona and Bayern, then of course when we won the trophy in 2012, that had prime Bayern, Barcelona and Real Madrid, it was no easy task at all.
I might be on my own in this thought, so be it, but i do often wonder if Celtic fans and PSG too were just bored before the likes of Rangers and i guess in France it would be Lille or Monaco stopped their consistent titles wins, did they not get bored that it was almost a formality that each season they would win the title again? Some may counter and say “So would you not want Chelsea to win the Premier League every season?” and my answer is no, it would be boring, i love the competition, going into each game wanting a win but not just expecting a win, i cannot wait to see what happens at Newcastle and hopefully it results in an even more competitive league.
The Admin @ At The Bridge Pod
Newcastle fans are answerable
Ginger Pirlo equates the PIF involvement to their involvement in Starbucks and Uber etc, but it really isn’t, as they are public companies, and have zero control over who purchases their stock, and the PIF don’t have a controlling stake to do as they will.
That’s very different to Newcastle – Toon fans can’t buy shares in the club and gain votes at an AGM, what the PIF says, goes, and that’s regardless of what Stavely might want to do.
Another point he brings up is that Newcastle fans don’t support the Saudi regime, and are being unfairly targeted. Whilst that might be true of some of them, I’ve seen plenty of pictures with people literally wearing tea towels in a strange mix cultural appropriation and deification.
Dressing up as the Saudi Prince in the same way a child would of Iron Man very clearly signals that you’re happy more that the Saudi has come in than Ashley has gone out.
KC (again, not all, but enough to tar the club)
Are the people who own the club questionable people? Yes. But that doesn’t extend to Newcastle fans.
Also I hate to break it to you but in capitalist system every single dollar, pound and euro is the result of exploitation. Every single one. Capitalism is literally built on the notion of buying a good or service at lower than market value and then selling it for market value or higher. You might argue that a good or service is transformed and then sold (timber to houses for example) and that’s where the increased value comes from but that still 100% relies on paying people less than the true value of their time and labour in order to ensure the good or service is produced at a profit.
It’s how the system works. So it’s a bit hard to moral grandstand over one clubs owners being terrible people when every club licenses kit production utilising the exploitation of child/sweatshop labour to make them. That’s just an example it’s the same if you look at any and every good and service in modern society.
Ever watched a Disney movie? Congrats you’ve contributed to the theft of art from their creators, the excessive abuse of copyright law, exploitation of labour and the decay of creativity.
All money is dirty money, because somewhere someone was exploited to earn it. How that happens and to what extent can be debated but that it does happen can’t be.
So instead of people complaining about how were allowing sportwashing just ask one simple question, the only relevant question for a football fan – does this make the league more competitive?
The answer is yes.
New City v Old City
With the Newcastle takeover complete, it would be interesting to hear the thoughts of some of the Man City fans on how their experience of supporting city has changed over the years. i.e. does more success = more fun? Did the 100 point season feel like the pinnacle or does smashing 5 past Burnley every week get a bit dull?
United, Skywalker and the Deathstar
Hi Lee, I liked your email but a Liverpool fan saying “I hope united return to their former glory” is like Luke Skywalker hoping they rebuilt the Deathstar.
Aidan, Lfc (scarred by Utd’s success in the 90s)