Newcastle United is on the verge of a £300million takeover – almost two years after Aston Villa were bailed out by Wes Edens and Nassef Sawiris. Mike Ashley looks set to cash in during the current uncertainty surrounding Premier League football to bring an end to his 13-year reign. Leading a consortium is financier Amanda Staveley who has sought backing from the Reuben Brothers and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.
Villa, meanwhile, know all about takeovers and ownership ever since Randy Lerner purchased the club off Doug Ellis for just £62.2million in 2006. After Lerner, Dr Tony Xia promised Aston Villa the world and spent £75million in a failed attempt to get the club out of the Championship. Xia, of course, almost wiped Aston Villa off the map, only for Edens and Sawiris to effectively save the club from oblivion on July 20, 2018.
So without getting excited about becoming next Manchester City ( who themselves went through a rough phase first), what lesson can Newcastle United club learn from Aston Villa –
1) Never spend beyond your means, which is what Xia did during his ill-fated ownership. If you do, you could easily put Newcastle out of business as quickly as you purchased the club.
2) Be realistic and don’t promise supporters the world right from the get go. It will only end in tears if you do and, before you know it, the bedsheets will be out for all to see around St James’s.
3) Employ a brilliant chief executive in the same mould as Villa’s Christian Purslow to run the football club on a day-to-day basis. He or she can be the link between the owners and management.
4) Make the fans feel like they’re the No.1 priority which, of course, they are. Look at improving their enjoyment factor following Newcastle both on and off the pitch.
5) And lastly, this: enjoy the ride, embrace Newcastle United firmly into your hearts and make it an enviable club once again.
A super-charged Toon Army is a daunting proposition for the whole of the Premier League. The toxicity surrounding St James’s may get cleansed, with fans hopeful of returning to the glory days playing European football and the like. As far as upcoming transfer markets go, the Magpies will be back feeding at the top table and competition for signatures is about to hot up again, that’s for sure.However it could quite easily turn the other way. Just look at another team in claret and blue down south and how it’s currently panning out at West Ham United. Like with everything, the proof will be in the pudding and Newcastle will hoping it turns out to be a sweet one.
The exuberant examples listed – Man City, Leicester City and Wolves – all took time in their own right. It took Man City four years to win the Premier League title after Abu Dhabi United Group purchased the club for £200m back in 2008. Likewise at Leicester and Wolves, successful takeovers are often slow burners with owners making sure the foundations are corrected first off. The only one that took off like a house on fire was Roman Abramovich in 2003, turning an average Chelsea side into Premier League and Champions League big-hitters in the space of a couple of seasons.
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