Newcastle United: The sleeping giant which needs to be woken
Why would anyone want to part with significant funds to buy Newcastle United?
Newcastle United is a club in a crisis, with an owner who does not want to be there and a bunch of players fighting for their Premier League survival.
Both aspects could have a positive ending, however, with the Magpies still in with a decent chance of surviving the drop and Mike Ashley desperate to end his tenure and sell the club.
The problem is that nobody seems to want to buy it, with only Amanda Staveley and PCP Partners tabling an offer deemed insufficient by the owner.
Ashley has criticised the businesswoman for wasting his time with what he sees as an unrealistic proposition, but she is adamant that the offer is still on the table.
Whether or not the Sports Direct mogul is calling her bluff is open to debate but he is a man not afraid to take a gamble and also one who is not known for taking prisoners in the business world.
So why would anyone want to part with significant funds to buy the club?
Any football club is only as big as its support and the Tyneside fans are known for their loyalty and passion even in the face of the mediocrity they have had to endure.
It is true that sections of the supporters have turned on a few managers and players at times – even renowned football stars like Kevin Keegan – but their ire is usually directed towards the universally despised Ashley.
The club has a huge fan base and success on the pitch would only strengthen that bond between the club and those who occupy the stands.
Staying in the top-flight is imperative, as is keeping hold of manager Rafael Benitez who is working miracles on a shoestring budget compared to many Premier League outfits.
There is still a real danger of relegation with the league so tight at the bottom, and that would probably scupper any chance Ashley had of finding a buyer and so the remainder of the current campaign is vital to the club’s future.
Newcastle has a decent profile worldwide despite a lack of recent success, with many world-class players having graced the hallowed St James’ Park turf over the years.
They came close to winning the title under Kevin Keegan in the 1990s and it gave the fans a glimpse of what could be.
Those days may well be long gone but there is no reason why a club the size of Newcastle should not return to its former glory and compete with the big boys.
But it is, as ever with football, all down to money and the lack of investment in the playing staff under the present regime has been shocking to say the least.
Newcastle is doubtless a club with huge potential and one that could be playing in the Champions League and challenging for silverware on a regular basis – but it needs leadership and direction.
Those have been in short supply but there is no question that it is the proverbial ‘sleeping giant’ and one that the right owners with deep pockets could awaken.