To hear most people talk about Newcastle United is to hear of a fanbase who demand trophy win after trophy win because the club enjoyed a successful period under Kevin Keegan in the 1990s.
Now, as fans of the Toon Army, we all know that is simply not the case. ‘We don’t demand a team who wins, we demand a team who tries’ and all that.
While we may have moved on from the prima donna era at St. James’ Park, the message across that banner retains some relevance. Simply put, under Mike Ashley, the club do not try. Yes, more money is being spent than ever before, but the fact Newcastle United are aiming simply to stay in the league – at a push sneaking a place in the top ten – is not the beacon of hope such a devoted fanbase needs or wants.
At the risk of sounding like a poorly made Instagram motivational quote, sometimes you have to believe you can emerge from the wilderness. Yes, there are bigger problems engulfing the world (and perhaps more pertinently, football clubs) but the effect Project Big Picture would have a club such as Newcastle United would be profound.
This isn’t about the Saudi Arabian takeover. Questions about the morals of having a state with kind of human rights record were rightfully asked and, as gutting as it is not to be signing the likes of Edinson Cavani, perhaps not being ‘sportswashed‘ is a better thing for the club long-term.
However, what this proposal would do is put up yet more barriers. A new owner would arrive on someone else’s terms and, presumably, the powers that be would be loathe to accept anyone who would upset the apple cart.
Without that, what would Newcastle have? No hope of a new era to cling onto. No hope for a club that tries.
Fans of Bury and Macclesfield will, rightly, tell us that these are really rather first world problems. Clearly, putting such issues on the same levels as those suffered further down the footballing period would be crass and offensive but, should the power to make such huge decisions rest with just a few powerful voices, the future looks bleak for Newcastle too.