So Mike Ashley has finally done what we all expected.
Due to the ever crippling credit crunch, he's taken Newcastle United off the market and says he's ready to start work on rebuilding the shambolic Magpies.
Ashley is obviously of the opinion that time is a great healer, and four months on from the resignation of Kevin Keegan, have the fans really forgiven and forgotten how their messiah was forced out of his beloved club?
In laymens terms, no.
Yes, the fans have started flocking back to support their team and yes, Joe Kinnear has brought a sense of stability to a club that desperately craved it, but the facts remain the same—Ashley has very little sense of how to run a football club and with Newcastle still embroiled in a desperate relegation battle he needs to start splashing the cash in order to appease the Geordie faithful but more importantly, to keep the club in the top flight.
The signs don't look good. With just about a third of the current transfer window gone, it's pretty clear that little or no money will come Kinnears way unless he manages to reduce an already dangerously small squad.
Ashley is happy to scout for young players who are likely to make a big impact four or five tears from now, but seems oblivious to the fact that Newcastle need things to happen now. A quick fix would be to give Kinnear the money that his patience deserves. He's had very little to work with since he arrived and with the departures of key players like Shay Given, Michael Owen and Charles N'Zogbia still very much on the cards, Kinnear will need substantial funds just to keep the Newcastle heads above water.
I'm of the opinion that Ashley is really not too bothered if Newcastle goes down, as he thinks his youth policy is going to stand them in good stead for the future. He may be right, but if Newcastle were to get relegated then all the best players would leave, nobody would want to come to the club and the whole situation may be set the Magpies back years.
It's a worrying scenario and with the purse strings unlikely to be loosened, it's become a very real one with another few months of struggle on the cards that could lead to a disastrous end come May.
It seems that under the current regime, the circus that is Newcastle United will just keep rolling on.
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