In one of Newcastle United's darkest hours, when our hero was disgracefully pushed to one side, there appears to be only one way forward.
Mike Ashley must go, fact. However, do we really want a Sheik or Indian in control?
No, they could easily make the same mistakes. So here's my solution:
We Newcastle fans buy our club.
This model has been successfully used by Barcelona over the past few decades, so why not Newcastle? We Geordies are knowledgeable folk, and together could certainly run a football club.
The finance is obviously a key issue, but here is a quick business plan I have devised. The offer is made clear that if 30,000 people stump up £10,000, then they will receive free season tickets for a ten year period.
Other incentives could be offered such as five year training passes. If 30,000 Toon fans were to invest that kind of money, we would have the £300 million that Mike Ashley requires to move on.
Now another 20,000 people are encouraged to invest say £7,500 into the club, then they could receive discounted tickets and a free away jersey for seven years.
Now if another 10,000 could be encouraged to invest £5000 into the club, then they could receive a say in the club's business—like the Barcelona model. These 10,000 could also receive free tickets for cup games, and a free third jersey for five years.
So, in the unlikely event that all that money is pumped into the club, we'll have raised £300 million for the purchase of the club. £150 million from the 20,000 for team purchases and wages. Another £50 million to put in the bank from the latter 10,000.
Consider that the population of Newcastle-upon-Tyne is 250,000 and the foreign fans could amount to a significant number, then 60,000 people should not be that hard to find. The financial aspect would be especially hard to entertain, but do you think the incentives are enough?
For those of you who don't know, the Barcelona model works like this. Every member of the Nou Camp club has a vote on the president. The president is paid a salary by the club, effectively the fans, so he attempts to impress them to keep his job.
To keep his job, the president often attempts to buy the best players, hire the best managers and do the best for the club (themselves) This gives the fans unbelievable power and effectively control of their beloved club.
Can it happen? Could us Geordies control our own club? Does the model work? For one thing, I would sell most of my assets and invest £10,000 into Newcastle to prevent the tragedy of the past week.