Yasir Al-Rumayyan, the owner of Newcastle United, has kept his word since taking over the club. The excitement on Tyneside was apparent when Newcastle United’s Saudi-backed takeover was finally announced after 14 months of battle, pain, and fear.
In some respects, the sale, which removed Mike Ashley from the club’s rich past, was more of a relief than anything else. Fans were overjoyed not just at the arrival of new owners, but also at the departure of the man who had brought the team down twice.
However, takeovers may not always occur as planned and can sometimes result in a false down. Newcastle fans should be aware!
That was the case in 2007 when “ambitious” Ashley, the sports retail tycoon that wanted to win things, turned up and drank with fans on the Bigg Market. Within a year or so, it was obvious that this wasn’t going work out well at St James’ Park.
Support fit for the future
The bitter Kevin Keegan affair, Dennis Wise, Andy Carroll’s exit, two relegations and two doses of Joe Kinnear is probably only the tip of the iceberg with Ashley. Other clubs like Portsmouth, Sunderland, Everton and Leeds have all suffered at the hands of owners who weren’t able to deliver the goods for supporters.
Rewind back to October 7, 2021 though and it was obvious that things were changing for the better at St James’ Park. For a start, the takeover hadn’t officially been confirmed but the media access gates were unlocked to Press
Chronicle Live was invited to meet Amanda Staveley and board members at Jesmond Dene House before she’d even been handed the keys. And within a day this publication was handed an open letter from Yasir Al-Rumayyan to relay to supporters telling them to: “Expect ambition”.
That has been backed up with the appointment of one of English football’s brightest managers in Eddie Howe and a spend of around £400million with more to come. Old transfer policies were ripped up and stars like Kieran Trippier, Sven Botman, Bruno Guimaraes, Alexander Isak and Anthony Gordon have been signed.
Impressively, the coaching work of Howe and his backroom team have managed to dovetail big signings with existing talent like Sean Longstaff, Fabian Schar and Miguel Almiron. On the field Howe has delivered by keeping Newcastle up in 2022 and turning the club from relegation certs to an 11th place side.
Then, in his first full season, Newcastle won a place in the Champions League and a trip to Wembley for the first big climax since 1999. There have already been huge moments this season, including a thrashing of Paris St-Germain, an 8-0 win over Sheff United, and a Carabao Cup victory over Man City in a fixture that many had written off.
Al-Rumayyan has made his opinions about the club’s future apparent, saying this year: “I think we should have an ambition and aspiration to be number one.”
Two years in, it has been about success on the field, with Howe’s club on a six-game unbeaten run and even an injury-plagued Newcastle side ascending the heights of the Champions League. That day’s celebrations outside St James’ Park were not a false dawn.