I was privileged to be at the Newcastle Fairs Cup way back in 1969 in the first leg of the final at St. James’ Park.
That’s when we hammered Hungarian club Ujpest FC 6-2 on aggregate and 3-0 at home.
That’s the last time we won anything at all.
The last local trophy we won was when we took apart Manchester City 3-1 at Wembley in the FA Cup Final in 1955.
I watched the game on TV – with my parents at Wembley for the game – as my favorite player – Jackie Milburn of course – scored with a header in the very first minute of that game.
Sir John Hall – faces the reality of where Newcastle are today
With that context in mind here’s what Sir John Hall has said about the current Newcastle United team under long-term owner Mike Ashley.
And it’s a damning assessment from the former Chairman of the club published in the Chronicle today:
“The harsh reality is that today, more than at any time since 1969, we are probably further away than ever from winning something.”
“And there is no chance of doing so until there is change at the club.”
“Mike came with the best intentions. I firmly believe that.”
“He wanted to globalize Newcastle and to use the club to market his brand of goods in the Far East.”
“But he fell out with supporters pretty quickly and for too many years now, it’s been a holding operation.”
“The club is in limbo. Mike’s had enough and for everyone’s sake, the sooner he moves on the better. That’s my fervent wish for 2019.”
“But it’s imperative whoever he sells to has to have the finances to take this magnificent club forward.”
“It’s not just about coughing up £300M – and from what I hear, there’s nothing yet on the table.”
“But (it’s also) having the resources to change the whole club and buy players who can take us to we’re we should be.”
We are hoping Ashley will sell, but it could be another ruse, so he doesn’t have to spend any money this month.
He can put the club up for sale as many times as he wants to – but if he is asking too much then, Newcastle will never be sold.
That’s what’s happened in the past, and it’s looking like it may happen this time too.