As the Premier League enters another week of its owners’ and directors’ tests, it seems as though Newcastle are forging ahead with business as usual as best as they can.
Yesterday, Steve Bruce confirmed initial reports that former youth product Mark Gillespie has signed to battle goalkeeper Karl Darlow for the number two spot. Last week, it was also announced that Andy Carroll had signed a one-year extension, and Javier Manquillo had inked a new 4-year deal.
Newcastle cannot afford to be idle in the hopes the takeover is approved, and the new influx of cash will cover them being behind in their summer business. If it’s not approved, then the club could be in serious trouble going into next year.
So we’ve seen them make a few deals to keep things moving along, albeit at a tentative pace.
Steve Bruce was asked about the uncertainty surrounding Newcastle’s future after the FA Cup defeat last night. This is what he had to say as written in the Northern Echo:
“I think everybody needs a bit of clarity. I’m led to believe it is the Premier League that is stalling all of these negotiations, and if that is the case, they need to come and make a decision sooner rather than later. It’s not healthy for anybody.
“For me personally now, though, we’ve got another game on Wednesday (at Bournemouth), and we’ve given ourselves a wonderful opportunity. We can’t use what’s going on as an excuse, but we need a bit of clarity and for it to be put to bed one way or another.”
These are uncertain times for all Premier League clubs, and football clubs worldwide. But for Newcastle, the uncertainty is heightened with this takeover in limbo. There had been some hope that the Premier League was waiting for the WTO to publish their findings on Saudi piracy before making a decision.
It’s now been weeks since that report was issued and we’re still none the wiser as to what the outcome will be. Meanwhile, the Saudis have taken steps to atone for their complicity in broadcast piracy.
Maybe the league is using the takeover to get them to do even more than they’ve already done. Who knows. But whatever the reasoning, it’s putting Newcastle at a distinct disadvantage.
If this lingers much longer with the takeover ultimately blocked, that could have a devastating effect on Newcastle next season. They’ll be behind in their preparation and still have derelict owner Mike Ashley at the helm.
Alan Shearer also spoke about the lumbering takeover yesterday. He shares Bruce’s sentiment that something must happen sooner rather than later, or Newcastle could be left in the lurch.
“Something has to happen – good news or bad news – because Newcastle are in limbo, they can’t plan for next season. I think I would like to see it happen. It’s been going on for such a long time, they need an answer.”