The confirmed departure of Rafael Benitez has sent shockwaves around Newcastle United, the club plunged into further uncertainty.
With hopes of a takeover this summer, the Bin Zayed Group confirming their hunt to end Mike Ashley’s reign at St James’ Park, the Toon Army might have been feeling hopeful prior to the news about their manager.
Now there is a sense of despondency across Tyneside and understandably so, with Benitez a hugely popular figure both among the fan base and behind-the-scenes on Tyneside – the messages sent his way following the reveal demonstrating just how highly thought of he is.
While the next man in charge could well depend on how discussions and negotiations over a takeover go, it appears as though there could be changes made by Ashley regardless of whether new investors come in.
The Sunderland Echo report that the owner is planning on a potential revamp of the coaching system, which could include a change in how the Magpies look to recruit new players – unnerving news for current head of recruitment Steve Nickson.
The former scout, confirmed to have taken his new senior position back in 2017, worked alongside Benitez to try and source new talents for the club to sign, the Spaniard having the ultimate say on whether they would try and secure their signing for Newcastle.
If Ashley does decide to change how things operate behind the scenes, it leaves Nickson on shaky ground, especially if a new manager comes in with his own ideas and approach to the transfer window.
With a potential takeover on the cards and a new manager or coach needed in the dugout, the uncertainty is mounting around St James’ Park and Nickson is one individual who cannot be certain of their position moving forward.
Nervy times for all.