You have to wonder if things will every be right at Newcastle United again.
The club finds itself entangled in such a complicated mess that it’s hard to know what is the best course of action for it to take, or for that matter if it’s realistic to expect any resolution in the near future at all.
Mike Ashley selling up would be a good start, of course, but with the transfer window slowly beginning to creak shut, and with no deal anywhere near completion, it would take a miracle for the club to be in the hands of new owners before the Magpies’ first game of the season against Arsenal on August 11th.
And if Ashley is staying, then he needs to pull his finger out and start fixing the problems that he has been the architect of.
Still the Toon Army is without a leader, and still they lack anything close to the same level of firepower that they had last term, with Ayoze Perez and Salomon Rondon both gone.
What is more, the Bin Zayed Group look less and less likely to make good on their promises of a takeover with each passing day.
The frustrations are mounting, and so is the anxiety, and it has perhaps been best summed up by club legend Malcolm Macdonald.
Writing in a column for the Chronicle, he laid his worries bare.
He said: “Is it being sold? Isn’t it being sold? What would a new owner do?
“Who is the new manager going to be? Who is going to score the goals?
“For it to be stretching out into July, I just feel myself filling with doubt over any takeover and dread for the start of the season.”
Dread is exactly the right word. There was a niggling sense of foreboding going to the start of the last campaign, but those fears were largely alleviated by the presence of Rafa Benitez.
Without the Spaniard, and without a decent goalscorer, it’s hard not to look at the situation on Tyneside and envisage the Magpies sinking like a stone.