There is a fine line between hope and stupidity.
Hope, for all of its worth, can make you blind and naive, and if you’re not careful, it will leave you looking desperate and foolish.
For their part, most Newcastle fans were careful not to wander into the realms of stupidity over the summer when their club was linked with a potential takeover from the supposedly filthy rich Bin Zayed Group.
But that didn’t stop many from getting their hopes up, and so it was particularly painful when those rumours evaporated into thin air.
Since then there have been various whispers as to how close a deal actually was, but based on the latest update from Chronicle journalist Lee Ryder, the truth is that it was always a mile off.
Writing in a Q&A for the local outlet (15.35), he said: “Newcastle remains for sale but nobody has got anywhere near the asking price.
“Ashley is driving a hard bargain.
“BZG talked the talk but have not followed up with a firm bid.”
The sad reality appears to be that all of the gossip and subterfuge was well wide of the mark, and all of the smoke and mirrors were hiding nothing.
More worrying still, however, is the fact that Mike Ashley still seems as intent as ever to keep hold of the club until that £350 million asking price is met.
Given how excessive that price feels, plus how much extra money would have to be poured into the club to raise it to a standard by which it might compete in the Premier League, the controversial owner could be around for a while to come.