Newcastle’s season may have fizzled out, having failed to win any of the final six matches of the season, but even without live football, there is plenty to talk about on Tyneside. Namely, the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund backed prospective takeover bid, which the Premier League have been deliberating over for months.
However, as the transfer window opens today, there are a few issues the uncertainty in ownership at St James’ Park could cause before the season starts again on September 12. Newcastle United legend Alan Shearer exquisitely summarised the dilemma which the Magpies face when recruiting during the transfer window on the final Match of the Day of the campaign.
What did he say?
Speaking on Match of the Day, via the Shields Gazette, after Newcastle’s 3-1 defeat to Liverpool, Shearer said: “It’s not fair on him [Bruce]. It’s not fair on the football club. It’s not fair on the fans.”
The former Premier League striker added: “He doesn’t know whether he’s going to be shopping in Lidl or Harrods next season. A decision needs to be made.”
Up in the air
The transfer record at St James’ Park was smashed twice in the space of six months, having previously stood since 2005, in 2019. Miguel Almiron arrived for £20m, then Joelinton was acquired in the summer for £40m as Newcastle flexed their financial muscles for the first time in decades. However, a large proportion of the Brazilian’s fee was earned through the £30m sale of Ayoze Perez to Leicester City, and there has been suggestions that Bruce will only have £30m to play with in this window, Daily Telegraph, via Shields Gazette, if the takeover isn’t completed.
Planning for new arrivals on Tyneside must be particularly challenging for Bruce at the minute given the uncertainty surrounding the ownership at St James’ Park. There have been a host of names linked with a move to Newcastle, ranging from Barcelona’s Philippe Coutinho to a £5m permanent signing for on-loan Tottenham Hotspur full back Danny Rose. The vast range in rumoured arrivals highlights the disparity in spending power Newcastle may have if the takeover is completed or not.
A resolution to the prospective bid must be found in the interest of the club. If talks remain stalled indefinitely, the takeover will only make the club more of a challenge to manage when the uncertainty continues.