What’s the story?
The club has enjoyed anything but an unfettered glossy sheen on proceedings on and off the pitch.
Newcastle know that a defeat to Brighton would be enough to present an opportunity for relegation rivals Fulham to usurp Newcastle’s spot in the table with a win over Leeds, thus shunting the Magpies into the abyss of the relegation zone.
In a definitive six-pointer, all eyes will be on Steve Bruce and Graham Potter as the two managers stoically prepare to stare the unthinkable drop in the eyes and come out on top.
Moreover, legal proceedings continue to bedevil the club following the collapse of a proposed £300 million takeover, involving the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia, PCP Partners and the Reuben brothers.
Owner Mike Ashley continues to try to resuscitate the deal, and it is unclear if the tycoon is edging closer to doing so.
Speaking to the ITV Football Show podcast [via The Shields Gazette], Townsend admitted that Newcastle are in a regrettable position – but issued great cause for optimism:
Presenter Mark Pougatch asked:
“If I came up with the money that Manchester United, Liverpool or Manchester City own and I put in a structure that was as good as theirs, how big could Newcastle be?”
“The biggest club in the Premier League, they could be,” Townsend responded,
“If not, even more than that because they’ve got the stadium, the pitch is massive – it’s incredible. They’ve got the fanbase, the stadium is in the city centre.
“It’s all set up for them to be a massive club but unfortunately, at the minute, they’re not quite getting it right on the pitch.”
Townsend is a man looking on the bright side, and the Palace man’s comments are a refreshing sight.
Despite a tumultuous few months for the club, Townsend has done well to refocus sights on the assets the club has – not least a diehard fanbase that is desperate to see their club succeed.