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Portsmouth and Newcastle Find Short-Term Prospects Hampered by Takeover Talks

Both clubs are hoping new owners will revive their fortunes. But while negotiations continue to eat into the summer transfer window, the short-term impact could be more negative than positive…

Uncertainty at both clubs is beginning to affect the players (Photo: Getty)

Uncertainty at both clubs is beginning to affect the players (Photo: Getty)

In general, a takeover brings positive results to the football club involved.

Transfer budgets and ambitions are increased, as a new chairman comes in and approves the purchase of expensive new signings who invariably help the team to dramatically improved league positions.

But, by the same token, a takeover can bring many problems to a previously stable club. If a takeover drags on and takes a while to complete — particularly during the vitally important summer months, where fresh talent must be recruited for the new campaign — it can spell disaster for a club’s short-term prospects.

That is the fear that currently grips Premiership club Portsmouth, and recently relegated Championship outfit Newcastle United.

While Newcastle seemed to be paralysed by owner Mike Ashley’s failure to sell the club this summer, Dr. Sulaiman Al-Fahim’s protracted negotiations over the purchase of Portsmouth have resulted in the South Coast club losing a lot of ground in the transfer window.    

Star player Glen Johnson has already moved to Liverpool in the transfer window, with the £17 million fee helping to alleviate the club’s existing financial concerns — concerns held over by the outgoing regime.

The right-back’s move has also gone some way to assuaging Al-Fahim’s fears about the economic integrity of the club he proposes to buy, as the Middle East-based businessman finally completed due diligence of the club yesterday.

“The formal application for the fit and proper person test has been submitted to the Premier League and it is with them now,” said Ivo Ilic Gabara, Al-Fahim’s spokesman, after announcing due diligence had been completed. “The buying party, Fahim Associates, are now doing the final commercial assessment following the due diligence process.” Continue reading

July 14, 2009 Posted by | Sport, World Football | , | Leave a comment

Alan Shearer Simply Cannot Be The Messiah for Newcastle Now

Newcastle fans love him. Mike Ashley arguably had no choice but to turn to him. After relegation, however, Alan Shearer simply cannot be the answer to Newcastle’s Championship challenge… 

Shearer: Did what he could with what he had, but Newcastle need more.

Shearer: Did what he could with what he had, but Newcastle need more.

Can you blame Alan Shearer?

Can you blame Joe Kinnear?

Can you blame Mike Ashley?

In the wake of Newcastle United’s devastating relegation on Sunday, fingers will be undoubtedly be pointed. Blame will have to be attributed.

As interim manager, Alan Shearer doesn’t believe one single individual is to blame. “Over 38 games, we all have not been good enough,” he said, in the wake of the club’s 1-0 defeat at Aston Villa.

But, having gained an average of 0.63 points per game from his eight games in charge (a statistic that would have amounted to 24 points over the full course of the season), he cannot — however much it might pain Newcastle fans — be absolved from all blame.

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May 25, 2009 Posted by | Sport, World Football | , , | Leave a comment

Newcastle Fans Forced To Place Faith In Unreliable Players For Salvation

Last game, away from home, perhaps only a win will do. It’s down to Newcastle’s players to pull the club out of the mess they created…

Newcastle have the fans, but not the players...

Newcastle have the fans, but not the players...

It is said that pride comes before a fall.

For Newcastle fans, pride is perhaps the one commodity they possess in abundance.  Perhaps the most devout fans in the Premiership, they follow their team with great passion.

The other commodity they have is faith.

Over the years, tangible success for the North East club has been fleeting and rarely satisfying — they haven’t won a major trophy since the 1969 Fairs Cup. Managers have come and gone, chairman have failed to deliver on their promises, and big name players have, more often than not, failed to live up to expectations.

Yet despite historical evidence to the controversy, the “Toon Army” still believe. Without past success, it is perhaps all they can do.

This season, however, the faith of the fans has often been proven to be misplaced. Performances have ranged from the tepid to the downright abysmal, and as a result it is hardly surprising the club finds itself in its current predicament.

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May 22, 2009 Posted by | Sport, World Football | , , | 2 Comments