It’s obvious that Newcastle United have been on a downward spiral for many years, the last successful season was the 2011/12 campaign with a 5th place finish and Europa League qualification. Ever since that, the club have only finished in the top half of the Premier League once. That is unacceptable, especially for a club with the stature of Newcastle United. But how did this fall from grace begin?
Arguably the club haven’t had a truly great manager since the late Sir Bobby Robson managed the club from 1999 to 2004. The ex-England manager guided the club to two top four finishes and a fifth place finish before being sacked in 2004. Ever since that, the club have appointed misfits such as Alan Pardew, Joe Kinnear, Sam Allardyce, Kevin Keegan (second reign) and (unfortunately) Alan Shearer. The board (I’ll get to them later) haven’t been able to bring in the right manager to match the aspirations of the club until Rafa Benitez was brought in in mid-March, I’ve already covered Benitez in a different article .This brought the feel-good factor back to the club after many years of doom and gloom. So yes the managers have contributed to this downfall, however, there is one group of people who have the blood of Newcastle United on their hands.
Before I start, no not all of the board are bad people but there are a few in particular that need the light shed on them. First of all the owner and possibly the shadiest businessman ever, Mike Ashley. Ashley is amongst the list of the most hated men to ever set foot in St James’ Park. This is due to massively unpopular acts such as the sacking of Chris Hughton and the failed renaming of St James’ Park to The Sports Direct Arena. This has led to Ashley and former Director of Football Dennis Wise being dubbed as the “Cockney Mafia”. Thankfully on March 10th 2016, Ashley announced that he would be stepping down from his position on the club’s board.
Managing director Lee Charnley is also one of the most hated men still currently at Newcastle United. There have been countless cries for him to be thrown out of the club after one of the biggest mistakes in the club’s recent history. His stubbornness to keep Steve McClaren in a job cost the club dearly. How this man is still employed at any football club is beyond me. Finally, there is one more board member that has brought shame upon this club.
That man is chief scout Graham Carr. This man has lived off a few good signings but brought in millions and millions of pounds of useless, useless players. The majority of his signings have come from France’s top tier. Granted he has made some good signings like Yohan Cabaye and Hatem Ben Arfa, however, these signings are overshadowed by rejects Henri Saviet, Florian Thauvin, Gabriel Obertan and Sylvain Marveaux. Many of those have been shipped straight back to France. All four of those men don’t even deserve to be a part of an under 7’s primary school team.
I know this article has been all about the dark times of the club, but thankfully there are some high points of the club. Ever since the announcement of Rafa Benitez as manager, there has been an air of positivity around the club. We may be in the Championship, however, the future looks very bright. The club are currently top of the league, unbeaten in 10 matches and already look destined to return to England’s spire of football. If promotion is achieved this season, the club look destined to reaffirm their spot with the top dogs of English football. So it looks like for Newcastle the sky is the limit.
Featured Image Credit: Yellow Book Limited