Glazers will look like paupers compared to Newcastle investment
Manchester United look set to face a fresh threat next season from another oil-propelled Premier League team. How seriously should we take it?
BBC Sport report our own mid-90s rivals Newcastle United are on the verge of a £300 million takeover which is being partly led by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund.
It dashes hopes some United fans had that the Saudis would invest in the club and buy out the Glazers.
That would have opened a can of worm of moral issues; that’s Newcastle’s problem to deal with now, and one which supporters of the Toon can put aside if it means ditching Mike Ashley and getting back to competing on the pitch.
The Sun report Newcastle’s new owners have a net worth of £320 billion. This dwarves Manchester City’s Sheikh Mansour’s £23 billion, and makes the Glazers look like penniless paupers at an estimated net worth of £3.6 billion.
What does it mean for Manchester United in 2020?
This takeover, if approved, has the potential to change the face of English football.
We all probably too easily dismissed Manchester City’s takeover in August 2008, at a time when we were riding high as Champions League winners.
Their progress was gradual, but within four years they had gone from also-rans into title winners, and have been a constant thorn in our side ever since, amid our own self-afflicted decline since Sir Alex Ferguson’s 2013 retirement.
Newcastle will have the spending power to get back to the top. It is unlikely to happen overnight, but in 5-10 years time, they could be a force once again.
They will be one more threat for us to compete with amid our own quest to scale the Premier League mountain again.
Amid impressive progress from the likes of Leicester City and Wolves, there is no rigid top four or six like there once used to be.
Short term opportunity?
There may be a short term opportunity for Manchester United to try and offload unwanted players to a Newcastle side who could be chasing big names.
Phil Jones and Jesse Lingard could fit the bill if Newcastle are looking for ‘steady improvement’ and don’t go chasing the Neymars of this world from day one.
If Newcastle do want a really big name, Alexis Sanchez could fit the bill.
He’s an established global star, and they will actually be able to afford his staggering wages. Let’s hope they can take him off our hands.
On the other hand, if Ole Gunnar Solskjaer did still hope to sign Sean Longstaff, he can probably forget it. Again, that’s not necessarily a blow after his uninspiring form this season.
Might be a measured approach
Financial Fair Play rules have caught up with Manchester City, and have handed them a ban from the Champions League.
This means the full might of Newcastle’s new spending power might never be fully unleashed.
You won’t see Jadon Sancho turning us down for Newcastle this summer, even if they tried to muscle in on a deal. Too much groundwork has already been laid on our part to worry about that.
In a few years time, if Newcastle make progress and starting challenging for top spots, they could prove to be a problem for us in the transfer market.
Right now, they could give the football industry the jolt it needs.
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