The North East of England is often excluded from major football discussions, but that is about to change with the takeover of Newcastle United.
Newcastle United’s popularity and relevance as a football club has been inconsistent over the last few decades. The Magpies’ success in the Premier League has come in phases. In the early and mid-90s, Newcastle United experienced an impressive resurgence as a football club as they regularly occupied a place among the top four.
This next fact might come as a surprise to a neutral fans of the Premier League, but the Magpies even competed in 13 European competitions between 1994 and 2006. Since then, Newcastle United were relegated to the Championship twice (2008 and 2015) and the club’s average finish in the league table between 2007 and 2018 was 13th.
That decline essentially made Newcastle United irrelevant in English football as they simply became another average club fighting for survival every season. The success of the past has, to some extent, kept Newcastle United in the back of peoples’ minds, though, since the club is often referred to as the sleeping giant of English football. This takeover, however, is expected to wake the sleeping giant and this is great news for the North East.
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It is difficult to find fans across England that share the same level of passion as fans in the North East, but the clubs in this region lack consistency in the top tier of English football, and this has starved football fans in the region. With Sunderland currently in League One and Middlesbrough in the Championship for the tenth season in eleven years, Newcastle United is the region’s only hope for success.
Will Sunderland and Boro fans be happy about Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Amanda Staveley and the Reuben brothers’ heavy investment in Newcastle United? Of course not, but the region as a whole will benefit from this deal.
Several sources close to the incoming owners have made it clear that Prince Salman and his partners will be community-focused as they plan to invest in a wide range of projects in the region, and they will invest heavily in Newcastle United’s youth academies, which should promote more local and regional talent.
As Newcastle United aims to elevate its status in the Premier League and emulate its success from the Entertainers era, the football spotlight will gradually begin to shift towards the North East once again. London, Liverpool and Manchester should get ready to share the stage with the North East.