In the aftermath of Mike Ashley’s takeover, it seemed that Newcastle United were in for a period of stability. However, following poor performances and a multitude of managerial changes during their first month under new ownership, how have they fared?
The “who took over newcastle united” is the question that many are asking. The answer to this question is Mike Ashley, who bought Newcastle United in 2007.
On November 8, Howe was named manager of Newcastle United.
Paulo Fonseca must have been certain he had gotten the job as he ended his third interview for the managerial position at Newcastle United.
Yes, some of the questions were unexpected – some were about the fans, one on his relationship with the media, and few were football-related, the sort that allows coaches to explain how they improve their teams.
But it wasn’t a major problem; more than one individual who talked with Newcastle said that the questions offered to managers were more comparable to those made by supporters than those answered by officials of great teams.
Despite the fact that Fonseca’s discussions were completed, the process was far from complete.
Eddie Howe and Unai Emery, the two surviving contenders, have to go through a last round of interviews with his possible employers.
Then, even before those things could materialize, Fonseca was informed that the club was taking a different path. The position was not his and he was no longer required, the news came during the weekend of Newcastle’s 3-0 home defeat to Chelsea. The Magpies’ new owners had their man in Emery, the former Arsenal manager from Villarreal.
Except no contract was made, and the events of the next few days perplexed Emery to the point that he turned down the opportunity to take over one of the world’s wealthiest teams.
It was just one example of Newcastle’s new owners’ tumultuous month since assuming control from Mike Ashley in a blaze of publicity and controversy.
Amanda Staveley, the lady behind the takeover and a part owner, characterized her first month in command at St James’ Park as “quite taxing” in a club interview last week.
“Every day, save for a few hours of sleep,” she added, reflecting on the time constraints and dedication necessary.
“It’s been stressful and thrilling, but the greeting has been just fantastic. We don’t want to disappoint anybody. One of the things we’re working on is informing fans that if we make a mistake, we’ll swiftly admit it and correct it. Five weeks that were both tough and gratifying.”
Undeniably, there have been errors.
Between the completion of the £305 million Saudi-backed acquisition of the club and the news on November 8 that former Bournemouth manager Howe would succeed Steve Bruce, over a month elapsed.
However, the announcement came after sources close to the new owners had been informing that a transaction was close to being finalized for well over a year. That proved to be premature, and the then-potential owners withdrew.
Despite the fact that the sale did not go through, the delay allowed Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), financier Staveley, and the Reuben brothers to plan forward.
However, once in place, the manager was not immediately removed. Bruce was permitted to remain for one game only, presiding over his 1,000th game, a 3-2 loss to Tottenham, after telling reporters at a press conference that they “deserve a smack” for claiming that he was about to be fired.
Those rumors, on the other hand, had substance; briefings, once again, proved to be erroneous, if only by a few days.
When Bruce ultimately left on October 20th, the manager hunt – which might have started much earlier – truly got underway. Despite the amount of time that had passed since the owners initially learned that a transaction was possible, it would prove prolonged and seem to lack clear direction.
Staveley and her other new owners were greeted with a standing ovation when they arrived for Bruce’s last game as Magpies manager, a 3-2 home defeat to Tottenham on October 17th.
Of course, they made it to Howe in the end, but not without a detour. Staveley later described the former Bournemouth manager as “the ideal match.” He wasn’t, however, the first pick.
Rafael Benitez was the man in question, but it became evident very soon that he would not be leaving Everton.
Staveley and her husband, Mehrdad Ghodoussi, moved on to other things, with Emery at the top of their list.
Newcastle were certain they had found their man when Emery expressed genuine interest in the position. Emery was expected to be named, and the transaction was practically done, according to widespread rumors in the media.
Except it wasn’t, and the briefings had once again shown to be untrustworthy.
Emery requested to be left alone on November 2nd since he had a crucial Champions League match against Villarreal to prepare for. As kick-off neared, though, those stories got more conclusive: this would be his last game as coach of the Spanish national team. There will be further briefings.
Emery’s life was made harder by the disclosures. Was this an appropriate working environment if this was how business was to be conducted? Emery was under a lot of stress.
His son, Villarreal players, and Fernando Roig Nogueroles, the owner’s son in charge of day-to-day operations, all urged him to remain, the latter on the field after the victory against Young Boys and again at 1 a.m.
Sport made the choice and announced it barely a few hours after Villarreal’s match ended.
It was a humiliating turn of events for Newcastle’s new owners, but it was emblematic of what might be called as a naïve attitude, or more accurately, a lack of knowledge of how these systems work.
The involvement of Lee Charnley, Ashley’s managing director, is also generating some consternation. Why was he on video conversations with candidates or their agents when his own position was – and continues to be – ambiguous? Why hasn’t a new CEO been selected yet?
At least in response to the first question, Charnley is still in charge and optimistic of keeping his job.
And here is an example of one of the issues the club is dealing with. At the same time that a new structure is being implemented, an old structure must be assessed and maybe destroyed.
Meanwhile, business goes on, games are played, and the January transfer window approaches.
The club made an attempt for Kieran Trippier, an Atletico Madrid defender, before Howe was picked. So, who’s making the decision? There is no football director, and there was no manager at the time, therefore whose vision is this?
The new owners, to their credit, have been honest about their faults. They’ve been personally apologizing for mistakes they’ve admitted to making. They are aware that they must improve, but it is yet early in the process. Last week, Staveley said as much.
As the focus switched to Howe, interim manager Graeme Jones remained in the dark. The owners have already conducted meetings with, discussed, or been offered Benitez, Fonseca, Emery, Roberto Martinez, Lucien Favre, Joachim Low, Xavi, and Antonio Conte as part of their protracted search.
On November 6, he took command of Newcastle against Brighton, a 1-1 draw that gave them their worst start to a season in club history.
What was the hold-up in selecting the best candidate? Last week, it was revealed that data was at the core of Newcastle’s management decision-making process, which Staveley alluded to.
“We, and especially PIF, are a process-oriented organization. In football, we’ve learnt that things move at a breakneck pace “In her club interview, she said.
“Eddie and I met and chatted a while back. We debated his hiring when Mike [Ashley] was the club’s president. However, we had to do a thorough search of the marketplace to discover the ideal match, and Eddie is that match. We couldn’t have asked for a better manager since he’s so energetic.
“When we do a lot of management analysis, one of the things we look at is analytics and data. He received such good marks in all media.”
Negotiations for Howe’s assistants led to the idea that his hiring had been delayed, in addition to that confidence in data over and above other football criteria. It was a matter of less than £200,000 in one example.
This has delivered a confusing message to the market – after all, aren’t they the world’s wealthiest club? Some believe it is a foreshadowing of what is to come, particularly if the team is relegated, while others believe it was a savvy approach to lower expectations for those proposing players and coaches.
In order to make better judgments and have a greater grasp of football’s procedures, the Reuben brothers have been given the help of a network of specialists. The club is evaluating its procedures and attempting to enhance them.
The first month or so has been difficult, with multiple false starts. Is he the guy they’ve been looking for? Is it really worth it unless they can get the framework correct quickly?
Only time will tell whether this is true.
Alistair Magowan contributed additional reporting.
The “newcastle united debt” is a topic that is being discussed. The club has been in financial trouble for a long time now, and it seems like the new owners have not been able to turn things around.
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