They’re in the Money
The owners of Man City sold 13% of their club to a group of Chinese investors this week for an astonishing £265m. My maths tells me that means their club is valued at around £2bn. That is an awful lot for a small slice of even a club that wins a fair bit of prize money. Investors must be able to see that not only is the potential there in quite a few clubs to match them, not least ourselves, but that it might be a better investment to pay peanuts in comparison and get a club which still receives a share of the TV money. It’s worth wondering how much they foresee themselves taking out of football if they’re prepared to pay this much as a route in. Still, there are people around prepared to pay serious money for Premier League clubs. There is no reason why our misery under Mike Ashley shouldn’t come to an end very soon. Our wishful thinking may never come to pass but at least it’s not in the realm of fantasy any more.
Jobs for the Boys
The announcement of Gary Neville as manager of Valencia came from nowhere. He talks a good game on the telly of course, but that doesn’t really qualify him to take over at a club currently in the group stages of the Champions League. We’ve watched Mike Ashley give jobs to his cronies time and time again here at Newcastle over the years of course and it seems this one can be explained away similarly. Valencia’s owner Peter Lim also bought into Salford City as a part-owner with Neville and some of his ex-Man Utd buddies, as documented in the current BBC series “Class of 92 – Out of their League”. Lim evidently knows, respects and trusts Neville to the point that he’d give him a role like this despite the lack of experience that even Neville admits he himself has. Good luck to him, maybe he’ll succeed. You can understand why owners do this kind of thing, but I suppose the difference between us and them is the quality of the crony the respective owners happen to know. The reaction in Valencia may have been more extreme if the unveiling had been of JFK or Dennis Wise.
We were thrashed at the weekend 5-1 by Palace, who had Alan Pardew at the helm with his usual methods meaning they’d been struggling at home and were on a run almost as bad as ours. This weekend we play Liverpool, who inspired by new broom Jurgen Klopp slaughtered a very good Southampton team 6-1 midweek at St Mary’s. Klopp’s style is to press high up the pitch so we won’t get a moment’s respite and there will be nowhere to hide for our malingering malcontents. The score could be anything but not in a good way. It’s coming to something when us getting a point from the game could be the season’s biggest giant-killing act. I really hope I’m wrong but it feels like things are building to a crescendo at SJP. Could this be the weekend when we really implode, once and for all?