Chronicles

Newcastle evening headlines with Soccer Saturday verdict on ‘big six’ Magpies takeover theory

The Soccer Saturday panel have discussed the prospect of a ‘big six’ intervention against the Newcastle United takeover.

Elsewhere, Mark Douglas has provided an update on where things stand in regards to Mike Ashley’s prospective sale of the Magpies.

Here are your top Newcastle United stories for May 4:

Stelling on takeover theory

The theory that the Premier League’s so-called ‘big six’ influenced the outcome of the Saudi-led takeover bid of Newcastle United is not as far fetched as it might sound according to Sky Sports’ Jeff Stelling.

The Soccer Saturday presenter spoke about the belief that clubs such as Tottenham and Liverpool put pressure on top-flight bosses to reject the attempted buy-out – and following the European Super League proposals said the theory, which was put forward by Amanda Staveley, might not be ‘so daft.’

The discussion on the takeover – which is currently set for arbitration – began with Paul Merson, a panellist on the show, joking that the deal had been going on longer than a ‘sofa sale that will end on Bank Holiday.’

Takeover latest

With safety almost assured during this strangest of seasons, Newcastle United fans will hope for some form of resolution to the longest running takeover saga.

So much rests on a deal which has now bubbled in the background for more than a year. A brighter future with more investment is at stake if the takeover goes through – but that is less than assured.

Mike Ashley, Yasir Al-Rumayyan and Amanda Staveley

The alternative is almost certain to be Steve Bruce with a limited transfer budget and the hope that the club is able to improve on this year’s struggle.

You can follow the latest story about the deal here. But this is the definitive update on exactly where the long-running saga remains.

Castore’s F1 deal

Formula One team McLaren have today announced a new partnership with sportswear brand Castore in a deal set to last multiple years.

The premium sportswear brand’s rapid growth shows absolutely no signs of waning ahead of an expected announcement they will takeover manufacture of Newcastle and Wolves’ kits from next season.

Phil and Tom Beahon from Castore Sportswear
Phil and Tom Beahon from Castore Sportswear

Provided both clubs survive the drop, it will mark Castore’s Premier League debut and the latest jewel in an impressive sports apparel portfolio that has seriously blasted off in the last 18 months.

McClen interview

Things were getting a little heated inside Newcastle United’s plush hotel in the Far East as cabin fever set in.

With the help of the club’s masseur, Lenny, midfielder Jamie McClen decided to play a prank on Kieron Dyer after the pair had a falling out during the Magpies’ pre-season tour in the summer of 2004.

Jamie McClen celebrates after scoring for Newcastle United against Peterborough in the FA Cup fourth-round tie at London Road on January 27, 2002
Jamie McClen celebrates after scoring for Newcastle United against Peterborough in the FA Cup fourth-round tie at London Road on January 27, 2002

The players typically sat at the same seats each night so McClen was sure Dyer was still going to rock up beside him for the team meal.

With a half an hour to go until players and staff were due downstairs, Dyer’s water glass was rimmed with chilli powder.

The trap was set but there was an unexpected hitch: Sir Bobby Robson was next to make his way into the dining room and, you guessed it, the Newcastle manager sat next to McClen.

Arteta on Willock

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has shared his view that Newcastle United is the ‘right place’ for Joe Willock to develop away from The Emirates but has dealt a blow to the Magpies with their attempts to keep the midfielder next season.

Joe Willock of Newcastle United celebrates after scoring against Liverpool at Anfield on April 24, 2021
Joe Willock of Newcastle United celebrates after scoring against Liverpool at Anfield on April 24, 2021

Willock has impressed since joining the Magpies on loan back in January – scoring four goals – and it seems Arteta is keen to give the 21-year-old a chance this summer.

“He has a chance”, Arteta replied when asked whether Willock would be given a chance in pre-season to prove himself.

Ba on next club

Demba Ba has hinted a return to English football is ‘an option’ as the former Newcastle United fans’ favourite looks to ‘find joy again’.

The Senegalese striker is currently looking for a new club following his release from Turkish outfit Istanbul Basaksehir last month.

Ba scored 26 goals in 83 matches and helped the club to lift their first Super Lig last season, but has parted ways following a breakdown in his relationship with manager Aykut Kocaman.

Demba Ba (L) of Medipol Basaksehir greets fans on the way to Fatih Terim Stadium with an open top bus to participate celebrations after winning the Turkish Super Lig title, in Istanbul, Turkey on July 26, 2020
Demba Ba (L) of Medipol Basaksehir greets fans on the way to Fatih Terim Stadium with an open top bus to participate celebrations after winning the Turkish Super Lig title, in Istanbul, Turkey on July 26, 2020

The former Magpies forward celebrates his 36th birthday later this month, but is still keen to continue playing and has identified England as a possible next destination.

Ba has enjoyed something of a nomadic career since departing St James’ Park in January 2013, and the striker admits it would have been ‘special’ to spend a decade with one club.

Shearer on ankle injury

Alan Shearer has revealed he could tell he lost ‘half a yard of pace’ when he recovered from a serious ankle injury at Newcastle United.

Alan Shearer
Alan Shearer

Shearer caught his studs in the turf during a pre-season friendly against Chelsea at Goodison Park in 1997 and fractured and dislocated his ankle.

Shearer, who previously bounced back from an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury during his spell at Blackburn, came through another gruelling rehab to return to action just six months later.

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