Yesterday evening Newcastle United were relegated from the Premier League for the second time in the space of eight seasons, and only the sixth time in our history, following a win by our arch rivals Sunderland no less.
Nobody can argue this relegation has not been coming or that it is undeserved. Since the fateful day Mike Ashley took over our club nearly nine years ago, the club’s average league finishing position has dropped to 14th (from 9th in the same period before Ashley’s arrival) and the club has been involved in relegation scraps in three of the last four seasons.
Make no mistake, this relegation has long been on the cards. The increased spending in the past two transfer windows (not a penny of which came directly from Ashley), using a failed transfer model targeting inexperienced players over proven quality, reeks of a desperate last ditch effort attempt to cling on to Premier League riches rather than a genuine sign of ambition. As does the late and desperate appointment of Rafa Benitez, a quality manager and a man of class and dignity who deserves our respect for attempting to, and almost succeeding in, preventing the inevitable from happening.Read More