News has emerged that the sale of Newcastle United to a Saudi consortium is about to be completed.
Barcode fans will be delighted to see the back of Mike Ashley and are already licking their lips at the prospect of the spending spree to come.
But for the rest of the Premier League it’s not such welcome news.
We have seen how multi-billionaire owners have turned Manchester City and Chelsea from also-rans into being among the most successful clubs in the world. Now it looks as if Newcastle are going to gatecrash the party.
It will mean the current ‘big four’ made up of the two Manc clubs, the Chavs and the Scousers will soon become a big five. Probably not overnight, but if the Saudis take the same approach as Man City’s owners it will be only a matter of time.
And for the second tier of Premier League clubs (in which, somewhat optimistically, I am including our own beloved boys in red and white) it presages an even bigger struggle to get anywhere near the Champions League places and the huge financial rewards that accompany them.
Perhaps it doesn’t matter: we’re hardly challenging for top honours at the moment as it is, even without a fifth ‘big beast’ in the pack. Perhaps we should just accept our status as a middling EPL team.
But optimism is an essential part of the make-up of any football fan and I have been clutching at the thin straws of improvement we have been witnessing to think we might get into the top six this year, leading to a proper tilt at the CL places the following season.
A rich team on the Tyne makes that all a bit harder.
One unlikely (but not inconceivable) effect of a new financially doped team in the EPL could be to make the Kroenkes re-think their position.
Do they open the wallet and allow us to compete with the other big spenders?
Do they even think that UK “soccer” is bonkers and consider selling to the ever-eager Daniel Eck?
For what it’s worth I think the Saudis have made a smart decision picking Newcastle. They’re a club with a passionate supporter base who turn up in droves whether the team is winning or losing. If they were ever to win the title or the Champions League the whole north east would party for weeks.
Anyway, what do you think: is this news good, bad or irrelevant for Arsenal?