Mike Ashley needs to make his mind up - Chris Waddle
"A lot of my friends are Newcastle die-hards and, like every Magpies fan I have spoken to recently, they are desperately hoping my old club gets a new owner soon. Mike Ashley has been trying to sell the club since October 2017 and says takeover talks are at a more advanced stage than ever but a lot of supporters are cynical about that because they have heard it all before. I can understand why, because the same thing seems to happen every year - usually just before the January transfer window opens - when Ashley comes out and says he hopes a deal can be done. I still think we will be talking about a possible takeover at the end of the season too - when we will either be saying Newcastle have done well to stay up, or they have paid the price for the lack of investment in the team and have gone down, again.
"If there is a serious buyer out there, why can't Ashley just sell? It does not seem to have been a problem for all the other clubs we have seen change hands in the past few years, but for some reason at Newcastle it does not seem it is easy to get a deal done. If Ashley wants to sell, then he should do it and move on. Leave and let the new owners do what they want to do to try to make this club great again, or at least make some progress. That is all the fans want, because their club has been stood still now for too many years. Something needs to happen, otherwise, we will just be talking about this again in a few months. And, if Newcastle do end up being relegated for the third time since Ashley bought them in 2007, what a travesty that would be.
"He is entering the final six months of his contract and there is obviously a risk he will decide to walk away when it ends next summer. Rafa told BBC Radio 5 live this week that he wants to stay, and he clearly wants to move the club forward. Like many people, he believes Newcastle should be a top-six club. But he is a manager with a proven success record so he is going to get offered some tasty jobs elsewhere in the next few months and you could not blame him if he were tempted to take one of them. Why would he stay? Well, Benitez has got a great affinity with the supporters and he is probably looking at the situation in the same way many of the fans are - and thinking if a new owner comes in, and is willing to spend some money, then things could really take off at Newcastle."