Lee Clark on the alleged takeover


"Hypothetically if the new owners come in, the way I see it is if they get new investment then they can start competing with the majority of clubs in the Premier League, and I say the majority because they won't compete with the Manchester City, Liverpool and Manchester United's initially, in terms of finance. But if they can compete with the other teams then it gives them a chance to bridge that gap from the 13th place they finished this season to the Europa League spots and getting into those top ten positions.

"What happens is when they you go for those sort of players that can get you there, they are looking at teams who are already in the Europa League or in the Champions League. Just because you have the money it still sometimes proves difficult to attract those higher quality players. It has always been the case, even during my time at Newcastle in the 1990s when we were very successful, that if players have the choice of London or Liverpool or Manchester, they will always have the North East at the bottom of that list and that's just the reality. I love the place, I'm born and bred here. But that's the way they see it. So then you have to offer a couple of different things.

  1. You let them see the passion of the club and hopefully that sways them

  2. But also you have to invest a little bit more in money in their personal salaries to convince them to come to your club

"That's the way it is and the reality for Newcastle. If they are going to start competing against the big guys again, then they need to do that to attract those kinds of players. It is a huge, huge club but the competition for talent is tough and if your club has just finished 13th then you are at a disadvantage. It's very similar to the clubs who come up from the Championship. It doesn't matter how much wealth they have. It proves very difficult to attract the top players for a couple of seasons until you've established yourself as a Premier League club because they don't want to go there and think they'll get relegated.

"Wolves were an exception to the norm this season. They went and signed some players on loan when they were in the Championship and then when they got to the Premier League they were signed full-time. But that's the key for Newcastle. It's not just as easy as 'oh we'll get a new owner with absolutely millions who will start attracting people'. If you think about the top players they have plenty of choices so it's not about the economic package, it's about the professional package as well. That'll be the biggest battle for Newcastle. What they have to their advantage is a manager in Rafa Benitez, who I expect to stay on if the new consortium comes in. He is somebody who can attract the top players because of his reputation and CV."

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