Tag: Football

End of an Era, Beginning of a New One

On Thursday #Cans happened, for those not from Newcastle upon Tyne, this was the end of a long running saga, last nearly two years in which the local football club, Newcastle United, my team, were sold.

To give some background, for the past 14 years the club has been owned by Mike Ashley of Sports Direct fame, under whose watch, we have seen the lowest recorded attendances at the stadium since the formation of the Premier League and its expansion, two of the clubs six relegations, and the lowest net investment of any club in its team in Premier League history.

He was not a popular man, he was aloof, rarely spent any money on the team and say an overall decline in all aspects of the club.

To put it bluntly, the squad is threadbare with almost no injury cover, the academy is all but decimated, the training facilities need to be demolished and rebuilt they are in such bad contrition and St James’ Park is Felapp dated and in serious need of maintenance.

The club has been a zombie of the game and in perpetual crisis, within a few months of his arrival, he had sacked two managers and alienated club legends like Kevin Keegan and Alan Shearer.

Our ground has become not only potentially the tattiest ground in English football, but has basically become a cheap advertising board for Sports Direct.

So to summarise, the club is glad to see the back of this awful man, and I honestly hope he never sets foot in the city again.


However there is a big but, our new owners are a consortium of the Reuben brothers, who are some of Britains richest men and have actually been investing a lot in the city these past few years. One of the sons, Jamie will sit on the board.

Amanda Stanley owns another 10% and she has been trying to buy the club since early 2017 have fronted a number of bids and put together a few consortiums to try and prise the club out of Ashley’s hands.

She was also a broker in the sale of Manchester City so she has a track record of football wheeling and dealing. And she is relocating her main residence from Dubai to Newcastle so she can be on hand to run the club.

The remaining 80% is owned by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia, a state owned investment group that invests the counties oil profits.

That makes us the richest club in the world.

But it also means we are owned by a regime which restricts the lives of women, murders journalists and LGBT folx, and routinely suppressed Shia Muslims and Baha’is.

And of course there is the involvement in Yemen, which to be honest is such a bloody complex situation with no actual good guys that I am not even going to try and explain that one.

We are being used to sports wash, you would have to be a fool to not see that, but frankly, we fans get little choice in the matter.

Are they the idea owners, of course not, but when we look at who else has been allowed to own Premier League clubs, it would be hypocritical to make a special case for Saudi Arabia, after all Manchester City has been own by people with questionable human rights records twice and are also used to sports wash.

The crack is, we fans have a chance to use our club to show the Saudis that they need to change how they do things at home, we can protest their crap during games with chants and signs, and these will be broadcast into the Kingdom for all their citizens to see, and I highly doubt beIN will be in any mood to censor that.

Look I know it’s not perfect, but right now, I am glad to see the back of Ashley, as for the Saudis, that’s something we have to figure out, the club lost its soul long ago, for all the bad they have done, The KSA has given us that back.

I am conflicted, I doubt it will ever sit easy with me, but my club is more than the ground, players, infrastructure and owners, it’s the fans, and we must remember that owners come and go, but the fans are what make the club.

Football Probably Isn’t Coming Home, But We Can Hope

The football I love the most is the international tournaments, simply because it feels less like its hyper-commercialised and players are all mercenaries with no love for the teams they play for.

It really does feel like the teams play with more passion and determination, it just feels more like football should be.

Perhaps I am just a plonker and fall for the excitement of a big tournament, but I just love it, there are games on the TV almost every day, all on free to air TV and it feels like players put in their all to win the games.

I watched the Scotland game yesterday and despite being English, I got right behind the Jocks and was cheering them on and getting extremly emmotional eveytime they missed a goal, and I was so happy that Wales got a draw.

I want all the home nations to do well, because if we all do well, all the UK can be happy (well apart from Northern Ireland).

The England game was special for me as I watched in my sister in laws yard as we had a BBQ (For which she made enough meat to feed several football teams) with some of my nephews, and that’s something I have never done before.

I kinda found myself wishing I could have all my nibblings in one place to see it, but it was wonderful to do it with two of them, but does make me determined to make a trip to Suffolk for the World Cup next year to do the same with my nephews down there.

Anyway, I am looking forward to the game on Friday when the Three Lions take on the Jocks, and whilst I am backing England, I do hope Scotland give us a hard time and have a positive and good run against us.

But will England win, probably not, but let me have hope for a little bit, at least until we get knocked out on penalties!

What I Am Modelling

I started the week off by painting four Castellax Battle Automata for my Mechanicum, two armed with Darkfire Cannons and two with Mauler Bolt Cannons.

After this I got a unit of Necron Immortals armed with Gauss Blasters and a Finecast Cryptek painted up.

I then painted up the Krulghast Cruciator & Bladegheist Revenants for my Nighthaunt.

With those out of the way, I started on some Scouts for the Blood Angels.

I painted up two squads, one armed with Bolters and a Heavy Bolter, and one squad with Sniper Rifles and a Missile Launcher.

I then put some Crypt-Ghouls for the Flesh-Eater Courts on the table and got those finished overnight

So what’s coming up next week?

  1. Zone Mortalis Terrain
  2. Blood Angels Devastators x 5
  3. Blackstone Fortress Explorers
  4. Gazkhull Thraka & Makari
  5. Death Korps of Krieg Infantry Squad x 10
  6. Stormcast Eternals Evocators on Celestial Dracolines x 6 & Lord Aranium on Celestial Dracoline
  7. Legio Custodes Venerable Contemptor Dreadnought, Telemon Dreadnought and Contemptor-Aquilius Dreadnought
  8. Necron Lychguard with Hyperphase Swords & Dispersion Fields x 5
  9. Mechanicum Vulturax
  10. Blackstone Fortress Black Legion Chaos Space Marines x 3 & Obsidius Mallex

What I Am Reading

I finished up The Ming Storm by Yan Lei Sheng and a review is coming shortly.

I started on The Necropolis Empire by Tim Pratt, I loved his first Twilight Imperium novel and this one is looking pretty good so far.

And I finished listening to the audio book of The Gate of Bones by Andy Clark, which was really good, if a little less epic in scale than the first book.

I have now started on the audio book of Mortis by John French.

What I Am Playing

Played a little bit of Halo 2 Anniversary and have reached The

On the tabletop we had a couple of games of Deep Space Nine Fluxx, the girls won one a piece.

I also had a bit of a play on the Blood Bowl 3 Beta, and it looks really really nice!

What I Am Backing

The Redgrass Wet Palette 2 campaign finished and was funded, my pledge has been collected and I will be adding a second one in the Pledge Manager for Megan.

I am backing the Isle of Cats Kittens and Beasts campaign, although for just £1 to get access to the pledge manager as I cannot afford the game on the day it funds, but hopefully will shortly after.

What I Am Creating

The 8th Episode of Edge of Empires 5th year was released, although it was a very weird episode because of various illnesses and injuries.

And at long long last I finished my battle report for a game of Aeronautica Imperialis I played with Megan way back in March!

What I Am Cooking

Not much but I did help with Wing Night by making some Kansas City BBQ Sauce and then using that to make some Kansas City BBQ Wings.

ESL – Shove It!!!

I am gonna be frank, it can go take a long walk off a short pier.

It’s just a terrible idea by the rich clubs designed to keep them earning the big bucks and take the lions share of the TV money.

I think it shows that football has strayed too far from the fans and what they want.

Let’s face it, the way things are now, more than ever it feels like a massive stitch up with the big six wanting to ride roughshod over everyone else in the Premier League and their desire to get more money because they are the big stars of the league.

I think it’s time that football and the organisations called their bluff.

Explain the consequences, but enter into no further talks, I strongly suspect that this plan is tactic to get more money from the Champions League. And if they continue on this route, the day after the season ends, expel them from the leagues, and dock them 30 points.

And if they want back in, they start at the very bottom.

I am out sick of the big clubs throwing their weight around and demanding the lions share of the money, trying to dictate the direction of the game, and only seeking to dement their dominant position.

As fans we need to say no to this and stop enabling them.

They want their own league with blackjack and hookers, fine, they can piss off and have it, but they don’t get to play in our league.

I have lots to say on the subject, but, boy am I mad about it and I don’t think Lindsay and Megan would appreciate all the swearing.

Megan’s PC

I managed to pull together the last parts for Megan’s PC this week.

And on Friday I built it, using some bits cast off from mine and some select budget pieces.

The build she has is:-

  • CPU:- Ryzen 5 3400G
  • Motherboard:- ASUS ROG Strix B450-F
  • Memory:- Corsair Vengeance 16GB (2 x 8GB) 3600mhz DDR4
  • SSD:- Crucial P1 1TB
  • PSU:- Scavenged 10 year old EVGA 750w (this will be replaced first)

Not a particularly amazing build, but she wants to run The Sims 4 with it and it should show ok at that.

Future plans for it, will be to add a GPU and a Capture Card.

What I Am Modelling

I started off the week by painting the terrain from Pariah Nexus, which involved a lot, and I mean a lot of drybrushing.

Before finishing off the terrain from Kill Team Arena.

I then started on the Heavy Intercessors and the Captain with Master-Crafted Heavy Bolt Rifle for my Blood Ravens.

But whilst various stages of those were done, I painted the last of the 3D printed terrain that Nikki printed for me.

And I painted the Battlezone Objective Set for 40K, which is going to live in the Vigulus based table I am soon to paint.

On Sunday I got the Heavy Intercessors and Captain finished.

That means everything from Pariah Nexus is painted.

I then painted some bits for Zone Mortalis, a bunch of supply crates, fuel barrels and pipes, but I will show you pictures of those next week.

So what’s coming up for my next week?

  1. Zone Mortalis Terrain
  2. Mechanicum Termite
  3. Flesh-Eater Courts Crypt Ghouls x 20
  4. Legio Custodes Aquilion Terminators x 6
  5. Hexwraiths x 10
  6. T’au Tidewall Rampart
  7. Skorpekh Destroyers x 3 & Skorpekh Lord
  8. Secutarii Peltast x 10
  9. Custodes Venatari x 3
  10. Word Bearers Esoterist

What I Am Reading

I started on Elsa Bloodstone: Bequest by Cath Lauria.

Enjoying it so far and hope to finish it in the next few days.

What I Am Playing

Not actually played anything this week 🙁

What I am Backing

The second half is my Paranoia pledge for Project Infinite Hole arrived, the R&D Fun Pack.

Still backing the Wowstick drill project.

What I Am Cooking

Not a sausage this week 🙁

Project Big Picture

I don’t often talk football, beacuse whilst I love the sport, I am not the most knowlegable about it, and when I talk about it, I tend to make a fool of myself.

But Project Big Picture makes me want to break that habbit, beacvuse I have feelings about it.

Simply put, I think that many of the proposals are good, the 25% of money going to the EFL is a great start, but the power aspect I utterly disagree with. Placing power into the hands of the nine longest serving members of the league is not a good thing, and allowing them the power of veto over takeovers and other issues is a bad road to go down.

If we take the aborted Saudi takeover of Newcastle United, we know how that would have played out, the big six would have all said no to the possibility of a club with the ability to disrupt their dominance of the league. How is that fair, it would essentially create a closed shop at the top of the league.

These proposals would lead to stagnation in the league and a loss of competition and excitement. And the abolition of the League Cup and reduction of the league to 18 teams robs other teams of much needed match day revenue.

As I said before there are good aspects, the 25% of TV deals and abolition of parachute payments will make the EFL much healthier and better positioned to survive, but the special voting rights are bad for the Premier League, and bad for football in general.

In this instance, if the big six want to form a breakaway league, I say let them, the pyramid is bigger than six clubs mostly owned by billionaire’s, and I think the other clubs need to be prepared to jetision the likes of Liverpool and Manchester United if they want to use the Covid-19 crisis to make such an audacious power grab.

So that’s my biannual football post done, but in all seriousness, I think that the state of the game in this country would be infinitely worse off if these proposals were accepted in their current form.

My Feelings On The Alleged Saudi Takeover of NUFC

Simply put, I don’t believe it, this kind of news comes along every time seasons tickets need to be sold or the transfer window is open.

It’s silly and I don’t know why people fall for it every time. Don’t get me wrong, I would love the Toon to be taken over by a billionaire owner with limitless funds to invest, but I can’t see it happening.

I am a realistic fan, my personal wish is for a decent cup run and to challenge for a place in the Europa League, anything else is a bonus, but Mike Ashley isn’t investing in the club to allow that to be even a possibility.

Don’t get me wrong, I am happy the club is run on a sound financial footing, if Ashley were to jack it in tomorrow, we aren’t going to go tits belly up, but the club does need investment and if we are to ever be anything more than a bottom half club.

We have a great fan base and an amazing stadium, but we need an owner who will give the club the investment it so badly needs.

But I don’t think these Saudi folks will be them, to be honest, I have my doubts if they even know who Newcastle United are.

And if by some miracle it does go through, well I will do a dance in my wife’s bikini in wellies, I feel confident it won’t come to that.

What I Am Modelling

I was determined to get more done this week so I hit the ground running and picked up the next project which was a squad of Tempestus Scions and thier Taurox Prime transport.

I love the Tempestus Scions and I am working hard to getting my army of them up and running, I know it’s hampering myself by sticking to just these guys, but the plan is that they would work with allies, specifically Imperial Knights and Sisters of Battle.

At the same time I worked on a Haemotrope Reactor that I got with Warhammer 40,000 Conquest, this was done to match the one I already have from Conquest and has slipped nicely into the box of scenery from the magazine. But I am gonna need a bigger box once we get the final few bits of scenery for the collection.

I then painted up the remaining Plague Marines from the multipart kit, and the Plague Marine Champion I got from Conquest.

And then I started work on the Blood Ravens Librarians, of which I am doing four at once, one in MK VII Power Armour, one in Terminator Armour, a Primaris one and a Phobos Armoured one.

The officers I am painting all together because it allows me to get consistency across them, I have a few to add to the army as it only had a Captain, a Captain in Gravis Armour and a Primaris Lieutenant with Auto Bolt Rifle.

I still have 6 Captains and 5 Chaplains to do.

So how does that leave my painting plan for the next few weeks.

  1. Death Korps of Krieg Centaur Crew x 2
  2. Blood Ravens Reivers x 10
  3. Death Korps of Krieg Quatermaster and Retinue and Death Riders Ride Master
  4. The Three Hunters
  5. Death Guard Heavy Support Squad with Autocannons
  6. Blood Ravens Bikes x 3 and Attack Bike with Heavy Bolter
  7. Plague Marines made with Forge World Upgrade Kit x 10
  8. Death Korps of Krieg Command Squad Special Weapons Men x 10
  9. Chainrasp Horde x 20
  10. Blood Ravens Captains x 6

Niki is now doing the Centaurs himself and I am doing the crew so they match the other models, must admit I am a bit sad about that, but they are his models, just gives me an excuse to do some Death Korps of Krieg myself.

As you can also see the first Chainrasp Horde has made its way into the plan, I have 120 of these to do, so doing them in batches of 20, was tempted to do the full 40 for a unit all at once, still might do that, see how I am feeling.

Right now four of the units are primed, a further three are built awaiting priming and a further one is being built.

Tomorrow I am going to be priming the Death Korps of Krieg Centaur Crew, the Quartermaster and Retinue, the Plague Marines and I will hopefully finish building and prime the Autocannon Squad, if I can I will also build and prime the Chainrasps.

What I Am Reading

I haven’t read very much this week at all so still working on Celestine The Living Saint.

On the audiobook side I have listened to quite a bit, I finished Soul Wars, which was a lot of fun, I kinda wished a certain character hadn’t been killed off as I would have liked him to become an ongoing villain in the series which would have been interesting.

Then I listened to a few audio dramas rather than picking up a full book, I listened to The Embrace of Pain, Vox Tenebris, At Slaughters End, Holder of the Keys, Eye of Vengence, The Glorious Tomb, The Art of Provocation and The Shape of the Hunt, all of which I throughly enjoyed.

What I Am Playing

Not a sausage, haven’t even played a video game because the pain levels in my hands have been too bad

What I Am Backing

Still backing Justice Blocks even though it isn’t going to fund, but what can I say, I like the idea.

I really want to back Star Realms, but I simply cannot afford it, I had a copy of the original game, but Sweep peed on it and ruined it, Lindsay said she would replace it, but that never happened.

The Rival Networks will probably get backed, I just need Megan and Lindsay to agree to it.

And I must sort out BackerKit for Fiasco!

What I Am Cooking

I don’t think a Rustlers burger counts!

I was gonna make a stir fry for lunch, but Megan and Lindsay brought back McDonalds!

What I Am Spending

I haven’t bought a thing all week!

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