Tag: Newcastle United

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.

Waiting for #Cans

Well earlier in the year I cast doubt on the Saudi takeover of Newcastle United, but now it’s looking like it’s actually going to happen and Mike Ashley will be leaving our club after an awful period under his ownership.

But the takeover is proving to be controversial, with lots of people saying that we fans should object to the takeover for various reasons, from the human rights record of a Saudi Arabia, to their alleged involvement in piracy of Premiership games.

I am not an idiot, I am well aware that Saudi Arabia is hugely problematic, it treats women, LGBTQ+ folk, Shia Muslims and Baha’is dreadfully.

And yes it’s not exactly been the most surgical of combatants in Yemen, and it’s actions have killed many innocent people, but the scary thing in that conflict is that they are the good guys. The opposition in that war are particularly nasty Iranian backed rebels. But yeah, their record of collateral damage is absolutely appalling, and they should be held to account for that.

And the Crown Princes involvement in the murder of Jamal Khashoggi is something that can’t be overlooked, his fiancée has even written a letter begging fans to object to the takeover.

But let’s be honest, we fans don’t get a say in the matter, we have seen the club drained dry over the past 14 years, relegated twice, our home used as an advertising board, our stadium renamed, players discriminated against, the training ground and stadium neglected to the point where they need lots of investment to fix problems that should never have been allowed to develop, and ticket prices going up well above what other clubs pay.

Mike Ashley will do what’s best for him, and him alone, he cares not for the opinion of the fans, he doesn’t give us a say nor does he even communicate with us.

And so 97% of fans are behind the takeover, despite some very loud complaints by the MP who represents the stadium and some fans who turn out to work for NGOs who campaign against Saudi Arabia.

I can’t comment on the rights and wrongs of the takeover, because I don’t get a say, but I would hope that if the Saudi PIF do takeover the club, we might see positive changes in Saudi itself, in which women get to take part in football a lot more, in the same way that women’s participation in football took off in the UAE after the Man City takeover.

But there is a part of me, that it’s still convinced it will never happen, I am prepared for Mike Ashley to spit out his dummy and continue his destructive ownership of the club.

But if and when the takeover is announced, I will crack open the #cans and enjoy a drink in celebration of being rid of Ashley. I will be cautious about the future, I am gonna try and be optimistic, and hope that we Geordies can convince the Saudis to be better people.

I guess it’s a sad place to be in when ownership by a not very nice non-democratic regime is the preferred option.

What I Am Modelling

At the start of the week, I was quite pleased to be featured on the Warhammer Mortal Realms Facebook page with some of my Myrmourn Banshees, they didn’t tell me in advance but I am happy enough to have been featured.

I started the weeks painting by putting the Tallyman and Blightlord Terminators into the painting handles and figured I would also do my Ultramarines Javelin Attack Speeders at the same time.

The Javelins got finished first, I wanted them done to fulfil my hobby goals for Edge of Empire this month.

I was lucky enough with these to get in a trade from Heresy Trading last year, a set of Predator Lascannon Sponson, which are identical to the ones used for these, so I bought two of the ones with Cyclone Missile Launchers and magnetised them, giving me both options.

I finished off the old Forge World Terminators on the Saturday night whilst watching Life on Mars with Megan. I got the newer ones and the Tallyman a good chunk of the way there but at the end of season 1 we decided to go to bed, I thought about going downstairs to paint some more but figured that I should get to bed at a reasonable time.

The newer Blightlord were finished on Sunday morning, much bigger and bulkier models than the older ones and with a lot more character than the older ones with elements of Heresy era armour.

The Tallyman was also finished on Sunday, which is the last of my Conquest subscription models.

I then started on a combination of the Chaos Furies and the Dreadblade Harrows, and got the Dreadblade Harrows finished quite quickly.

The Furies followed soon after, not my best work but I like them.

I also started work in rebasing some Blood Ravens with a Tactical Squad, cutting off the old bases was a bit nerve racking but well worth it as they look so much better now.

So let’s take a look at my painting plan right now.

The Chainrasp Horde is now back on the list thanks to the Grey Seer I got delivered.

  1. Raptoryx x 6
  2. Blood Ravens Scouts x 10
  3. Millitarium Tempestus Meltagun Squad and Taurox Prime
  4. Blood Ravens Landspeeders x 3
  5. Stormcast Eternals Prosecutors x 3 and Knight-Venator
  6. Blood Ravens Intercessors x 5 & Sgt Jovan
  7. Stormcast Eternals Retributors x 5, Knight-Heraldor and Knight-Vexillor
  8. Space Wolves Grey Hunters Pack Leaders x 4 & Iron Priest
  9. Blood Ravens Chaplains x 4
  10. Chainrasp Horde x 40

What I Am Reading

After my review of Tales from the Crucible, Aconyte reached out to me and sent me a copy of Wrath of N’Kai by Josh Reynolds so I could give it a read and review it.

It was extremely enjoyable and I have written a review that you can read here.

What I Am Playing

Haven’t played anything this week, I had hoped to convince Megan to play a game with me today, but she was very tired.

What I Am Backing

Nothing this week, but I do have my eye on Railway Ink Challenge which looks really good.

What Am I Cooking

Noting this week, been a tough week physically, at one point I was in hospital with the Covid legacy.

What Am I Spending

Not a lot really, I did buy a copy of Mortal Realms Issue 15 to add to the issue 11 I already have to combine with those in my subscription to give me a full Sigmarite Mausoleum.

Annoyingly I am still waiting for these and Conquest 48, but the postal service is rammed right now so I guess that’s understandable.

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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