So it seems Newcastle are set to become the latest club to fall into foreign hands - if you can call a bid fronted by UBS, on behalf of a US investment fund, as ‘foreign hands.'
Normally when the expression is used it is because there is an air of mystery of who the potential buyers are and where their funding is coming from.
It delights the conspiracy theorists if the money is coming from somewhere in the old Soviet Union or the Middle East.
Oil money somehow sounds more exciting than the boring old financial markets money which is the origins for the Newcastle bid.
At the end of the day money is money and UBS won’t be playing the ‘lifelong fans’ card if the bid is accepted.
For Newcastle supporters, just like Man Utd supporters before them, it must be very mixed blessings.
The Reds had had mixed feelings about being a public company, run for a long time by Martin Edwards, but the sight of Malcolm Glazier made them even more revolting than usual.
The current owners of Newcastle, in the shape of Shepherd and Hall Jr, have not exactly been popular and have been blamed, rightly or wrongly, for not turning the Toon into a title winning club.
So a bid will be popular, albeit this bid comes from two financial institutions they nothing about, and who are clearly interested in the club for purely financial reasons.
There is unlikely to be an open cheque book to buy new players, and so the success which the supporters crave is likely to be as far away as ever.
I talked yesterday about the fact so-called ‘big’ clubs like Newcastle have no automatic right to success.
The reason why Newcastle is seen as a ‘big club’ is borne out by this bid. They are big because of the supporter base and the cash flow this can generate, not for any playing reason.
Investment institutions are now viewing football clubs like utilities or other infrastructure investments.
Just as we will always need water and electricity, we will always need football, and so we will always keeping paying to see it in one form or another. If you didn’t realise it before, you should now, football is big business.
How long before the Toon are asking for Shepherd and Hall to come back?
Lawrence Gosling is group editorial director at Incisive Media (publisher of IFAonline).
The views expressed are those of the author and not those of the company he represents.IFAonline
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