Friday’s announcement that Newcastle United, the club founded by John Brophy in 1892, had joined Chelsea, Manchester United and Real Madrid as the richest in the world was heralded as good news for the English club.
But for those — like this couple — who love the Geordie side, the investment will have far-reaching consequences. What’s more, the club’s fanbase may be facing a crumbling cultural identity.
The story of Newcastle United’s rise to a global icon began with the 1961 takeover by the venture capitalist Hugh Osmond. Over the years, Osmond was joined by a variety of businessmen and Middle Eastern investors, but none of whom made the club into the money machine that the businessman’s campaigns and spending of his money made it.
For James Guy, a season ticket holder for the past 20 years, watching his team descend from League One to Premier League has been hard to watch.
“It feels like there is no heart left at Newcastle United,” Guy told Fox News Sport. “I’m afraid the reality is that the heart is gone and Newcastle United has a new s***.”
The club received a combined $4.2 billion from Abu Dhabi and the New York-based Walton family, who are set to finance the $830 million acquisition of the club. The club are now set to participate in next season’s Premier League, in the midst of the club’s first Premier League campaign in four years.
Newcastle currently sits in eighth place on the Premier League table, but could move up the table and become the top flight’s highest place finisher.
As many of Newcastle’s fans know, the Premier League is a much different animal than the Championship, where the club has been for the last three seasons. So much of that opportunity is on hold, but money could be used to help make some signings in order to achieve promotion.
“It would be nice to see us rebuild,” Guy said. “It would mean there’s not no supporters still left at the club. It would mean we can have a season ticket holder base. There was so much going on with the manager and the club last year.”
The club has never been a stop-start club. The only time the club made a taste of the Champions League was in the 1975-76 season, when it was positioned in the Eastern European market.
But the unannounced news on Thursday has created a subculture in itself: the Glazers.
The name has become synonymous with failures and financial problems in English football, never mind the size of these mistakes. The surname of owner Mike Ashley, himself, has been associated with everyday riots that include industrial actions and protests.
Just one question stands out in this mishmash: How many more poor investments has the club made in trying to make the jump up from the Championship?
“It shows the mentality of the club, to buy what they can’t afford,” Guy said. “They say they are going to spend money. I’m afraid, under this new owners, it won’t come from me — they will get it from the fans.”
This article originally appeared on Fox News.