Steve Harper: Newcastle United “dying slow and painful death”.

Posted on July 13th, 2009 | 24 Comments |

Harper - 'Dying slow and painful death'
Harper - 'Dying slow and painful death'
Erstwhile Newcastle United goalkeeper, Steve Harper has given an interview on the current predicament currently facing the club. He told The Journal:

“It’s an awful situation which we cannot do anything about as players. The sooner it is resolved the better for everyone because we can start again.”

Harper then added:

“All we keep hearing is ‘Next few days, next few days, next few days’. Everybody – fans, players, staff – wants it resolved so we can rebuild this football club because we are in an awful state at the moment.

“We want it to be done and dusted so we know where we are and where we are going because at this moment the football club is dying a slow, painful death.

“We have to soldier on, but the sooner the better for everyone concerned – and most importantly for Newcastle United.”

Reflecting on the great catastrophe of last season, he went on:

“What happened last season was desperately, desperately disappointing.

“Just when you think there is an opportunity for this club to put itself right, this happens.

“For five or six years now it has been a gradual, slow implosion. It’s happened now and just when you think there is an opportunity to get it right, build and get straight back up, the opposite happens.

“A lot of fans have come up to me and said ‘In two or three years, it might be a blessing that it (relegation) happened’. Obviously everyone is very disappointed that it happened, but if something good comes out of it and the club rebuilds then maybe I can see that point.

“At the moment the club is not rebuilding – it is in a state of limbo and it is no good for anyone. We just want to get this club going back in the right direction and the situation is very, very frustrating for all of us.”

Harper then went on to praise Chris Hughton for his calm during these uncertain times:

“It is a unique and awful situation but we have to soldier on. This time of year is about getting as fit as possible, getting through games like this with no injuries, which we have managed to do,” he said.

“Getting a result helps and we have had a good week. We just need things to be resolved next week now – that is what we’re all hoping. As players we continue our preparations for August 8 this morning. That has to be our focus.”

Well, yes, as Steve says, the club is undoubedtly in a state of “limbo”, though it was inevitable that the sale of the club was going to take several weeks with matters like “due diligence” and several other hurdles to overcome. It was always going to seem like much longer than it actually is too, due to the media interest and seemingly endless made up stories that always seems to surround Newcatle United.

It is arguable however that despite the current malaise which Harper speaks of, which undoubedly exists with such a ‘lame duck’ at the helm, it is also better to avoid ‘acting in haste and repenting at leisure’ regarding new ownership. It is also arguable that despite the current, understandable frustrations of both the players and the fans, the big problem is not necessarily that the sale is dragging on longer than it needs to, but that the sale is happening at completely the wrong time in the first place. Having written this however, it is hardly as bad as the timing of Ashley’s first sale attempt, which set in motion a disastrous train of events which led to us having no less than FIVE managerial changes in one season. This created a lack of consistent leadership, and our current situation outside the Premiership.

Blame of course has been spread in many directions, the players, the managers, the discipline, and of course, more than anyone, Mike Ashley and his cohorts, Derek Llambias, and the now ex Director of Football, Dennis Wise. Whoever’s fault it was, including a significant section of the fans for pressuring Ashley into his stupid decision to sell the first time; It is imperative that the RIGHT owner is found, rather than simply anyone who isn’t Mike Ashley, and has £100 million burning a hole in their pocket.

NUFCBlog Author: workyticket workyticket has written 1091 articles on this blog.

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24 Responses

  1. Pah, my ‘feel-good’ post is about as popular as Mike Ashley!! I was hoping for some inspirings stories to lift my spirits.

    I’m pretty busy at work so I haven’t been able to contribute as much as I’d like but it seems like everyone else is much the same. Either that, or just too fed up with NUFC at the moment ot bother talking about it.

    Hardly surprising.

  2. Twitchy ‘enter’ finger!!

    Meant to say, as much as I agree with Harper, people ‘Harping’ on about it all the time is bloody depressing. But like I say, I can relate to it. Just depends what place you’re in on any given day. Most people seem to be in a bad place at the moment.

  3. bowburnmag says:
    July 13, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    “Pah, my ‘feel-good’ post is about as popular as Mike Ashley!! ”

    Not true, Bowburn. I’ve just checked.

  4. This is getting completely depressing. It seems like we’ve taken 3 huge steps back this past weekend from where we were. We don’t even know if there were any bidders in the first place!

  5. bowburnmag says:
    July 13, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    I’m pretty busy at work so I haven’t been able to contribute as much as I’d like but it seems like everyone else is much the same.


    I think people have sort of ‘shut down’ regarding Newcastle. Everyone’s done their complaining, expressed their exasperation, got fed up with the rumours and are just waiting for some definite news about what’s going on.

    In the interim they’ve just switched off a bit, maybe as a self-defence mechanism to retain their sanity.

  6. Hugh/52 – Aye, I agree. It’s common sense really.

    In fact, that’s more or less what I said to my boss earlier. 52’s comment I mean.

    I feel slightly sick at the thought of not knowing how long this could drag on for.

  7. This must be a first for the fans as well, where the speculation of new players has well and truly taken a back seat.

  8. it seems the speculation for anything has taken a back seat. We’re absolutely exhausted by the whole situation. Nobody really cares who takes over, as long as it’s not Ashley. BUT, with everything that has happened since the weekend, it’s looking like even THAT might not happen! Nobody seems to want to bother speculating or get excited about possible buyers. Now we’re only getting pissed.

  9. I see the FA are going to step in over the potential trouble in Holland and prevent our game from going ahead.


    It’s bizarre that as soon as they found out about the clash of fixtures they didn’t withdraw there and then.
    Though hardly surprising, given the ineptitude of those running the show.

    The fact it clashes with Robson’s game is bad enough but it’s imperative it’s cancelled to prevent Battle of The Shields Ferry II occurring. That would just be the icing on the cake. Getting our name dragged throught the mud after running battles with Mackeam miscreants and Dutch troublemakers.

    Of course, S**lan have more justification for not cancelling. The prestige of the tournament for one. The fact they had their’s arranged first for seconds. Probably some more. And so undoubtedly the FA will rule in their favour. So we lose out to them again.

    The fact that some of our lot will probably have booked flights and accomodation now means their focus will be less on the footy. Which could lead to a right old tangle. So we could lose out all ways.


    Cheers again to the fabulous board at our happy little club.

  10. Yeah, something had to give over that fixture clash and it was odds-on likely to be our game. I’m surprised they’ve left it this long to address it.

  11. Feyenoord always come looking for trouble when we’re in Holland. On the other hand, some NAC Breda fans seem to come support us whenever we play in the Netherlands.

  12. Got the Journal this morning and looked at the back page and the headline was ‘Painful death of Magpies- Harper’ and I mistakenly read it as ‘painful death of Magpies Harper’. Such a stupid headline! It give me such a shock.

  13. 52times says:
    July 13, 2009 at 7:16 pm
    Feyenoord always come looking for trouble when we’re in Holland. On the other hand, some NAC Breda fans seem to come support us whenever we play in the Netherlands.

    realy i have never noticed that why ?

    workyticket says:
    July 13, 2009 at 8:07 pm
    Poor John Hartson. He’s in as bad a state as Bobby Robson from the sound of things, and he’s only 34.

    it sounds that way and its such a shame but maybe(hopefully) he will go down the sir bobby route and beat it but unfortunately with it spreading to the brain it doesnt sound too likely but fingers crossed

  14. Why do Feyenoord start with us or why do NAC Breda fans support us when we play in Holland? No idea about the first one, but the second comes from when we played them in the UEFA Cup a few years ago.

  15. Most Dutch like to have a pop at any English as we were originally what they aspired to be and now they imagine they’ve moved above us in the ranks and are hellbent on proving it.

    Personally, they can kick ten shades of sh*te out of each other down some back lane for all I care but I don’t want it tarnishing the club’s name.

  16. “Most Dutch like to have a pop at any English as we were originally what they aspired to be and now they imagine they’ve moved above us in the ranks and are hellbent on proving it.”

    Rinus Michels and Johan Cruyff proved it a long time ago, Bowburn, and they HAVE moved above us in the ranks! They’re only tiny in comparison with England too.

  17. There is a story 6 players who used to play in/still play in England have got HIV which could lead to aids. The story was in the Sun and they say they can not name the players. But found this comment from some Asian guy on a forum (no restrictions or anything for papers there) and he says the players are: Robin van Persie, Rio Ferdinand, Nani, Cristiano Ronaldo, John Terry and Joey Barton. Could end their careers.

  18. good luck to them hopefully it will be a load of **** made up by the sun but i dont think they would make something like that up would they ?