Relegation Wasn't The End Of The World But...
It was the 24th May 2009,at roughly 5.55pm and the world of Newcastle United came crashing down, maybe even to disappear altogether if rumours were to be believed.
We could have become another Leeds or Southampton, with many a sleepness night abound for all fans alike.
Players started to leave and good players at that (on paper), Mark Viduka quit the game, Michael Owen may as well done, David Edgar another who went for nowt... Oba Martins went to wolfsburg for Ł9million,Habib Beye to Villa for approx Ł3m, Seb Bassong to Spuds for Ł8m, Damien Duff to Fulham for an undisclosed sum believed to be between Ł5 and Ł10million plus many other fringe players released, thus trimming the healthy wage bill and bringing in a hefty wedge, although that was nothing to what money the club would lose in Premier TV cash and other spin off funds..
So, faced with continuing money worry's, The toon bought wisely and at low cost the following season, targeting hungry players with a sell on value in years to come as well as the odd experienced head. It was a blend of youth and old that saw us come good and win the league at a canter whilst at the same time showing a never say die attitude, an attitude which has followed the team into the premier league this year and long may that continue. In my opinion, they have the best team spirit of any toon squad i can remember in my 39 years on this earth.
Going back to those that left during the pre-season after relegation.. Viduka quit, Owen hasn't done much and is likely to go on loan to a championship club, Bassong is doing ok at spuds but isn't pulling up any trees, the sam can be said for Duff, who's also been injured. Oba Martins has been to a russian side (cant be bothered to spell it) and now finds himself on loan at Birmingham City. Habib Beye is in the reserves at Villa and David Edgar hasn't been heard of although Burnley followed us the following season by dropping a divison and are struggling at present.
Even Shay Given who left during the relegation campaign is on the bench at Man City and could even be going on loan to Leicester.... Not forgetting the scars that relegation can cause, I can say from experience that relegation can do good also.
Like a trip to rehab or a confession box at church, its cleansed the club by ridding itself of the deadwood, Players that on paper were our better ones but stats and performances since they left have proved they were either not trying or were massively exaggerated as footballers with us getting some healthy price for most of them as a bonus.. The only worry now as a football club with our galvanised spirit and togetherness, is how would we come back from a relegation this season when we have fallen and rebuilt?