Ex-Newcastle United favourite delivers exciting verdict following Saudi-backed takeover

Former Newcastle United centre-back Mike Williamson believes “the sky is the limit” for the Magpies following the recent takeover at St James Park.

Thursday, 14th October 2021, 6:28 pm

Williamson is now in charge of National League North neighbours Gateshead and watched on with intrigue as a Saudi-led consortium completed a £300 million takeover of his former club last week.

The days that followed the completion of the deal have been something of a whirlwind as the Magpies were linked with moves for a whole host of high-profile players and managers from across Europe and beyond.

The talk of challenging for silverware has re-energised a fanbase drained of hope and ambition by the loveless tenure of former owner Mike Ashley.

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Steven Taylor, Mike Williamson, and Jack Colback share a joke as they arrive before the Barclays Premier League match between Swansea City and Newcastle United at the Liberty Stadium.

Williamson - who made over 160 appearances during a five-year stay with United - has been enthused by the early impact made by the takeover and described the talk of serious investment in the infrastructure at St James Park as “refreshing”.

He told The Echo: “The opportunities and possibilities are endless when you have the backing provided by the new owners.

“But for me, it’s about how is it going to effect the city as much as it is about how it will effect the football club.

“Time will tell, but it’s brought back the hope, excitement and belief around the place and that’s been fantastic.

“I had some of the best years of my career at Newcastle - but, ultimately, from a fan’s perspective, what has happened and the talk of investment at all levels is refreshing.

“The investment being discussed throughout the whole football club is necessary to get to where it belongs and beyond that if they are fighting for Premier League titles and even the Champions League.

“The sky is the limit.”

The transfer rumour mill has gone into overdrive over the last week with the likes of Gareth Bale, Mauro Icardi and Harry Kane all linked with moves to St James Park by media outlets across Europe.

The speculation has not been limited to new additions to the Magpies squad with several high-profile managers linked with succeeding current boss Steve Bruce.

As it stands, the former Manchester United centre-back is still preparing for his 1,000th game in management when Spurs visit St James Park on Sunday and will face the media for the first time since the takeover was completed on Friday afternoon.

Williamson admitted that the takeover will have caused uncertainty in the United dressing room as the new owners look to put their own stamp on all levels of the club.

He said: “If it was me, I would want to test myself at the highest level and put everything into trying to get there.

“There will be uncertainty in the dressing room.

“Some players won’t benefit from the new ownership, but that’s football.

“That’s the way it is and everyone knows how competitive it is at the highest level and now things at Newcastle have become even more competitive.

“The opportunity to want to be part of something phenomenal should motivate you because the potential to bring silverware to the club is now very realistic.”

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