Newcastle odds for a top-half finish slashed following takeover news
Newcastle United are reportedly on the verge of finally being taken over by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund, ending Mike Ashley’s 14-year tenure as owner of the north-east club.
The proposed takeover would end an 18-month saga involving the two parties, and bring with it the potential for sizable investment at St. James’ Park.
Magpies supporters are unsurprisingly in high spirits about the news, especially with the club languishing in 19th position in the Premier League having taken just three points from their opening seven games this season.
Following the ramp up in takeover speculation, Steve Bruce has been cut into odds-on favourite to be the next manager to lose his job in the top-flight, with the likes of Antonio Conte, Frank Lampard and Eddie Howe all being mooted as the 60-year-old’s replacement.
The next manager betting is not the only odds market on the move following the news, however, with Newcastle’s price for a top-half finish shortening overnight from 16/1 to 10/1 (bet365).
As previously mentioned, Newcastle currently find themselves second from bottom in the Premier League after seven games having mustered just three points from a potential 21 during the season’s opening two months.
The gap between themselves and 10th-place Aston Villa currently stands at seven points, although the Magpies do have an inferior goal difference compared to the West Midlands side (9).
That gap is not an unachievable one to close, however, with still so much of the campaign yet to play and a January transfer window on the horizon where the club could - should the takeover be completed - significantly bolster their resources.
Newcastle already have top talent within their ranks in the form of Allan Saint-Maximin, who has been a standout performer at St. James’ Park this term with two goals and three assists to his name. Alongside the Frenchman, striker Callum Wilson is a proven goalscorer at Premier League level and will add a degree of firepower to their attack once he returns from injury.
Indeed, reinforcements will be required if Newcastle are to climb out of danger and challenge for a top-half finish this season - and make a surge back to European competition after years in the wilderness next - especially in defence, an area they drastically need to improve on if they are to remain in the top-flight this season.
Steve Bruce’s side have conceded as many goals as rock-bottom Norwich this term (16), and while they have found scoring at the other end relatively straightforward (eight scored in seven), converting those goals into victories has so far proved difficult and Newcastle are one of four clubs who are still yet to register a win in the league this season - alongside Southampton, Norwich and Burnley.
Should the proposed takeover come to fruition in the coming weeks (or months), and Newcastle move into a position where they are able to recruit new high-profile players in the January window, as well as the possibility of hiring a new manager, backing them to close the gap from now until the end of the season and secure a top-10 finish could well prove to be a shrewd punt (still available at 17/1 with Paddy Power).
Premier League Odds - 2021/22
As well as the potential for new signings, a lot of positive performances on the pitch can be accredited to a feel-good factor surrounding a club, and there would certainly be one should the mega-rich Saudi-led consortium take the reins from the much-hated Mike Ashley in the near future.
With the takeover still hanging in the balance at present, the odds are yet to change too much. For instance, Newcastle are still a huge 225/1 for a top-six finish this season, and while this is obviously a stretch, you would expect those odds to be clipped sizably once the deal is confirmed.
For anyone wondering, you can get odds of 750/1 for Newcastle to finish in the top-four (BetVictor), and 2000/1 for them to make an unprecedented surge for the title!
Jumping the gun a bit, who knows?