Newcastle United are ready to embark upon their first full season under the ownership of the Public Investment Fund.
Having becoming the first club to avoid relegation to the Championship having lost their opening 14 Premier League games, the Toon can finally start looking towards the 2022/23 campaign.
It really did feel as though the takeover at St. James’ Park came right at the nick of time, otherwise any lofty Champions League hopes might have been delayed by league trips to Rotherham United.
Newcastle look forward to 2022/23
But alas, the new Saudi Arabian owners were to able to complete the turnaround by swapping out Steve Bruce for Eddie Howe and generally inspiring a partisan atmosphere amongst supporters.
Well, that and the fact that they loosened their pursestrings by signing Kieran Trippier, Chris Wood, Bruno Guimarães, Dan Burn and Matt Targett as part of a January spending spree.
Nevertheless, it’s very much a case of ‘job done’ for an opening season that could easily have led to catastrophe and now it’s all steam ahead for a year in which expectations will rise exponentially.
And although Toon fans will have to hold tight to see just whether or not they can genuinely compete for a top four place next season, they have at least been given one sneak peek of 2022/23.
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Newcastle’s leaked away kit
That’s because Newcastle’s away kit for the new campaign has been leaked to the world and to say that it’s caused a stir would be the mother of all understatements.
In a leak by @aycazehraakcay that has been corroborated by revered kit experts Footy Headlines, the new Castore design looks set to combine a light grey base with green logos and trimmings.
It’s a pretty inoffensive looking jersey, but the overwhelming consensus from fans is that the design cuts an uncanny comparison to a Saudi Arabia jersey.
With the colour scheme of the strip not only evoking the Saudi Arabian flag, but also the home kit of the vast country’s national team, it’s easy to see why supporters have made the connection.
Is it a coincidence or a subtle nod to the new owners? We’ll you decide by checking out Newcastle’s leaked away kit for the 2022/23 season down below:
Newcastle United 22-23 Away Kit leaked pic.twitter.com/Ts8wJvwZ05— Ayça (@aycazehraakcay) May 12, 2022
According to leaks, Newcastle are going to have a Saudi Arabian coloured away kit for next season which is…— Ellis Platten – AwayDays (@ellis_platten) May 13, 2022
Newcastle United set to turn out in green & white of Saudi Arabia next season. New away kit bears striking resemblance to Saudi national-team jersey & will likely attract criticism. For club, shirt sales in Saudi certain to increase revenue #nufchttps://t.co/1blBRlfkts— Craig Hope (@CraigHope_DM) May 12, 2022
It can’t be a coincidence, can it? Can it??? Maybe, who knows.
A coincidence or not?
Now, look, football fans – myself included – can be world-class at reading too much into things, but it certainly seems convenient that Newcastle would suddenly sport a Saudi Arabia-esque shirt.
And you can bet your bottom dollar that the mere thought of the Newcastle owners influencing how the team looks will go down like a lead balloon with many fans.
The general atmosphere in Newcastle has been incredibly upbeat since Mike Ashley’s departure, but there are nevertheless wide-spread concerns about the wider morals of taking on Saudi owners.
Plus, stranger things have happened than potential kit hints towards the owners when you throw your mind back to the days of Cardiff City playing in red because of Vincent Tan.
Or maybe this whole drama is just a case of Castore fancying Newcastle in a white and green-like design out of nowhere. It’s hard to say.