“We have to get the right one that professionally and financially that gives us the best chance to prepare.”With the Premier League season coming into the finalt straight (only 9 games left), eager fans are already guessing at their clubs' summer plans - Summer transfers, new coaches and Pre-Season tours.
With Aston Villa, Tottenham and Liverpool already announcing their plans to venture to North America for their pre-season preparations , there has been talk of QPR going over to the Far East.
This season has brought many pleasant surprises on and off the pitch for Newcastle United and their fortunes seemed to have turned around dramatically; while their football is reminiscent that of the glory days (1990’s), the previously-unpopular manager, Alan Pardew, has been able to inspire his players and create a buzzing team atmosphere.
These positive changes have resulted in the club becoming a highly-respected side, with their performances deservedly guiding the club into the top 6. As a result, it is fast-becoming one of the most well-supported English clubs outside of Britain, especially in France and in the US.
Considering we can’t have any home friendlies due to the Olympics, I feel a foreign tour sounds like the best option to harness a decent reputation in the more affluent countries. It would give us an opportunity to develop a wider base of support and could encourage rich foreign business owners to invest in the club- that is if we need it!
Last summer, Newcastle ventured over to the US. Theoretically, the tour sounded a fantastic opportunity to encourage Geordie support in Northern America and to give younger player, such as Haris Vuckic, a chance in the first team. However, frustratingly, three players missed the trip to America as they were denied visas, while a schedule of nine flights in 10 days was a mistake. Furthermore, Guthrie, Ferguson and Ben Arfa all picked up worrying injuries. In addition, they only won one game out of their three matches; a particular lowlight being the 1-0 loss to Orlando City (a team in the US equivalent of League 1!).
In recent weeks, a few possible destinations have been been mentioned in the press; the Far East, Europe and another trip to the US. I Wish I Were A Geordie have recently reported that Newcastle United were in talks with Philadelphia Union . ‘The U’, as they are known by their fans, have hosted Manchester United and Celtic in recent years. However, whether another trip to the US would be beneficial, is another matter.
Personally, I’d like to see a trip to the Far East instead. With China emerging as a big player in world sports, it would be great if Newcastle could play a game in China against the likes of Shanghai Shenhua – a club now home to Nicolas Anelka. The likes of Liverpool and Manchester United have been able to really improve their base of Support in Asia in recent years due to frequent tours out there. If we could do the same thing, it would not only boost shirt sales, but could also provide us with an opportunity to develop an affiliation with the clubs out there.
The only problem with a Far East tour is the amount of travel of course and that has to be balanced with the games that will be played, so it’s always difficult to get it right. Alternatively, it could be an interesting proposal to tour France – half the team would be able to speak the language, and the standard of football is a lot more respectable over there. Also, it could further increase the already growing base of support which we are cultivating across the channel.
What do you think?