The government has decided to use legislation to take Newcastle United into public ownership if results under Kevin Keegan don't improve.
Nationalisation is preferred to avoid the club, a favourite amongst wet-eyed former Prime Ministers and journalists alike, slipping into the relegation zone and losing its top players.
Life long toon fan and former war lord, Jockey O'Blair (56): "Why-eye-man, I was knee high to a grasshopper when my dad first took me to see Jackie Milburn which would make me 101."
The effect of nationalisation would be to transfer management of Newcastle from its current manager, Kevin Keegan, to a former insurance salesman, Reg Dagenham.
Government sources say nationalisation is now highly probable and a decision will be taken within days. The Sports Minister and Prime Minister Gordon Brown have both said that taking the club into public ownership is a possibility. They will make their choice on the basis of an evaluation of the costs to the taxpayer of nationalisation, versus the cost of paying Kevin Keegan to drone on and on and on.
Newcastle United hit difficulties years ago when it lost the plot under successive managers who were unable to lift the club. It approached the Bank of England and asked them to buy some silverware. To date, Treasury-backed loans to Newcastle United are worth £26bn, and yet no silverware has been forthcoming.
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