Chinese club Guangzhou Evergrande have today launched an audacious bid for the entire fan base of Championship leaders Newcastle United.
The unexpected move has come as part of Guangzhou plans to be the best-supported club in the world, and the so-called ‘Best Supporters In The World™’ have provided a logical starting point.
The move will see each of Newcastle United’s 50,000 ‘regulars’ offered £1,000 to change their allegiances to Guangzhou Evergrande.
“Our competitive advantage is our financial position, and we will buy anything and everything we feel will help us improve this football club,” said Evergrande boss Luiz Felipe Scolari.
“Securing the Newcastle United fans offers us a great opportunity to improve our position as the best-supported club in China, and then the world.
“They have just the sort of experience we’re looking for, in that they’ve enjoyed fleeting periods of great expectation followed almost immediately by abject failure, which will be useful to us in the next few years.”
Scolari continued, “We’ll happily pay top dollar for supporters who will blindly follow their team and defend them as the greatest in the world in the face of over-whelming evidence to the contrary.
“And in that respect, the Geordies really are second to none.”
The Newcastle fans, who will thankfully not be subjected to a medical, are expected to have a ‘fully clothed at all times’ clause inserted into their Guangzhou contracts.
A Newcastle spokesperson said that although the move has come at a bad time for them, the entire fee will be used to rebuild the supporter base into a slimmer, better-looking unit which they hope will be “the envy of the Championship”.