My Grandpa was a ship’s engineer from Wallsend. He began in Tyneside docks before travelling the world. Home though, was always the north-east.

Later he became a director and his firm had Newcastle United season tickets. But he was rare amongst Geordies; football interested him little.  Every other Friday his father-in-law paid an ‘impromptu’ visit. No words were required; my great-grandad’s eyes would twinkle and as he was handed a pair of match-day passes.

Back then it was simple.  No billionaire owners, eye-popping TV deals, crypto-tokens designed to prise yet more cash from the loyalist of followers.

Football was as football should be; eleven of them, versus eleven of us. Escapism from work, from the world, from life’s troubles. Whether in cheer or despair, supporters stood together united. Far from everything meaningful was something that meant so much.

For nigh on 15 years Newcastle United has lacked that.

You cannot always tell someone’s mental health from the outside. Supporting Newcastle analogous; on the outside not too bad – ticking along one might say – but on the inside. Well it was at an all-time low. Hopeless, helpless and devoid of light.

The club’s lack of communication was both chronic and crippling. Without a visible object of fury, the frustration. Something had to give. And it did; our nearest and dearest bore the brunt. A fan-base verging on civil war.

And then it happened. Literally in the space of hours came unity. From nowhere.

That is why thousands giddily descended on Strawberry Place on Thursday night, merrily popping cans until long after dark. Under Mike Ashley the cathedral on the hill – our cathedral on the hill – had become less place of worship, more discount inconvenience store. In a sort of pseudo nominative determinism, match-day was ruined by the match.

Not anymore. Those celebrating just wanted to lap it up amongst loved ones. In a week’s time they will head up those concourse steps and, for the first time in ages, that first sliver of emerald will send the spine tingling.

But is not the end of it. There is another side to this. It is absolutely right to highlight the human rights atrocities of the new ownership.  But there is a notion – pushed by some media and social media – that by celebrating a changing of the guard, is akin to blessing human rights atrocities.

That simply isn’t true.

In many ways it is all intertwined but there are also distinct elements. Football’s soul has long-since been auctioned off, but no amount of money can buy the soul of each football club. Why? It belongs to no-one. That’s the beauty. It isn’t tangible. It is not an entry on the Land Registry, nor cash in the bank.  It is a community brought together. A chance to pass something down the family line. It was there long before and will be there long after any owner.

There still an uneasiness about it though. How can there not been? The human rights record of Newcastle United’s new guardians is abhorrent. The treatment of the LGBTQ community is sickening. No amount of airbrushing or carefully formed wording can push it aside. Nor should it. It has to change. Perhaps in some small ways change can be affected from the inside. Maybe that is fanciful.

But is it right to ask, or indeed to expect, football fans, of any club – not just Newcastle – to be moral arbiters? Barbed questions that have been heading in the direction of supporter representatives might be better directed at those with actual power to do something about it. You know like the Government or the Premier League? The cabin boy was not blamed for sinking the Titanic.

That is not to say as fans we should blank it. It’s just many of us do not know how to think. I certainly don’t. Right now, I’m in a euphoric dream world, wandering earnestly what might be. That doesn’t mean I don’t care. It doesn’t mean I value what happens on a football pitch over human life. What I feel now is visceral reaction. It takes time to process these things.

Many from afar are claiming they would have walked away now. But they can’t know that. They’d just like to think it true. Some say you shouldn’t judge before you’ve walked a mile in someone else’s shoes, and no-one else has. Newcastle fans themselves have barely taken the first step.

Some Newcastle fans will draw the line. Many won’t. For some that will be for blind loyalty, while others will continue to ponder or feel uneasy. And that is each person’s right; that should be respected. I honestly don’t know what I am going to. It’s a morality minefield. What is the right answer? Is there a right answer? What even is the question?

But the idea that by sticking by their club, there is some sort of de facto mass ignorance is misguided. It suits a narrative which is why it will continue to be pushed. But not everything is that black and white.

SAM DALLING