As we bade not so fond adieu to 2020 and all of the shite it has brought to our doors, we remember some of the great movers and shakers of the last 12 months and provide them here with the recognition they deserve.

Apologies if we’ve missed someone from our list here but as they say elsewhere … there’s always next year.

THE TAKEOVER

There are numerous characters to focus on in this endless drama but these are the people we believe have added to the sum total of human misery on the B&W planet.

The Premier League – whatever they have been doing via strategic leaks and procrastination it had nothing to do with the Owners & Directors Test, designed to protect a football club. But sadly, it appears so far to have worked.

We crown the PL as serving the narrow interests of beIN, the Qatari government and the corporate objectives of “the top 5” who showed what they were really all about with “Project Big Picture” or whatever cartel type behaviour they were involved in.

The Media – certain parts of the media have had a great takeover (look, I know 12 months in, there is no takeover but bear with me) and their metrics in terms of clicks, hits and all of that paraphernalia will have shown a healthy rate of whatever they call it. It may be click-bait to us, wasting our time with the pretence of some new information but it is part of how the media in the digital age has to act to generate revenue and survive. Never mind the quality, feel the width. There were months when we were hopelessly addicted to all of this stuff even if the vast majority of it was complete one-sided nonsense. Journalism died but accountants celebrated.

Some individuals have positioned themselves as the keepers of secrets regards the takeover, hinting at deals being signed off “imminently” and unlikely contacts across the vast sweep of the Middle East etc. I’m not sure how this supposed ITK insider track can be sustained going into 2021 but I’m sure there will be an effort to keep it going on the petrol fumes of any information received.

Newcastle United supporters were elevated by some, notably football hating football journalists with The Guardian and The Independent to carry the conscience of the nation vis-a-vis, Saudi Arabia’s many and horrific human rights abuses.

He’s a good journalist but Miguel Delaney excelled himself with a real one-eyed dedication to pouring scorn on a potentially game changer takeover of our club. If Delaney has written one sentence non-takeover related since regards United, I’ll be staggered.

THE FRIENDS OF STEVE BRUCE #FOSB

There has been fierce competition for awards in this category. The Pundit class has attempted a Gas-lighting of the country’s football followers with jaw-dropping claims as to how well (sic) Brucie is doing on Barrack Road, whilst we hopeless saps who watch the artist formerly known as Newcastle United grind painfully through the gears, listen with an assortment of jaw-dropping incredulity and spluttering exasperation.

 We have tied the braying Chris Sutton and yapping Robbie Savage in this category within the Pundit class. A partnership spewing drivel and nonsense has taken R5 to depths previously only plumbed by Adrian Durham, Simon Jordan and the Talk-sport firm. That needs to be recognised. Well done, you’ve ruined radio.

Steve Macmanaman wins a new award for the least knowledgeable and prepared match talking head to commentate upon a Newcastle United fixture in the last year. We believe Macmanaman will provide a valiant effort to retain this honour in 2021.

In the category of football journalist who has done most to defend, deflect and disguise the failings of Steven Roger Bruce, there can only be one winner, Luke Edwards. Whilst Luke’s writings for The Telegraph remain good quality, informative and worth reading, he has drawn particular attention due to the doughty defence he has provided for the current incumbent of the SJP home dug-out via social media.

Luke drew some ire for his refusal to go completely Tonto when the consortium were telling all in sundry there were no red flags and the takeover was on course and sadly for us, Luke was more on it than others. Social media prefers a beautiful lie to the ugly truth and so it seems, the Chair of the Leyton Orient Tyneside Supporters Assoc felt the wrath of some who couldn’t bear to contemplate their dreams falling to earth. Toys are still being returned to prams today.

Fair play to Luke, his scepticism regards where the takeover was at, was a lone voice at times and he occupied an uncomfortable space as many over-excited Geordies (hello there), contemplated world domination funded by the Saudi petro-dollar. Not for the last time, Newcastle United has found a way to bring us crashing to the ground in disappointment.

But that’s not the award on offer here so Luke will have to live with his FOSB trophy. There will be other great days for the boy Edwards.

THE MIKE ASHLEY AWARD FOR MIKE ASHLEY BEHAVIOUR

Won again by Mike Ashley. Having cynically placed what remains of club staff on furlough at the tax-payers expense, Big Mike, the greedy prick’s prick, excelled himself by continuing to take Direct Debits from supporters for season tickets whilst the rest of the PL paused theirs. Ashley’s chief shill, Lee Charnley then took an inordinate amount of time to even answer questions from the Newcastle United Supporters Trust and arguably only did after the intervention of the PL, NUST and several local MPs. We expect Mike Ashley to be a major competitor for this award in 2021.

THE SHIT, I KNEW I SHOULDN’T HAVE CLICKED THAT LINK …

The Chronicle. No more words required.

STEVE BRUCE

There are loads of awards for the Head Coach and because I have a painful lack of imagination, here are only a few:

Huff of the Year – we had something of a hint at what might be coming when Bruce fell out with The Mail’s Craig Hope (subsequently sent to the Gallowgate Gulag) and asked if he was calling him a liar with all of the conviction of a 70s car salesman but more was to come. Having been toyed with by the intellectual Chronicle colossus, Lee Ryder, we watched dumbfounded as Bruce, puce-faced, arms crossed and furious, declined Ryder’s greeting and provided only a one word answer to a question so banal I can’t remember what the fuck it was. Big. Spoilt. Daft. Bairn.

Excuses – thinly veiled digs at Rafa, COVID, keyboard warriors, hysteria (all from a well-thumbed Excuse Book which has done active service on Wearside and the West Midlands. See also work-in-progress visible only to the Steve Bruce-eye and a distaste for tactics, data and all of that modern malarkey which may or may not include motivation, conditioning and crossing the half-way line.

Joelinton – continuing to select possibly £ for £ the worst signing in the club’s history in the face of all evidence to leave him in the house with a photo of Steve Nicksen in a gold frame.

Front-foot football – is it real or myth in the world of Bruce-ball?

Overblown self-praise – one point, no goals from Man City and Liverpool is now “terrific” for Newcastle United as opposed to bang average at any other point in the club’s entire history.

Services to “The Remit” – it is apparently where we are and you need to accept it and get with the programme. Or you can tell him to shove it.  

WE REALLY SHOULD BE LAUGHING LONGER AND LOUDER AT THIS MOB AWARD

Sunderland – how are they getting so spectacularly off the hook right now?

TONY GREEN FAN CLUB