When Newcastle United were on the verge of a £300-million takeover by a Saudi Arabian consortium last summer, fans of the club thought their dreams might finally start coming true.
Seven months after that deal collapsed, however, the nightmare scenario of relegation from the Premier League looms large for a club mired in mediocrity.
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By the time they kick-off at fellow strugglers Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday, Newcastle may have slipped into the relegation zone, depending on 18th-placed Fulham’s result at home against Leeds United.