Newcastle United defender Federico Fernández has spoken to Spanish news agency EFE, and it turned out to be quite a good interview.
Even though the player had to answer the usual questions about his big challenges in the Premier League and the national team, there was a good part of the chat on the Magpies’ takeover process and the squad’s reaction to it.
“We were very calm. It is something that is above us, that we cannot control,” Federico Fernandez told EFE (via La Vanguardia).
“Obviously all kinds of speculation, with the fans, the desire for it to happen, to attract new players… But we couldn’t do anything. Just enter the pitch, represent the club and if it happens in the future, as it happened in Swansea… well, for the player it’s the same. The objective is that the Newcastle shield is as high as possible.”
Asked if he was excited for it to happen, Fernández said: “We have to be realistic, if it happens, we’d have seen the project and what was the reality of what was happening. We were focused on our thing, which was to keep the team in the Premier League, because if we didn’t stay up, it was much more complicated all this we are talking about.”
Following the failure in the takeover project, Fernández claims they were briefly told by the club’s president, presumably referring to owner Mike Ashley, that the deal had failed.
“We had a talk with the president where he told us about what was being said outside that the Premier had stopped the sale. He didn’t tell us much else. Now we had the dinner before the start of the league, he wished us the best and that we had a good season.”
The Argentine defender also talked about the pay-per-view project, especially because Newcastle United asked for matches to be cheaper.
“The reality is that we live in difficult times and sometimes the world goes very fast and what happened three or four months ago or what is happening now we forget very quickly. We forget that there are many people without work, who are in difficulties.
“When you make decisions like this, to put a price to see a game, they’ll have to evaluate it well and make it accessible so that people can clear their minds. The importance of watching your team or watching football, which really happens to me when I’m at home, is good for you. Help people who are having a hard time and who have been locked up.”
Federico Fernandez was also quizzed about the campaign led by Manchester United star Marcus Rashford to fight child hunger in the United Kingdom. He praised the English star, but when asked why not many footballers do similar, he also made it clear that a lot happens privately.
“I’ve seen it and followed it quite a bit. It’s a story that he lived in the first person when he was a boy. He knows what is lived and what it feels like, in what situation the children are and the importance of food. That these boys can have a guaranteed hot meal is very important, so it’s undoubtedly a fabulous gesture from a very young boy, who is surrounded by people who advise him well. The important thing is that good results are obtained from this with the support of the Government and that it is obtained for those people who need that plate of food.
“It has to be something that is sustained over time. It cannot be that they say ‘this year we give them food’ and nothing else. An agreement must be reached for it to continue in the future.
“Obviously in Marcus’ case he’s an important and public figure. When the media play their role and put it up, there’s much more talk about it. I can also tell you that there are a number of people, many players, who did or do things and not all of them can appear on television or have the repercussion that this has had.
“The most important thing is that they are done. We have made raffles with the shirts, we have donated money here to the hospital in the area… I’m not interested in putting it in networks, the important thing is that the money reaches where it is needed. The other day I received a thank you letter from Newcastle Hospital and that’s enough for me.
“The club also donated to the medical service. In short, there are things, some come out more, but what I can assure you is that in silence there are many more. Not only from the players, but from the people who collaborate. Those who help the community in any way and are unconsciously donating.”