Newcastle may not be a Pompey but the San Siro seems a million miles away now
Less than 10 years ago Newcastle United were a Champions League club with fans having every reason to feel good about the direction in which the black and whites were heading.
Now instead of having expecations they have been managed for us via a statement.
Milan, Rotterdam, Turin, Barcelona, Kiev or anywhere - Newcastle were up for the challenge on football's top table and better still the money was pouring in too for then chairman Freddy Shepherd.
Was there a plan back then?
Yes. Stay in the top four and compete.
However, the moment the money was withdrawn and chairman Shepherd decided that putting fingers in holes to keep the water in wasn't going to work, it quickly turned sour for United.
Glenn Roeder as manager was left to pick up the pieces and knew he had an almighty task on his hand to compete.
Looking back, he pulled off not just a miracle to finish seventh (where we've never been since) but to even finish in what proved to be an unacceptable mid-table position.
Even then, Newcastle spent ÃÂ£10million on Oba Martins and ÃÂ£5million in instalments on Damien Duff.
Bringing in free transfers like Antoine Sibierski and a loan player in Seppe Rossi sparked outrage but fast forward to 2010 and this - following last night's statement - appears to be one of our only hopes of surviving.
Roeder of course went, Big Sam came in and then Mike Ashley arrived.
Publicly declaring you aren't spending any money is brave even if the intention was supposed to be an act of honesty.
The rest of the statement, reads more like a business plan rather than anything that clicks in with football logic.
And in terms of communication, so often the achilles heel of the Ashley era, the question has to be what's new?
Football questions have been directed at Chris Hughton for the best part of the last 12 months anyway and before him the haphazard if entertaining Joe Kinnear.
Stating that the board (Derek Llambias, Lee Charnley and John Irving) will not answer question directly to the media has been the case for some time now for most people who work in the media now, and there appears to be no favourites in the Press for the current regime.
The five year plan in an interesting concept and one that has previously been dismissed by the current board.
But while it may be unclear and uncertain, there is a plan.
If the club is relying on youngsters in the next five years, then names like Vuckic, Inman, Airey, Folan, Alnwick and Adjei may all get their chance - which division, we don't know.
There are no guarantees when it comes to developing younger players.
For every Andy Carroll there's a Fabio Zamblera.
And for every Steven Taylor, there's a Phil Cave.
That's no disrespect to Cave or Zamblera, youth football works quite simply in that there is a limited window of opportunity to both perform and hope that if and when a chance does come up, you take it with both hands.
The lowdown is without bringing in the Rob Lees, Andy Coles, John Beresfords, Craig Bellamys, Kieron Dyers and Gary Speeds of the world, you can't compete with those around and claim to be giving it full throttle.
If you don't sign those players, your rivals will.
It's accepted that nobody wants to become another Portsmouth while Leeds have shown just how hard it is to make a full recovery if you slip down the division.
In six years we've gone from finishing fifth and out of the top three as being a failure to staying out of the bottom three and being success.
None of it really fits in with the type of football or approach in the game that Toon fans have became accustomed to and none of it knits in with football logic.
Yes, Arsenal and Chelsea are taking the road of youth team development.
But that's with teams that are either winning trophies already or challenging for them season in, season out.
It's a huge gamble for Newcastle but if the current crop of players show the same type of appetite for the challenge ahead of them as they did in the Championship, we might have a sniff of avoiding disaster.
Whatever way you look at it and rightly or wrongly, at least everybody knows where they stand now.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?