Contrary to what some national media outlets might be telling you over the next few days, Newcastle United supporters are not about to start demanding the signing of Kylian Mbappe.

They do not expect their club to be challenging for the Premier League title in a couple of seasons, and they will not be protesting outside St James’ Park if their new owners do not spend £200m in the January transfer window.

They’d quite like to see Steve Bruce replaced by another manager, but with their team floundering in 19th position in the table, that was the case long before this week’s remarkable sequence of events.

As a new dawn finally arrives on Tyneside, the two key requests from the Newcastle fanbase are surprisingly simplistic. Hope and ambition.

Both should be the minimum demands made of a functioning football club ownership; neither has been even remotely apparent for at least the last decade of Mike Ashley’s miserable stewardship of the Magpies.

Ashley has presided over so many mistakes and misjudgements since he took over from Freddie Shepherd in 2007 that to list them in this column would threaten to surpass the word count for the entire newspaper.

Sacking Kevin Keegan. The Sports Direct Arena. Appointing Joe Kinnear. Appointing Dennis Wise. Overpromoting Lee Charnley. Ostracising Alan Shearer. Getting into bed with Wonga. Treating Jonas Gutierrez horrifically, resulting in the loss of a discrimination case following the winger’s diagnosis of testicular cancer. Appointing Steve McClaren. Falling out with Rafa Benitez. The list really could be endless.

Yet as the door is closed on almost a decade-and-a-half of chronic mismanagement, the most damning indictment of the Ashley era is the way in which Newcastle United has shrivelled from one of the most vibrant, passionate and emotive football clubs in the country into an empty husk, devoid of feeling, intensity or love.

Prior to this week’s developments, anger had long since given way to apathy, disgruntlement had been replaced by the kind of deep-rooted disillusionment that rots to the core.

Ashley, remember, was an owner that ‘did not want his managers to prioritise the cups’. He barely watches Newcastle’s matches anymore and certainly didn’t want to have to invest any of his own money to ensure they were able to keep pace with the mid-table clubs around them, let alone regain their former place among the Premier League, indeed Europe’s, elite.

The moment one of his managers spoke out of turn, or questioned the lack of investment, they were slapped down or dismissed. Better, from Ashley’s viewpoint, to have a boss who was happy to ‘keep things ticking over’, a direct quote from one of Bruce’s press conferences last month.

Under Ashley, one unremarkable season morphed seamlessly into the next. The goal of simply staying in the Premier League, in order to continue receiving the lucrative TV money that enabled Newcastle to just about keep ticking over, never changed.

Unless, of course, it was one of the two seasons on Ashley’s watch when the Magpies found themselves in the Championship. Then, at least, there was an acknowledgement of the pressing need to actually start winning a few games.

Newcastle survived in order to survive, and while football’s financiers might argue that is a reasonable enough state of affairs for a club outside the established ‘big six’, it was never going to satisfy a fanbase that justifiably wanted more. Hence the frenzied clamour to welcome this week’s takeover with open arms and celebrate the end of the Ashley regime.

Some will find that embrace of the Saudi Arabian state unpalatable. Again though, contrary to what the national media narrative might describe over the next few days, Newcastle supporters are not going into this with their eyes closed. They are well aware of the ethical questions that will be raised by their club being 80 per cent owned by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.

A personal view, as expressed in previous columns, is that it is not football’s job to determine which states or regimes are deemed ‘fit and proper’ for business, and it is certainly not incumbent on a football club’s fans to be making complex moral and political decisions over who should have the right to make financial investments into their country.

That is a government’s job, and the British Government has decided that business with Saudi Arabia should not only be tolerated but should be actively encouraged.

From Disney to Boeing, and on to Uber and BT, the Saudi PIF is involved in the ownership of some of the biggest businesses in both the UK and the US.

Between July and September last year, the UK authorized £1.39bn of arms sales to Saudi Arabia, despite the Middle Eastern state’s involvement in the ongoing conflict in Yemen.

If the Government is willing to give that kind of activity the green light, it is unfair to expect Newcastle supporters to turn their backs on their club because of accusations of ‘sportswashing’.

Newcastle’s fans want a club they can believe in again, and sources close to the new incoming administration strongly suggest there is a desire to achieve the kind of transformative long-term progress, both on the pitch, thanks to improved results, and off it, thanks to a parallel investment into Newcastle city centre, that supporters and the wider Tyneside community crave.

There will be short-term hurdles to overcome, with the same sources stressing that a Chelsea or Manchester City-style spending spree is unlikely, at least in the short to medium term.

The first task is to avoid relegation this season, while simultaneously making much-needed improvements at St James’ Park, the training ground and within the senior executive and academy structures.

This, though, is a takeover for the long term. The Saudis are realistic about the state of the club they have inherited but excited about what might lie in wait in the future. They bring hope, and they bring ambition. For now, that is more than sufficient.