Newcastle United No Longer Deserve the Support Of The Fans

So the question is – should supporters put aside protests and concentrate on helping the club to avoid relegation? Should they ‘back the team, not the regime’?
It got me wondering why this question is only ever put to fans, and not to those with any power at the club. Let’s try it. Mike Ashley – will you put aside your frugal, miserly ways and take action to assure Newcastle United’s safety?
How about you take a couple of million from the £34m+ the club has in the bank to appoint someone more capable than John Carver? No?
Maybe something more symbolic than practical then. Would you strip the free advertising for your companies from around St James’ Park as a show of goodwill?
Fans have boycotted in protest because the interests of the club are secondary to those of your shop, could you show them that is not true, just to encourage them to come back? What about just turning up, or even dialling in, to a fans forum meeting?
I thought not.
Mike Ashley will not capitulate to supporters on even the smallest issue, at any cost. Even as the club stares at relegation within three games. This is what made the Newcastle United statement earlier in the week that this is ‘your club’ all the more galling.
Would your club charge supporters £35 for a licence to buy any away tickets? Would it ban half the press for reporting on events at the club? Would your club ban the supporters’ trust from the fans’ forum?
Would your club completely ignore the biggest protests at the club in 25 years, but release a statement within an hour of one of its advertisers being challenged on their methods?
Would your club keep a manager who 98% of supporters wanted replaced four months before falling into a relegation battle?
Would your club refuse supporters any representation on the board and refuse entry to the stadium for fans carrying an A4 flyer for peaceful protest?
Would your club move you from your seat, turning the stadium into a silent, miserable place from the cauldron it can be?
Despite the disparity between fans and owner as to who has the actual power, it is once again the fans being pressured to capitulate. The fans are being guilt-tripped about letting the club down by protesting. But those people that would have fans set aside their concerns have never paid to watch a game under Mike Ashley.
Whatever a reporter or a pundit or an ex-player or an ex-chairman or a manager or a captain asks of us fans, remember, it’s not something that they are doing themselves. They’re paid to be there. They’re telling you to pay to be there and to sing a song for them when you go. They’ve never stumped up the £30 for the privilege of having Mike Ashley rub their face in it.
We’ve heard it all before, of course. How many more times do we need to allow Mike Ashley to get us into this situation and be told to lend him a hand on his way to securing next season’s £70m plus broadcasting income for minimum effort or outlay?
It was last October – after the club made a disastrous start to the season and languished in the bottom three – that John Hall came out to tell paying fans where their responsibilities lay. “Right now, it’s not about Mike Ashley’s regime. It’s all about ensuring Newcastle get out of this mess,” he said.
Well we got out of that mess, for a while, until Mike Ashley sold two of our international defenders to clubs in European competition and didn’t replace them. Before he sold our manager to a smaller club in worse trouble and failed to replace him, even with anyone slightly less limited. Mike Ashley dragged us straight back into the mess we were asked to help him out of. And here we are again, being told it’s down to us to fix things.
Protesting when there is nothing at stake is rarely effective. It comes at no cost and therefore it can’t force change. It’s exactly when the stakes are high that protest will force change. Supporters that have engaged in a boycott must have the courage of their convictions.
It’s at moments like this that fans hold the aces, why would we hand them back to Mike Ashley so he can collect the pot again?
If Ashley can be assured yet again that fans will fall into line and back the club whenever his investment is seriously jeopardised why would he have a second thought about his approach being exactly the right one?
In the space of a fortnight there have been three statements from Newcastle United, a letter from the chief executive to the fans’ forum and another letter from the captain to all supporters.
It shows that the club have been rattled by recent events, but clearly they’re not rattled enough. Words are cheap. Not a single one of these statements has outlined for fans any pro-active measures from within the club whatsoever, either to ensure the club is not relegated or that the future will be any brighter whether we are or not.
Every word that comes out of the club places the emphasis on supporters to dig Ashley, Lee Charnley and John Carver out of this mammoth hole they’ve dug for themselves. But why exactly should we get behind this ragtag collection of cheap chancers and charlatans? What have they ever done for us? When would our loyalty ever be repaid under their leadership? It wouldn’t.
As it was put by someone on Twitter earlier this week far better than I could. “I’m sorry, Mike. This is not my club. You killed my club. This is YOUR club. This is YOUR mess. This is YOUR problem.”

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