I am thinking of stepping back and I know what the rest of the Newcastle fans are going to say….
’It’s not a choice’, ‘It’s in the blood’, ‘It’s the only thing you know’.
All of those things are true of course but I can’t bear it any longer.
Let’s have a reality check here. We were once owned by the likes of Freddy Shepherd and John Hall, who got the club into a lot of debt. It was very exciting. We bought great players. We had great managers for much of the time. The city was alive.
They sold to Mike Ashley, who simply sees it as an investment. He took the club out of debt and promised to invest in young players, to keep us from going into debt again.
(To feature like Joe, send in your articles for our website to [email protected])
Mike Ashley has been absolutely true to his word and we should have seen this coming. Newcastle United is a profit machine. We are expected to have made at least £40m in profit last year when the figures are published, mostly because we did not buy any players.
We are ‘difficult sellers’ according to Lee Charnley, which means that we sell our best players for a high price. We are an established pathway for foreign players to come to the Premier League and then move to a bigger club.
Now, of course, we are a big club. Or rather, we should be. The truth is though, our club is an investment opportunity, not a football club. I, for one, am struggling to deal with this reality.
I only want a couple of exciting transfers a season. A couple of really good players. Good now, not in the future. I only want to expect to finish in the top 7. Now I expect to be fighting relegation.
I only want our club to be run by people who have the same enthusiasm as me. Not by people who plot ahead simply to post more profit. Clearly, I am stupid.
Is it me or does this not feel terribly similar to the way a lot of football clubs are going? Secretly, slyly.
Football is a business. We say that a lot, but let’s think about that. It is no longer a passion. Everyone jumps on football, a licence to print money.
I’m sorry but I can’t do this anymore. I am not buying a season ticket next year. I will divorce myself from the club I love. It just isn’t the same anymore.
I’m off to support Newcastle United Women’s FC. It’s actually about football there.