So many articles and comments recently have been from people calling for accord, from fans asking for us all to stand together and if we cannot stand together then to at least respect each other’s views.
There has been a view presented that those who do not understand people still attending matches, and are openly critical of them, run the risk of alienating them and driving them away from any protest movement.
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There has been a view presented that those in the stadium believe that the protests will actually damage the chances of the owner selling up, making it less attractive for a new buyer.
There has even been a view that those who want to voice their discontent with the owner are actually just jumping on the bandwagon, which should have begun years before under the stewardship of the Halls and the Shepherds.
What do the conflicting views serve to accomplish? What is behind them and what does it accomplish?
I have made no secret of where I sit on this issue, I hate the current incarnation of Newcastle United, it is not anything like the club I have loved since childhood – a shallow profit driven subsidiary of the world’s biggest tat sports retailer rather than anything resembling a football club.
I am well aware that my views are confrontational to anyone who does not feel as I do, but the one point that I cannot fathom is just why anyone would feel remotely differently.
Is it that they don’t want to give up their comfy seat with a nice view of the humiliation on the pitch?
Is it that they would miss the match day misery with their friends?
Or is it apathy to the bone which has infiltrated every fibre of anything and anyone vaguely associated with what used to be Newcastle United?
However, what I have come to realise is that there is a section of the support who genuinely do not feel as I do, whether that is Stockholm syndrome (where hostages begin to feel empathy/sympathy to their captors) or lunacy is debateable, but they will in all likelihood carry on filing into the ground and justifying the stewardship of the owner regardless of what I, or others like me, say.
My views will never change on this issue, and in all likelihood there is a percentage of people whose opposing view will also never change, regardless of how much damage the current regime does or how many insults the owner heaps upon the club, simply attending is too important to them for whatever reason.
Where I agree with the other camp is that a divided view from the fan base only benefits one person, Mike Ashley, where I disagree with them however is that accord is required to facilitate change. The problem being that change will irreparably damage Newcastle United for generations to come due to the range of views and actions being so extremely opposed.
I cannot and will not accept that after 8 years under Ashley that there are still fans who need a cuddle and a pat on the head to do the right thing, time has long passed for polite chats and reasoned debates, if after everything that has passed people still cannot see what is required then change must happen in spite of them, not with them.
I find myself asking if these people’s homes were on fire would they remain seated because ‘I’m comfortable in my favourite chair’? Would they stagger around the streets with blood running down them, refusing to visit hospital to have the knife pulled from their back because ‘it’s my favourite knife’? If every time they visited a local restaurant they were punched in the face and had to pay for the privilege, would they carry on going because they like the soup?
The logic which leads to their viewpoint eludes me, and I know that passion in football isn’t logical, but where the hell is the passion?!! I could go some way to understanding if they discussed at length the roar of the stadium, the jumping fans, the banter, the songs, but there isn’t any.
On the contrary, even the most ardent fan bemoans the lack of atmosphere as much as they do the ineptitude of those soulless cowards masquerading as football players on the pitch.
My view is clear, and will not change, my only regret is that in order for this to happen we must accept that there will be casualties, the most telling of which will be the shared passion and love of being a Newcastle United fan, something which we used to hold so dear.
I read a comment the other day where the situation was compared to the miners’ strike and the fans entering the stadium were described as scabs. I would not go this far with the metaphor but having grown up in a family who felt the very real effects of the miners’ strike, but even I have to admit that there is a similar feeling to this situation, genuine opposition amongst a group of people who once existed in harmony, with now mistrust, lack of understanding and even genuine dislike. This is the reality, this is where we are and it will only get worse.
To those who feel that they need encouragement to join the protest, I will echo the same statements made time and time again in support of action.
Are you happy with what is happening and what you are seeing? If not, then know that nothing will be achieved by doing nothing, the fans still have the power of protest, it’s the only power we have left. So I urge everyone who can, to exercise their right of protest and boycott, please take this very public opportunity to stand up rather than lay down.