The aftermath of the weekend’s protests and boycott has been nothing other than predictable, the club announces an attendance of over 47,000 whilst the live broadcast, supporters and journalists seem to agree that this figure should be described as ‘optimistic’ at best.
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The naysayers said nay, the protestors declared victory, the club (apart from the moron in the dugout) remained silent.
The day’s comedy was predictably provided by club compere and local legend ‘Geordie’ John Carver who made a series of increasingly bizarre statements including Martian spaceships full of footballers and appearing to not actually know how many games in a row we have lost (it’s 6 John, in case you feel likecounting, one off yet another unwanted club record).
As the dust begins to settle we now see immediate reminders from the club that there will be a load of tickets available for the home game with Swansea, and they are even now at pains to point out that there is no membership fee payable, whilst on the other side of the argument we also see that the hashtag #boycottswansea has replaced #boycottspurs as the rallying cry of the disenchanted.
As one of those self-same fans who is distinctly anti-Ashley, what I say next may come as a surprise to you, but in all honesty it does need saying, because we should never be afraid to honestly give credit where it is due, or we run the risk of becoming detached and unbalanced.
So from the bottom of my black and white heart I would like to say an earnest thank you to Michael James Wallace Ashley, lord of the Barrack Road and scourge of leisure retailers all over the continent (well, Slovakia).
My heartfelt and honest thanks does not come from some misplaced gratitude about accounting stability, propagated by the dark lord himself and his army of toadies, then passed around by fans suffering from Stockholm syndrome and inflated egos, it comes from a startling realisation that the weekend’s events have afforded me.
You see, I spent a fair portion of last week raging about how the support in the stadium is made up of the apathetic and the lazy, they their inaction has directly contributed to the current state of affairs and the continuing decline, I stand by this argument as it is certainly true, but what of the owner’s apathy and laziness, what of his inaction? Well, here is something that we can all be thankful for.
The malaise of Newcastle United pours down in torrents from the very top of the club, it runs through the board, the scouts, the coaching staff, the players and finally into the stands where it manifests into the silent inanimate mass which forms our ‘support’, we are lucky that it has not left the club and poured into the very streets of Newcastle City centre.
Our luck doesn’t end there though, because it is precisely this attitude of apathy from the top which will do more work to drive away fans and force their hand into action than a thousand pieces written by people like me.
Everyone has a tipping point, everyone reaches a stage where enough is enough and thankfully, for those of us with a right mind and a willingnessto want to rid our club and our city of this vile regime, the owner shows absolutely no signs of changing track.
Far from sacking John Carver he seems happy to let him march into oblivion, rather than opening communications with a clearly unhappy customer base he is happy to let a man with the intellect of a lettuce be the main focus of the expression for a £300m business.
In short, rather than any form of response or action we are left with continued neglect and decline. So thank you Mister Ashley, your laziness and lack of interest is doing the protestors’ jobs for them, long may it continue.