We all have our point of no return, the moment when enough is really enough, when it comes to what Mike Ashley has done to Newcastle United.
Of course, many of us don’t realise that we do have this point of no return, until it suddenly hits you.
One fan, Colin Jackson, has reached his own point of no return, until Mike Ashley leaves the club.
This is his excellent response to the latest letter from the club after they extended the season ticket deadline yet again – sadly I think far too many of you will be nodding in agreement as you read through.
(NB: Mr Tickle isn’t Colin’s pet name for Mike Ashley, it is the name of the Ticket Office Manager – the letter sent out in his name by the club, reproduced below)
Dear Mr Tickle,
Thanks for your letter but I will not be renewing until Mike Ashley severs all ties with the club.
I will set out my reasons as follows but in my mind, no one at the club will read on, so this has probably been a bit of waste of time (just like the last seven or eight years supporting this club).
I’m 35 years old and have gone to the games since I was 5. The connection with the club was immediate. It affected my life, when the team won I enjoyed life that little bit more. When we lost, that was the weekend cancelled – it meant that much.
My love for the club isn’t driven by success (obviously!), it was the connection I had with it. That feeling of being part of something when those lucky players ran out before the game, they were representing me and regardless of what league they were playing in, they were my club and I felt part of it.
Then Mike Ashley walked in. A bloke that clearly doesn’t get it, doesn’t want to get it and simply sees it as another revenue stream – possibly driven by the embarrassment of allegedly purchasing the club without satisfactory due diligence – good businessman eh?!
From that point on, the club has stumbled from one embarrassment to the next, football decisions – Joe Kinnear (not once but twice), relegation, selling decent players, replacing them with nothing, cup performances, tolerating John Carver. Off the pitch – Wonga, renaming the stadium, relationship with the media, ignoring fans, misleading fans, just to name but a few.
And at every stage, making supporters feel like an inconvenience, time after time after time.
One man is responsible for this, the Owner. And now it’s personal.
That man cannot have anymore of my money which includes season tickets, cup tickets, strips, sports direct – none of it.
Mike Ashley has actually done something that I never thought possible, he has broken my connection with the club. I would imagine thousands of others feel the same and until he goes, I will not return.
In your letter to me you state that the club is always appreciative of the fans… Really? The reality is the club has spent the last five years making it difficult for supporters by constantly failing to communicate with them, feeding them scraps of information like old meat to a stray dog.
He has even turned the fans against each other. There is now a view out there that those that attend next season are very much part of the problem, they are tolerating this man, his decisions and his ways. Even those that remain employed by this man, including you, are perceived by some as also being part of the problem. I can absolutely understand the theory.
I thought, just maybe, that Ashley would get a fright at the end of another disastrous season and start to think differently – the interview was a start but then he reverts back to type with the North Korean style coverage of the McClaren appointment, this simply makes us the laughing stock once more.
Another irony is the language has changed, suddenly it’s our club. It’s not, it’s Mike Ashley revenue toy.
So in summary, I will not return until that man disappears, please delete me from your records or feel free to get in touch when that man removes himself from SJP where he doesn’t deserve to be.
One day, Ashley will be brought down and this is the only day NUFC can live rather than just to exist for the TV money.
No more stunts to pull.
Ex season ticket holder
(See the letter below put up on Twitter by one fan @youngin_uk)
(ED: Deadline day (well the third deadline day after two extensions – read about that particualr episode of desperation HERE)
You can follow Colin on Twitter @ActionNUFC