Newcastle United FOOTBALL Club.
The F in NUFC appears to have been forgotten by both owner and fans. Ashley runs it as a business, rather than a football club, prioritising performance on the financial front over performance on the football pitch.
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Every season, there comes a point when the fans reach boiling point following abject performances and lack of financial backing. The fans launch verbal attacks on the ownership of their club, plotting ways of forcing the owner to sell up, ranging from walking out of games, boycotting full matches, and cancelling season tickets.
I have never taken part in any of these ‘Ashley Out’ events, but do not judge those for protesting, providing they do not judge me for not protesting.
My reason for not protesting may be viewed as shameful and ‘part of the problem’ by some fans, but I just do not see Ashley selling the club, no matter how big the protests get. The ‘boycott Spurs’ movement inspired thousands to stay outside of St. James’ Park – but did it change anything?
The fact that Ashley still owns the club tells you that the answer is no. The club has been up for sale before without any takers.
The one constant throughout the Ashley era, and every era, is that this is still a football club. I will always support the football club, but that does not mean I support the politics of the club.
As has been said before, ‘support the team, not the regime’.
On the final day of the season, the fans supported the team and gave every ounce of passion they had to help the club survive.
As Steve McClaren has said, there was no way Newcastle were going to lose that game with the amount of passion and energy from the fans and the players.
St. James Park was electric, a feeling that has been lost in recent seasons. As soon as the game ended, the ‘Ashley out’ songs began and for a brief moment, the buoyancy turned to negativity.
Mike Ashley stated before that game that he would not leave until he wins a trophy or qualifies for the Champions League. We can protest as much as we like but this cut-throat business man is going nowhere.
Newcastle United Football Club. It is in the club’s name.
Fans should unite and get behind the football team, not hurl their displeasure at the boardroom. It may not be as easy as it sounds, but forget Ashley. He will continue to make money in spite.
We showed how much of an impact we can have as fans on the final day against West Ham. For 90 minutes, the fans got behind the eleven men on that pitch, and in turn, those eleven men gave everything they could for Newcastle United.
Support the players. Support the manager. Ignore the owner.
You can follow James on Twitter @jrutherford11