At the end of July the alternative ‘Magpie’ Newcastle shirt was launched, with the initial run of shirts selling out in minutes.
The idea was to give supporters a choice, particularly for those supporters who didn’t want to put further money in the pockets of Mike Ashley and/or sport W**** on their chests.
At The Mag we were happy to support the principle of the new shirt initiative and helped publicise the launch of it.
However, now George Caulkin of The Times has revealed that Mike Ashley has now taken action to try and prevent more shirts going on sale to supporters, with over three thousand fans said to have registered their interest in buying one, once they became available again.
George Caulkin writing in The Times:
‘Newcastle United have been accused of treating their supporters with a “lack of respect” after attempting to prevent a consortium of fans from producing a not-for-profit alternative to the club’s official replica shirt.
As The Times reported this summer, The Magpie Brand’s black and white top captured public imagination on Tyneside, with its initial run of 500 shirts selling out in 74 minutes and another 3,300 people registering their interest in buying it.’
When the Magpie shirt was launched, this is part of the press release that was sent out:
The Magpie Brand, a fan-based initiative from a number of affiliated Newcastle United fan groups working together for a better run club, officially launched its website and first alternative merchandise product, The Magpie Shirt, at 9pm last night.
The Magpie shirt (see details of the launch HERE) is a clean and modern advert-less football shirt based on the Adidas 2015-16 striped football shirt design, and sporting two embroidered badges – one of a Magpie on top of a banner reading “UNITED”, the other the crest from the city of Newcastle upon Tyne’s coat of arms.
Within two hours after launch, the considerable initial batch of The Magpie Shirt was sold out due to demand that far exceeded our expectations. This morning we have liaised with our suppliers to immediately order an additional batch, considerably bigger than the original one, of The Magpie Shirt to be produced within the next two weeks.
Now the Magpie Brand have confirmed the move by Ashley and Newcastle United via their Twitter account:
“Sadly NUFC have legally forced us, their own fans, to stop The Magpie Shirt. We are working hard on an alternative.
“For those asking about legal grounds, mainly term and badge of magpie in breach with their ‘The Magpies’ trademark. Full statement to follow.”