I’m writing this pre-Wednesday and still have a vague hope that Everton will stop doing an impression of us and will actually take points off Sunderland, so that we have at least a chance on Sunday.

However, I also know that there’s next to no hope and we probably don’t deserve a chance anyway. As everyone and his dog has said, if you can’t beat Villa you don’t deserve to stay up. However, I’m a fan and would like it to happen, if only to give us a vague chance of keeping Rafa Benitez.

What I’m writing here is not news to anyone and has been written hundreds of times over the last four (nine?) years. But that’s the point. Nothing has been listened to or learned by Mike Ashley and yet he seems to be surprised we’re about to be relegated. Despite the fact it could have happened at any time in the last 4 seasons and he could have had no complaints.

The charge sheet is an absolute disgrace and the buck stops at Ashley’s door. …

Two  relegations in just 9 seasons (barring a miracle).

An average finishing position of 14th (I’m counting the Championship winning year as finishing 21st because we shouldn’t have been in that bloody League in the first place).

And only two top 10 finishes.

Read that all back again. It’s a disgrace!

Plus only one domestic cup quarter final in that time.

Then add on all the other appalling decisions that have been made. They are almost too many to list and have been discussed thousands of times before…

Appointing incompetent Managing Directors

Unworkable transfer policies

Diabolical treatment of club heroes

Useless managerial appointments

Renaming of the ground

Media bans etc etc.

The list is endless BUT, and here is the key point, the errors haven’t just been made once. Mike Ashley keeps making them. Even though he’s been told these policies don’t work.

I mean, Joe Kinnear! Twice!!! Even to the point of desperately gambling with a new manager but not giving him enough time to be effective – Shearer given 8 games/ Rafa 10 games.

Even if Rafa had been given three more games, with the pick-up of points we’ve had under him, we’d be clear of relegation. Three games!

By the way, any Newcastle fans blaming Rafa for us going down need to have a serious look at themselves. Some keyboard warriors clearly have no brain cells to go with their lack of pants as they wait for their Mum to wash them. Despite being 45…

Mike Ashley has been told this time and time again over the last  nine years. The fans have protested time and time again. The local media have been for, against, then for Ashley. The idiot MDs have ignored sensible fan questioning at the Fans Forum and looked for any excuse to bat away anyone who dares question their judgement. But sure as night follows relegation, we’ll get an email on Monday apologising for mistakes, promising to listen, and working hard to get back ‘to where you fantastic fans belong’. Just like happened the last time.

The ownership of our club can be read like a book. If we could bet on what they do, the odds wouldn’t be 5000-1 that’s for sure. Inept mistake follows inept mistake. The amount of culpability is disgraceful but no one will be held to account.

So what to do? Fans protests have been a regular occurrence and have had an effect, especially at the end of last season. However, such is the number of fans who support Newcastle, it’s very difficult to get unity.

And before the media hold up Liverpool fans as an example of what can be done, they weren’t protesting against the whole running of the club, just ticket prices. And they have owners who listen. But we don’t. Neither do Villa, Man Utd or the lunatics at Leeds, Chelsea or Charlton. That doesn’t mean their fans don’t care and that’s just like us. We care. Just as well because Ashley doesn’t.

Each to their own next season and everyone should respect the individual’s right to go, stay or walk the dog. I like football, am a lifelong fan, have a Newcastle obsessed son and Dad, and will continue to go. And I’m not alone in that but I respect everyone who boycotts.

Ashley has caused this and no one else.

One last stat should shame him but probably won’t. We’ve been relegated in the 1930s/60s/70s/80s/00s. That’s five times in 80 years – now we are about to see the second within seven years of each other..