Right, this whole plane banner business. First and foremost I think we can all agree that raising money for charity is a good thing and hats off to the Newcastle fans who have organised that. The problem that a lot of Toon fans are having here is, that it seems to be the right gesture done in the wrong way.
As we all remember, last year the mackems flew a plane over St James Park at our final home game of the season with a message reading ‘Auf Wiedersehen Prem’ (see above), having previously sent one over with a similarly pointless message during a derby match.
This sort of stunt has also been seen at Arsenal, Man Utd and others – every single time it’s fallen a bit flat.
The fact is that Sunderland are, by any metric, a smaller, less important club than Newcastle United, just as Sunderland as a town is a smaller, less important town than Newcastle Upon Tyne.
By copying (and it would be copying) the same crass stunt pulled by the great unwashed we are absolutely lowering ourselves to their level. In a way it harks back to that analogy of the Tyne/Wear rivalry being two bald men fighting over a comb and until someone rises above it that’s the way it will remain.
It’s our job as the bigger club to do this and until we do, we’re going to be stuck scrubbing around in the dirt trying to convince people that we’re more than what we actually are.
What we have here is a perfect opportunity to do just that. There is a big pot of money there at the time of writing, about £900 raised for the plane and the same amount again for Bradley Lowery and others.
Many Newcastle fans would say that it’s crazy to waste the £900 on a flyover when we could put all that money into the hands of people who really need it. Yes, the money has been raised on the pretext of doing the flyover but would anyone really mind if the people who have worked so hard to raise it, turned around and said ‘You know what, we’re going to cancel the plane and give it all to charity’?
It’s a potential win win situation for Newcastle fans.
It makes the mackems look bad for wasting all that money on what amounted to nothing more than a pointless stunt and it makes us look good by raising a large sum of money for some very very sick children. It breaks the small time mentality.
The fact is that we are the bigger and better club and it’s about time we started acting like it.
(All contributions from Newcastle fans welcome, send articles (as well as ideas/suggestions) to [email protected])