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‘There’s A Club In The North Son And You’re Not Part Of It’

9 years ago

“There’s a club in the North, son, and you’re not part of it.”

Dave Whelan to Mike Ashley, 2000

Another weekend of matches and another week closer to the biggest miscarriage of justice in the 20-year history of The Premier League. Newcastle United are the victims of a conspiracy to relegate the club from The Premier League by a group of their bitterest rivals.

Are Newcastle fans prepared to ignore what our eyes show us and the statistics tell us?

Are we going to accept FOUR wrongly disallowed goals in a Premier League season against teams – Sunderland, Man U, West Ham and Wigan – that have known cause to hate us or our owner Mike Ashley?

Are we going to accept two utterly disgraceful wrong decisions – the worst tackle in living memory and a deliberate handball – in the same match against a club with a ‘happy knack’ for ‘great escapes’ and an owner, Dave Whelan, a hated enemy of one Mike Ashley.

As fans who pay hundreds and thousands of pounds each year and countless hours talking about, tweeting about, writing about, living and breathing for the game and team that we love, are we prepared to accept that ‘plucky little Wigan’ and “that gem CallumMcManaman” to quote the BBC on Match of the Day, are going to survive in The Premier League at our expense after this?

Are we prepared to accept it as bad luck the fact that the linesman, Matthew Wilkes, in the referee’s report said he had seen the incident and decided not to take action at the time, was the same linesman who denied Newcastle another rightful goal at West Ham?

Or that it was not the first wrongly disallowed over-the-line goal in a Newcastle-West Ham match this season?

Or is it time to accept that there is something going on that might not have the best interests of our football club at heart in a season when the rewards for staying in The Premier League are astronomical: a minimum of £60 MILLION next season and countless HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF POUNDS future revenue after that?

Trust me, at the outset of this season, I wouldn’t have dreamt I’d be writing an article like this one, nor did I envisage Newcastle in a relegation battle.

I certainly didn’t see myself on the brink of creating one of those wall-based spider diagrams that you see in detective shows with photos on a wall of the suspects with string linking them as Sherlock Holmes or whoever attempts to crack a case and find the truth. Yet the remarkable events of this season are almost stranger than fiction with last weekend’s games another prime example that has forced me into this extreme position as I seek the truth of the season and ultimately, justice for Newcastle United.

I almost expect Newcastle to have a goal disallowed every match now and wasn’t surprised to witness yet another at West Ham. That was the seventh of the season – three of which are from The Europa League – yet 4 in the League is suspicious to say the least. Predictably, Cisse scored, the officials didn’t count it, a mistake that was compounded by West Brom being on the wrong end of a blatant handball penalty decision in their match against Wigan at one end of the ground and Wigan going up the other and Callum McManaman scoring to win the match. He was then toasted as a ‘real gem’ by MOTD who coined the term ‘Wigan Time’ to describe this latest late Latics revival.

‘Wigan Time’, the term was an adaptation of ‘Fergie Time’, that known process whereby Alex Ferguson’s men benefit from an average of 79 seconds extra time at home when they are losing to enable them to score vital late equalisers.

The BBC commentator meant something different with Wigan Time yet it set alarm bells ringing, especially when I found out the identity of the linesman who didn’t give our goal. Especially as this wasn’t the first goal of that type we’ve had disallowed against West Ham this season, Demba Ba having an equaliser wrongly disallowed in the St. James’ Park fixture back in November.

Again, alarms bells start ringing – once is a bit of bad luck yet twice is unlikely coincidence. Especially when you consider it wasn’t even the first goal we’d had wrongly disallowed this season – that honour falling to Papiss Cisse’s effort against Manchester United that would have made the score 2-1 in the 51st minute and sparked a possible comeback. This was a fortnight after we’d came back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 at Goodison with Everton and three days after beating Bordeaux 3-0 to end their 17-game unbeaten record when our reputation as a strong team was intact ,so anything was possible at 2-1.

In case you’re new to Planet Football, Alex Ferguson has a reputation for, let’s say, influencing officials.

To be fair to Dave Whelan and Roberto Martinez, both have been outspoken critics of refereeing bias themselves, accusing officials of favouring Man U in recent seasons. After Wayne Rooney’s blatant elbow in 2011 which was missed by Mark Clattenburg, Whelan attacked the FA and Roberto Martinez accused referee Michael Oliver of Manchester United bias and was fined in October.

When you consider the relationship or war between sportswear business rivals Mike Ashley and Dave Whelan then there is unbelievable motive for Wigan to screw Newcastle over. It is said Whelan is known to hold grudges and the McManaman tackle, no sending off and the Figueroa hand-ball swung a six-pointer our rival’s way just like the two West Ham games and Whelan’s unrepentant and downright disgraceful attitude towards Haidara should not be forgotten in a hurry.

Then there’s the Sunderland decision at 1-0 down which if you want to hurt Newcastle, you hurt them against their local rivals. Again, if Cisse’s rightful equaliser counts then the Gallowgate roar in a winner before the end. Instead, it’s the worst of all the offside decisions and glaringly so because of the six-yard line which the linesman should use.

We’ve scored 43 in the League and 13 in Europe so far. That’s 56 in total, however, we’ve had at least 7 goals WRONGLY disallowed which would bring the total up to a more healthy and respectable 63. That means 11% of our legitimate goals have been denied us this season, a frightening statistic that is surely a football record.

However, if the goals go in and we get draws, points, wins and three points then confidence is up, we relax, play football, create momentum and go on a good run. That is exactly what we did last season yet we’ve been denied that.Alan Pardew was Manager of the Year last season and now seems to be Worst Manager of the Year in some minds.

Is this a great injustice? Or has he simply become tactically inept overnight?

Some call it Wigan Time, I call it an NUFconspiraCy.

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