Steve Harper Uses Farewell To Make Rousing Challenge To Mike Ashley
All credit to Steve Harper, not just for his 20 years loyal service, but especially for using his magnificent stage today to take up the baton on behalf of every supporter of Newcastle United.
Arguably the player with the biggest insight into the modern era of Newcastle United, Steve Harper has made a passionate appeal/challenge to the owner of the club, Mike Ashley, to urgently address the self-inflicted woulds of recent years.
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No coincidence that the United legend has chosen today to publish these words via the Telegraph, good on you Steve, I just hope that for once our absentee owner is listening;
“If the club was a body then the fans are the heart. It is a cliché but the fans do bleed black and white. They are its heartbeat but the link between the brain and the heart is no longer there.
Newcastle United are bleeding and if that isn’t addressed, if the wound isn’t allowed to heal, whatever is special about the club is in danger of dying.
The fans make the club tick but they feel detached from it. Whenever the club has done well the fans have been onboard, they have been fully behind their team, their club.
I think their loyalty has been tested far too often in recent years, it is one of the great clubs but is should be competing amongst the very best in Europe.
It is getting harder and harder to break onto that top table and opportunities have been missed. We finished fifth a couple of years ago but to sustain that you need investment in the team.
If I had a message to Mike Ashley it would be to engage with the fans and to repair that relationship. It is not totally broken but it doesn’t just need a plaster on, it needs to be fixed.
I have seen players chewed up and spat out by it, it is not just those who go to the game, it is the whole city.”
On the subject of Mike Ashley, I just hope that leaving all the current shenanigans apart for a minute. I really hope that the owner is at the match tonight. As owner he should be there to thank Steve Harper for his loyal service to ‘his’ club and his ‘business’. More than though, I hope Mike Ashley is there so he can see just how good it could be, to own this brilliant football club when everybody is pulling together and the place is rocking.
It may only be for 90 minutes tonight but I’d love to think that just maybe, the lasting legacy could be so much more where Mike Ashley is concerned.
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