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Newcastle United – A Great Old Club But Not A Big One Under Mike Ashley?

8 years ago

A good win against a team with precisely half the number of points we have amassed (true, away from home against a manager who has had the Indian sign over us, and in London to boot, I know, I know) is encouraging some fans to think we might be fulfilling our potential.

This is a bit of a sensitive point at the moment because we are fishing in upmarket waters – for a fast and skilful chap called Remy Cabella, the kind of guy Arsene would quite likely be interested in, and ours for £14m, or so we are told.

Wenger, after all, is currently demonstrating it might be possible to qualify for the Champions’ League without possessing an outstanding forward and never trying to buy one either.

Mind you, he has a stellar midfield. The great man has obviously decided you get more bang for your buck buying top midfielders than top and often misfiring forwards. It’s quite easy to imagine one of Wenger’s teams incorporating Cabaye, Tiote, and Cabella. Oh, and Ozil.

Wenger might spend £14m on Cabella, and of course we will not.

There is an awful lot of misinformation put about by those in and around our club in January – I’m sure you’ve noticed.

But Cabella’s manager at Montpellier, a chap called Courbis, is saying that Cabella would never come to us because we are not a big club.

This has got right up the noses of those who support Mike Ashley’s template of existential drift which seeks to avoid upward and, above all, downward league position movement, beating the clubs we should beat, meekly surrendering to the clubs we can’t, and helplessly failing to put the cat amongst the pigeons year after year, until some financial objective has been achieved, or just year after year, full stop, world without end.

I believe this has got up the noses of those people because it is true. We are not a big club, and no statistics will prove otherwise.

We are not a big club, because our objectives are those of a small club. A solvent club, true, a club with good players, no question, a club well enough managed, yes, I think so (thousands don’t, but thousands do, too), a club that is not recklessly run, absolutely.

The only competition we officially want to do well in is the one that we admit, and our manager admits, we have no chance of winning. The clubs that win the Premier League are big clubs. The Manchester clubs are both big clubs. Liverpool, even today, is a big club. Arsenal is a big club. Chelsea are perhaps the biggest of the lot at the moment.

The teams we compete with; the Southamptons, the Villas, the Stokes, are not big clubs. We were ahead of Manchester United a few weeks ago, and now we’re behind them, narrowly, but we’re not competing with them, because they are a big club.

We might finish ahead of Manchester United this season, and that will not make us a big club. Big clubs win things, and they win things because they are set up to win trophies. Big clubs are run by football people who understand what their customers want.

The objective of our board is not to win things. The Mike Ashley Newcastle United is set up not to win things. We don’t want to win things. Indeed, the official objective of our board is to ‘provide affordable football,’ which is fine, but it rather misses the point of a football club.

Plenty of clubs are like us – the smaller clubs that never win anything. Their fans tend not to whinge like we do. There is a reason for that. And I would like you to consider if it is a fair reason.

We have an enormous fan base, a loyal crowd, a guaranteed income, and a city in which we are unchallenged by a second club with a public that is passionate and knowledgeable. And we have a cynical, high-handed, obstinate ignoramus in charge.

That’s the fault line, right there, folks. We’re a great old club.

We’re not a big club, but our smallish, passionately supported, much loved club has a super bunch of fans. And we’ve got a rubbish owner.

That’s why we’re whingeing. We’re in an abusive relationship that we can’t get out of. That’s the kind of abusive relationship that only the abuser enjoys.

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