We’ve all seen articles from fans on both sides of the Mike Ashley argument.
Some say he’s milking the club dry, taking money from transfers for himself, using the club as an advertisement for sports direct, giving jobs to his mates and so on.
The other side of the argument is that he made the club financially secure and saved us from bankruptcy.
‘Look at Vincent Tan’ they say, ‘Venkys, the Hull City rebrand’. I can’t sit and deny they are right, those owners are not the sort anyone would like at our club, but then I looked at the premier league table and thought who else has poor owners, my personal view is…none.
Apart from the aforementioned no one else has tried to change club or stadium names, certainly all others have invested in the team and managers.
Look at Spurs, Everton and Southampton, that’s where we should be competing even with Ashley and the money we have available, currently but we don’t.
I don’t want to go into finances as we have all seen plenty of that.
What I do want to mention is the immortal quote that we see so often from a man who really did bleed black and white. I’m not a religious person but I think if a message was ever pre-empted for a certain time this is it.
“What is a club in any case?
Not the buildings or the directors or the people who are paid to represent it.
It’s not the television contracts, get-out clauses, marketing departments or executive boxes.
It’s the noise, the passion, the feeling of belonging, the pride in your city.
It’s a small boy clambering up stadium steps for the very first time, gripping his father’s hand, gawping at that hallowed stretch of turf beneath him and, without being able to do a thing about it, falling in love.”
This is where I worry, forget the finances, the saving or not from bankruptcy, the advertising of sports shops or payday lenders. That almost pales into insignificance.
This is about a one team city, a club that has been a birthright to many, a club that sadly now has fans divided. Balance sheets are great but is football about huge profit? My opinion is that it should be about the love for the game, your team and your city. Basically getting by, no one wants losses but big profits aren’t necessary either.
Whatever people think about spending money it’s a necessary evil in the modern games, fans want players brought, they want heroes, the new generation of fans want excitement not balance sheets, or their support could easily go elsewhere. I’m not talking about the fans in Newcastle but all around the UK, how many kids in an Oxford playground will choose Newcastle as their team at the moment?
I’m sorry but Mike Ashley is taking this club apart, he’s divided fans, he’s overseen 2 transfer windows without signings and has taken the atmosphere away from SJP.
For the future of the club and the new generation of fans he should make an attempt to sell the club and as fans we should not rest until he does.