Wednesday nights prior to a Saturday NUFC home game, was for years the night we as a group of long standing friends, and fanatical Newcastle fans, called each other to ponder and arrange the coming match day itinerary.

Planned to the exact time we met, the watering holes we would visit and how many of us would remain out on the drink after the game, we would have it down to the minute.

(This article was received Friday so in no way a knee-jerk response to the derby match, to feature like Christos send in your letters/articles for the magazine/website to [email protected])

newcastle fansNot once, can I remember it running the way it was supposed to, but those calls on a Wednesday continued regardless.

It really didn’t matter how the day panned out, all eight of us friends would never have changed anything, even if we could have.

I  must add at this point, as well as before Mr Ashley’s tenure, this was the status quo right up to the present day. Unfortunately, the original eight friends and one time devoted fans have dwindled down to yours truly. Alas this being my last season, for the foreseeable future anyway.

For all eight of us bar one, the exodus is down to one man and one man only, Mr Ashley.

The very first to quit the group was Craig. Craig as we all do bleeds black and white but following the King Kev fiasco, he had the insight to declare and I quote;

“We are going nowhere with this fella in charge, my dog knows more about football than these idiots do .They are not getting another penny from me.”

That was it. Little did we know he would be the first of a band of Newcastle United fans to no longer want to see their team play as a result of non-football reasons. Oh and he hasn’t got a dog and never has had one. He does however regard King Kev as one of the greatest to ever wear the shirt.

Two more fell away 2009-2010, again disgruntled by farcical goings on at boardroom level, @stjames re-naming, Joke Inhere manager. Never was relegation a reason, just in case you thought that. We as a group have seen worse than the team that took us down that year.

After Lee and Stevie followed Mark, Chris and Johnny, only the latter stopping because of other reasons, namely his kids. Thus leaving myself and last of the thick skinned band, Bobby.

Bobby has left me to walk alone through turnstile 28 since the beginning of this season.

Although refraining from going to the game, every single one of us still meet for a few beers after the game when possible, just like it always was. The only difference being myself the only fool to still be lining the fat bloke’s very deep pockets. No longer.

My point is this. For years we have endured ridicule in the media for “off the field shenanigans ” perpetrated by players and staff alike. Not once did the bad press ever threaten to stop us as a group from going to support the lads. However, this ownership has systematically destroyed the pleasure of being a toon fan. Whether because of the total disregard, lack of respect and in my opinion total piss-taking of the paying fan.

You could cite the outrage of renaming the ground, treatment of Chris Houghton, King Kev the constant stream of Cockney Pals employed. Or maybe it’s the total lack of ambition and desire to better the club’s fortunes on the pitch. I could go on but I won’t, I will just offer my own reason.

We as a club have had some bad men at the helm in my time supporting Newcastle. Never did that make me think there was no hope of that person in charge trying to right a wrong. Trying the best for the paying customer. Trying the best for NUFC. Until now.

We have an owner who has no affinity to NUFC other than his money is wrapped up in it. Selling players for profit without replacing them is a dangerous and sure fire way to cause trouble, you would think. Not always in business, it’s called a calculated risk, and as such one this regime will continue to take.

It’s all about how much Mr Ashley can earn from the business, not how can we better the club. I see it now. I have put the best part of £4,000 into his pockets since Craig rapped it. We take the piss out of Craig cause he ain’t the brightest button, hmmmmm. Not so sure he’s as daft as we think. Sorry Craig but you are a plum sometimes mate.

To wrap it up, none of us have ever, or will ever stop supporting the Toon, but unfortunately for now a self-enforced exiled state exists.

To a man I am sure if an owner comes along willing to invest in the team and respect our fans I’m sure the season ticket applications will be back in the box office.

Until then an unexpected sad end to a personal era.

We still love Newcastle United but it’s just not fun anymore.

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