“I’ve been going for 40 years and watched worse than this!”
“I’ve been going for 70 years and it’s the worst situation at the club I can remember!”
“I’ve been going for 6 years, am fed up, but still want to go to watch the football as long as my dad will still take me cos I’m only 10!”
I could go on and on. The point is that fans are all fed up at the minute. Some just want to watch regardless of how good the football is. Some see the style of football as a reason to stop going. Others see the bigger picture and look at the way the club is being run as a reason to stop going. Friends are arguing amongst themselves over the whole shambles. Phrases like “It was worse under Bill McGarry and we have to support the team through thick and thin” are being countered with attacks like “fans like you who are still going and lining Ashley’s pockets are part of the problem!”
It is truly depressing. Fans from other clubs, for the most part, can’t see our gripe. Statistically the 9th best placed club in England at the moment and many fans will never reach that level, have no hope of a billionaire taking over, follow their team regardless of anything that happens and go home either happy with the odd win, or grumble and complain at another loss and bemoan the state of affairs. Man Ure fans are currently seeing their team probably not qualifying for the Champions League for the first time in years and we enjoy a chuckle at them, thinking that they should support Newcastle and know what it’s like to have real ups and downs.
At the end of the day it’s all relative and our situation is relative to us. It’s not understood by many other fans of other clubs, because it’s not ingrained in them the way it is such a part of life up here. Fans are now torn as to what to do for the best. Boycotting is probably the only way of peaceful protest available to us, but is it going to make a real difference? Fans who have already paid for season tickets not turning up for the rest of the season are simply not going to hurt Ashley’s pockets, unless they all normally drink ten pints and have umpteen “meal deals” inside the ground on match day!
He already has their money, but it is a commendable form of protest regardless. Will it make a difference? It’s too soon to tell. Not renewing season tickets to stop Ashley getting a guarantee of funds, but then paying more money for individual match tickets, seems futile on many levels. Some fans walked out a few years ago when it became apparent to them that Ashley was not the fans’ champion and would do as he liked, using the ground as a giant advertising board. Some fans can’t see anything ever changing and will either stop going altogether until we start winning again, or will carry on supporting the team regardless.
The whole situation is a sorry, sad, depressing state of affairs. Fans are now divided as to what to do for the best. We are all entitled to an opinion, but having a go at each other, saying things like “you have no idea what you’re talking about!” or simply getting personal is not going to help anyone! Boycotts are divisive by their nature and some have a barricade mentality, whereas others will continue to do what they see as right for themselves, thereby creating further divisions.
I’m not going to talk about the football other than to say that last night was like watching football in a morgue, the performance was inept and the whole experience utterly depressing, but you could say that the lack of vocal support, behind the scenes rumblings, loss of a great player, injuries, are all going to have an effect on players. No excuse for many!
A handful of internet groups have been set up to try and make changes, all with the best interests of the fans at heart, but are any protests and boycotts really going to make a difference? Is Ashley suddenly going to wake up and decide to go? How much will the loss of a large percentage of income really hurt his pocket? This bloke is a known gambler and I don’t mean losing a million here or there on roulette tables. He doesn’t seem to be bothered about losing a few large lottery wins on markets! Will he just walk away and leave the club to fall into a state of disrepair? Has he already done that? Is that why he hasn’t invested in the club over the years? Was he personally annoyed at the initial “Get Out of Our Club” protests and decided to just ruin the club? Only one man knows the answers!
We all have our own ideas as to what to do for the best. Does anyone have a real alternative to Ashley or are we just hoping for a new billionaire to come in and pray that things will be better?
Are we just jealous of Chelsea and Man City? Should we just support the team regardless? Should we give up on watching the team we’ve supported for years and years in many cases, changing a whole way of life and biting our noses off? Can we really, realistically get together and form a unified group to take over the club ourselves and send Ashley packing?
Times are certainly different to those when the pressure placed on McKeag made a difference, but did we create a finance based monster at that time? There are more questions than answers and who knows what is the best thing to do.
The heart and soul of the club is being ripped out though, it is utterly depressing and I can’t remember feeling this bad, in a lack of real hope way, since the days of Bill McGarry. A certain Kevin Keegan appeared from nowhere back then and no one can predict what will happen in football. I’m not going to quote Jimmy Greaves, because it certainly doesn’t seem very funny at the moment!