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Mike Ashley Has Now Even Stopped Me Looking Forward To Newcastle Away Matches

6 years ago

I have no expectations for our football club these days, Mike Ashley has done a complete job on that front.

Home matches have now become almost like an extra day at work, I try to get through the shift without looking at my watch too often, and the only positive is the (mainly) canny people that I sit next to at work/St.James’ Park.

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Not that it makes any difference, but I have stopped buying anything apart from my season ticket, as the thought of giving our owner one single non-essential penny makes me feel like throwing up.

Boundary Park No More

So I don’t buy any merchandise, any pies or pints, nor any of the other rubbish the club try to foist on you via having your season ticket info.

Away matches are my sanctuary, a place where you can have a no holds barred day out, away from the misery of supporting Newcastle under Ashley and putting more money in his pocket, that is of course if a ignore the £1 surcharge he makes Newcastle fans pay per game for the privilege of supporting the team at away matches . Of course the football is mainly still rubbish but the day out with your mates is the only thing that matters.

So when the club managed the miracle that had previously eluded them in recent years, of actually organising some kind of organised pre-season schedule, I was made up.

First up Oldham – excellent.

A new ground for many of our younger fans and Newcastle United’s first visit to Boundary Park for 21 years. Memories of Steve Watson’s acrobatic throw in and a dodgy early generation grass-free pitch.

Then I read on this site what has just happened at Oldham.

Mike Ashley has basically walked into town and all but taken over, not that I am claiming that he has any shareholding in Oldham Athletic but he has pretty much taken over everything else.

The ground is now called SportsDirect .Com Park, SD is going to be on their shirts, Ashley’s Sondico is the kit partner supplying replica shirts etc and SD have taken over the Oldham club shop at the ground and will be apparently running it on the club’s behalf.

Oh well, I suppose at least they are doing it transparently in the north west….

Then to top it all, it becomes clear now why Newcastle United are making this the first leg of their pre-season schedule.

Our job is to launch this brave new Sports Direct branch in Oldham, with reports that Newcastle could also be sending some of the better younger players to this north west club as well, to gain experience and of course to benefit Mike Ashley’s new venture/club.

So do I still go to Oldham?

Obviously I want to go and have a day out with the lads but if I do…

I can’t help but think that in some way, part of the ticket money will somehow be reaching Mike Ashley.

At every away match I make the effort to go in the club shop to buy a pin badge for my collection, which of course this instance would be going into some Mike Ashley/Sports Direct/Oldham kind of hybrid retail outlet.

Plus of course my home match policy of no pies and pints would also have to be extended to this fixture – a painful extra when the actual football played at friendlies is almost completely dire, and diversions such as dodgy pies and alcohol are an essential diversion.

The worst aspect of all is possibly that just by being inside that Oldham renamed ground is giving extra publicity and backing for Mike Ashley’s horrendous plan to turn this north west club into a total joke at the expense of football fans just like you and me.

The middle option may happen, where I’ll head down to Oldham with my mates for the day out but forego the match and experience the delights of Oldham town centre on my own for a couple of hours.

The things we do for our football club…


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