Aside from the unlikely (but admittedly not impossible) scenario of being dragged into a relegation fight, the season is over, packed away first week of January with the Christmas decorations.

No attempt at winning anything, no attempt at progression and just the prospect of departures over the next week or so to keep us on our toes and generate debate. Exactly the same as last year.

newcastle fixture listIf this fare had been served up in the eighties, I shudder to think what the reaction would have been. Actually I know what would have happened – it would have been ‘sack the board’ for starter, mains and dessert, hollered from scoreboard, corner and paddocks, before, during and after each and every match. Nothing pre-organised – no hash tags – just a huge venting of collective frustration.

Gordon McKeag, for all his reticence to invest, was a local man and a proper fan, who carried on attending religiously right up to his death in 2005. And yet the hostility that he endured pre- John Hall was both incredible and unwavering.

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Now we have Ashley – a southern wheeler-dealer who is clearly a fan of  nothing at all but the pound in his pocket. This regime is weighing heavily on us all. Daily. His trotters are ever deeper in the trough and there’s no realistic prospect of him clearing off any time soon.

So why is the reaction so insipid these days?  Why is it that we accept this southern pariah with little more than a whimper? How have we changed so much over a relatively short space of time?

I’m not advocating lynch mobs, or boycotts, or group arse-bearing, or in fact anything specific at all – what interests me is where did the passion go?

When did St James’ become so damned placid?

Why were 36,000 voices, mostly open to the elements, able to create far more of a protest than 52,000 in a relatively enclosed environment?

And when did it become seemingly unacceptable to voice objection?

Did Roy Keane break the habit of a lifetime and make an accurate assessment with his ‘prawn sandwich’ jibe?

Is it political correctness that has strangled anything but the most polite of expression?

Is it that social media is now the only place to vent your spleen and express your anger?

Are we just more accepting of mediocrity these days, given that’s been the staple diet for most of my lifetime certainly?

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not hankering for a return to flared kecks or even standing up. I’ve got a young lad and I of course don’t want him exposed to terrace battles. I just wish there was a bit more verbal expression of our dissatisfaction. A bit more of a feeling of being in it together. A bit less glum, silent resignation kicking about the place. I can already picture what the Stoke game is going to be like….

I‘m not daft enough to think that anything we could sing, chant, scream or holler would make much difference to Ashley, but to shout up and hear the ground united in condemnation  would make me for one  feel a whole lot better.

A bit like voting – at least you’d have your say. And it might at least stop Ashley from turning up to view his ‘investment, which would be an improvement. I know there’s not much positive to sing about but Christ almighty, I wish there was a bit of life about the place, a bit of spirit and a bit of attitude.

I’ll admit, I wish every once in a while that Harry Roberts was still our friend, that people went home in ambulances and that Steve Howey’s brother was …well, you know.

Just to put some jip back into proceedings. Maybe every generation feels the same – maybe I’ve got rose coloured specs on, but I really miss the atmosphere as it used to be  – at no time more so than when there’s a tyrant in place and a protest to be made.

  • Hez

    Because it doesn’t work, Ashley has shown he isn’t particularly bothered or hurt by criticism of fans, stood firm over Pardew despite massive critcise and media pressure. Maybe Ashley’s attitude is the club still makes him money and will probably stay up, job done, call me names if you want and I ll wave at you all from my helicopter

  • RexN

    One of the problems is that there is an element of the Life of Brian about it, fragmented groups all wanting different things.

    There is a lovely one bubbling under which is to transfer support to local non league clubs (no I do not have a vested interest). The idea seems to be on a match weekend, go and support North Shields, Dunston, Consett, Gateshead, Durham, Tow Law, whoever. The non league club gets extra revenue whilst pointing out that football can win despite Ashley.

    I believe that the Twitter hashtag is something like #lovefootballhateashley.

    It has to be worth a go if it supports local football.

  • MartinJW

    The crowds under McKeag fell regularly to under 15,000. The hard core remained, the rest went away. Had we been at that time mid-table in the then First Division, as was, we would have been delighted.

  • A lex

    Because Ashley has had Kinnear and Pardew as front line shields to take the heat.
    Crank it up constantly, and I mean CONSTANTLY, at him for the remainder of this pointless season, and I think you would see that it will have some effect.

  • NufcToon

    The moment he broke up the singing section for family areas is the moment he silenced the stadium.

  • NufcToon

    And yes what we sing or chant has not one iota of a effect on mike. I bet ashley out in sports direct pardew styled lettering banners on sky t.v would be kicking him where it hurts.

  • TNMW

    The problem with 21st century football is that it has attacted the designer fan, all ready and willing to take the place of those that depart.  The loyal, passionate kind who’s only real weapon is to starve the club of their very being, with the ultimate sacrifice from one that is seen as just another place to fill by another.
    With what was a fanbase prepared to queue, sing and support through thick and thin for many hours pre-kick off, replaced by those that will only be prepared to charge their media device in the very same time period.   They haven’t the heart or willingness to even see what the issues are.

    The time to act was KeeganGate and the lies of Ashley selling up should have been ignored.  We should also have targeted the tat shops but we’ve missed the boat im afraid.

    The olden days will never return and the passion for the club arguably as well. Maybe it’s too late now, maybe it’s not but with every passing transfer window, a little bit more of the soul gets lost to the elements and if there is to be proper action, it has to be soon.

  • A lex

    Deliberate. He knew what he was doing.

  • gazchampion

    Perhaps the few hundred (even a thousand) protesters we have seen in the past actually are the ones who have stopped going to SJP! 
    I believe that boycotting SJP would be the ONLY way to make cashley take notice. starve his cash-cow! A half-empty SJP would be guaranteed BAD publicity for MA and co. because the media knows how well NUFC is supported.
    Hit him where it hurts… in “the wallet” (so to speak) He has got NUFC on life-support, literally trickle-feeding the club just enough to keep it alive to be able to serve him profit after profit. 

  • gazchampion

    NufcToon it cewrtainly contributed along with the hi-vis ashley-police a.k.a.stewards! Sit down ,stop shouting, confiscating banners, etc etc.
    Agree with Alex , cashley knew what the was doing!
    Ashley OUT!

  • LeazesEnder

    I see Lee Ryder is backing the regime again!

  • RexN

    LeazesEnder Be fair, he is only trying to get Douglas a prawn dsandwich.

  • FatCashley

    Can there either be a mass protest for the Stoke Game or just no-one attend the game. You couldn’t get a better time to create publicity. Sky have finally decided to pick up on this shambles of a club but we need the whole nation to know what a farce this man is and what he’s done to our club.

  • LeazesEnder


    WORLD RECORD—United were the first club in the world to have average gates of over 30,000!

    WORLD RECORD—United were the first club in the world to have one million through the turnstiles in a season.

  • LeazesEnder

    RexN Theres only one group NUST.

  • LeazesEnder

    RexN LeazesEnder Ha…I think Douglas is trying to get his own prawn sandwiches!

  • ArtyH

    At least everyone knows how badly the fans are being treated by the owner…..except the fans. How gullable can you get after what has happened and been said, I am actually ashamed to say I am a fan now as the club and everyone associated with it is a joke. We are a laughing stoke as we the fans are being dumped on forom a great height and it appears to the owner we enjoy it. Its no good turning up at matches and chanting stupid songs, he does not care and laughs all the way to the bank and has evidence everything in the garden is rosey, how could it not be? 50k plus turned up to watch, they love it. Thats the message he gets when 50k idiots turn up every week. Stay away for one game thats all, make a protest, show him up for the cancer he is to the club, a bare ground would make him see we will not be ground down, and allow the club to be treated this way. If you continue to attend, you deserve waht you get and are killing the club, if you attend you should be ashamed of yourself for allowing this to happen to our club. Ask yourselves what the atmosphere is like now to ten years ago, everyone, even on the tv and press comment on how like a graveyard our stadium is now, its no wonder as only ZOMBIES attend under this regimen.

  • Alexh1984

    I’ve said it before (many times) there will be no protests or even much anti Ashley noise at SJP as the main fans who would help create it boycott. Get yourselves back in for 1 game and let him know how you feel. Your replaced with do gooders who go for a nice day out or non fans in newcastle for the weekend.
    Away games are much more vocal, I was at Leicester in the fa cup and that was exactly what has been described as lacking in this article.
    Staying away to not give your money to Ashley is a personal choice but has no effect on him. Ticket money is a drop in the ocean to the man. In my opinion staying away is the easy way out and completely destroys any chance of protests.

  • Maximus Moose

    the new generation of fans at Nufc have been brought up on the Garbage played by Nufc the only time they see decent football is on match of the day or champions league days

  • Maximus Moose

    LeazesEnder Free Pies & Bovril !

  • Hez

    Go on then mate, organise it!

  • PeterRobson

    NufcToon So what was to stop everyone else singing ??
    There are more than 50,000 every home game and they (we) all have voices !!!
    Raise them and be heard !!!

    Moaning that he disbanded the singing section is an easy opt out !!!

  • A lex

    Easier said than done, Peter.
    I used to have a quiet accountant guy sit on the right of me, and a grandmother and granddaughter on the left. Not exactly like-minded people congregating in ‘the Scoreboard’.
    Like any investor, Ashley has spread his ‘risk’ by mixing the fan demographic. He’s just destroying our culture and too many are either compliant or blind to it

  • PeterRobson

    A lex I´m a Granddad and I can still sing like a drunken sailor mate !!! I grew up in the Leazes end with urine running down the steps long before all this nonsense began !!!! 
    He´s not ripping the heart out of the club, he´s piddling on the fires in our hearts for the club !!!
    We don´t need a singinging section, it should be a singing crowd !!!

  • vbhgft

    A lex So, accountants and grandmothers/granddaughters are not welcome in your “brave new world?”.

    Why don’t you just come out and say it, Alex? You don’t want women, female children or the educated middle class in the ground do you?

  • A lex

    vbhgft A lex Hahaha, you’re a joke.  I have letters after my name, for a financial discipline, myself, so I’m hardly against the educated middle class. Nor any of the others you mention.

    This is no ‘brave new world’, this is the same as a sweatshop that makes Ashley’s clothes – head down, shut up and do your job. The ‘job’ being to turn up and pay your money then go home…..and come back next time.

    Any partitioning of fans should only be done on safety and attitude, and i hope that’s the bleedin’ obvious. Those that want to sit quietly and sip on their half-time flasks can do so. Those that want to sing and dance and have earthy humour can do so. But they shouldn’t mix, and Ashley’s policy of removing singing sections and spreading the demographics around have been both calculated and ruinous.

  • vbhgft

    A lex vbhgft Your “letters after your name” clearly haven’t done you much good. Your spew out utter nonsense on here, day in day out.

    Quite why a (supposedly?) educated person like yourself wants to spend his time in the company of the braying, reeking, hoi polloi is highly questionable.

    I have been attending matches since season 1967-68. I have never sung a single note, neither have I worn a replica shirt. that’s why I pay nearly £1000 for my season ticket – to keep myself away from a) the true riff-raff and b) wannabe middle class riff-raff like you.

    You charlatan.

  • Demented_Man

    A lex vbhgft Well expressed.  The atmosphere was much better at SJP when the Longbenton aggro boys used to line the back of the Leazes End, although the crowds were smaller.
    Say what you like about them, they were proper supporters, unlike the middle-class prats of modern times who spend their time munching on prawn sarnies, consulting their iphones, and muttering darkly against the ‘bedsheet brigade’, and anyone who dares to invade their dead, resigned worlds.
    I wish they would all bu**er off and watch Rugby Union instead.

  • vbhgft

    Demented_Man A lex vbhgft Proper supporters? Rubbish. They were the scum of the earth.

    You dinosaur. You’ll be wanting black and white telly, power cuts and the three day week next.

  • A lex

    vbhgft A lex I may have done well in my career and life, only through hard work. But I haven’t forgotten my roots, where I came from and what spirit and culture I represent.

    Not having ever sung in support of the team nor donned the shirt, I can only despair at your kind. Meanwhile, of course, Ashley rejoices at your kind in the grand you handover to him each year.

    You may be a tad older than me, but age hasn’t given you wisdom.

  • Demented_Man

    vbhgft Demented_Man A lex You no doubt think the working classes are scum in general.  Bet you think Mrs Thatcher did a good job in suppressing trade union power as well.

  • A lex

    This ‘vbhgft’ has to be a wind-up, d man. I never used to respond to APB&WA or Rooney2 – this pr1ck has just been awarded the same status from now on. I’ll not rise nor discuss with ‘it’ anymore.

  • SimonM68

    A lex Jeez this is a bit depressing isn’t it.  I can’t see how singing correlates with ‘class’ (look at Gareth Malone and his army choir) or how ‘class’ has any place in the debate at all to be honest. 
    I think as long as you aren’t f-ing and blinding around the little kids, a good sing makes you feel better doesn’t it? Can’t see it automatically qualifies you as a tw*t?
    It worked on Zulu anyway.

  • vbhgft

    Demented_Man vbhgft A lex As it happens no. I depised Thatcher. 

    I’m a champagne Socialist.

  • vbhgft

    A lex So, because I express views you disagree with I am automatically a wind-up merchant? Can you not just accept that some people view things differently to you, Alex?

    APBWA and Ronney expressed inarticulate nonsense most of the time. Surely you can see my contributions are different, even if you do not agree with them?