Well, the boycott happened on Sunday.

Since then I have read, seen and scrolled through a variety of responsive comments, ranging from the justifiable to the downright thick-ignorant. Rather than get involved in any debate I’ve decided to write and justify my opinions here. For the record, that is what they are; my opinions.

(Jamie is just one of our ever expanding team of regular/irregular writers, send in your original articles for our website to [email protected] and share them with the world – all views are the author’s own etc etc)

I cannot see how this boycott can be viewed as anything other than a success. I didn’t go to the game despite having a valid season ticket and I’m pleased with my decision.

As many have said though, I completely understand and respect that people chose to go. In fact, I had initial misgivings about the protest being announced after tickets had gone on sale (although I realise it was a response  to the mackem debacle).

There will have been circumstances where people had arranged to take children, or perhaps made travel plans to come from other parts of the world and it would not be fair to expect them to undo all of this on short(ish) notice, especially with kids involved who would likely not understand.

However, I do feel there’s one argument that has been tossed back at the boycotters that is indicative of a complete lack of understanding from some quarters.

The following statement has been horribly mis-overused in recent days:

“Ashley doesn’t care if you boycott! He’s already got your money and that’s all he’s bothered about”

What people don’t seem to be getting is that this boycott was not about money. Ashley is one of the richest people in the UK, to try and use ticket money (a drop in the ocean of the TV rich Premier League) as a blackmail tool is not a valid strategy.

I am not part of the Ashley out team and do not speak for them, but I strongly suspect they are well aware of this fact. For clarity (and remember this is my opinion) the point in this boycott was to make a statement of intent.

For all the outright lies of a supposed 47k attendance, it seems the accurate predictions range from 31-37k. Either way there is a clear message that 15-20 thousand supporters are aggrieved enough to forsake doing what they love in order to make a point. Hopefully this will strike a chord with Ashley.

While I don’t expect a below par crowd to concern him, he will hopefully be aware of the intent of the Ashley out campaign to use people power to strategically hit home where it hurts, and the fact that there are numbers not evident in previous protests willing to throw their hat in, may have set alarm bells ringing.

Further to this, and more importantly, the exposure this event has gained has been the real measure of its success.

The magnificent monologue against Ashley and his ilk from Jamie Carragher was the highlight but the level of reporting on national media has created nothing but negative publicity for Mike and the club.

Additionally, and this is a stretch, it has given our plight exposure further afield. In order to oust the current regime we need someone with considerable wealth, and it could be that the level of attention gained on Sunday has raised some awareness of this among the type of people who operate at this level.

Finally, there is the question of where we go next?

Some naysayers have said this is pointless as a one-off. I disagree completely for the reasons above. I also remain confident that the Ashley out campaign will put clear statements of how they intend to progress from this promising beginning (remember, this boycott rose organically from Twitter, and was endorsed by Ashley Out but not part of their plan).

boycott

(Both photos thanks to Adam Barnsley)

What I would say is that wherever we go from here, everyone must agree we need to be in the Premier League. Full focus on beating Swansea (more likely than Tottenham) in an untelevised Saturday kick off is the right thing for now and the next move can come about once we’ve crawled over that safety line.

Some have expanded on this to the point of advocating that jacking in your season ticket is the only way to go towards any kind of sustained protest. This is also the common view from the outside, with our support being scoffed at for its consistency, not too many (trophy less) years on from “where were you when you were sh*t?”

Surely this is once again an individual matter. If you still enjoy the match day crack and see it more as a social event, you should keep going. If you feel the day is a chore, a pi** take and an insult and have rapped in to spend more time with your family or friends doing things that make you happy, you do right.

However, if you would like to go to match but feel you need to make a statement, then don’t give in out of hopelessness. Surely it’s a viable alternative to turn up, sing, shout and when the opportunity presents itself, make a nuisance of yourself to the regime who are destroying what you love.

So many people are in different positions, but surely we can be United enough to respect everyone’s different choices? There are interesting times in front of us for certain, but the greatest challenge seems to be to get everyone singing from the same sheet.

So do what you want, respect other people’s decisions and maybe give a chance to anyone trying to take action for what they believe is right.

Like I say, my opinion.

Follow Jamie on Twitter @Mr_Dolf

“Special


  • MikeAshleyLies

    Really good read that.  Totally agree. Cheers.

  • toongordy

    spot on

  • Ollie Burtons Grandad

    Top Draw Article
    Ashley Out!

  • jarra lad

    A good, sensible, balanced article.

  • howaymebonnylads

    My sentiments too!!

    I boycotted but would find it hard to Jack in a season ticket for many of the reasons you state.  However, I’m prepared to be vocal (and already am to be fair although we seem in a minority) in the ground against Ashley and his cronies.

    Another boycott with several weeks/months notice and advertising may give even better results.  It’s disappointing the police or some other body cannot force the revelation of the true number of people physically in the ground as opposed to tickets sold.

    I was (pleasantly) surprised as to how many people did boycott so it clearly did work.  Disappointing to see Freddie Shepherd on the news tonight completely disagreeing with the action taken.  I wonder if he still goes!!

  • gazchampion

    Completely agree with you… TOON ARMY REVOLUTION! 
    WE MUST BE UNITED and we will win this war against the fat controller!

    ASHLEY OUT!

  • MilitantGeordie

    Can we all get past the whole ‘ Ashley’s got ya money so no point’ rubbish. This small but respectable protest has already got pundits talking about Ashley’s lack of investment and ambition. For me it’s a great start to causing Ashley some serious PR problems with the general public. I’m sure the fantastic Rangers fans will support us as we supported them in riding Ashley from their club. Let’s keep this high profile dissent going and totally expose the evil eating away at this football club. I didn’t attend the Spurs game but i don’t have a season ticket anymore. Massive respect to those who did have a ticket but made the decision to stay away! true fans!

  • mentalman

    Saying that there was 47k there isn’t a lie it’s how crowds are calculated

  • mentalman

    Waiting several week/months is not the way to go, waiting that long the media would have moved onto something else

  • snodgrass2

    Absolute rubbish. This is mealy mouthed subservience. I would have
    boycotted but…. you all have a valid reason to placate your own
    weakness. Life is tough. Nobody gets or keeps anything without working
    for it or working at it. Look at the effect it is having nationwide and
    all anti Ashley people , not just NUFC fans, are getting on the
    bandwaggon. Once again the action was seen as personnal to him so the
    bully was nowhere to be seen on Sunday same as last time a boycott was
    intimated. The season is over and anyone who thinks a team who cannot
    score create or defend will have a miraculous finale will be sorely
    disappointed. Take advantage of the moment and hit him every time you
    can. He hates the negative publicity.  Stay away.

  • Jarmin Geordie

    I live abroad and was actually back home at the weekend but I didn’t attend the game, as I normally would, even ‘tho I’d arranged my visit to coincide with a home game, as I normally do, and I agree everyone one has the freedom of choice as to attend or not and neither side should have a go at the other fans (a united fan base is important for any fight) but what I cannot understand are the middle ground “support the team not the regime” boys because there is absolutely no atmosphere in the ground just silent apathy at the moment so I would ask those who choose to attend at least give the team support and some encouragement

  • Toon Magpie

    STRIKE A CHORD WITH ASHLEY? When has Ashley been in tune with the fans. It isn’t about money, it is about whether Ashley cares about what fans think, he doesn’t, I stayed away and I was glad I did, I watched on TV , now I’ve ended my subscription of Sky sports. Will Ashley care, we are relying on whether Ashley will care? he does not.

  • Toon Magpie

    Let me give song you a song and stare hard at the lyrics, maybe you thought this song was of a bygone era but it rings true. We are mental and mad. We really are and more mental and mad than ever.
    We are the Geordies, the Geordie boot boys,
    For we are mental, we are mad,
    We’re the loudest football supporters,
    the world has ever had…

  • Jail for Ashley

    Claiming that 47K tickets were sold isn’t a lie, claiming 47K were in there is a blatant a lie
    as we didn’t buy anyone in January because the squad was full or Hughton was sacked because he lacked experience. or that we spent 30M one January as opposed to 19M or that we tried to bring in Nzogbia when Carroll was sold or that 80 people in the footballing world applied for the managers job after Pardew went or that we have a five year plan that will see us push for CL…….

  • Ashley most definitely cares when people criticise him…
    Why
    does he surround himself with ‘Yes Men’? Because he can’t take
    criticism. Criticism hurts Mike Ashley more than it hurts any normally
    adjusted person – that’s been repeatedly proven by his childish retaliatory
    actions, i.e. banning the Chronicle, banning The Telegrpah, banning NUST, etc.
    If we judge Mike Ashley based on how he responds to criticism, you can conclude he has the emotional development of a four year old kid.  And that makes Mike Ashley easier to hurt than any normally adjusted person.
    The protests have to continue and they have to expand to his other business interests.  Because as his previous childish retaliatory actions have irrefutably proven, Mike Ashley is a very easy person to hurt.

  • k1llingtime

    Jail for Ashley It is standard accounting practice endorsed by the Premier League. Every club counts season ticket holders, whether they actually attended or not.

  • gazchampion

    Toon Magpie Don’t hear that chant too often, anymore! Those who go can’t even sing the first chorus of the Blaydon Races! 
    There has been half-ar5ed ,apthetic, emotionless ‘support’ at SJP for a while now – that ISN’T supporting the team, is it?
    Anyhoo, we want change, we want action, we want ASHLEY OUT… so why not BOYCOTT the rest of the season and enjoy time elsewhere, cos there’ll be no fun, no ‘entertainment’ at SJP until the fat greedy get leaves Toon for good… our ultimate tarrget.
    ASHLEY OUT!

  • gazchampion

    k1llingtime Jail for Ashley … another farcical Premier League ‘instruction’ which simply makes no sense but it inflates match attendance figures for their benefit – it makes good reading, doesn’t it? BUT actually claiming 47,000 were in attendance is another bare-faced LIE by the club, indeed!
    Photographs taken ‘in match time’ are self-evident that SJP could only have been 3/4 full, if that. The pics prove that there is a rebel groundswell in the ranks – Great news for the campaign!
    Howay, lets show the fat controller  we’ve had enough!
    It will hurt but it hurts watching The Toon play anyhoo… BOYCOTT SJP!

    ASHLEY OUT!

  • k1llingtime

    gazchampion Agree with you there. It’s one example of the EPL self-publicity machine. I don’t think any club release official figures of actual numbers through the turnstiles, do they? Happy to be corrected on that!

  • robreed94

    NUFCTheMag absolutely spot on Mr_Dolf

  • magpie9

    After seeing the supposed attendance of 47,000 for Spurs game it makes me wonder if Mike Ashley was owed 47,000 quid would he have accepted a quid off each attending fan as payment? I think not, magic counting(lies)