If you run a business, the real danger to you is the customer who slips away without complaining.

Satisfied customers are all well and good. Dissatisfied customers who are vocal are of real value, as they give you essential feedback – they let you know what is wrong and you must then do your damnedest to put things right.

(To feature like Paul, send in your articles for our website to [email protected] – all views those of the author etc etc)

The people in charge of NUFC are committing the heinous crime of ignoring the feedback from their complaining customers. Even vociferous protests are roundly ignored.  This is not only tragic but it goes against all financial logic – a logic that the club publicly claim as their main aspiration. Their short sightedness is as astounding as it is foolhardy.

The outcry on social and traditional media from a section of NUFC fans to boycott the Spurs game is intensifying. Banners, chanting, gatherings outside the ground. Mr Ashley should take note. However, he has seen it all before and hasn’t given a shiny sh**e so far. There’s no reason to suggest that he will view these actions as anything other than the usual zealots trying to destabilise his financial plan.

Mr Ashley should really worry about…the quiet ones.

The ones who aren’t fervently typing on their keyboards to make known their views. The ones who aren’t posting vitriol on social media. The ones who aren’t standing under the Milburn shouting and screaming. Nothing wrong with this, of course, if you feel that this is what needs to be done to effect change.

I think that Mr Ashley should be worried about those who silently slip away and never return (along with the next generation). The ones who stay away from the Spurs game, but who stay at home or in the pub.

The ones, like my mate – a lifelong fan who has had enough – who has cancelled his season ticket. People are ready to walk away. Their hearts are empty, when the club should be doing everything in its power to give people hope. The club are failing us all miserably and have decided that they don’t want to do anything about it.

I will not be protesting at the Spurs home match but neither will I be attending. I am truly gutted.

Beware the quiet ones…

You can follow Paul on Twitter @Brown_Shark



  • John Jobling

    I quite agree! It has come to the point when friends I have attended games home and away with win, lose or draw. In sunshine, rain, gale and snow through regimes and managers (and players that would try a saints patience) we have always
    turned up for “The next one”. With renewed hope. But today those friends – nay comrades – are split into the attending/ not attending next week. And the cancelling. It has come to this…we are arguing amongst ourselves. All achieved by the actions of this regime. I am 62 been there for over 45 years …and hopefully for a few more. This is the worst I have ever felt.

  • Toonarden

    We really need action NOW. If anyone feels that this is not the right way to go about things with boycotts and demos I’d be happy (and intrigued) to hear alternatives. Unfortunately sitting on your a**e and smugly saying it won’t work is not an option and all we can glean from that is you obviously haven’t got the best interests of the club at heart. Why wouldn’t you want rid of Ashley? Answers on a  postcard please but get your therapist to authorise it first.

  • AndyMac1

    I think Fatman shouldnt worry about any one until the colourless, drab, “go as usual every matchday” fans begin to learn the reality of what an Ashley owned football club is. The performances deteriorate, the league places deteriorate, the squads strengths deteriorate yet the profits increase ? 
    So with that in mind how does an SJP regular justify their attendance, week in week out ?

  • v0ices

    AndyMac1 I think that’s the point of the article eventually these people eventually will walk away and once they have changed Saturday afternoon habits they may never change back.

  • Marklp

    I’ve already stated I will be boycotting the Spurs game but the Fact is the majority of fans will attend it, if the people who are pro boycott want it to be a success they should stop alienating the majority with comments like AndyMac1’s. Maybe instead of slagging people off with a different view to us we should be giving them constructive reason to support the boycott.

  • Sickandtiredstill

    Marklp It has to be said though, that the anti-protest people go beyond saying they aren’t going to support it or simply don’t agree (while offering no alternative at all it must be said)
    They state generally that Ashley is a good thing for this Club and everyone else has it wrong. That Pardew’s tenure here was either a) he couldn’t buy who he wanted, or b) we did good because of who he bought! 
    After 8 seasons of this ownership, it simply is incomprehensible how anyone can believe that growth and development has occurred anywhere except on the balance sheet. Even that is open for debate due to the unaccountable monies we are all waiting to find.
    Those people cannot have their minds changed by facts, figures, reasoned arguments or anything else. They simply refuse to accept them and just repeat the regime spin without any thought or effort to see beyond it.

  • If people are wanting as many fans as possible to boycott then I think anyone associated with or that supports the boycotts needs to stop slagging off other fans who are maybe undecided and also stop talking like a boycott of one game is suddenly going to see Ashley sell up and leave.

    Not having a go at anyone willing to boycott etc and respect the view that the fans need to start doing something to change things but I have to say as someone currently on the fence about whether to stop going to games etc then reading lots of comments from people suggesting that I am part of the problem or am not as much as a fan as people who are boycotting is certainly not swaying me to support these demonstrations etc and is in fact probably pushing me the other way as I don’t really want to be associated with people who think they have the right to tell people what they should do and how they should support their club.

    If people still want to go to games and don’t think these boycotts will make any difference then that is their choice and I don’t think it makes them any less of a fan.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Marklp,
    The biggest argument I’ve heard against the boycott is that it won’t affect him, he is thick skinned, he is a billionaire, it’s not about that anymore, it’s about giving our club back it’s pride, showing those football fans up and down the country that think everything must be rosy because 52K turn every week that things aren’t good, that we’ve had enough, it’s about showing him that we can unite and be prepared to make a stand.
    I’m lucky enough to be at home this weekend so I’ll be there in Leazes park showing Mike Ashley that I’m sick to death of being thrashed one in four games and ensuring the mackems survival year after year. I’ve made a couple of generous donations to Ashley Out as those lads need all the help they can get.
    Ashley Out .
    HWTL !!!

  • Sickandtiredstill

    Roberts Grey Pants Robert.
    Are you happy with what you watch? Are you happy with what you pay for? Are you happy with the ownership and management of this Club over 8 seasons?
    At some point the question has to be asked, and answered, by all. If it’s a No, then are you (and others) personally prepared to do anything about it?
    If you and others (a question, not an accusation) aren’t bothered enough to do anything to try and make a change, then what are you getting riled up about?
    Just keep going along, paying your money and taking whatever it is you get from it. 
    No one knows who you are. You don’t need to post here. 
    There are some extremes on both side of this argument, for and against. Plainly there are a few Trolls also who just like arguing and winding people up.
    But it really is factually correct to state that change is most often driven, not willingly provided. The groundswell behind this wants change.
    That’s a simple concept to get behind or not. Frustration obviously comes from not understanding why anyone would not want change to happen. Or worse, agreeing it’s needed but doing nothing at all about it.
    This is not ‘our’ team. It’s not even the Manager/Coach’s team any longer. It’s Ashley the bean counters team. He decides who is signed, who is sold, when and why. 
    I’d hope you take part in your own way, before, after during, or by not going.  The choice is yours, but do you really have a choice if you believe something needs to change?

  • Craigwh

    I go to every game home and away. Why, because I want to. Do I enjoy what is on offer, no not really. Does it make me angry, yes a lot of the time. I respect the right for people to protest and feel that people should be left alone to make their own choices. One day I might walk away just like MA will do eventually. Until that moment we all have to make our own choices.

  • philrenner09

    AndyMac1 idiot

  • philrenner09

    Toonarden Its because of people like you that most wont join in a boycot

  • Sickandtiredstill Roberts Grey Pants don’t disagree with a lot of that. My point was simply though that for any sort of boycott to work it surely needs the support of all 52k that currently turn up every week or at least a big majority of that?

    Just think that fans slagging off other fans is only going to hinder rather than help such a campaign attract the numbers it needs to have any effect.

  • pinit

    I have been a fan for three decades ,I love the club .
    fans that love this football club need to take some
    power as a paying customer back, why fans keep paying
    for the same poor product week after week is beyond me.
    Just because its a football club, if it was any other commodity  
    people would have ditched it long ago. my view is simple keep
    buying the same old crap week in week out will only encourage
    Ashley to keep selling it. oh how he must laugh at the crap hope
    junkies.

  • Demented_Man

    Roberts Grey Pants I think this is entirely reasonable for those who perhaps letting personal or political differences get in the way of the greater issue:

    https://t.co/qK8VALI7wi

  • philrenner09

    Roberts Grey Pants Totally agree

  • Prescherman1952

    Quite agree with OP!

    It has come to the point when friends I have attended
    games home and away with win, lose or draw. In sunshine, rain, gale and
    snow through regimes and managers (and players that would try a saints
    patience) we have always
    turned up for “The
    next one”. With renewed hope. But today those friends – nay comrades –
    are split into the attending/ not attending next week, and the
    cancelling. It has come to this…we are arguing amongst ourselves. All
    achieved by the actions of this regime. I am 62 been there for over 45
    years …and hopefully for a few more. This is the worst I have ever
    felt.
    The last thing we need is to start fighting amongst ourselves!

  • Double Carpet

    I justify it because the [email protected] who owns MY club is not going to drive me away. When will you understand that your abuse does not help your cause?
    I detest Ashley, but it was MY club long before he showed up and it will be long after he is gone.
    I will never buy the nonsense that it would be good to go down. Just because we came up,easily last time it doesn’t mean the same would happen again – as fans of many clubs have found to their cost. So I will continue to support the team, as poor as they are.
    I respect your choice (if you are a season ticket holder or regular match goer) to withhold your cash and not go. But I’m still going because I think any boycott will be pointless. All the evidence suggests Ashley likes a fight and digs his heels in. He won’t back down.
    People who hold a similar view to me are not necessarily ‘drab’ and ‘colourless’ just because they have a different view to you. Self-righteousness is not an appealing or convincing approach.

  • Double Carpet

    What gives you the right to pass judgement on other fans? Save your bile and invective for the regime. Not for fans who hold a different view.
    The reason many people won’t join a boycott is not because they’re happy with the regime, it’s because they won’t be told what to do by self-righteous people like you.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Double Carpet  Glad I wasn’t in the trenches with you when word got round that the Hun liked to fight and dig their heels in !

  • Double Carpet

    Stupid analogy. Grow up.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Double Carpet  Not as stupid as your logic of putting up with the shite being thrown at us just because Mike loves a fight.

  • Double Carpet

    You’re not that sharp are you? Read through what I wrote again. The reason I will not join a boycott are:
    1. I will not be driven away by Ashley (or anyone else).
    2. I don’t want us to go down. It’s unlikely but not impossible- so the team needs support.
    3. I won’t be preached to by the self-righteous – that means you and other people who abuse others fans who hold a different view.
    4. And yes, on this one you’re right, I think it will have no effect at all.

  • Toonarden you say you are happy and intrigued to hear alternatives, well I am intrigued to hear if you think any kind of boycott or demonstration will actually have any kind of effect?

    And please don’t come back with the standard answer of its better than sitting and doing nothing etc – I understand that view but that doesn’t answer the question of do you think x hundred/thousand fans boycotting a game or 2 will seriously persude MA to suddenly just sell up and leave?

    History suggests that he will simply ignore the fans and likely find some way to annoy us even more. I am not suggesting that as a reason not to boycott but I am interested to know what people supporting the boycott think will subsequently happen.

  • v0ices

    Craigwh I respect your loyalty to the club sand right to choose but don’t you get tired of Ashley using your emotional bond to the club to line his and other sd shareholders pockets?

  • Gary Linney

    Bite the Bullet mate and boycott… cos things are NEVER going to change with fcb in charge…. and he’ll stay there as long as NUFC remains his ‘cash cow’. ASHLEY OUT!

  • ilullissat

    Someone needs to post articles on Ashleys dealings. for instance Google Sports Direct and you will find that a nearly a quarter of HGV drivers working for him have been done for speeding and the vehicles have been badly maintained.Also the IoS have serious misgivings about the way he runs his business. These are facts that are in the public domain

  • AndyMac1

    Double Carpet I’m not convinced you’re that “sharp” tbh. However I’ll ask again “So
    with that in mind how does an SJP regular justify their attendance,
    week in week out ?”
    You’re feeding Fatman whether you like it or not ? His only aim is to ensure that the stadium is full or as near as full every home game so Scudamore will look benignly upon his club (it aint yours whatever you think) and bestow it with £££££££.
    Empty Stadia is the only issue that the PL will react to but you’re ensuring that the status quo continues.

  • DavidDrape

    our hearts are empty – very true

  • DavidDrape

    Jail for Ashley well said and well done

  • newcastle7

    Our average attendance is nearly fifty one thousand.This is remarkable considering the lack of away fans and the current corporate market. Look at the facts the average attendance is as strong as ever with a declining corporate market and away fans.

  • newcastle7

    Take it who were at the two Wrexham games and Norwich with the attendance of six and seven thousand and the Leciester game when we nearly slipped into division three.They were great days that’s why no one went

  • Sickandtiredstill

    Roberts Grey Pants Toonarden Why couldn’t it?
    The last time, and because of a result of his miss-management which got us relegated, he not only gave the only statement we have had from him, (the notorious lies about being threatened etc) he had the Club up for sale three times. 
    Was prepared to accept as low as 80 million for it.

  • Sickandtiredstill

    newcastle7 We must have a core base of compete tools like you then.

  • nufcslf

    Jail for Ashley Hear hear. Don’t live at home any more…see above…but would be there right with you, but a 100% with you all in my heart and thoughts. Will record the match to watch when I get in from work and only hoping for the other thing that will eventually rid of the fat get, another loss. ASHLEY OUT!!!

  • nufcslf

    Double Carpet Financing Cashley’s destruction of the club and watching his bank account grow along with rotten, clueless, tactically inept football that includes buying cheap, selling on for profit, no cup interest and best of all 17th or better is good enough is twice as pointless. Enjoy all the same like…

  • As well as boycotting Spurs, there’s also the boycott of S*** Direct he should worry about.  I haven’t spent a penny there for years, and I also take it one step further and boycott all the brands that S*** Direct stock.  To be fair, that’s pretty easy in my case as I’m not a chav, so I wouldn’t shop there in any case.
    But anyway, S*** Direct is increasingly being viewed by the media as a toxic brand (and Mike Ashley as a toxic businessman).  Hopefully this perception will gradually become more and more accepted by the public, to the point that even chavs will one day refuse to shop at S*** Direct.

  • Jail for Ashley I like your name! Bernie Ecclestone thought he was untouchable and look what nearly happened to him in Germany.  Hopefully the same thing will happen to Mike Ashley.

  • Toon Magpie

    Forming a  Newcastle City football club could be the solution.

  • NicholasDryden

    very good

  • LeazesEnder

    1957 Frightening

  • LeazesEnder

    Craigwh It is a sad club….. some have said its just the biggest pub outing in the world…. the football is coincidental….

  • LeazesEnder

    Jail for Ashley Me too

  • LeazesEnder

    DavidDrape lets hope that a lot of seats are too.

  • LeazesEnder

    Toon Magpie part of the problem has been lack of competition… a fanbase completely taken for granted by successive regimes.

  • datguyukno

    NUFC isn’t a business it’s the advertising wing of SD (a thriving business).

  • Toonster

    Mike Ashley will already be well aware of whether he needs to worry about the silent few or not by now because most ST holders will be on long terms price freeze deals that required notice to be served of any decision to cancel the agreement prior to Jan 31 2015.  If 000’s chucked in their notice he will look to replace with cheap match day deals and family offers (my brother takes his 8 year old lad along to the games he likes the look of for < £25 for both of them now even though he is no fan of Mike Ashley) if very few have he evidently has nothing to worry about.  As the average gate is currently >50k it looks like he doesn’t have a lot to be concerned about.

    It’s a tragic situation though when fans bicker amongst themselves.  I have given my season ticket (which I have had since 1983) a miss this season for the first time and I haven’t suffered withdrawal symptoms as badly as I thought I would.  My best pals of 4 decades still go along every week and good on them.  We still meet after the matches for a pint and we see no need to fall out about it – it’s horses for courses isn’t it?

    What I would say is that previous “demos” have been something of a damp squib and I felt particularly dejected when I walked out of the Cardiff game early to make a statement and found that I was only joined by a couple of thousand others.  So, after a terrible run of results and the sale of our best player on transfer deadline day (again!) only 3-4% of fans bothered to get out of their seats.  I’m not an expert but this suggests to me that most of those who rally around the banner to organise demonstrations or walkouts are fans who probably follow events in the rags or online rather than paying customers who attend the games.  As I said, I might well be wrong, it’s just a hunch.

    Until now, those that buy their season tickets have shown little or no appetite to rebel and I don’t see that changing now.  The ritual of the afternoon out means more to many than results on the pitch and there is an argument that suggests that supporting the team transcends any other moral or ethical obligation to speak out against the clubs owner.

    Either way, I suspect that Mike Ashley’s skin is thicker than an old elephant’s so any noise that boycotting fans make will ultimately have absolutely no influence on future policy at all.  Hopefully the current terrible run of form and points total (that would have seen us relegated in most other Premier League seasons) will frighten him into loosening the purse strings and putting a better product in the pitch until someone rich enough to buy him out comes along. I wouldn’t bet my own money though!

    Until then boycott or keep enjoying the match but respect that people should be able to take whichever course of action they want without fear of abuse.

  • RitchieForster

    When ever I feel disappointed with the goings on at Sid James Park I take myself along to Northumberland St & have a look at the other ‘arm’ of Mike’s business. have you seen how crap the window & the shop is, well that’s the same as the Team & everything that is going on with NUFC… although they are both making money they’ll not be getting any of mine …. JD Sports is a much better window & they are in the process of rebuilding that. I agree about the silent majority & I also think that people should stay away but really, the best way to get at him is to belittle his business … let’s get ‘Fred the Fan’ cartoons back or better still something in Viz. after all, we are beginning to be a joke.

  • BillytheFish

    A really good article which gets at the point that this Cuckoo in our nest is destroying our club and culture.

    But please also note that he is about to sell to the highest bidder, and doesn’t give a stuff for what the next owner is likely to do with our club, only that Ashley has a new nest to feed off, full of fans who love their club.

  • Direct action

    It’s about self esteem & the fact we tried to do something,join the dots.

  • Direct action

    It’s got nowt to do with self-righteousness it’s about self esteem,join the dots.

  • Porciestreet

    RitchieForster 
    Just cost me 3 times as much for new trainers just so I didn’t have to go to Nikey Mikeys.
    Skint but so much happier.

  • Porciestreet

    1957 
    Try not to forget that the whole population of Britain doesn’t support Newcastle United so maybe what you see as a shop still full has nothing to do with the fans…..! just a thought .

  • Porciestreet

    Toon Magpie 
    Just a thought, but where would Newcastle City be playing…? I’m not taking the p!55.

  • Porciestreet

    Prescherman1952 
    I’m 65 now Prescherman and been a paying fan since I was 7/Even raised to the dizzy heights of head groundsman when Bill McGarry was gaffer and I can’t remember it being as bad as this , even under the Pirate and McKeeg . Countless season tickets In various parts of the ground, and now retired abroad. Been here for 10 years actually so shouldn’t reallybe blowing the trumpet but it leaves one hollow when there’s nothing left to support.