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What has happened to the beating heart of our city?

6 years ago

The protest may be futile, the boycott may be minimal, there is that chance.

Mike Ashley may pay absolutely no attention to the efforts of Newcastle United fans who have quite clearly had enough, there is that chance.

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It is most probable that after the protests and boycott on Sunday that the only person passing any comment on behalf of the club is that penny comedian John ‘real geordie’ Carver, but it isn’t really about immediate reaction is it?

No one expects the owner to suddenly have a change of heart, sell up and quietly scuttle off into the sunset with a few carrier bags of Donnay tracksuits and some reduced Lonsdale trainers do they?

So what is it about?

For me, and for many who I speak to and read, it is simply about pride. About the pride of our once great club, the pride of the city of Newcastle and about the fans taking back some pride in themselves by exercising the only right that Ashley can’t take away, our right of protest.

This is a man who has openly insulted club legends by his actions, a regime who have dumped memorabilia and pictures of our glory and heroes into a skip, who renamed our stadium, proved to have lied to fans in a legal proceeding, disbanded the singing section and sold the crown jewels to replace them with tin, and cheap imported tin at that.

What was once the beating heart of a city and a community, what was once the pride of the North East, what was once one of the biggest names in English football and regularly competing in the highest European competitions, has been cast aside in the name of profit and retail advertising.

The greatest crime in all this though, for me, is that we the fans of Newcastle United have allowed him to do this, so sure are we of his absolute power that we are even reminded of it by our own.

Tell me how that can be right? How could we let this happen if our love for this club is as genuine as we all claim it is?

Over the last 8 years many once loyal fans have all reached their breaking point, some earlier than others. Season tickets kept in families for generations have been given up and cancelled, once ardent and passionate fans now take only a passing interest in the events on Barrack Road, but why has this not had an effect so far?

My belief is that the deliberate tactics by the club of long payment deals, fixed pricing and discounted season tickets has led directly to this situation.

Those same seats once filled with passionate Geordies and now occupied by fans of Premier League football as a status symbol, drawn in by the Sports Direct style ‘stack em high and sell em cheap’ ethos towards supporters.

If you think I’m wrong then tell me how wonderful the atmosphere is inside the stadium these days? I remember that it used to be the noisiest ground in England, bar none, win, lose or draw, now I would doubt that we are in the top 10! Where is the famous Geordie roar? Where is the passion from the stands? Does this really represent Newcastle United?

On Sunday the fans of Newcastle United have a choice, the choice to stand against the years of lies, insults, broken promises and blatant profiteering, or to continue to sit in silence as an apathetic mass bemoaning their lot but taking false pride in their status as uber fans. If you genuinely love Newcastle United, if you genuinely want change, if you are not happy with the way our history and heroes have been insulted and disregarded then the choice should be a simple one.

If you are happy to take your comfy seat, enjoy the view of the shambles on the grass and dutifully pull on your Wonga shirt, then please know that your inaction causes this situation to continue and you have no more right to moan about it than a man who finds his Sondico trainers let water in after only a week of wear.


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