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6 statements from Mike Ashley that lost trust of Newcastle fans

6 years ago

We all have our individual annoyances and joys in life, in terms of Newcastle United we all have our views on what has happened at the club and Mike Ashley, with certain events getting to some people more than others.

It’s all about our perspective, but one thing which I think has damaged the club’s relationship with fans more than anything else is the simple avoidance of the truth.

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Over the last eight years, and before, we have heard more outright lies than probably any other set of fans in the Premier League and in my opinion this has directly led to the lack of trust and cynicism which we now collectively feel about any communication released by the club.

To illustrate the point you only have to think about the majority of feeling towards the open letter allegedly written by Fabricio Colocinni last week, a reaction so negative that Carver felt the need to wave around a piece of paper in his pre-match press conference as if to provide some bizarre proof, nice one John.

Here are just a few examples of the kind of statements which have been greeted with understandable scepticism by the fans over the last few years, I am sure that you can think of many more…

–          Andy Carroll is going nowhere.

–          We can’t compete financially with clubs like Stoke and Swansea.

–          Kevin Keegan will have final say on transfers.

–          We are actively looking for stadium advertising partners.

–          The club is up for sale.

–          The club is not up for sale.

On the counter side of this there are the times when the club has communicated its negative ambition far too clumsily, this has also done an incredible job of eroding any trust or goodwill with the fan base, to illustrate…

–          The club has deprioritised domestic cups.

–          The club’s stated ambition is to finish in the top 10 (how has that worked out so far?).

–          The club feels that the Europa League negatively impacts finances.

–          Fans must understand that we cannot compete financially with clubs like Stoke and Swansea (repeated, but this one staggered me).

After eight years of listening to this, and it being the only real direct communication coming out of the club, is it any wonder that the fan base lacks faith and hope in how the club is run, and wonders why there is a blatant lack of information?

It is natural that when there is an absence of information in a matter deemed important by so many passionate people, that supposition, opinion and rumour will inevitably fill the void created by the absence of facts.

The falsehoods and clumsy statements made by the club give rise to this, supporters pose their question and offer their opinions into the great echo chamber of the internet and look for truth, comfort or validation that they are not wrong to feel as they do. They rightfully ask…

–          If we are doing so well financially then why do we not invest?

–          If 15 out of 20 Premier League sides are now in profit then why can’t our financial position be as strong as most?

–          Other clubs do not enjoy the level of support offered by the sheer size of Newcastle United, so why can we not compete financially?

–          How can the 7th richest club in England, 19th in the world, not have a professional and experienced manager?

–          If the club doesn’t compete in cups, the league and wants to avoid Europe, as stated. Then what are the club’s ambitions?

–          Why can every other Premier League club find companies to pay them to advertise in their grounds?

–          Was the club ever really for sale or is it just smoke and mirrors?

–          Is it true that Newcastle United exists solely to service the advertising and commercial interests of a sporting goods retailer?

When you view the entire package of deceit and staggering incompetence, it does become clear that those in power really could not care less about how their product, in this case a football club, is presented to their customers (fans), so sure are they that it will be bought anyway.

It also becomes clear that Newcastle United is a cash cow being milked by a greedy farmer, who will quite happily fillet the animal and serve it up once it is no longer useful to him.

I know those last statements are also just opinion or supposition, but they are the only reasonable conclusion I can reach based on the facts of the recent history of the club.

Relegation or survival is completely immaterial to me, at the side of the much larger issue of being a football club with a slight amount of ambition and a plan which goes beyond simply existing, surely that is the minimum we should be aiming for?


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