As Newcastle United claim their first point in over ten weeks of football, the Ashley Out campaign pubished this excellent article below which is essential reading.

As they say, it is about time we reclaimed our club.

Mike Ashley’s Newcastle or a Newcastle United?

Newcastle United was formed in 1892 – 123 years ago. Formed by the good men and women of this fine city, Newcastle upon Tyne, so that we as the people could have a football club to represent the city. A club to enjoy, share, be proud of and pass on. For all people, for all generations.  Newcastle United. Our Football Club.

Fast forward to this day and the ideals, traditions and standing of the club couldn’t be further from their original intentions. We are not a football club today. We are a business. We are the Premier League subsidiary of Sports Direct.  The Donnay of football clubs.

We the fans, the supposed lifeblood of this fine institution are no more than common customers. Those season tickets or match tickets that were once like gold, could be a voucher to shop at Debenhams, that’s how little sporting or entertainment value they now hold.

Our beautiful stadium, St. James’ Park, a monument of the city, iconic and instantly recognisable the world over is no longer a football stadium. It’s a giant Sports Direct advert. An empty shell even when packed with 52,000 people.

Everything about Newcastle United today is a million miles away from the Newcastle United of old – old being 8 years ago when Mike Ashley bought the club. The only thing linking the club of today to back then is the lack of trophy success. But hey, that’s an age old Newcastle United thing!

At least back then Newcastle United was an ambitious, if not somewhat mismanaged club. A regular in Europe and a club who paid top fees and top wages for ‘star’ players to try and compete with the very top clubs. We bought duds, we built debt, we went out of the cups and still didn’t win a bloody trophy. But we tried to compete, we tried to be the kind of club we were formed to be, we strived to be best we could be.

Today we are in more debt than ever and now we only spend money when we have to, such as when relegation looks a distinct possibility. We don’t pay top dollar for players or managers and we can forget about the cups. As for Europe – “thank god we aren’t in it” – the words of Alan Pardew, our former manager. A mandate that comes from the very top.

Sporting wise there is no real point to the football club these days. Newcastle United exists to make up the numbers in the Premier League in order to bring in the huge TV revenue and to also promote Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct empire. That is it, nothing more than a billboard for bloody Sports Direct!

Players aren’t bought to create a team to entertain the fans and to try and win something or to get into Europe. Players are bought based on how little they will cost the club in wages and transfer fees and based on just how much they could be worth if they actually perform well enough to be sold to a “sovereign state.”

Managers or head coaches aren’t appointed to build an exciting attack minded team to win games, but to toe the party line, help sell the “purples” and to lower the expectations of us, the fans. If not Alan Pardew then John Carver or some other non-entity happy to toe the party line for Mike Ashley.

There is no dream of winning a cup or playing in Europe either. These things are considered worthless, not just in terms of revenue, but commitment and effort.  Defeatism reigns supreme at St. James’ Park in every corridor when it comes to the actual name of the game.

For all the mismanagement, failures and wasted money under Freddy Shepherd and the Halls, it was never this bad and would never be allowed to be so. The fans alone would not stand for it.

How times have changed, apathy reins supreme today and it’s strangling the club. It’s time to change that, it’s time to stand up and be counted and save Newcastle United.

Under Mike Ashley the club is deliberately ran to be this bad and continuously and deliberately run to achieve mediocrity, not just because of mismanagement, which I’m sure we could all forgive to a degree, but due to a flagrant disregard for what is important at any football club. A good manager, good players, good coaching, ambition and most important of all the fans. The lifeblood of any football club and indeed the game.

All of those things under Mike Ashley mean nothing, it’s all about the Wonga and everything else can do one. Especially the fans, the people who dared to stand up to him following Kevin Keegan’s fateful resignation back in 2008.

Since then Ashley’s whole ownership of the club has been a big massive two fingers to the fans, the city and the club as an institution. From the treatment of club legend Alan Shearer to relegation. From the dismissal of the popular Chris Hughton to the appointment of a sacked League One manager Alan Pardew. Derek Llambias, Joe Kinnear, the sale of Carroll, Cabaye etc. The frankly ridiculous reappointment of Kinnear to the lack of genuine investment in the playing squad to John Carver leading the club to a 5th consecutive derby defeat to Sunderland. The list is endless.

ashley out

But still, almost near full houses every week with Ashley able to take his seat in comfort as the King of St. James’. At no other club would the kind of ownership served up by Mike Ashley be accepted, never mind tolerated. He doesn’t even own Rangers (yet?) and their fans have done more to oppose him and to say a big fat NO to him and what he represents in just a few months than fans of Newcastle United have in 8 years.

With the launch of now is the time to let Mike Ashley know that will we no longer tolerate his ownership of Newcastle United – our football club.

The time for action has arrived, time for change has come.

It is your duty as a Newcastle United supporter to do everything you can or are willing to do to help towards the campaign of helping Mike Ashley sell up and get out of our club. We are Newcastle United, not Sports Direct. As Kevin Keegan said, Mike Ashley and his people are not Newcastle United.

‘They are not that football club. They are just custodians who are in for a few years.

‘It might be five, ten or six, but Newcastle United will go on after Mike Ashley.’

It’s time to reclaim our club. We are Newcastle United!

To keep in touch with the campaign website go to and follow on Twitter @AshleyOutdotcom

  • Paul Patterson

    I like it.
    However, the question still remains- Relegation or survival? What will benefit the club more long term?

  • Chemical Dave

    excellent, I look back at the sneering contempt the ‘spreadsheet brigade’ had for the ‘bed sheet brigade’ and though I already feel confident I know the answer, the question is, who was more embarrassing ?

  • Paul Patterson The trouble is that relegation in itself won’t be enough to get rid of Ashley. The ideal scenario is one where we the fans are directly responsible for reducing Ashley’s profits and turning his free advertising into negative advertising and bad publicity for his products and businesses.

  • pilly 69

    1st of all stay up (hopefully a win Saturday ) if safety is secured then make sure St James Park is empty until the fat man either leaves or spends enough money to show some proper ambition and also gets a decent manager (I’m not holding my breath )

  • Jail for Ashley

    Unfortunately the AO lads are in an unenviable position. We have a very real threat of relegation so they have to find a balance of keeping the momentum of the protest going while keeping the fence sitters onside, I personally won’t be going against W Ham as I truly have had enough and want to see the back of Ashley regardless of what happens next. Lets hammer QPR then deal with the sh!t houses that are Mike Ashley and his cronies.

  • NottsToon

    NUFC Tips Paul Patterson This is exactly it, and that is achieved by more and more people staying away. We are indeed fortunate that every action taken by this fool and his minions makes the tat version of NUFC he serves up less and less palatable.

  • Munich Mag

    Apart from staying away on match day and avoiding buying all Newcastle United related merchandise, what else can the individual fan do ?
    Each fan as paying customer is entitled to there own opinion, though I think a concerted, focussed and mass protest would convince the stragglers to boycott….

  • Paul Patterson

    I agree totally. Get three points against QPR and then fans can do and say what they please against West Ham.

  • Phildene

    What a Fantastic article! Especially the last bit about the sickening difference between rangers fans and our pathetic lot.
    We are pretty sure relegation would work as Ashley would stand to lose millions upon millions being in the Champoinship-lack of TV money and more fans staying away this time, plus lot less SD advertising. In fact the whole idea of Newcastle United being back in the championship yet again is in itself a huge loss of revenue. Players don’t want to come here and will even less then. And this time we won’t spring back up again like last time as a Totally different set of players-no Nolans or Bartons to fight the battle again.
    This will all affect Ashley to the point of huge financial losses, so forcing his hand to sell up and he won’t get the huge overblown amount he’s asking now!

  • Toonarden

    We are on the horns of a dilemma. Being true fans we don’t want to see The Toon go down yet if we stay up there is no way Ashley, the greedy bas***d, will disrail his gravy train. Go down and we may see the back of him but we may have to wait a couple of seasons as his grubby, greasy mitts will snatch the parachute fee in the hope we can get straight back to the EPL at the first time of asking. The pathetic man loves a gamble as you know. 
    Two seasons out and then he may sell up but it will be difficult to attract a serious buyer then as our corpulent owner will still be asking Monopoly money for a busted flush.
    As far as I can see we need to stay up BUT in the meantime we have to get this corpulent cancer out of our club NOW while we are still in the Premier League, by any means possible. Stay away for good until he’s gone. If you must go spend as much time as possible giving the guy severe stick. Embarrass him in whatever way is possible eg banners with ‘Sports Direct is s**t’, ‘You’ve had more than six strikes now Ashley – your ‘e sacked’,  ‘Ashley – the Geordie public hate you why don’t you just p**s off now’ etc.
    (Insults against his baby – Sports Direct – is really wounding to him
    The time for bleeding heart fans sitting on their backsides doing nowt is now well past. If nothing is done now we won’t have a football club worthy of the name to pass on to our children or grandchildren. Do we want that on our conscience?

  • Cornflake

    It’s the sports direct that fans need to target, Newcastle fans cannot stay away, it’s been proven.
    However, with the pressures being put on sports direct, that’s where you get him.  People protesting outside the stores would hurt him truly where it hurts.
    Horrible working conditions all around.

  • Davidelder888

    As someone said relegation isn’t the answer as a business man will not sell an asset at a loss’ he will pile more debt onto the club to get us back into the prem and make us harder to sell.
    Thank god for the guys they are dignified and professional which is more than Ashley is. Unfortunately we need to fight a pig dirty and targeting his stores in anyway possible is the only answer.
    Local and national media have turned on him and we need to keep the awareness up. Stand up and turning our backs at certain stages of the game or my personal favourite a sit in protest at the end of the game would help.
    As the AO guys say this will be a long fight but if we affect his profits and image in sports direct thus affecting share prices he will have to sell up.

  • terriertwo

    A well written article but unfortunately I cant see the fat man reading it. Hitting his business is probably the right approach to put pressure on him to sell up. I haven’t spent any money in his outlets for years and wont again.  Maybe if we get the points we need on Saturday to keep us up then at the West Ham game we should all wear black ties to mourn the death of our club. Don’t need to wear a shirt just tie the tie around your neck.

  • dude 1

    Great read but as everyone knows the fat man will not change his ways if we stay up don’t buy season tickets don’t give the man any money in his shops if you want a newcastle top get one from TOFFS
    Keep up the protests is what I say and when I mean protests don’t buy anything that is associated with him it will in the long run affect him



  • Paul Patterson ……..because Ashley will be laughing all the way to the bank .

  • kuromori

    devonbay Paul Patterson Steady on, chaps. If we’re not careful, Fatty will have Charver playing for a draw just so we *have* to get behind the team on the final day. One way to head off protest.

  • kuromori

    In fairness, Rangers’ fans have the advantage of seeing what the fat cnut has done to us in eight years of ownership. When Fatty came in, there were hopes he’d be a benevolent ruler who’d splash the cash to showcase his prize purchase and it looked like that for a while. Then, after Allardyce shafted him, he turned on us and we’ve been shat on ever since.

    If it was the other way round and Fatty had eight years of destroying Rangers before turning his trotters towards us, I doubt there’d be apathy. Hindsight is a wonderful thing. 

    Still, now we know what we’re dealing with, it’s time to man the barricades.

  • SGM

    If fans got  say in who will be the next owner you would have 100% backing, but they don’t.