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Ashley Out campaign rallying call to reclaim our club

6 years ago

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.

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


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