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Open letter to Sir Richard Branson

6 years ago

For Sale – Football Club… One Careless Owner.

I pride myself that after 58 years on this hurtling boulder I don’t hate anyone, not even the ex-wife.

I am however prepared to make two possible exceptions in the shape of Mike Ashley and David Cameron. Now this is about the Toon which, everyone knows, is way more important than politics, so I think we should leave DC there.

I am in the Ashley out and Boycott the world etc camp, but in an effort to come up with something different I thought a letter to a prospective buyer might move things, enema like, forward; so!

Dear Sir Richard Branson (Or any other credible very rich person)

Please come and buy our football club.

As I’m sure you are aware, Newcastle United, by any measure, is a large Premier league (just…) football club with in excess of 50,000 tapped, and tens of thousands more untapped supporters.

It has a wonderful 52,000 seat stadium located very near the centre of our wonderful and vibrant city, we are the only football club here, meaning that the club enjoys the full and undivided devotion of supporters for miles around.

The present, and not very careful, owner Mr Mike Ashley has, since the start of his tenure, used this once great, although not very successful, institution to promote his business empire. His prerogative you may think, however he has chosen to do this in the most harmful way possible.

Initially the devoted and much maligned fans saw a saviour, someone who would steady the ship and in time, bring about a modicum of pride in their team.

You see, contrary to what some would have you believe, the fans of Newcastle United do not expect to beat the world, just the ‘Mackems’, that’s those lot from Sunderland.

Unfortunately, Mr Ashley has gone for ‘Total Business’ and he has no idea that there’s a sport involved here. I’m sure being the kind of ‘Go Getter’ you are, you will appreciate that the raison d’etre of a football club is ultimately to get the small round leather thing into the large oblong netty thing, he hasn’t a scooby bless him.

So, he has just about starved the football side to death to promote his business. Someone like me, who doesn’t have two brass razoos to rub together, or the proverbial blind man on the galloping horse, can see that with a bit of thought, careful management and investment, the marriage between sport and business can be a very good one for all.

I’m talking myself into thinking that just maybe the football/business model might not be so poisonous after all; but please don’t go thinking you can rename the stadium, that would be like calling St Peter’s Basilica the God Direct Arena. That is just plain daft but a synergy of team investment and business promotion could be the answer.

Virgin already has an affinity with the Toon after buying up Northern Rock and briefly being shirt sponsors; so please Mr Branson contact Mr Greedy, I reckon you can pick up the club for a mere £250 million, pocket money to you.

For our part. we will come to the games and buy all of your nice merchandise, we won’t even expect to win stuff,  just to try.

Yours sincerely



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