I have had it.

I thought I’d had it before but I hadn’t. Signing one player (after finishing fifth in 2011/12) in anticipation of our Europa League campaign was a joke but I stuck with it.

Installing Carver as manager had me out of love with NUFC for a long time too. Not because we were losing but the players just did not care. I’d had it at that point after years of tripe under Pardew but I blamed the manager and the players, not Ashley.

But this time it’s different. This time we have an ambitious manager who was just this week brushing shoulders with the likes of Alex Ferguson in Nyon.

We have a manager who navigated us to promotion and an incredible final day league win – making a bit of a meal of it on the way – but that’s not the point. I was buzzing.

I thought £100m was far-fetched.

I thought £70m was too.

But considering the summer and winter windows for Shteve, and Rafa’s summer window last year, I expected a solid £50m, and that was before player sales.

It’s easy to look smart, or like a liar, with hindsight but I smelled a rat as soon as details of Rafa and Mike’s meeting in May emerged. The wording of it made it possible, if not certain, that Mike Ashley wasn’t putting any money in, carefully concealing the meaning in the words to make it look like ‘every penny’ was available but negating that, by the fact it had to come from money the club generated – AKA player sales. For a time I shrugged it off as a personal concoction of my own cynicism, fascination with linguistic and a lingering love of philosophical analysis and language games. Surely he’d throw the TV money in. Nope. And we are where we are.

Rafa is meticulous to the point of artistry. He isn’t a Mourinho or a Guardiola but for all the love and furore surrounding Klopp, Rafa is the better manager.

Failings at Real and Inter can’t be discounted, and you could argue Istanbul was more Steve G than Rafa B, but he is certainly an elite manager. And that talent brings with it an ambition and hunger which is as necessary to his being as his trademark goatee.

Our Kev is a cult hero, a legend in his own right, but he’s not at Rafa’s level. When Kev walked I was gutted, but because he walked out before, and because it was early Ashley days, I didn’t see it as anywhere close to a final straw.

It cannot be understated just how far this club has fallen. It pains me to say it. But history aside we’ve been in and around relegation for years. But the descent started far before that. I’m sure that sacking Bobby for his 5th place ‘woes’ put a hex on this club. What’s that, 10-15 years of tripe?

Rafa did not come here to earn the prestige of Chelsea caretaker. He came here for a project. He wanted to replicate Istanbul in the form of a football club, the ultimate underdog, aside from maybe Leeds, Britain’s prime example of a sleeping giant.

I feared he was here for a Chelsea-like pay day at first. He wasn’t. He stayed through relegation. He’s here for the project. And like any craftsman or artist he needs certain provisions to do his job and he’s been denied.

Rafa wasn’t asking to sign Dieto Costa or Ross Barkley, he was asking for SOUTHAMPTON’S THIRD CHOICE LEFT BACK! I understand and agree it was a hard window and I hate the fact we even have to bring money into football. Watching deadline day on Sky last night really hit home that football these days is as much about accountancy, business and politics as it is sport. But I’m a total Communist so of course I hate the vast sums of money being sloshed about gratuitously.

However, we are where we are. Inflated prices, player power and more stipulations than ever from clubs loaning players on game time and assurances made it difficult. But how did Huddersfield and Brighton fare so well?

How did Swansea land Renato Sanches? You can’t tell me that Clement has more contacts than Rafa. You can’t tell me that Rafa didn’t have some decent players lined up for loans. And now you can’t even tell me that we hadn’t shifted enough players.

Hanley, Riviere and SDJ leaving must surely have covered a loan fee and wages of SOUTHAMPTON’S THIRD CHOICE LEFT BACK. Who does the buck stop with? Ashley. And by extension, mini-me Charnley. The lowest paid, illest equipped excuse of an MD at any football club in the premier league.

How is it that we pulled off Shelvey, Townsend et al to try and save our skin last January but couldn’t stump up more than Joselu this summer (who I think is a tidy player btw, but not a Lucas Perez or Michy Batshuayi).

How can Mike Ashley stand there and tell us that ‘from this day forward Newcastle will make our own luck’ and desire a cup or a Champions League spot and also refuse to give Rafa more than a tuppence and a packet of winegums?

Like any rational human being I assumed Ashley meant good luck when he said it. Turns out he was playing games again. He’s certainly made his own luck but the kind of luck you get from walking under a complex grid of indoor ladders carrying an open brolly with mirrors savagely breaking underfoot.

I have no idea why Mike Ashley exhibits the traits necessary to return the club to the premier league but won’t support it in staying there. What the hell is the point?

Is it really as simple as a perfect crossover with his gambling tendency and sports direct business model? Minimising expenditure and taking risks on survival?

Earning the TV money with the minimal amount of effort?

Scraping 17th on £30m spent being more profitable than finishing 11th on £100m. Is it that obvious? Is it that ludicrous?

Were all the Ashley Out lot right? Because now, finally, with an Elite manager in Rafa with plans afoot and contacts aplenty, I can’t make the excuses I could with Pardew and Shteve, convincing myself their sub-standard management deserved sub-standard playing staff.

And now, Champions League and Europa League winning manager can’t even get SOUTHAMPTON’S THIRD CHOICE LEFT BACK. I have well and truly had it.

Both legally and morally the buck stops with the highest power, so don’t give me any excuse that Mike Ashley isn’t to blame because he’s hands off. He is responsible and he is to blame.

I think Rafa will stay but only because he’s looked the Devil square in the eyes and knows the club is doomed without him. For us as fans we now have a pivotal role. We have to show Rafa we’re behind him and support the players as much as humanly possible to drive them on to perform as they did at West Ham, whilst showing our displeasure at Ashley.

I would be in support of an empty stadium but our team deserves more. Sissoko and Colo teams deserved the same treatment as Ashley but a Ritchie and Lascelles team deserves more. We need those Gallowgate Flags to create 20 more Rafa flags and about 10 Ashley Out ones. We need Rafa masks and Ashley Out signs for every fan walking into the stadium.

We have to become a nuisance. We have to disturb the ownership but we must not boo, we must sing the players’ names and create warmth and energy and passion inside the ground.

We have to let the players and Rafa know how much they mean to us but that for them and for us, we’re telling Mike Ashley we want you out of Newcastle United for good.

(All contributions from Newcastle fans welcome, send articles (as well as ideas/suggestions) to [email protected])



  • Steve Pearce

    Maybe I should contribute an article on the top ten ways to kill the fat southern slug as it would be far more interesting than the third such bag of shyte telling us all what we know already. Come on – either shut down altogether or come up with something more interesting. But at least you haven’t got yet another Lee Ryder piece on his great love Moussa Sissoko and for that I’m eternally grateful!

    • Guest 2

      Aye, it’s taken 10 years and repeated nonsense from fatty – yet only now is the penny dropping for some.

    • Ismar Badzic

      Alright Steve. I’m not a writer for The Mag I just had to get it off my chest this morning. I realise its nothing new and your criticism is spot on. I’m not tryint to defend the value of my piece by responding to you I just want to say that the piece is about capturing that ‘penny dropping’ moment that “Guest 2” mentions. As mentioned I’ve had lots of frustrated moments with NUFC and Ashley but with Rafa at the helm it’s too now much to bear to see him destroy our club – for me personally. I suppose main point comes at the end that we have to come up with a way of boycotting Ashley and still supporting the team. I hope this piece might spark a bit of discussion about what we might be able to do as a fanbase. Personally, one thing I might do is try and arrange an Ashley + Fans meeting. Far fetched but prepared to try. We have to be active!

      • Steve Pearce

        Well said Ismar! For one thing that fat stinking bag of southern pus would never ever meet the fans he so obviously despises. I agree a total and utter boycott of ALL home games is essential, but I am sadly deafened by the baaaing of 52.000 sheep who turn up for their ritual humiliation. As a fan base we can organise an action group who will then start contacting figures of influence from local politicians, business people and well known musicians and entertainers to promote a buy out and organise mass protests, planned walk outs and press and media campaigns openly attacking the fat stinking bag of southern pus. The Leazes End Club on Leazes Park Road would be an ideal venue for meetings and the only thing lacking is a collective YOU! Your Club and your City need you to stand up and force a change or this vile worm of a man will be free to destroy the club he so clearly hates.

      • Damon Horner

        Anything sensible mate I’d back all the way. The idea of boycotts will only make “every penny the club generates” into a smaller number.

  • Scott wood

    Well said pal

  • David Edward Jeffs

    Excellent article mate!

  • Pete Thornton

    “The wording of it made it possible, if not certain, that Mike Ashley wasn’t putting any money in, carefully concealing the meaning in the words to make it look like ‘every penny’ was available but negating that, by the fact it had to come from money the club generated – AKA player sales.”

    There should still have been a lot of money available even when you use those weasel words. This year’s TV deal is the biggest ever and it’s what is driving the high player prices. The club should have had significantly more money to spend on bringing in players than has been spent, regardless of how you define available cash.

    There aren’t too many good reasons for doing what the club has done in this window but playing devil’s advocate for their “logic” here’s one:

    Player valuations have suddenly gone stratospheric (£20m+ for Jonny Evans!). The club has always sought value for money under Ashley. Arguably there isn’t really any to be had in this market so they just can’t bring themselves to spend the required cash.

    Now that might well be true but that’s the market they’re in, and if the club wants to stay in this league it needs players of a good enough standard. What might seem like good business sense now to them will seem very shortsighted when the club gets relegated and loses out on the TV money.

    I also wonder if Ashley has started to make the club repay him for those interest free loans that he pumped into the club all those years ago?

  • Georgia Peter

    Porciestreet;
    And he’ll be sitting in his office at Shirebrook with th electric fire on full , sipping a large brandy and listening to Radio 5 sayin that the stadium is busting at the seams again and that everything at The Toon is all rosy.
    Somebody run the fat git over ….Please.

  • FatParosite

    You’re wrong Ismar Badzic….. It’s your fault.

    • Danimal

      It’s ok Ismar, I think it’s my fault too. That nice Mr Ashley said so in his heartfelt interview on Skysports.

  • Igo

    Why the disgraceful sportsdirect signs, shops etc. haven’t been disfigured or graffiti on is puzzling, its one way to hurt him. The hunger for rebellion against this kind of person, like Mike Ashley greeding and stomping on the general public, is gone. People just bend over and take it it seems now.

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    Now we know why the Pig never had a meeting with Rafa the last time he was up he. He`d already engineered the situation to starve Rafa of funds for players & some reports are saying it was Justin Barnes that vetoed the deals not the Idiot Penfold.
    if Rafa does leave then Ashley better not show his face in Newcastle as he`ll cause a riot at St James Park

  • Stuart H

    An excellent article brilliantly articulating the difference between playing the blame game with those at fault who control our final desire to push through costly transfers teams in the Championship are now capable of (Brum, Fulham etc) and our deep seated need to support and fire up the team without the cancerous and debilitating jeering and booing that derails the teams confidence. I for one am hoping Merino becomes the forward looking midfield lynchpin we need that nullifies Shelvey’s stupidity enough to make him worry for his place enough to think about his actions. The same goes for Mitro and Joselu. I think Rafa will lead us to safety this year if we support the right way but only as a platform for a sub standard replacement next stummer when he departs for a “real” and sustainable project elsewhere. I hope Ashley realises soon his reluctance to back Rafa in the transfer window has only devalued the club and his efforts to sell up. There won’t be a change of heart at Christmas so let’s just get behind the players we have.

  • TubbyMunky

    You can boo Ashley all you want on game day…everyone in a black and white shirt can call him all the names under the sun..but I won’t make a difference..he’ll be sat there, laughing because you’ve already paid your money to get in. He doesn’t give a sh*t about us,just our wallets. I won’t shop at any of his tat stores. No Newcastle fan who gives a sh*t about the club should.

    • Mike

      yep buy the crp from his shops and q to drink the rubbish beer etc…he is laughin all the way to the bank

  • Lhc

    He will stay for now, cause the fans are close to his heart but the long run he’s gone. Past this season he won’t be here personally can’t see him being there past crimbo.

  • Oooh bobbi fleckman

    “How is it that we pulled off Shelvey, Townsend et al to try and save our skin last January but couldn’t stump up more than Joselu this summer (who I think is a tidy player btw, but not a Lucas Perez or Michy Batshuayi.”

    Because Shelvey wanted to leave relatively equal Swansea where he wasn’t getting a game. Lucas Perez blew out Everton and ourselves to go back to Spain, Michy Batshuayi is playing for Champions and Champions league team Chelsea for a wage of over £100k a week, Chelsea did not find a replacement for Costa in the window so I’d guess, he fancies his chances of regular football

    • Danimal

      As well you know, the answer is in the question. He (“Mike”, as you and his other two fans call him) mysteriously conjures up some cash that we were previously told didn’t exist, each time he’s about to lose a packet through another relegation. Instead of investing sensibility in the team in the first place.

  • Lee

    Hi guys.. I’ve had it with Mike Ashley too. But we fans are really stupid enough to keep on supporting the team in spite of what’s going on.

    See the big picture. As long as we support the team and turn up for matches, Mike Ashley is going to make money. He doesn’t care about the team. He just wants to milk Newcastle to the max.

    If we get relegated again, it doesn’t really hurt him. He knows the fans will turn up for matches again, and he will STILL make money.

    Deep down I can’t help but feel that he doesn’t really care about soccer and where Newcastle end up come the end of the season. Cos we fans are stupid enough to keep on supporting regardless of what happened.

    WE NEED TO STOP SUPPORTING NEWCASTLE IMMEDIATELY.
    WE NEED TO MAKE NEWCASTLE BLEED MONEY.
    WE NEED TO MAKE MIKE ASHLEY UNABLE TO MILK ANOTHER SINGLE PENNY FROM THIS CLUB WE LOVE.
    WE NEED TO TURN THE VALUE OF THIS CLUB TO ZERO.

    AS LONG AS MIKE ASHLEY DOESNT SELL THE CLUB, WE WONT SUPPORT NEWCASTLE.

    Rafa and the team can continue playing. We can support in our hearts and on tv. BUT WE WONT BUY ANOTHER TICKET NOR ANY MERCHANDISE FROM NEWCASTLE AS LONG AS MIKE ASHLEY IS STILL THE OWNER.

    AND THAT GOES FOR SPORTS DIRECT!!
    AND EVERY OTHER BUSINESS THAT MIKE ASHLEY IS INVOLVED IN!
    GET HIM OUT, AND THE ONLY WAY IS TO HIT HIS POCKETS AND SO-CALLED “WORTHLESS” SHARES OF SPORTS DIRECT!

  • jane smith

    Probably the best post that I have seen on here for a long time. Covers all the relevant issues,yet short and to the point. Passionate without the negativity that usually haunts this site. More please!

  • Mike

    that why Rafa was out the country he know wot was going to happen