Over the last few days, as the transfer window close approached, I remained silently confident that everything would be ok, I truly believed that nobody at Newcastle United would be stupid enough to risk our position; nobody would be stupid enough to believe that what we have right now is enough; nobody would be stupid enough to calculate the risk, and determine that remaining stagnant was an acceptable position.

Deep down, my belief was founded upon hope. Hope that finally, the powers that be had turned the corner, seen the potential, acknowledged our precarious position and agreed that change was needed now. The purse strings would be opened (I didn’t expect record breaking marquee signings, just improvements) and a flow of PL standard players, or at least established top division professionals from around the continents would walk through the door, lift a NUFC shirt above their heads and state their eagerness to don the ‘Famous Black and White Shirt’ on the hallowed turf of St James Park.

Hope. I hoped. As Henry Rollins once said:

“Hope is the last thing a person does before they are defeated.”

Henry Rollins. A very run of the mill American actor/musician/comedian. Not exactly a fountain of wisdom, but, those words completely capture my feelings right now.

I have written articles here, commented on threads and spent hours talking to friends/colleagues/anyone stupid enough to strike up an NUFC related conversation on how, in some way, Mike Ashley has been harshly treated at times (Not all the time, there are a lot of things he has done that deserves a lynch mob at his door, never mind harshly written words) and that maybe, now is the time to let bygones be bygones.

To the countless individuals that I have debated with on here regarding giving Mike Ashley some slack, all I can do is apologise for wasting your time. I was still hoping. I am now defeated.

I went to bed early last night (Thursday). I had a splitting headache, most likely caused by the constant staring at my phone, searching through networks, forums, live tickers etc, waiting for some kind of miracle to happen. Waiting for a breaking news story of a new signing to walk through the door. I would have been happy with literally anyone.

It is saying something when you get a bit excited about the likes of Matt Targett (Southampton’s third choice left-back). Nothing materialised, the window closed, and today I woke up to the realisation of nine months of utter pain at the hands of the 19 other clubs plying their trade in the PL, that are much stronger than us now.

My hope has gone. No longer do I believe that maybe Ashley will turn a corner. This was quite literally his best chance to prove to the great fans of NUFC that he had some modicum of appreciation, affection, aspiration for the club and us in general. He failed.

He had his chance, he had a small bit of rope left, that he only clawed back by managing to recruit, and keep Rafa Benitez, but now, not only has the rope slipped out of his fingers, it is wrapped firmly round his neck, frayed and under so much strain that it isn’t long before the rope will beyond the point of repair and break entirely.

I admit defeat. I admit defeat to all of you that have consistently berated him. You were right, I was wrong. I admit defeat to myself. I hoped, I no longer hope. I know that my hopes will never materialise whilst he is at the club. I am converted.

Now that I am here though, what should I do?

Should I give up entirely, turn my attentions elsewhere and focus on another sport for a while?

Rugby is ok I suppose.

Can’t stand Cricket so that’s out.

Golf? Not for me.

I do like my combat sports. Boxing and UFC are great but can I really sate my sporting desires through that avenue? Will it give me enough? Can I immerse myself in it to the point of addiction like I have with football all my life? The simplest answer is no, I can’t.

No matter what happens, I cannot turn my back from football. I am just too addicted. As crazy as it may sound, throughout my entire life it truly has been the one and only constant. Women have come and gone, houses, cars, friends, jobs, they have all played a part at times, and then disappeared into the background of my existence. NUFC has never been absent.

So, I can’t leave football behind, and I can’t leave NUFC behind. I have to seek inspiration from somewhere, otherwise I will go mad.

Step forward Santosh Kalwar, a Nepalese poet famed for his writings based upon the past, present and future:

“Never stop just because you feel defeated. The journey to the other side is attainable only after great suffering.”

We have suffered in the past at the hands of Mike Ashley, we are suffering now, and undoubtedly, there is more suffering on the horizon. I am not going to give up though. Reflecting on Kalwar’s words, I now realise that in the space of 12 hours, I have managed to get myself back into the hope cycle. The hopes have changed, the intensity of them remain the same.

I now hope that Mike Ashley does the right thing and moves on from his ownership of this great club, sooner rather than later. I hope he leaves and takes his minions with him. I hope Rafa, despite having his legs completely cut from underneath him, decides to see him out and stay with his own hope that he will be able to construct the vision that he believes can become reality at Newcastle United under a proper owner, an owner that understands what is required to make a football club a success and wants to achieve greatness.

NUFC will continue to feed my addiction. I will support the players, manager, coaches (including Beardsley), and all others associated with the club. I can’t not. But Mike Ashley, for what little it’s worth, you no longer have my support. You will no longer receive any of my hard-earned money, or any kind of appreciation for anything that you have ever done during your tenure.

I continue to hope…

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

  • Jezza

    To be truthfull yesterday went better than I expected. I truly believed Dwight Gayle was going to be sold.

    • Lord

      This window has been like having an enema.

      The worry about Gayle – hamstrings aside – is his state of mind at being on the verge of a transfer = unwanted.

      • Jezza

        Yes being put up for sale 48 hours before the deadline can’t have done his confidence much good.

    • Leazes Ender

      Pretty much par for the course with these jokers.

      • Jezza

        Yes, always expect the worst and you won’t be disappointed. It’s a sign of how much Fatso has lowered expectations at our club that I went to bed relieved last night because reports of a £15 million bid from Fulham had turned out to be work of fiction and we still had Dwight Gayle.

  • goggsy

    Though it has been very odd reading yous lot call black,white all summer. It takes a big person to apologise and it would be interesting to see if any other happy clappers concur or they now start calling you a negative fan for wanting better for your club?..? Which is crazy. Or even worse a mackem. Surely we all want success and if this is the way to go about getting then I’m Steve Cram.

    • Jezza

      I agree, Geordie 7676 has been big enough to come on here and admit he got it wrong. He deserves respect for that unlike Fleckman, Rooney, Clarko and all the other Ashpologists who haven’t got the guts to show their faces this morning.

      • Leazes Ender

        Really nobody can give Ashley Charnley or Concur any benefit of doubt now that this has happened.

        • goggsy

          Well you would think not.

        • Georgia Peter

          There needs to be an undercover investigation into the Fat B45tard’5 thieving financial practices. I know I’m wasting my breath but one can still hope, as per the headline banner.
          Howaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay the Lads.

      • 1957

        Clarko will be looking for some statistic to prove it was a good transfer window and the squad is adequate for the season ahead.

        • HarryHype59

          He will claim Rafa has £59m net, to spend in January as the deluded poppet argued Ashley would give Rafa 70m minimum this season for transfers. Meanwhile back in planet reality, the odious shopkeeper gambles our EPL future by sanctioning a pathetic net spend of £11m.

  • Guest 2

    Chin up mate, you certainly aren’t alone. There’s enough posters on here who still argue in support of Ashley despite the reality of what he has done over a decade.
    Change doesn’t just happen though – it has to be made. Forced if necessary.

    • Georgia Peter

      Nothing, but nothing can be found anywhere in support of Michael F in Ashley. He is nowt short of a con artist , Liar, thief and a complete waste of an honest persons fresh air. I’ll say it again even I know I will be slated, But he needs to either go or be dead.
      The mans original statement about making the club self sufficient was the only truth he ever uttered in his entire life, unfortunately, it was all for his benefit and not for Newcastle United,
      It is my belief that Ashley is systematically straightening out the ballances in order to strip away profits which would not be so niticeable as it would from a “crippled” company. I am no accountant but it kinda makes sense to be hiding his crimes in plain view…..?. Thoughts…!

      • Guest 2

        I think it’s entirely possible if not downright likely. There’s even an entry for a 48k ‘cost’ to the club for the SD merchandising!
        He’s repaid himself 29 million since 2012 – by loaning the money again through St James Holdings. So, he gets personally repaid and adds that to the club as more debt.
        About time some real forensic accountants got stuck into this fat bag of [email protected]

        • Georgia Peter

          Thanx for the info.

  • Leazes Ender

    Well done 76 kit takes courage to say what you have.
    I got it a bit wrong as well…. I didn’t think it would be as poor as it actually was, they’ve really done a job on Rafa.

  • CaptainCaveman

    I kidded myself that he’d learnt his lesson too. I don’t know why given the past decade, probably out of desperate hope I suppose. I remember how happy I was when Ashley bought NUFC, who’d have thought ten years later we’d looking at a hat-trick of relegations due to his sheer ineptness and greed.

  • MadToonFan&VitalFattysDriveOut

    There’s a great article in Footy365: Transfers winners and losers, with Toon being the latter! They sure know our suffering, some classic quotes: Benitez’s exit would cause a mutiny like nothing we have seen before at Newcastle. Supporters are mistrustful of Ashley by default and regularly outright angry, but if his parsimony again forces this club into manager-less crisis from a position of such potential, he can expect their collective wrath. Never has a football club owner been so unfathomably prepared to undermine all chance of progress.

    Another; For Newcastle to end Deadline Day having failed to sign a single player is an unfunny joke of Ashley-esque proportions. To leave the best – and most popular – manager of your miserable ownership high and dry when he needed you most is negligence. Rafa Benitez was told to build a squad that would ensure Championship promotion, which could then be improved over the course of the summer. The manager kept his end of the bargain; Ashley didn’t keep his.

    Makes me wanna weep! If rumours are indeed true, Pie man must be trying to offload us now, tho I really can’t see this, spec with millions of coffers rolling in this year, coupled with a top manager in Rafa, we’re primed for a lot more Tv coverage? Ho hum, this can, and probably will, only get worse, much worse 😡

  • GToon

    I think Charnley needs to take his share of the blame too. He’s obviously inept and way out of his depth when it comes to linking the needs of a football squad with his budget. I think his aim is to balance the budget each transfer window regardless of the consequences and then go running to Mike for a pat on the head.
    It would be interesting to know who Rafa tried to bring in. Maybe when he leaves he will lift the lid on the whole situation and set the record straight. No doubt that would be another court case with Ashley saying he never promised him the money, just like the recent two court cases involving Ashley and people he never promised money to.

    • Georgia Peter

      I’ll pat him on the heed, with a 4×2..

  • GToon

    With regard to how to get rid of Ashley I think that if we do the following: organize a boycott, stage protests with banners, sing songs about him, stop buying from his shops ………. then it will have a minimal effect on him. Perhaps he will get his mate to do another interview and perhaps he won’t.
    The one way to get rid of him is to cut off his revenue – the TV money. So what’s the best way to do that? Well we could hound out the manager, hope the club sell their best players and sign very average ones, hope players aren’t replaced when they leave, get the club relegated to the next division, hope the club appoint incompetent people in important jobs……… I think you all get the picture by now. He’s basically doing all of the above himself.

  • Trevor Reaveley

    Yup, I’m in full agreement.
    I thought Ashley really was trying to get NUFC on a firm financial footing, then aim for the stars. I think the first bit he’s done pretty successfully, then spectacularly imploded.
    I can now see (as can the rest of you probably), another club swooping in to pay Rafa’s get out clause and whisking the best manager we’ve had in years away from us.
    We can only hope that there’s something gone on behind the scenes where Ashley’s been sorting the finances out ready to sell, and Rafa is willing to wait to see who a new buyer is, but patience will only take you so far.
    Poor NUFC, even though we’re back in the Premiership, it seems a bit sadder today than when we were relegated.

  • 1957

    I’ve always believed in ‘ the darkest hour is just before the dawn’ but for the last 10 years it just keeps getting darker.

  • ToonFan&VitalPieMan’sDroveOut

    Please tell me we’ve now hit rock bottom?

    Or is it the truth that we’ve been there since day 1 of Ashley’s regime, therefore have been unvoluntarily wallowing around since that heinous day 😤.
    Fact, there’s one possible way things can only get worse, tho I’ll never usher that in case I make it happen 😢

    I love Rafa and wish he was family ❤️

  • Ismar Badzic

    Feeling the pain too bud. The rope didn’t slip he cast it aside, that’s the worst thing. Calculated. But we have to do something. Can we set up some kind of boycott that doesn’t harm the team. An Ashley Out pitch invasion post match? A sit in? Something to get the cameras involved and hurt his brand.