Well, I do not think Thursday, or this summer overall, turned out as any Newcastle fans had hoped – but maybe, at least deep down, this at least comes as no surprise.

With the happiness of promotion and the backing Rafa received last summer, we let ourselves be deceived into thinking that maybe, just maybe, things had finally changed

However, January should have given us all pause for thought in our excitement. Rafa wanted reinforcements for the second half of the campaign and nothing arrived. The squad was gambled on and pulled through – but it was a risk. That same risk is being taken now.

From all indications, the plan Rafa laid out to Ashley at the beginning of the summer was detailed, well thought out, and, most importantly, realistic. He was not asking to compete with Manchester City or Chelsea, but rather with Bournemouth and Swansea.

Did we have less money because we missed payments last year? Yes – but not spending money now risks the same thing happening again next year.

Pundits and rivals often claim that Newcastle fans are unrealistic, but the majority of us understand where we are right now, but also know that Rafa is the man to lead the club to a place where it can challenge at the top. If Tottenham can do it, there is no reason we can’t too.

While a £20m statement signing would have been wonderful, the most important thing was that Rafa was backed to the very best of the club’s capabilities. And this is the most concerning thing, not that this only didn’t happen, but that he was told it would and those promises were not backed up.

We all know the frustrations but I feel most of us are wondering what do we do now? Boycott?

With 40,000 season tickets sold, does this even make sense? Two years ago this made sense. We had (still have) ownership that doesn’t care, management that was incompetent, and a squad that was indifferent. A large percentage of the players from two years ago didn’t deserve to have 52,000 screaming voices roaring them on.

I do not get that feeling from this team. The players we have now, I believe, may lose games based on talent and skill, but not on graft and effort. And you know Rafa has a plan because he…always has a plan.

If the squad puts in the same effort week in, week out that they showed against West Ham then they deserve our support. Especially because there will be times when it can help turn defeat into victory.

So how to show Ashley the displeasure, the anger?

I have no idea how well it could work or how much difference it would make, but what about boycotting the STUFF?

I’m sure we all have a shirt or three, we all have scarves, track-tops, hats and coats. Do we need anymore right now?

Turn that club shop into a ghost town. Eat before and after the game, do you really need that half-time snack? And, I know this will be the hardest, skip the beer. Have an extra before the game, have another after.

I have no idea how much this would affect the bottom line but done in large enough numbers it could make a statement.

It should come with an understanding, if Rafa comes to you in January and says I need A, B and C, and he gets it then we will be back buying the second half the season.

It is a huge ask…but show us that you care even a little bit as much as we do.

Just an idea.

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

  • justchampion

    Target SD. Anti SD chants, slogans, flags to a global tv audience. Let’s play him at his own game. He will also feel the squeeze from SD shareholders which may force him into action. Too many sheep and fans who don’t care enough for a boycott.

  • foggy

    As long as Rafa Benitez is the manager we should support him and the team.
    If Rafa walks then bedlam should prevail.
    In the meantime though perhaps Sports Direct shops could go up in smoke.

    • Paul Patterson

      It’s a little difficult when fans still keep buying replica shirts. The club shop is called NufcDirect for heavens sake. It’s obvious when all the revenue goes. Until people stop buying stuff at the ground Mike Ashley will continue to laugh. I’m not in favour of a boycott as it hurts the team/Rafa, but when a pie and pint costs best part of £10 and the shirts cost £50, there’s no reason why we should be funding for funding sake..

      • foggy

        I haven’t said that anyone should buy a shirt / pie / pint or spend any money at all within St James.

        • Paul Patterson

          I never said you did, just making the point.

  • douchebaggg

    “Pundits and rivals often claim that Newcastle fans are unrealistic…”
    15 words later…
    “Rafa is the man to lead the club to a place where it can challenge at the top. If Tottenham can do it, there is no reason we can’t too.”


    • Steve Smith

      Well to be fair before Ashley came along we were arguably the bigger team between us and Spurs. They haven’t exactly been bankrolled by oil money. Their level is where we could have been under better stewardship.

      Football has existed longer than Fifa on your Xbox pal….

      • douchebaggg

        Bigger how? Fan base? You’re nowhere near as successful as Spurs have been, quick look on wikipedia can show you that. And ‘could have/would have/should have’ arguments are pointless. NUFC have achieved nothing worth merit in the last 20 years unless you count pishing away a 12 point lead and losing 2 FA cups and your business model has been a mess dating back to the John Hall/Shepherd days. Shame really, your fans deserve better.

        • Keeganontherebound

          You mean as opposed to Spurs who have won the league cup twice in the last twenty years? Not exactly Real Madrid are they?

        • Danimal

          In the Premier League era, until Ashley worked his magic, Newcastle were miles ahead of Spurs. Regularly in the top 6, while Spurs (and Everton to name another club we apparently shouldn’t try to compete with) avoided relegation by the skin of their teeth.

  • Steve Pearce

    400000 season tickets sold – maybe its time for The Silence Of The Sheep. The fat stinking bag of southern pus can do all he wants to destroy our club and those cute sheep will always be there to keep the cash flowing in to his pockets. I wonder how many of you who slag Ashley off are season ticket holders? You had the perfect opportunity to hit him where it hurts by not renewing them – but baaa baaa baaa another 400000 sold and he is free to do anything he wants..

    • douchebaggg

      400,000? Wow, that’s a big stadium.

  • disqus_4YjhbdFXec

    Cover any S/D hoardings that are accessible in the ground, less advertising

    • Mrkgw

      Good idea!

  • Grahame Johnson

    I’ll have a shave knit a jumper and eat my leg, that’s the bonus of been a sheep, if Ashley breaks our club lack of prime mutton can’t be his excuse

  • Damon Horner

    The fact protests are spoken about before anything big happens doesn’t do us any favours in my view.

    I don’t like Ashley like the rest of you but doing big protests now when we have a manager that we like, when we’ve just achieved promotion and currently sit outside the bottom three won’t get the desired effect from anybody yet alone Ashley.

    We’d just look like we’re over reacting to the club not spending money which the club owner says isn’t there for us to spend.

  • Mrkgw

    Some good ideas iro refusal to purchase food and drink, programmes even. Anything is worth a go if it rids our club of these hated figures.

  • Monksaton Magpies

    The food and drink is contracted out to Sodexo so would make a jot of difference to Mike Ashley as they have signed a contract for a few years. Not buying the odd shirt will make no difference at all. For the Liverpool game at home thousands of tickets in the Platinum Club and corporate areas are an incredible sixty one pounds each and guess what have nearly sold out less than sixty seats together left in the whole ground. Also Stoke nearly sold out except there thousand returns. Just support the club some day some one will buy the club but do not bank on them being any better than Ashley as times have changed.

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      Some day !
      let`s hope you`re not saying that in 10yrs,
      20yrs i had a season ticket, i`d rather slit my throat than buy another one whilst that Scumbag owns it.
      how many years have you had a season ticket ?

      • Monksaton Magpies

        Not missed a home game since September 1975 when we beat Aston Villa three nil and super mac played a blinder so forty two years and not one home game missed despite living in London, Manchester and Leeds had season ticket since 1981.

    • Si

      And the only ones who would suffer would be the employees made redundant because there was no job for them. Ashley makes as much money elsewhere outside NUFC then he does from pies and beer. I wish there was something that could force him out but the only answer will be his being bought out.

    • Lofty

      The food and drink is spot on Monk, but if the SD/NUFC commercial contract is anything like the tie in with Rangers, Ashley will make a lot more than NUFC. I hope it isn’t but I’d bet the contract favours SD more than NUFC anyway. One of the questions ‘Craigy’ could have asked but didn’t.


    What we do now is win games, there is nothing else to consider.

  • Bleeding Black & White

    People can choose to boycott if they wish, but it won’t hurt Ashley. His stores are everywhere, so even if all NUFC fans boycott them, it would be a drop in the ocean. Real fans are not sheep, they’re fans, who go to watch the match and support the team. Those 11, who wear the shirts need our support. Ashley will go, eventually, one way or another. Newcastle United will still be there. If the fans stop supporting the team it will fail and it will take decades to build again. There are a few, who complain about players, boo the team and don’t support. The majority try to cheer them on. I’m sorry, but that’s our role. Ashley will get far more in TV revenue, than people could withhold from him. It won’t work. I’m far from happy at what goes on, but I will continue to go, for as long as I can and will support, as I’ve always done, like back in the late 70s and early 80s, when there was no hope of getting anywhere and crowds were averaging less than 20,000 and again, before Keegan returned. I reckon that most of the complainers on here haven’t been to a match in decades, if at all! Baaa

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      Jesus Christ

  • Buck Blacket

    We stop moaning and get behind Rafa and the team, after all, it’s not their fault we have a greedy bar steward for an owner!

  • diego milleto 1

    Don’t buy any beer, food etc from the stadium,,, if you have to bring your own stuff and secrete it hide it in your pants like shoving a few cold un opened beer bottles down front of your jeans or in front of your jacket but we must NOT BUY ANYTHING FROM THE GROUND,,, I don’t attend mathes anymore as I will only support my team watching on tv by not addind to match day profits it is hurting ashley BIG TIME SO WE MUST NOT BUY ANYTHING FROM THE GROUND NOR TICKETS ITS NOT WORTH IT,,

  • diego milleto 1

    Why would anyone want pay top dollar to watch mitro or joselu up front lol haa ha hopeless or a poor stagnate midfield led by atsu and ritchie it’s so boring watching us play with the current squad

  • DaveBillyAllen

    Can’t miss my halftime beer

  • justchampion

    As per my original post, target SD, that way fans can choose to go or stay away, their choice no division. 52k telling a global audience how Shyte SD is will soon get jabba and his shareholders attention. This will stop the division that is being created between the fans, put external pressure on Ashley and might even improve the atmosphere, what’s not to like!

  • Kenny elliott

    Rangers fans 1 Ashley o he can be hurt

  • fistsofsteel2

    Rafa has been played by Ashley. Rafa should walk away.

  • GToon

    The only thing that will get rid of him is if the club goes into decline. He’s doing a great job of making that happen. When we go down this time there’s very little chance of the third immediate promotion. Then and only then will he possibly be forced out.