I sign when Rafa signs.

That’s how the summer started for me.

As much as I love going to see Newcastle United week in week out, I decided that if Mike Ashley hadn’t done enough to convince Rafa Benitez to stay then I’d hold off renewing my season ticket.

True to form Ashley, seems as determined as ever to sabotage any chance of ambition at St James Park. Rafa hasn’t signed and neither have I.

Judging from the latest availability on the NUFC ticketing website it looks like a few others have held off as well. Which brings us to what to do next, and the growing #IfRafaGoesWeGo movement.

What became clear as I was talking about not renewing my season ticket earlier in the summer, is that this is a more divisive issue among fans than whether Mitrovic is any good or not.

Some fans get angry at the remotest possibility of a boycott, or not renewing. While others see it as the only thing we have left to fight Ashley with. What I’ve learned is that it’s ok if someone wants to renew, and it’s also ok if someone doesn’t, what’s important is that we remain united and each do what we can to help remove Ashley.

For me, #IfRafaGoesWeGo is trying to harness leverage against Ashley.

Let’s be clear, Mike Ashley has a comfortable life.

For all the fire and fury on Twitter, none of it reaches him.

We can chant as loud as we like at games, he’s not there.

He doesn’t live in the city, or read the Chronicle.

He is deliberately oblivious to the strength of feeling out there and so it is easy for him to continue this course of action. He has no reason to change.

The way to remove Mike Ashley is to change that.

What matters to him? Money and an easy life.

Sports Direct is a PLC and he must face the music when profits fall. Puma paid a high price to make our shirt (and now charge a high price) and will be similarly unhappy if shirt sales don’t reach expected figures. The tactic is simple, make Mike Ashley’s life as difficult as possible so NUFC becomes a burden. Because at the moment it isn’t. It’s easy for him

For some that will mean staying away, for others it’s choosing to buy a retro kit rather than a Puma one. Boycotting Sports Direct, bombarding their Twitter account, joining NUST. For those who manage fan sites and Twitter accounts with large followings (such as The Mag,  NUFC360 and True Faith Podcast) it’s about asking what their role is in all this. To publicise? Get involved? At the very least to support.

The point is that if everyone does something, gradually we’ll see a change. The Spurs boycott was followed by an increase in transfer spending. We made Ashley take notice and it’s happening again.

Action does work and it’s vital it is UNITED.

Mike Ashley is counting on apathy, he’s counting on division. Don’t have a go at the person who boycotts, or the person who goes every week.

Think about the small things you can do to affect change and we’ll win. Then we can go back to arguing about Mitrovic.

You can follow the author on Twitter @alanofthenorth

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  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    The Fat Scumbag is not only destroying the club he`s destroying what is for some a social event on match days.
    i myself used to have a great day out with a few pals on match days,
    those days are gone until the Pig leaves, when he does i`ll be 1st in line for a ticket
    not a minute before.

    • Alex

      Likewise. And, if I can’t get near my old seat, then so be it. I’m happy to pay a price to get this peace of sch1tt out of my club.

      • kingfisher

        Well done Alex. It’s hard to stick to your principles at times, especially when it affects your family. If we just sit back now and let Ashley destroy our club then your son and many more like him will not have a club to support ( at least not in the Prem).

        When this generation gets older and they ask their Fathers what did you do when things were bad under Ashley, what will you say?

        A) Nothing son, I was one of the 50,000 sheep who still went to the match, supported the team and continued to buy merchandise, or:

        B) I boycotted S.J.P, gave up my season ticket and never set foot inside St James’ or any of Ashleys Sport Direct shops until he sold up.
        Staying away might hurt in the short term, but in the long term it would force Ashley to sell and would give us a club to be proud of !!

        • MichaelMaximusMoose


        • Alex

          Absolutely agree with your final point. If the protests of 3 years ago had been supported and seen through, we’d have got rid of him by now. If this current initiative fizzles out, then the only ones to blame are those that do nothing, yet still expect things to change.

    • panther


  • Monkseaton Magpies

    You will have a long wait got my six season tickets support the club.

    • pedrodelgardo

      It’s has become a fat boy’s play thing rather than a club.

      • Peaky

        Bet he would love to reintroduce that Roman classic but with a twist…….Hoy the Geordies in with the lions…..

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      FFS, Loony Toon`s is back

      • Peaky

        Been identifying transfer targets with Rafa…..in a lift…..at Hull City last night…

    • Toon Barmy

      And divided we fall.

    • drc74

      MONKSTER! BACK, BOBI BA BOOP, fresh from getting his new pearl necklace from the fat one

      • Wezza

        Just block the troll mate. He isn’t from Monkseaton nor a Newcastle fan. He hasn’t signed on under that ID because he was caught out lying about season tickets and phones being jammed. Now he signs on like nothing happened. A true, pathetic, sad troll.

    • Superdooperhooper

      You still standing by your ‘only 79 season tickets left ‘ then ?

    • Squintytoonarmy

      They reckon you are a troll – if I come up for a game where do you drink?

  • Peaky

    Someone has said on here before and I’m going to repeat…..why is it every time we show an interest in a player WestFuckingHam are also sniffing about……can they not afford to employ scouts anymore since they moved into that hideous soulless stadium ?????

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      The last thing any club should want is our Scouts

      • Paul Patterson

        We have scouts?

        • Peaky

          Carr’s list 2012…

          • MichaelMaximusMoose

            you bet they are

          • Jezza

            To be precise they’re still working on the players from that list who never lived up to their potential and are now one step away from the football scrapheap and available dirt cheap.

  • bob0411

    Spot on article, it shouldn’t matter what form your individual protests take, everyone do what you’re comfortable with. And let’s not rip each other to bits while doing that!

  • 501ninedarter

    Good luck but I doubt all this anger directed at him will make him change. We have made the rod for our backs by the constant abuse he receives, the more we direct at him the more intransigent he becomes.

    Perhaps it is time to change tack you never know being nice to the man might soften him up. What is clear none of the above will make one iota of difference to him.

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      Don`t bovver replying Troll, you`re Blocked

      • Brian Standen

        For once I agree with you totally

    • Tweed Mag

      There seems to be some success with his twitter account (and Bishop’s) so a sustained effort will make a difference. Not stepping foot in SD shops will also help. It’s all about chipping away, but consistently so.

    • Soldier

      I have grave doubts that you`ve even been to a game or live in Newcastle
      the guy is poison

      • Jezza

        He’s a troll, marra. Yet another new ID from those two brothers from Manchester.

        • Leazes.

          Yes he’s blocked

      • 501ninedarter

        Oh dear been to my first game in 1981 versus Chelsea we won 1-0. Let me ask you a question what do you expect to if ashley say spends 100 million on the team? Where do you think we could end up?

    • 501ninedarter

      I see the intellectuals are out…make the mackems look refined. Block anyone who dares to offer an alternative opinion that is pathetic

      • Toon Barmy

        Just ignore them, they are a horrible lot, it’s plain to see that your love for Ashley is strong and I am guessing that you also have a strong dislike for Rafa, for trying to undermine all the good work Ashley has done for Newcastle United. There is a website where there are hundreds of people like yourself, who love Ashley and hate Rafa, who will appreciate you, it’s called “a love supreme”, give it a try, i am sure they will love you. As for the rest of you “horrible lot”, you can see he is madly in love and all you lot do is disrespect him by calling him names and laughing at him, you should all be ashamed of yourselves.

        • 501ninedarter

          Love Rafa, don’t really care about Ashley certainly don’t get wound up with hate against him, waste of energy.
          Rafa won’t sign a new contract without seeing more transfer funds, who can blame him, Ashley won’t release funds until Rafa signs.
          Two men having a personal battle the losers are the fans unfortunately.

  • Peaky

    The way they are fuckingup the Mitro transfer we are going to have one hell of an unhappy Serb on the books who won’t want to play for us…

    • 1957

      As I said a couple of weeks ago Fulham and Mitrovic thought a deal was sorted only to find the club was touting him to clubs abroad (the club’s preferred destination for him) for less transfer fee and wouldn’t complete the deal.

      He won’t do it, because he is apparently desperate for first team football, but I would have no problem if he sat out the last two years of his contract because of the way he has been messed around.

      • Peaky

        A total bloody mess……a friend of mine where I’ve just moved from is a lifelong Stoke fan who knows one or two in their hierarchy…..they say Newcastle United under this current ownership are almost impossible to deal with in the transfer market….if this applies to all clubs,which I’m sure it will,no wonder we can never get anything over the line….Penfold is neither use nor bloody ornament…..and that’s been polite.

        • Soldier

          it must be torture listening to him beg for a discount

          • MichaelMaximusMoose


        • MichaelMaximusMoose

          they should do a ringtone for all the club chairman
          Penfold calling

        • Wezza

          “under this current ownership are almost impossible to deal with in the transfer market.”

          Confirms my suspicions then! Then again this is what you get putting a secretary in as MD!

        • Paul Patterson

          Gone are days when Chairmen were invited into the boardroom at SJP and this reciprocated up and down the country. Even Freddy used to extend friendship in his programme notes. Now, they probably look at a fixture with us and slap their heads and utter ‘Ffs, not this lot again’.

  • Down Under Mag

    It’s tough saying fans shouldn’t go to matches. For some, match-day is possibly their one jaunt out with the lads, maybe their opportunity to take the kids to something they can share…that is why it is so difficult to have a go at fans who continue to go to matches, you don’t know the situation. Why should they miss out on something just because of the owner and certain fan groups (who may or may not even go to the matches themselves anyway) saying that if you were a real fan you would stay away?? I think this is somethign that needs to happen on an individual basis but for fans who do continue to go not to be judged or labelled Ashley apologists etc. yes, something needs to be done but attacking our own fans is not the answer…it’s just going to create divides amongst supporters and play right into the owners hands.

    • Toon Barmy

      No, nothing needs to be done, 50.000 people enjoy their “match day experience”, Ashley is obviously not stopping them from enjoying their “match day experience”, so why does anything need to be done? To some people Newcastle United is simply an excuse for a day out, shut down all the pubs in and around Newcastle on match days and see what happens.

  • Reconquista

    Alisher Usmanov is selling his 30% stake in arsenal. Because he can’t buy the club and accuses them of not being ambitious enough.
    Does anyone know anything about him, apart from the fact that he makes the fat controller look like a pauper? Would he be interested in outing him? And how would you get him interested?