A younger fan’s perspective on the Mike Ashley situation…

It all seems a bit doom and gloom at the moment at Newcastle United. We all know the situation at hand, with Mike Ashley again failing to keep his promises and not handing Rafa a penny to spend in the transfer market. Unfortunately, this seems a recurring nightmare, and it’s safe to say we know no different of Mike Ashley, having endured the worst during his 11-year reign.

As a young fan, I know no different of Newcastle United.

I’ve been told, heard about, and watched clips of our “glory days”, the Keegan and Robson era most commonly magnified by my dad. The days when Shearer and Ferdinand lined up ahead of Ginola and Asprilla, when we would beat teams like Barcelona and thump ones like Man United.

Nowadays, however, we are far from that team. Nowadays we go into every season with the aim of survival, to keep us generating enough money to fill Mr. Ashley’s big, big pockets. The lack of ambition from him that we see is astonishing. To have a manager of the calibre of Rafa Benitez, and to have the fanbase the size of ours, yet still be aiming to finish only 17th, is awful.

Which brings me onto the current situation that we have. As mentioned, all I’ve ever known is Mike Ashley, so this transfer window is not really a surprising one for myself. In my lifetime we have never once had a really great, productive transfer window. The best one I can remember is the summer window of 2015, when we spent £40 Million on Wijnaldum, Mitrovic and Thauvin. That season we were relegated and it’s fair to say we were all brought back to reality.

Having seen events unfold last year, with Rafa given very little to spend upon our return to the Premier League, there wasn’t one part of me that believed this year would be different.

The real problem this year comes with our greatest asset. The problem that arises out of all of this is that we could lose one of the best managers in the world because we have one of the worst owners in the world. I do not want to bore anybody with the details of this feud, as we’ve heard it all before, primarily I want to give my take on it.

Rafa is the best Newcastle manager I’ve ever seen. He has done all that Ashley has asked of him and has even done it on a profit. He has a loving relationship with the fans and the players and I can’t quite understand how letting Rafa go would be beneficial for Mike Ashley and his business.

However, I believe that this summer’s transfer window will not, at all, be as bad as we currently perceive it to be. I think that over the course of time we will find that this transfer window proved significant in the changing of times at our club.

There are a few different scenarios that could take place.

The first being that inevitably Ashley doesn’t give Rafa further backing this summer, Rafa survives next season (I don’t think at all that we will be relegated with Rafa in charge) and then walks. With the new #IfRafaGoesWeGo initiative (which I think is a brilliant idea, and am very excited about) in my opinion this will act as a catalyst for change, as it will only enhance the anger and frustration already felt, and with enough protesting/boycotting, change will eventually come. Whilst the short-term effects may be brutal, I believe the long-term effects if Rafa were to leave would indeed be positive.

The second scenario also involves the #IfRafaGoesWeGo project.

No matter how much we spend this summer, it will still carry on just as ferociously. Of course, if Ashley doesn’t spend then he will be adding fuel to the already growing fire. If this project were to gain publicity in the coming season, first nationwide and hopefully further than that, it could be a force for serious change.

Just imagine if Toon fans across the country blockaded Sports Direct shops for a day, or we went down to London on an away day and protested over there, blocking off roads and gaining attention. As far as I see it, this can only be seen as a huge, huge positive. What this would do is two separate things.

Firstly, bringing enough worldwide attention to our club (and the fiercely loyal fanbase) may well attract overseas investors, to come in and save our club from Ashley.

Secondly, it puts so much pressure on Ashley himself. If we protest enough, and really make our voices heard, then I really believe that the current situation we have this summer with Mike Ashley and Rafa Benitez will never occur again.

I read an article a few days ago, which highlighted what happened at West Ham last season. They were run very similarly to us at the moment. They did spend a fair bit of money, but regardless of this, the fans were disgruntled. They took action and now this year they have spent £80+ Million. I am not saying we should throw coins at Mr Ashley (come on guys, he really doesn’t need more money) or anything like that, but if we make our voices heard then Ashley has to break at some point.

To conclude, if there were one message for you to take from this article, it would be that the Mike Ashley and Rafa Benitez situation is not all doom and gloom. I think that we will look back on this summer’s transfer window in five years time and say “wow, that did make a difference.” Whether Ashley begins to spend this August, or he doesn’t spend at all and inadvertently amplifies the protests from our beloved fanbase.

Only time will tell with Rafa Benitez. The situation at hand is a tricky one to navigate, especially for a manager used to having money to spend at top four competitive clubs, but I believe that he will stay. If a new owner comes in next season, it’s a win-win situation, if that doesn’t though , but the fans convince him to stay, then we will have done more than our part.

In Rafa we trust.

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  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    Must be a pupil of Leazes, near perfect grammar etc, well composed article for a 14 year old
    but wait, will Leazes denounce him as a 23 yr old Uni lad studying journalism,
    only time will tell.
    Over to you Leazes.

    • Leazes.

      Yes its VDV

      • MichaelMaximusMoose

        I knew you`d suss it

        • Leazes.

          I don’t know why people need alter egos Jon

          • MichaelMaximusMoose

            To troll the Trolls.

          • Leazes.

            I just blank them, it annoys them more

          • MichaelMaximusMoose

            I know you do & maybe you`re right

  • Paul Patterson

    If I had any kids, I’d advise caution/avoiding football due to the finances involved and immoral fees and wages.
    But if you can afford to go and enjoy the experience, the day we win something, will be one hell of a day.
    The town won’t know what to do with itself. Against all hopes, let’s hope its with Rafa..

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      Be tragic when Rafa leaves & the way things are going it`ll be next summer

  • Leazes.

    Its not too late Ross…..you could get yourself a Man United Shirt like Jack Lacey-Hatton! and I certainly wouldn’t want anyone throwing coins at Ashley that is a complete waste and not as effective as darts.

    I suspect you are about 12 years old, the same as Simon Van de Velde, because you certainly use the same idioms as he does in your writing,

    All the best

    • MichaelMaximusMoose


      • Leazes.

        I think you are starting to suss them out before me now!

        • MichaelMaximusMoose


          • Leazes.

            Oh look Daddy has turned up…. this is David and Kevin’s dad…. the senile Brian Lee. funlovingexpress and dozens more.

          • Soldier

            is there really that many ?

          • Leazes.

            Yes the same family who bullied the Chronicle board years ago, and the young one made a mistake in setting up a fantasy football league for the regulars where everyone had to register with their real name, I personally wouldn’t do it.

          • funlovingexpress

            What are you on about
            You are nothing but a mackem wum it was proved years ago. You have taken over the boards on here and got some believing you, but even your name leazes is a throwback to the 80s when it was for away supporters.

            I am easily found, often frequent Rosies and the garter. Can the same be said of you?
            Dont have a clue who this brian lee is, must be some invention in your delusional mackem world.

            They didnt even have a fantasy football team on the old forums.

            sad life you mackems have.

          • SuperDesHamilton

            You mentioned two bars so that makes you legit 😂😂😂

          • panther

            Ive heard of central perk, guess I was in friends

          • Wezza

            It’s been beggars belief what this family is like. They seem very bitter towards nufc. Thanks for the heads up Leazes this Brian Lee is now blocked!

          • Leazes.

            He’s rarely seen these days …..under that name at least!

    • panther

      Ashley would love you to throw money at him

  • Fireman Sam

    It’s obvious now that the fat owners excuse for pocketing all the clubs money this year will centre around Rafa’s contract. Just wait for sky sports and the chronicle pointing the finger at Rafa.

    • Ram Kishore

      I think chronicle is doing a decent fair job this year.

      Just been reading its a bit critical of Ashley.. they have taken neutral stance and done decent articles with good exclusives with lot of not good ones too

      • Leazes.

        I’ve now made up my mind on you, I’m blocking you.

        • Ram Kishore

          I am just seeing your comment as a sarcastic one because your comment just made me smile..
          U r not someone i care about and i am not commenting to please you..
          If you are such a great person here for whose approval i should wait FYI i really don’t care whether u block me or not.
          If u don’t like my comments
          U have got many ways of disapproving me by down voting or criticising me by comments because it’s all just arguments not fights ..

          But since u r the one who’s informing me about your intention to block me.. May i know the reasons?

  • Fisherking

    No 14 year old Geordie wrote that

  • Tim Boddy

    Good article, Ross. Keep it up!

  • funlovingexpress

    Main problem with Ashley is he had a good idea and employed numpties to carry it out.

    Its ironic that Benitez wants what Ashley originally wanted, i.e. academy producing players and a successful team but now the club hasnt got the money. At least for both players and the academy this season anyhow.

    Rafa is world class so would make it work rather than Pardews forked tongue blaming lack of good academy players on not being middle class.

    Ashley wont put his hand in his pocket now, the club will have to find the money itself. Its a shame because the original plan by Ashley is very workable, he just needed Benitez at the beginning.

    • Paul Patterson

      Pretty much it.

    • Ram Kishore

      Good one

    • TheNutJob

      He had Keegan & that didn`t end well through him being usurped.
      Fatty has never ever had any intention of taking Newcastle forward

  • Soldier

    read the article & read all the posts, if he hadn`t said he was 14 i would have taken it to be written by an adult with above average education, A level, A.

  • toonterrier

    Good article. Keep dreaming young fellow and one day the sun will shine and you’ll have something to cheer about. Until then don’t get expect too much as nothing will change until the fat man moves on.

    • Leazes.

      For gods sake dont pat him on the head and give him a sweetie…. he’s 40 years old and 6ft 2″ and called Simon.

      • TheNutJob


      • Dillon Tovak

        I must admit i agree with you here, the writing style is very recognisable and certainly not written like any 14 year old I’ve ever met.

        • Leazes.

          Well done Dillon… lets have a competition to spot the fake.

          The author of this has used a literary device as a linkage and he does it in everything, I’m sure at the age of 14 I could have strung something coherent together which didn’t require heavily edited input (which is also a possibility), but finding so many its just not probable.

          Next up ‘fans around the world’ with Bruce from Australia or is it Guiseppe from Torrino?

  • TheNutJob

    Tic toc, tic toc. Fatty`s on holiday
    Doomed !

  • Geordiegiants

    Some of you won’t like this, but I really hope the fatcunt doesn’t change his mind. I want him out at any cost. I would feel dirty, like I’d been raped if we won anything under him and I was celebrating.

  • Toontaff

    The author must have started going to SJP aged 3. I wonder if he was writing such well edited pieces for the Mag, back then?

  • SuperDesHamilton

    Simon under yet another alias

    • Dillon Tovak

      But weird isn’t it, writing on the internet pretending to be 14. Pretty sure there are laws about this 😂