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Opinion

21,331 reasons why Mike Ashley is so desperate to keep hold of Newcastle United

6 months ago
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Some Newcastle fans still believe that Mike Ashley wants to sell Newcastle United.

Amongst all the other lies, they believe that this is the case.

Of course, the driving force for most of them is the most powerful thing of all, WANTING to believe it.

However, clearly he has no intention and whatever was going on last October (2017) and whether or not Amanda Staveley was a willing accomplice, Mike Ashley was having a right laugh at our expense.

He didn’t choose Newcastle United by accident when buying a football club back in 2007.

Outside of the successful clubs, Newcastle were the only one to pack out their ground every other week, with 50,000+ inside St James Park.

We weren’t Aston Villa, Sunderland, or whoever, we were the perfect platform and backdrop for his retail empire.

Even his people told John Hall that the reason he was buying the club was to help drive the expansion of Sports Direct, using Newcastle United to do so via the massive worldwide exposure the Premier League enjoys.

When advertising anything you want a positive image, so rows and rows of empty seats next to SD advertising hoardings is a big no no.

Plus of course you have the act that season after season Newcastle United are consistently chosen for live TV games more often than any other club outside the top six. Indeed, we have a number of times been shown more often than some of that ‘big six’.

The fanbase is why Mike Ashley bought Newcastle United and it is because of the fanbase that we are finding it so hard to get rid of him.

Last Saturday Newcastle United played their final pre-season friendly.

An opposition (Augsburg) that couldn’t be less exciting, a lower Bundesliga team with nobody having heard of any of their players.

Newcastle United having no exciting signings on show.

A club that is heading for a £30m profit in this transfer window.

Hatred of Mike Ashley at an all-time high and everybody doing what they can to get rid of him, with all kinds of protests taking place and planned.

A meaningless pre-season friendly.

Yet, 21,331 turned up and paid to watch it.

These were the last season average home attendances for certain Premier League clubs (including those now promoted):

10,640 Bournemouth

19,896 Fulham

20,164 Cardiff

20,331 Watford

20,623 Swansea

20,688 Burnley

Newcastle United getting more for a meaningless match where there was every reason not to go, yet getting a bigger crowd than these clubs get for first team matches.

You also have the likes of Palace (25,063), West Brom (24,520) and Huddersfield (24,040) who only get a few thousand more for Premier League matches than that NUFC friendly crowd.

The true potential of Newcastle’s support hasn’t been remotely touched.

That Augsburg friendly crowd probably included 75% of them who don’t regularly go to Newcastle matches, yet more people who would love to go regularly if Newcastle United were ever successful.

Mike Ashley bought a fanbase, not a football club, the problem we have now is ‘encouraging’ him to sell us.
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