Thirty years ago, the thought that Newcastle fans from all over the globe, let alone Tyneside, could be the touch of a button away from each other, was something out of a Terminator Movie.

What a tool such an invention would be. Fellow fans would be able to unite and their combined strength would be the catalyst for major change.


I think it is safe to say that it hasn’t turned out that way with social media and the like. If those commenting on The Mag and elsewhere are anything to go by, we are a pretty disjointed bunch.

Or are we?  Are people commenting on NUFC websites truly representative of the thoughts and beliefs of the typical fan?

How many people on average take the time to post comments? Thirty? Fifty?

How many people visit The Mag?  I have absolutely no idea but I reckon it’s a few more than fifty.

The point I’m making, albeit  laboured, is that people who take the time to comment are generally the most passionate and opinionated amongst us. But are they representing you?

I honestly don’t know anyone amongst my circle who holds the same views that are held by those who defend the regime.

But likewise, I don’t know anyone who went to stand outside Sports Direct on Saturday.  There were 50,000 in the City (plus those who were going to be watching on TV in centy centre bars) but only 500 – 2,000 (depending on where you read it) outside the shop.

So what do the silent 99%  think. What do the silent 99% want?

My views are no more relevant than anyone else, but for what it’s worth, I think that the Newcastle Fan wants today, exactly the same as what they wanted in 78, 88, 98 or 08 .

We don’t expect to win the league, apart from that one glorious season of course. We don’t even expect to win the cup. Even in 98 and 99 you hoped we would but certainly didn’t expect to.

So if it’s not being successful, what is it all about?

I think the match day experience has always been central to being a Newcastle fan and if you still have that, you will continue to head for St James Park every other weekend

But once that goes, the pull of St James goes with it.  The vast vast majority of the crowd go with friends and family.  Next week, look around you and see how many people are making the walk up alone.  Not many. It can’t be fun going as Billy no mates, no one to discuss the game with.

But I also believe that our fan base and that of all other clubs is a reflection of a change in society

Of course Newcastle is vitally important to the current fan, or they would not be shelling out the money they do, but previous generations (certainly mine) had a relationship with the club that was so primal we believed it was worth punching someone’s lights out for .

Maybe today’s fan is a little more intelligent than we were. Maybe today’s fan has a better sense of self worth which allows people to see football as simply a day out. It is certainly not worth risking your job by  getting wound up and ejected from the ground .

The fans of 78 were jacked off and moaned about  how useless Westwood was running the club.

The fans of 88 were jacked off and moaned about how useless McKeag was running the club.

The fans of 98 were jacked off with Dalglish despite heading toward our first FA Cup Final in 24 years.

Being grumpy has always been part and parcel of being a football fan at most clubs and certainly at  Newcastle. The difference is that now, social media allows for the more “vociferous” amongst us to be heard by a much greater audience.

The truth is, while some of us would  prefer for Arnie to  be sent back in time, not to sort out young Master Connor, but to wipe out Nana Ashley , the majority of people just want a quiet life.

Letting a billionaire you will never meet, consume your life, just isn’t worth the stress.

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  • Monkseaton Magpies

    A great article and never a truer word said. I know supporters who no longer go but it’s not because of Ashley they either fell out of love with the game or had other priorities. One bloke refused to go while Souness was manager and when he went did he go back not a chance. However wait for this one one bloke stopped going when Keegan was manager as we were doing so well and he did not like the hangers on the plastic fans as he called them. When we started to do badly and got relegated he came back and even asked for a ten year deal but would only give him a three year deal. The old days were the best with the Fred the Fan cartoon with the fans in the queue and one says to the other ” Even Fred isn’t coming this week” and there he is with his cap and sunglasses on in disguise at the back of the queue sums real Newcastle supporters up.

    • Kenny

      you got some serious issues going there mate you`d even send a shrink up the wall, you never turned up at the 3 Bulls

      • Monkseaton Magpies

        I was there as promised nine till ten past eleven upstairs at the bar. For Chelsea will be in again ten till ten past two.
        Brian and Tino did not come but to be fair Tino cancelled the day before and Brian said he got stuck in the Hotspur. My mates had to meet me in there to collect their season tickets but will be in every game will gladly get you a pint.

        • Kenny

          i was at the protest until 11-30

          • Monkseaton Magpies

            Will gladly get you a pint some time.

          • panther

            Me too

        • panther

          Ha ha mates? That’s the most ridiculous thing you’ve said, and there’s so much competition on mental things you’ve come out with

      • Ron

        It’s great reading your replies – I have to guess at the content that your replying about because generally I’ve blocked them. Keep it up it’s great!

        • Monkseaton Magpies

          Why would you block me crazy.

  • Hughie_Gallacher

    Ah, that mythological construct so beloved of the English, the happy medium. Get rid of the extremes, and all shall be well. Ashley and his cronies have relied on such a complacent, apathetic outlook to impose a grossly exploitative regime on the football club over the last 11 years and to obtain, into the bargain, a not insignificant amount of sympathy from local and national media.
    The 99%, as you put it, will walk away with very little fuss, when NUFC loses its last bit of attractiveness.

  • Ron

    I’m not sure you many fans think MA is doing a good job, it has to be at least a dozen. I’m fairly certain the vast majority don’t.

    I’m absolutely certain I represent myself, but that doesn’t help.

    Can’t the Mag do a straw poll or something, that would really interesting?

    • Leazes.

      It would be open to non United fans like the chronicle…. then you get the Lee brothers with god knows how many log ins…..

      Did you see the chronicle prediction for the season?

      ….Well you would expect a ‘normal distribution curve’…. It is there…..but it came with a spike at the top end…. that is the extent of the manipulation by others…. they bucked the ‘norm’ by about 6% on a poll of thousands.

      Just count people you know who support Ashley…. thats a good poll.

      • Ron

        I don’t partake in the Chronicle’s drivel so I missed it, and you do have a point I hadn’t thought about those that live the Manchester end of Blyth.

    • Desree

      49000 geordies on Saturday endorse the job Fatty is doing. 95% of the population are sheep, they complain and follow.

      • Ron

        And you think they endorse Ashley? Come on

        • Desree

          To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men. Abraham Lincoln.

          • Ron

            It is actually a line from a poem by Ella Wheeler Wilcox so not an actual quote from Lincoln.
            The supporters went to back the team, not to support MA – Rafa is right to want the backing of MA and the supporters. If noly he got his wish from both.

  • zack

    my hometown baseball team was trash bottom of the league for 20 years, and then they won the world series. stick it out, it’ll happen eventually.

    • Kenny

      that`ll be when King Rat`s dead, when did Manchester get a baseball team

    • panther

      Did the rest die of boredom?

    • glassjawsh-got-banned

      not the same when there is relegation and no minimum salary requirement…

  • Leazes.

    The moral of that tale was ‘support the team not the regime’ nowt else…. how many ways are there are there to preach conservatism of failure?

    • Old codger

      It was trying to state what the truth is leazes. You care ,a few thousand others care but the majority of people just want to go to the match and have a couple of pints

      Within 10 years the old style fan. will be dead or getting his pension, and with it goes the game as we knew it

      As another poster has said, people have been programmed to accept the mundane
      So it’s time to move over for the love island generation

      We may try and fight it but look around you , it is our world now

      Football fans are just a good example of who we have become

      That bloke orwell was a very clever fella. He knew the score

      • Leazes.

        …..and so the wheel turns and the next generation have to go through the same thing.

  • ghostrider

    Great article and it fairly sums up what’s what.

    I will add in though, that big brother has seen to it in terms of keeping the modern day fan in check, rather than any heightened intelligence.

    Also the seating has dramatically made identification of people much more magnified. Not just in terms of cameras and policing/stewards….but also as a stand out among peers.

  • cmrowley

    First they came for the manager and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not Kevin Keegan.

    Then they came for the Senior pro, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Kevin Nolan or Joey barton.

    Then they came for the manager again, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Chris Hughton .

    Then they came for the top players, and I did not speak out –
    Because they threw back scraps

    Then they failed to invest in infrastructure, and I did not speak out –
    Because I did not know

    Then they wound up the club —and there was nothing left for me.

    Doesn’t fully work but you should get the point

    • Wor Lass

      Have you been in a Buddhist retreat for the last couple of years?

      • Leazes.

        That is Pastor Niemoller poignant soliloquy….. first they came…. a warning about looking away and not standing up to the rise of fascism.

        • Wor Lass

          I thought it was familiar. Phil Ochs did a song thaat was slightly similar – “Knock on the Door”.

  • panther

    Today’s fans can’t be as intelligent if Clarko and mongseaton get in, that must cut the average down quite a bit…..unless they are trolls, so which is it you pair of bollocks?

    • Jezza

      Clarko and Monkseaton are the same person and he does not support Newcastle, he is a Manchester glory seeker.

      • Leazes.

        No they are brothers… Clarko is the younger one (Kev from Manchester)…. he worked in Greater Manchester they are from South Durham….possibly Darlington Peterlee area….. that was where the elder brother worked 10 years ago anyway.

  • TheFatController

    I think what happens with Ashley is that people are so blindly passionate about our club, and often they are not cynical ( worldly wise as to the ways of ruthless businessmen with no ties to the area ?) and thus easily think others are like them, thus presume that if Ashley is exposed to what makes them enthused, he eventually will follow also.

    Ashley has been exposed to everything about the experience of supporting our club, and he now hates it. Because he has no ties and no need for it bar advertising his retailers.

    Slowly but surely, as the years drag by, it will become obvious to all that it’s no good waiting for Ashley to ‘get the bug’ – he never will. That’s obvious and has been for years. He told us that being the clue.

    But as the club never sells over coming years, it’ll become obvious to even the most uncynical among us he hasn’t got the bug for us, but does quite like promoting his business empire.

    I think it’ll take Rafa leaving, the next manager being useless and relegating us, and doing a ‘Norwich’ before crowds go sub 30k.

    But I’d put my savings and mortgage on It happening, rather than not. Once Rafa’s energy is gone, who is going to have shoulders broad enough to carry the expectations of the fans? No one.

  • cmrowley

    I remember coming out of the Swindon ground in 1993, we’d been 2 nil up and conceded 2 in about a minute in the second half, Beardsley made his second debut that day.
    I was furious, cursing and complaining to my pal and a Swindon supporter said to me I shouldn’t get so wound up, it’s just a football match, enjoy the day out.
    I remember clearly the feeling of complete disgust at the Swindon supporter, at the very thought that going to support your team was nothing more than a nice day out, where is the emotional attachment in a nice day out? Where is the screaming and singing encouragement at the boys on the pitch in a nice day out? The willing the team on in the 4th minute of injury time knowing you can still recover two goals to draw. Collapsing in disappointment at the last minute equaliser against? It’s not about a day out, a pint with the lads, avoiding Ikea, it’s about passion, willing the team, the club, the area to be better.
    The disgust I felt towards that Swindon fan is what i feel towards the person who put this drivel into writing, and towards anyone who says we should suck it up as this is what it is. Disgust.