To misquote Johnny Rotten – ‘Do you ever get the feeling you’re been cheated’
In the space of 24 hours Mike Ashley has slapped Newcastle fans in the face with the proverbial wet fish on at least two occasions.
The first, in not backing Rafa Benitez with significant funds by Thursdays transfer deadline at 5pm- SLAP!!
Then again on Friday morning by buying up troubled retail chain House of Fraser for £90m- SLAP!!
To top it all off, I come in from work and read some quotes from the man himself stating that the deal for HoF is ‘a massive step forward’ and that he plans on turning it into ‘the Harrods of the high street’ – SLAP SLAP!!
Awfully nice of you Mr Ashley. Any chance that you could give your mistress on the side a ‘Massive step forward’? She could certainly do with some investment, like cover at left back, a top striker maybe, or a shiny new Academy, better training facilities, or sprucing up the stadium which advertises your tat stores?
No, didn’t think so. How about giving it to someone who will? Well, we’ve been down that road before and that didn’t materialise either.
While Mike Ashley sits back basking in his ever growing retail empire, us Newcastle fans have to put up with the downtrodden and neglected state of our football club. He came into football not knowing a thing about how to run the club and now some eleven years later, has lurched from a man who refuses to learn from past mistakes to a man who is quite willing to rub his customers’ noses in in. That’ll teach you lot to call me names!
I’ve said before, the Premier League promote a product and that product depends on 20 teams performing to the best of their potential. Fulham have come up from the Championship and chucked money at the situation and have amassed what looks like a cracking set of players, so too have Wolves who have spent a barrowload on players to make them competitive. We at Newcastle however, have spent zero. In fact it’s worse than that, we’ve made a profit of around £25m at my estimate.
Well hooray for that! Balance Sheet Champions 2018/19. Let’s arrange that bus to drag the players around the city next May regardless of which league we might be in, who cares, we’ve made a profit.
The only hope I have is that someone will make this leech of an owner an offer he won’t refuse, not CAN’T refuse because he’s too rich for that, but one that will give him enough to leave us, then actually see the football club run in a slightly more ambitious manner rather than have the main aim of finishing above 18th every year.
In the meantime, don’t come on forums such as this one, or pester phone ins and national television companies that loiter outside the ground for interviews with fans and slate Mike Ashley, if you have bought your new shirts from one of his stores or the club shop. Don’t you bloody dare! Nobody likes a hypocrite, least of all me. If you’re happy with the way he’s running the club then fine, continue doing what you are doing but you will be in the minority.
The one thing I don’t advocate is skipping games or protesting inside the ground, which doesn’t help the side. The most important people to this club are the fans and the players need backing week in week out.
The way the owner runs the club won’t stop our support, and some may say this is part of the problem, but you can’t just stay away. This won’t advertise ourselves to a new owner, nor will it help us improve on the 10th place Rafa and the lads achieved last season. I’ll be there whenever it’s permissible this season.
Mike Ashley can do what he wants with his retail empire, I don’t care about it one jot. I have the choice not to use his shops. I and many other Newcastle fans don’t see giving up Newcastle as an option and people much older than me who have been going a lot longer shouldn’t feel pressurised into finding something else to do on a weekend.
While Ashley has declared that he wants to make House of Fraser the ‘Harrods of the high street’, we’ll just have to accept that while he’s the owner, Newcastle United will be the Matalan equivalent in the Premier League.