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Success in dealing with Mike Ashley needs a purposeful strategy

3 years ago

We need to do something about Mike Ashley but we don’t want another miners strike.

I didn’t attend last night’s Magpie Group event but I respect their enthusiasm and the fact they are actually trying to do something about our predicament. I have to say though that I am a little disappointed at the outcome to the meeting. To me it’s more of a list than an action plan.

Going into something controversial requires thorough and strong democratic leadership.

My concern is that we go into things half-cocked, for example there is a real desire to stage demonstrations, walk outs and non-attendance. What you have to ask yourself though is, what impact would those actions really have?

Many people think a huge boycott in front of Sky TV cameras would have a massive impact, would it? I think the idea has foundation but the time isn’t right. The reason – you need the audience primed otherwise we could fall on deaf ears and subjected to the pundits who hate us, step forward Wise, Souness, Keys and Redknapp.

I am no general or strategist, other than how I’m going to get out of doing the housework, but I do have a bit of experience in these matters. To have any interaction with the public we need a united front, an action plan with a timescale.

Firstly, we need to win the media war, at present Shearer is a lone high profile voice but that has to change. We need to get influential people to further the cause.

At present the best protest in the world would bring cynicism and half truths from those very pundits that we want to shut up. We may never win them over but we could get their platform taken away. There is a big need to shake Sky up somehow. If widespread cancellations in our area came about, it could make them think.

We have to ask ourselves, why are we shown more than some in the top six?

I think it’s because we are perceived as a top club and we are big news, sometimes for the wrong reasons. Some people are just loving this of course.

What about Mike Ashley?

Personally, I think he craves the attention, good or bad. After all there is no such things as bad publicity when it comes to advertising. To be infamous gets undeserved attention but attention nonetheless. He may even see the whole thing as a triumph. I think he is at war with us already. Break the fans, break the club, divide and conquer.

So I’m not saying don’t ignore the situation or ignore the to do list, I’m just saying have a proper strategy.

As things stand, our protests are being criticised and belittled. Then again we are the most difficult, demanding, unrealistic, deluded, unappreciative fans in the world…

We need more people onside before doing anything. Will it matter what people think anyway? Should we be trying to convince a potential buyer rather than protest?

There is a strategy needed, not a list of actions in no particular order, that I do know and I don’t know much.


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