Enough is enough. Actually, enough was enough years ago for Newcastle fans and yet nothing’s changed. The lies carry on. The incompetence continues. The penny-pinching prevails. Every other club strives for success as Newcastle United willingly stagnate.

We all know where the fault lies. We all know who’s to blame. And yet, eleven years into his reign, we still find ourselves beholden to one Mr Michael James Wallace Ashley.

There’s an episode of The Simpsons where a young Ned Flanders is brought to see a child psychologist by his liberal beatnik parents, who are at the end of their tether, worn out by young Ned’s hellraising antics. They’re too placid and passive to find a solution themselves and Mrs Flanders exclaims: “We’ve tried nothing and we’re all out of ideas!”.

Well, sadly, as painful as it is to admit it, many of us who live and breathe Newcastle United – who genuinely care for the club and want us to be the best we can be – are guilty of the same. We’ve all rolled over and let ourselves become victims.

We go to games or watch them on TV, we ignore the off-the-pitch lunacy and we lend our support to the players on the pitch for 90 minutes and then head off to the pub to moan about it all. Week after week. Season after season. Ad nauseam.

If we go for a haircut and the barber makes a balls of it, we wouldn’t go back.

If we go out for a meal and are served sub-standard slop, then we wouldn’t dream of going there again.

Why, then, do we all come crawling back for more and more misery at St James Park?

Sure, Newcastle United is a massive part of all of our lives but this current manifestation is not the Newcastle United we fell in love with. Each and every one of us who files our way through the turnstiles, needs to realise that our continued support and silence are only prolonging the misery and exacerbating the problem.

In a classic case of scaremongering, we’ve been led to believe that we must ‘support the team, not the regime’. Allegedly, if the negativity that permeates the club were to manifest itself in the stands or in the form of a boycott, then the Newcastle fans would be to blame for the club’s demise. Well, I’m sorry – I’m not buying it anymore.

Sure, performances might suffer and we could be relegated.

Rafa and our handful of decent players might leave but we can’t live in fear any longer. I’d gladly accept another relegation if it meant getting competent and ambitious owners in to run the club properly. I’m sure the majority of us would accept short-term pain for long-term gain.

Rafa and the players knows the score. They’re all being starved of the chance of success too. Sure, the current placidity creates a safe working environment for them to maybe punch above their weight and finish mid-table again but to what end?

For more than a decade now, Newcastle fans have steadfastly tried to separate our love for the club from our contempt for the man who seems wilfully intent on destroying it, but the time has come to say ‘no more’.

No more silence, no more passivity, no more sitting idly by as our proud club sinks further into the mire.

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  • Paul Patterson

    End of the season is the time.
    If Rafa goes then as the slogan proclaims, so do I ..
    #Wheresthemoneygone
    #ifrafagoeswego

    • Martin Rooney

      Why Paul Why?
      Is he really that good, in cold hard analysis, what is it that he has done that is any different to Chris Hughton, or even Alan Pardew, and no I’m not calling for them to be brought back.

      • cmrowley

        Yes
        Nobody wanted Hughton to leave and I’d imagine most people would say Rafa / Hughton track record similar. So not sure what your poimt here is unless your trying to support Rafa.
        Pardew – massive difference. Both on human level and football.

    • Kevin Christie

      Why is now not the time? Let’s just let 11 years roll on into 12 so, then into 13, 14, 15 16, etc, etc!

  • Martin Rooney

    This is starting to sound like the sky is caving in, the reality is it’s just a football club.
    Whilst he has got many things wrong and though he is a cockney, (there’s no great swindle, apart from agents, and a fair few players.)
    There isn’t a great conspiracy.

    It seems to me that now that we have a team that tries and a manager whose half good that the message of the fans from two years ago has changed.

    It’s surely obvious to everyone that what the vocal nufc fans want is an owner who will spend a billion pounds on our club.

    I’ll be honest with you if I could advise any billionaire thinking of doing that, I’d tell them to give it help aid education and poverty where it’s needed because all they would be doing is increasing the wages of the manager agents and players who already earn an astronomical amount. Players like Kenedy who last saturday when with a minute left of added time decided to waste time passing the ball between his feet taking it to the position of an Arsenal free kick and shaking the hand of the Arsenal player rather than passing it and getting the game going again. He and others do not deserve a raise from £30k to £45k per week. I’d ask them to, they are doing just fine save your money.
    Problem you’ve got though is that if Ashley or anyone spends a billion City only need to spend £200m to stay ahead.

    • JohnnyH

      So we should just accept the fact that Ashley has received hundreds of millions of pounds in a TV money with not that much to show for it?

      What do you suggest as a way forward then?

      • Martin Rooney

        The nufc playing staff wage bill was £112m last year yes that includes write offs of players who Rafa has identified as surplus, Colback Lazaar Saviet etc etc and it includes Rafa’s £5m per year. However it should be clear where the money has gone £8m on agents fees and then there has also been the transfers in (and out of course). He may well have taken the £15m out which he put in at the start of the championship year but thats it.

        What is there to not accept?
        is it an ideal situation that man u arsenal man city Liverpool are rich than us because of either or a little of all of the following.
        A. They have very rich owners
        B. Are bigger clubs in more wealthy conurbations
        C. Sell their larger executive areas at 4 times the cost at NUFC’s to national companies like LLoyds Bank Tesco, Sainsburys Starbucks PC World, NHS none of whom spend anything with NUFC.
        Of course not
        If you want change buy it off him as fans, join NUST and start helping them make money. Believe me it wouldn’t take long. For there to be enough assets to get it done.
        Then instead of doing what we do now when its owned by the fans help the club make real money to buy/develop/train a decent squad.

        • Ashley-out

          Troll

        • Ron

          super troll

    • cmrowley

      That’s pretty good, 4 strawmen arguments straight off the bat, then a load of non sequiturs.

      Impressive use of fallacious arguments.

      If you’d like to address the actual post we’d love to hear.

      • Martin Rooney

        There’s nothing fallacious about the comment.

        The drama is completely over the top. Given our lowly championship team give us fans plenty of ‘good hair cuts’ last season against Manu Arsenal, Chelsea West Ham to name a few. Whilst also being very hard done by poor officiating in other games where we deserved more than the out come Burnley and spurs in particular.

        So what is it that happened this summer which has made the club so bad?

        Is it not a fallacy to claim the club is in a period of ‘demise’ at a time when at each seasons curtain call the current manager manager has taken the club out of the championship as champions, then the following season finished tenth, higher than most fans would have expected.
        Therefore improving not downgrading!

        Rafa, is widely quoted to have had the players he has brought in under his watch for some time, in particular Muto, Schar and Rondon, and of course everyone wanted Dubravka and Kenedy to be in the team which was done. I think any more than 3 or 4 new first steam starters is too much of a change for a PL team.

        So if Rafa knows best and one thing is for sure none on here know football like he does, then him buying his players this summer will be able to achieve the same or better than last. So a club in demise I don’t think so.

        • cmrowley

          no one mentioned conspiracy or sky falling in, no one has ever mentioned an owner spending billions and why bring Cockneys into this at all? (strawmen)

          You then talk about billionaires investing money and why you would advise against as it would just mean a pay rise for all these players and managers. (non sequitur).

          All Fallacy.

          You’re even presenting more fallacious arguments in your response. Give me multiple links to the ‘widely quoted to have had the players he’s had under watch for some time’

          Why would anyone give a toot how many first team starters is too much of a change?

          Tell me how you know Rafa bought players he wanted? I can’t imagine he’d have made such a public fuss about the transfer window being utter garbage if he was happy do you? But hey, why let pesky things like facts get in the way of your utter dross of an explanation.

          Past performance is not an indicator of future performance, you know this, especially with so many variables. Standing still is the equivalent of going backwards in this league and at best I could say our squad is on a par with what it was last year. I for one think it is weaker (opinion only).

          Last year and this, our owner has gambled on there being 3 worse teams in the league than us. That is why the club is in demise, year in year out, the strength of the playing squad is slowly being eroded. Luck will run out, and looking at the timeline, it’s likely that by the end of next season, we will see exactly what the parasite has done to our club.

          We can argue the relative merits about the players ability, this is subjective. What you and I can’t do is twist objective reality into something to suit agendas. The objective reality is, in every metric, that the club is in a worse position now than when MA arrived, the playing squad, the ‘debt’, the revenue, the facilities, the fans commitment, the board, the ambition.

          Everything.

          • Martin Rooney

            Non Sequitur! Take any club where a new owner has arrived and decided to improve they have all increased the wages of the playing staff, Chelsea, Man City, Liverpool, and Leicester are all perfectly good examples. Please suggest any club where that hasn’t occurred.

            The mag doesn’t allow links in the comments area but you can check for yourself on the Chronicle, Shields Gazette websites for your answer on whether his appointed recruitment team had been following them for some time.

            It’s a bit pot calling the kettle black, suggesting that the club standing still, due to your opinion that the squad is of about the same quality as last year means it is actually going backwards. My opinion is that the squad is worse, Isn’t it Rafa’s opinion that matters most in his adulated position?

            He didn’t have to sell Mitro, he didn’t have to loan Gayle Gamez didn’t need replacing. I can’t think of an all out star contributor from last season leaving and the manager has spent money bringing in players who he wanted in the club so, if the squad is just the same, you’re surely suggesting it’s Rafa who has failed to improve it.

            Of course I would guess that Rafa would believe the squad is better overall he has players he has watched and believes will fit into his style of play, he believes he has a group of players where injury won’t majorly dent the performance of the team.

            To suggest that the club is in a worse situation now than when he took over is a highly debatable, the blokes not very palatable, however the clubs not doing too bad.

            Looking back at the squad, Viduka, Habib baye, Barton, Cacapa, Geremi, Rozenhal, Alan Smith, Bernard, Duff Martins, Emre. A better group of professional footballers than we have now, I doubt it.

            Certainly we have a better manager.
            Roeder? Allardyce? Souness, were the proceeding three.

            The board again debatable? Shepherd had the finances of the club so bad that he discounted the shirt sponsorship in order get the sponsor to 75% of the total year one of the three year term. He was also proven to take a sizable wage and many perks of having a job and pay agents fees to a company set up by his son.
            External debt
            Though I’m with you on ambition, it matters not at all to Ashley if the club wins anything. I think Shepherd’s inability to deliver his and every other nufc fans ambition was clear.

          • SuperDesHamilton

            Not a chance I’m reading all that because I’m betting 99.9% it’s absolute shyte

          • Sickandtired

            Anyone with even a single brain cell understands that the team we have would not be the team Rafa would have signed if he a) had sufficient funds and b) actually was the man responsible for doing the deals.

    • Ashley-out

      He is not a Cockney, Troll

      • Martin Rooney

        so what

    • Superdooperhooper

      Nobody is saying the sky is falling in and nobody is saying we expect someone to spend a billion. This is the sort of hyperbole we hear from wise keys and gray . Meanwhile it’s the usual double standards elsewhere with Ian Wright actively campaigning for wenger to get the sack on radio 5 last season. And look at what he achieved at arsenal!

    • Realist

      Very good & true comment 👌

      • Big Hairy Man

        👎

        • Realist

          😂🤣😂🤣😂pathetic😂🤣😂🤣😂

          • Big Hairy Man
          • Ron

            he’s had a go at me – school boy troll – block him!

          • Realist

            Like I said your putting 2 and 2 together and getting 10. Lots of true fans outside the bull on way into the toon and plenty on train, nee one listens to your shyte.

        • Realist

          🐑🐑🐑🐑🐑

          • Big Hairy Man

            🔔🔚

    • Ron

      It’s not just a football club, it’s OUR football club, it’s NEWCASTLE UNITED football club.

  • robbersdog

    I’d gladly accept another relegation if it meant getting competent and ambitious owners in to run the club properly.

    Meanwhile, in the real world, there’s far more chance of attracting a new owner if we maintain our Premier League status and keep Rafa and our best players.

    Sorry, but the ‘let’s hope everything turns to sh*t so that a new owner emerges to pick up the pieces’ plan is a non-starter. We’ll end up with the doomsday scenario, ie, everything turns to sh*t, but Ashley is still our owner.

    • Kevin Christie

      Of course, we’d all prefer to maintain our Premier League status but mass protests and boycotts don’t guarantee relegation – they’re not necessarily linked….only by the scaremongerers.

      Also, our PL status might mean that we are theoretically a more attractive proposition to prospective buyers BUT it (and our passivity as fans) also makes us a very attractive proposition for Mike Ahley to keep a hold of!

    • Sickandtired

      There’s a reason we lost our PL status, twice – and danced around losing it a few more times.
      52000 supporters didn’t cause that nor prevent it. We already have a doomsday scenario man, season in and out since Fatty arrived.

      • robbersdog

        No, we haven’t. The doomsday scenario is going down, staying down and falling apart. Like Sunderland.

        My original point was that another relegation, even if it means getting rid of a sh*thouse like Ashley, could be catastrophic for the club. Ideally, we need to stay up, AND get rid of the festering sore that’s been stuck to our club for eleven years.

        • Sickandtired

          See previous answer. Recall two previous relegation’s. Three near misses.
          Recall Jimenez, Wise, Kinnear, Pardew, Carver, McClaren.
          Recall not signing anyone for 18 months.
          F’n doomsday alright and it began in 2007.

  • Leicester Mag

    Spot on. Ashley is not going anywhere without coercion. Hoping things will improve simply isn’t realistic. It’s even sadly conceivable that while we remain in the Premier League so does he. What a scenario. Ideally we are taken over as a PL club but it has surely reached the point that driving him out is the primary goal. A

    • Kevin Christie

      My thoughts exactly.

  • Carverlier football

    “I dare you to take control/cos empty’s the hands and bruised are the souls/of those who show no resistance/of those who are weak below” – part of an acoustic cover I was doing last week (personal hobby, not for general consumption…) which as I was doing it I thought “this whole song could be for Newcastle fans…”

  • Leazes.

    It wad a masterstroke by Mark Douglas and Lee Ryder to back a….

    ….. ‘support the team not the regime’ campaign.

    …..in order to back the bloody regime…..kept it stringing along for Ashley, how he must have laughed his donnay socks off.

    ‘Where there is Unity there is always success’…..Just as well that the Gallowgate flags had an unexpected sting in its tail…..

    Ashley Out!

    • Leicester Mag

      Those 2 are either Quislings or just thick grade D Hacks. Either way not fit to hold the pen

      • Leazes.

        Two journalists with absolutely no attachment to the club.

      • Sickandtired

        Nothing more than glorified bloggers.

        • Ron

          just bloggers – def not glorified, when have we had glory? :-)

      • Carverlier football

        Based on their spelling and grammar I’d guess the second one. Ryder in particular.

  • Ashley-out

    every single fan who has a season ticket & every single fan who buys the shirt is lining Ashleys pockets, if you do either do not complain you are part of the problem

    • Kevin Christie

      The fact that so many season tickets are already paid for means that significant protests would not cost the majority of fans anything. Literally nothing. All they have to do is avoid going. Boycott. Just one game (to start with anyway). See what effect it might have. We already know the effect that continuing to go has!

      Go to the ground and protest outside for the 90 mins, organise a bucket collection for the Sir Bobby Foundation, go see Gateshead FC, go for pints with your friends, do something fun with the kids, take the Mrs somewhere nice, get a train out of town for the day, stay at home listening to Pink Floyd at full volume smoking yourself into oblivion, go to B&Q, become a Scientologist, do anything….just don’t go to see Newcastle United!

      • glassjawsh-got-banned

        don’t become a scientologist

      • Leicester Mag

        At least you didn’t suggest become a Mackem

    • magpie 1969

      you forgot about paying for Sky and BT sports

    • Dave Pattinson

      I’m afraid that I dumped the tkt I’d had for more 42 yrs last yr as I ‘d stopped enjoying watching the team, realised that with Ashley continuing to bullshoite us and showing no ambition, there was just no point in turning up to watch. Sadly, the close connection I felt we once had with club/ team seemed to have gone. On a freezing cold day at The Hawtorns, watching absolute mediocrity, I finally decided that Ashley could stuff it up his jacksy. Maybe a mass boycott of a tv game might just rattle his cage. But would fans do it?

      • 1957

        My pals went after we were promoted and mine ended last season because the enjoyment (and any hope of real improvement) had gone. I might have kept mine on if my grandson had wanted to keep going but he asked me to take him to Kingston Park instead, so much for Ashley retaining the young supporters of the future.

        At least I can say I saw every home game and Rangers away in the Fairs Cup win and a trophy coming to NUFC at his age… at that time I never thought I’d be waiting for the next 50 years later

        • Dave Pattinson

          Yep, at least we can say we did see some good times, 1957. I remember joking with the lads that we’d all be grandads when we won something. Still waiting! Would rather be back on the old Gallowgate getting soaked & frozen than give any more cash to our git of an owner

      • Kevin Christie

        It needs to happen. We could carrying on drifting for years and years and years if his stewardship continues. We have to apply some pressure!

        • Ron

          STEWARDSHIP!

          • Kevin Christie

            ‘Stewardship’

    • Geordiegiants

      It’s as simple as that, very well put. Where are all of these peoples self respect and morals.

  • Cockneytrev

    the next step has to be a match boycott,,
    Although it pains some, when needs must , we need to grab the attention of the media as a whole, Sky/BBC/ BT can’t or won’t ignore an empty stadium, especially if there’s demonstrations outside the ground, also the police will not be happy with 50000 fans milling round the city,, put the money into the local bars and not in asleys pockets

    • Kevin Christie

      100% agree. We really have tried nothing yet, it’s time to really make a stand. Why don’t we show Ashley and his cronies how nasty WE can be for a change?!?!?

    • Ron

      I agree 100%
      But it won’t happen, not empty anyway.

  • mactoon

    I hear what you say but the problem is if we were relegated Ashley would not sell for less than he paid for it. He would sell to reduce the wage bill and fund player purchases good enough to get us back in the Premiership where the advertising is.

    If you go to the match, hold up a card saying:

    Ashley Out, no investment
    Sports Direct pay nothing for advertising
    They are killing our club

    The TV cameras will soon pick up on it.

    • Kevin Christie

      That should be a given for people anyone who goes. What’s more important is motivating everyone to NOT go – at least once. It would send a huge message.

      Thousands and thousands could stay outside the ground to show that we’re not deserting the club in its time of need, we’re just making a stand against the spiteful, vindictive buffoon who owns it.

      • Phildene

        Kevin your article is absolutely spot on!! We totally agree with everything you’re saying. We stopped going years back cancelling our season tickets. My hubby has followed Nufc for over 66 years and is pig sick of Ashley and co. We will not return until fatman goes. We hate him with a passion for the wrongs he’s doing.

        • Ron

          I’ve not been for 9 years and share your pain.

  • kingfisher

    Absolutely spot on Kev. I’ve been saying for years that a boycott of a major televised game would have more effect than any flag waving protests, but it’s amazing that a lot of people are still not prepared to miss even 1 game.

    As you say, they could still have the matchday experience without actually setting foot in S.J.P. I know that some fans go with their family, and missing a game might seem like the end of the world to the younger generation, but if we don’t take a stand now, then we might not have a club of any standing to support in the future.
    What’s the point of struggling every season and constantly fighting relegation? no enjoyment at all, and that’s not what we want the younger fans to be brought up on, and if relegation is the only way forward, then bring it on !!

  • Leicester Mag

    Fear and apathy Ashleys best friends

    • Andy Mac

      I believe Fatman knew that we’re the puppy dogs of the footballing world. Turn us over tickle our tums and we’ll wag our fkn tails all day long

  • Andy Mac

    I agree wholeheartedly with Kevin and so do most of the logical fans who follow this club from afar. I chose to leave the Ashley era – until such time as he finally leaves taking the cash with him (just as the Robber Baron did before) – because he’s doing nothing to develop the club.

    An owner with an eye on the prize would be trying to stimulate growth, improve facilities and above all deliver a successful product for the “customers”. Fatman just doesnt give a f…………..k

  • Sickandtired

    Face the inevitable fact. We whine a lot but the majority do absolutely nothing about it.

    • Kevin Christie

      Well, now’s the time to change all that! :-)

  • Damon Horner

    Boycotts are never well planned Kevin. I don’t use social media so if I didn’t visit sites like this one how would I know there was a planned boycott? More has to be done on Match Days to spread the message, I don’t think a boycott is necessarily something that would work but I still back anything which backs a change of ownership.

    However regularly calling people “sheep”, “happy clappers” or “part of the problem” isn’t going to shame people into standing side by side with them when they’re happy to have a go at them.

    We need to better spread the messages and if it fails, try something else.

    • Carverlier football

      Absolutely agree that you’ll never persuade anyone to do anything by insulting them – you’ll only harden their resolve against you. Keep persuading, reasoning, but never judging. A boycott would definitely have to be advertised by leafleting fans on preceding match days.

      • Kevin Christie

        Leafletting at the next couple of home games is where this starts. I know for a fact that The Magpie Group are in support of a boycott, so, let’s get behind this and see where it might take us.

        As I said above, I really am not meaning to insult anyone. I’m just hoping that we can all realise that passivity and silence won’t get us anywhere. We can be the catalysts for change.

        • Carverlier football

          I wasn’t implying you were insulting anyone Kevin, just agreeing with Damon on the fact that some people do. I think you struck the right tone in the article – rabble-rousing, setting out the argument and reasons why but not having a go at anyone for their choices

      • Damon Horner

        Being United is important, we just need to be prepared for lack of enthusiasm. Like Dean’s article suggested we need to accept 80/20.

    • Kevin Christie

      The idea would be to plan this one well. It’s very do-able. Leafletting on matchday would be a great start for the boycott.

      I’m not intending to insult anyone here – just trying to get people to realise that we hold more power than we think! Sitting idly by will not solve the problem. We have seen where our patience has gotten us, so it’s time to try something different. Passivity needs to be replaced with action and energy and we might just bring about change.

      • Damon Horner

        Completely agree, being passive won’t achieve anything at all, it’ll be more of the same.

        I didn’t mean to insinuate you were insulting people if you read that from what I wrote, this is just based in comments I’ve read on this site.

        Planning and communication though is the big thing if it’s to be executed as well as possible, it obviously would cost money to be handing out leaflets so personally I think we should see some degree of crowd funding from the likes of The Magpie Group.

  • TheFatController

    if the players refused to play for the regime out of support for us who don’t get paid by Ashley,then he’d have huge problems.

    They pick up their wages, fans pay to turn up, Ashley is therefore condoned.

    Why should Ashley change anything if the players take his money and the fans give him their money?

    The players would be off like a shot if ANY PL club came in for them with a bit more money, yet our fans are loyal to them ahead of saving the Club from Ashley. If we didn’t turn up and were relegated, they’d just find another club paying them similar money – let’s not worry about them. Let’s put the club’s future first. Stay away.

    They’re committed guys, and want to do right by the club on the pitch but they’re also doing quite well our of Ashley – unlike us …