The defeat at the weekend against Leicester at St James Park was hugely disappointing, that is obvious. What is also plainly clear is that Mike Ashley, the owner of Newcastle United, is very thick skinned.
I’ve got to admit, if 50,000 or more people had it in for me, I’m damn sure I wouldn’t have the brass neck to appear in front of them. Again, Bravo Mike!
I jest of course. However, the one moment which riled me on Saturday was when club stewards/security forcibly removed two flags of both Kevin Keegan and Rafa Benitez from behind the Gallowgate End before kick off. If I had been holding either of the banners in question, the steward would have needed an appointment at Specsavers the next morning* (*They do hearing tests as well apparently).
So, if anyone was in any doubt that this club is ran as a dictatorship, this was clear evidence. Two perfectly innocent banners ordered to be taken down and for what reason? It would have been interesting if police has been involved to find out the excuse.
Surely the reply from the stewards would have been along the lines of ‘We’ve been ordered to take down any banner referencing Keegan because the owner of the club dislikes him for saying nasty things in his forthcoming book.’
The reason for taking down the Rafa banner is less clear, merely that the fans like him, so get it down, that’ll annoy them.
That’s where we are with Mike Ashley at present. Sitting smirking/laughing in the Milburn Stand while the ground voices its disapproval. Sticking his fingers up at us all wouldn’t have been a shock in the slightest.
It would be a bit of a leap to suggest that the simple removal of two inoffensive banners was a straw to break a camel’s back, but it was certainly a step that was completely unnecessary as it was unacceptable.
In over a decade, Mike Ashley has made many Faux Pas, some probably innocently, but many have been deliberately designed to antagonise the public of Newcastle. That is simply unacceptable.
In any other city, this sort of tyranny wouldn’t be allowed. A council would start voicing its dissatisfaction. Although, Newcastle Central MP Chi Onwurah has already done that and no bugger in government seems to listen.
The club needs change. We, the supporters need change. The city needs change.
Nobody who has the city’s interests at heart can surely tolerate the negative cloak that is enveloping the city at present.
It’s about time the city stood up for its football club, after all, the club puts the city on the map. The club is partly the city’s money maker.
It may be a small step, but until the parasite leaves our club, it would be a great piece of publicity and just as great a gesture, if the owner of a building or two around St James’s Park would be willing to have a couple of inspiring banners adorning it’s exterior.
KEEGAN = HONESTY. BENITEZ = HOPE.