You might remember Endurance, a Japanese game show where ‘contestants had to endure humiliating, painful and often bizarre rituals’, to come out on top.
In this 12th year of Mike Ashley’s reign at Newcastle United, you have to feel that the humiliating, painful and often bizarre rituals, are getting ever more challenging.
Humiliating : When your manager admits that he can’t even compete with Huddersfield and Brighton when it comes to transfer fees and wages.
Painful : Having to watch your manager set his team out in such a negative formation and with such limited attacking options, due to the humiliating limits on transfers set by the owner.
Bizarre : The excuses/reasoning that comes out of the club for the lack of quality signings, most recently via the official Newcastle United Fans Forum minutes.
One of the stand out claims being that the club were prepared to spend way beyond the current £16.8m club transfer record on a number of Rafa’s targets this summer, only for none of those players to be willing to join Newcastle. So not even £10m spent on any single player in summer 2018 by NUFC.
Then to cap it all, hidden away in the Fans Forum minutes, was the gem that stated after the zero ambition transfer window, Mike Ashley took out unspecified millions of the club cash that hadn’t been spent.
So how much more of this humiliating, painful and bizarre treatment can Newcastle fans endure?
Of course it is only a game, a sport, a pastime, not a matter of life or death, but going to watch your football club has to have at least some pleasure and/or meaning.
Most people who walk away from Newcastle United do it quietly, their ‘protest’ is just not to bother going anymore, and sadly, simply find something else to do with their time and money, so that even if things at the club dramatically improved, you often find they are lost for good.
We have laughed at the likes of Sunderland and Aston Villa closing down parts of their stadiums due to supporters turning their backs on the club(s).
You might think that this is unimaginable at St James Park but if Mike Ashley keeps hold of the club, it could well end up being inevitable at some point.
As always though, the silver lining is that we all know it wouldn’t take much to get everybody pulling together and Newcastle United heading in the right direction again. Of course the ‘wouldn’t take much’ would naturally need to include Mike Ashley leaving…but little else.