The next move beckons for Newcastle United fans.
The online interference being ran against Sports Direct and associated brands’ social media has been excellent.
The pre-match protests outside SD shops on Northumberland Street and at St James Park have been very well executed and well attended. Especially the last one before the Leicester match, where Mike Ashley sent his people in to tear down the Keegan and Rafa banners hanging outside the Gallowgate End.
Similarly the two open meetings held for Newcastle supporters at the Labour Club have ticked boxes.
Whilst it is also invaluable that local MPs such as Chi Onwurah and Ian Mearns have been prepared to take on the fight as well, all the way to Westminster.
Now though, it is time take things up another notch, boycott a match.
This takes planning of course, it would be just senseless to announce today that next week’s Brighton game should be targeted.
It has to be a live TV match for starters AND you need to give all fans as much notice as impossible that a game is being targeted for a boycott AND ensure that the plan is given maximum media coverage all the way up the game, as well as afterwards of course.
The clock will shortly be ticking…
Friday (tomorrow) is the day when the next lot of live TV matches are set to be announced, the games Sky Sports and BT Sport have selected for December and January.
Calling for a permanent boycott every match is just plain silly at this point and unworkable. Most of the stadium is made up of season ticket holders so straight away asking them to stay away every match isn’t realistic.
However, a one game boycott makes every sense.
You have to go for things that are achievable and I honestly think that fans are sick enough of Mike Ashley that we could get St James Park at least half empty.
Nobody wants to do this but the way he has treated us for this decade is beyond a joke.
The latest Newcastle United Fans Forum minutes were the biggest joke of all. The club saying there had been plenty money available for summer signings, claiming that they had gone for a lot of players that would have cost way beyond our record £16m transfer fee. However, the club went on to ridiculously claim that none of these relatively expensive players (we didn’t even sign anybody for £10m!) were willing to sign, so instead Mike Ashley has taken a massive wedge of money out of the club instead after the transfer window closed. You rally couldn’t make it up.
Back in April 2015, the Ashley Out people (ashleyout.com) organised a boycott of the Tottenham home match. The official (paid for tickets) crowd was given as 47,427 but estimates ranged from 30,000 to 40,000 in terms of how many people were actually inside St James Park.
If that game was at least 12,000 under capacity, surely with the mood now, we can increase that to at least 26,000 under capacity.
That is achievable. Don’t worry about trying to convince everybody, that is totally unrealistic. It is also daft to bully anybody who still goes, try and persuade them to stay away by all means, but just because you have now decided the time is right, you don’t have the right to demand everybody agrees.
We just need to try and carry enough people with us to send out a powerful message.
Far bigger battles are ahead, such as the 20,000 season ticket holders who are on the long-term deals and will start paying for next season’s (2019/20) season ticket in February if they don’t cancel by the end of January. Mike Ashley having them exactly where he wants them.
The TV games set to be announced tomorrow and one stands out massively, NUFC set to play Manchester United on New Year’s Day.
This is bound to be on live TV and needs to be chosen by The Magpie Group as the game to boycott.
That boycott announced ASAP after the live TV games are confirmed, giving people plenty of notice not to book travel or buy single match tickets, if they want to support a boycott.
A massive message would be sent out, a half empty St James Park with Mike Ashley’s pathetic adverts seen behind rows of empty seats. Telling him what the future holds if things don’t radically change, preferably selling the club at a realistic price.
It is in our hands.
Time to boycott this Man Utd match.