An empty stadium makes a statement.

Whether it is Stadion Kantrida in Rijeka, or St James Park in Newcastle Upon Tyne.

Friday night saw Croatia take on England, no paying spectators allowed into the stadium, creating a very eerie atmosphere.

After problems of previous racist chanting at matches and a swastika symbol marked on the pitch, the Croatian fans are being punished, and of course the England supporters who wanted to see the match.

Watching England matches is bad enough at the best of times but this latest in a series of tedious friendlies…surely it should have been a relief for England fans that they weren’t allowed to view this goalless draw in the flesh. As for Newcastle fans, many of them want to see an empty St James Park for very different reasons.

Supporters who believe that a one-off boycott of a live televised home match is the natural progression of the protests against Mike Ashley’s running of Newcastle United.

It’s a tricky one because all Newcastle fans have their very own personal breaking point.

The harsh reality being that if Mike Ashley still owns Newcastle United in August 2019, there will be many more Newcastle fans regularly boycotting, regardless of who is the manager and which division the club is in by that point.

An empty, or even half empty, St James Park would be a spectacular and newsworthy event as a protest against Mike Ashley.

The two fan extremes would say ‘What’s the point?’ at one end of the spectrum and at the other ‘Anything is surely worth a try?’

What is for sure is that a club permanently in a state of civil war is guaranteed to struggle and equally sure, is that this civil war is destined to continue until the dictator is overthrown/sells up.

Mike Ashley is all about divide and rule in his business life and he’s been happy to extend that to his football club branch.

It has never worked though and now the negatives of it are being pointed back at him, the NUFC protests and online campaigns playing a part in the Sports Direct share price crashing by over 25% since mid-July. Which of course also pretty much wipes off a quarter of the paper value of Mike Ashley’s wealth.

When you are a billionaire it can take quite a drop before you start to feel the squeeze/pain, Mike Ashley ended his own personal 13 month boycott of Newcastle matches in September and has now been to three in a row.

It will take more than just Ashley and his minions to make up the numbers at St James Park unless he sells up.



  • Paul Patterson

    Something needs doing, but a one game protest he will surely just ride out.

    • BanJones

      A one game protest won’t work because many will turn up thinking that they don’t want to be the only daft **** who has left their seat empty. It can grow though! First time might not be great but with publicity a second and third might as people see it happening. We should target a match before Christmas like Wolves then another for after the window closes and see what happens. If we wait for the perfect answer nothing will happen.

      • Colin Marr

        And the media will twist to say the fans are sick of Rafa,

        • Ron

          I agree – I can’t see it working unless, somehow and I don’t know how, an agreement by 80% (minimium) of ticket holders will refuse to attend. I’ve made my protest by not renewing my season ticket for 9 years now so easy for me to say.

          So how about a different idea, what about going down to the concourse say for 10 minutes after kick off? Everyone will see everyone protesting and so encourage to follow. Cameras would film protest on Sky MotD etc. An idea just floating to see what reaction / effect it has.

          • Steven05

            Similar worked for West Ham

          • BigHairyDog

            What worked for West Ham was around a hundred fans invading the pitch and surrounding the directors box.

        • Leazes.

          idiot

  • Colin Marr

    the only people to boycott will be the handful who protest out side shops,

    • BanJones

      Best do nowt then?

      • Colin Marr

        Ben I’m just stating the facts as I see them, I’ll be pleased if a boycott is successful.

        • BanJones

          Fair do’s but it only takes a little bit of doubt to sway people the wrong way, that’s why the assett stripper thinks he can get away with it.

          • BanJones

            and i’m not effing Ben! :)

          • Ron

            I know your not I often check before I read the context and I don’t bother if it was Ben!

        • Waxi

          Colin it’s more than a handful as well.

    • Waxi

      I never protest outside his shops but my two seats will not be filled for the Wolves game. We should boycott more than the Wolves game IMHO.

  • Leazes.

    Protests against Ashley and his SD should continue after he’s gone.

  • Shipcote Willy

    Great idea but won’t happen and Ashley knows it. He can do whatever he wants and still have a full stadium. Some say Geordies are the loyalist fans but the owner uses that to work against them. Some say they are sheep. I use the word they because I have been boycotting for some time. We boycotted the McKeag regime and it added to the pressure. I wonder what it would take for that to happen with the current crop of fans? What would he have to do to have a boycott? Even when Rafa leaves the stadium will still be full with fans chanting their disapproval at the owner who will sit there grinning. Boycotting a TV game would be a great statement but won’t happen.

    • Leazes.

      I think since Ashley has been here there has been a big turnover of fans….. they aren’t the same 50,000…. which is the presumption a lot of commentators are making.

      ….I wouldn’t be surprised if the turnover isn’t nearer double.

      • Steven05

        I certainly agree with that. I’ve only been going since the very late 80’s but I know it’s not the same anymore.

        • Leazes.

          He cant do it indefinitely, Its not just a question of replacing one dissatisfied generation with the next batch of school leavers….

    • Dave Pattinson

      Agreed Shipcote. I recall boycotting games when we had McKeag & co and I did the same 2 or 3 yrs ago for a Spurs game. I know we all dispute whether or not a boycott will be effective, but surely the time for action by everyone has finally arrived. A sparsely filled stadium would let the media know just how serious things are at our club. Time for.a short-term sacrifice for a long-term gain. Ashley out!

  • Hughie_Gallacher

    Get out and bloody stay out!

  • kingfisher

    Re: boycotting the Wolves game !
    If anyone is unsure whether to boycott or not, because they think that if they do then theirs might be the only empty seat, then why not use the 4 home games prior to the Wolves game to gauge the feeling of those around you?

    I know for some die hard, regular supporters missing a game may seem unthinkable,but equally there are die hard regular supporters who have sworn to never set foot in SJP until Ashley has gone,so it can be done.

    • Steven05

      To those die-hard fans who never want to miss a game – you would be doing it for the LOVE of YOUR CLUB – in protest to what it has become

      • kingfisher

        Exactly Steven ,well said 👍👏

    • Themoscow72

      We have all ready sold forty eight thousand tickets for the Wolves game and that is before they go on sale as Wolves have taken their full quota.
      I contacted over one hundred season ticket holders over the weekend and not one is boycotting.

      • kingfisher

        If that’s the case Moscow, then these people who refuse to boycott one game will be the reason why this club will die, and when we are in the death throws and Ashley is still here then they will reap what they have sowed.
        They must have their “football fix” whatever the cost and Ashley is bending them over and rubbing his hands.

        • Themoscow72

          Even two of the die hard critics on here of Ashley are going to the game and they are two people to the left of the militants.

      • Wezza

        Hah!

        “I contacted over one hundred season ticket holders over the weekend”

        Were they all in your local in Monkseaton? You know the one where you claim everyone knows you but nobody has actually heard of? Oh yes that one and you contacted exactly 100 of them. Right you are, troll scum.

        • Themoscow72

          No I texted them. One mate has fourteen season tickets, another ten, another seven and so one. The only bloke I know who is not gong is in jail.

          • Wezza

            One mate has 14 season tickets eh? Righto.
            Another 10? Righto.
            You still refuse to discuss the fact of why you changed your name to this from monkseatonmagpies. Shame?

  • kingfisher

    Great video on Sky Sports featuring Oliver Holt from The Mail on Sunday: “Newcastle a waste of potential”

    • Paul Patterson

      Saw that. Very good of him to be honest and fair. A rarity these days . .

  • t00nraider

    Yiz are aal in clowd coocoo land. The next few games are against teams we finished above last season and if all the payers are fit we should be picking up points and be getting high attendances. We’ve been unlucky with injuries and had tough matches which people don’t seem to understand. Over the course of the season, the club will show it’s much better than what the chav protesters claim.

    • Hughie_Gallacher

      Yawn. You’re the one who’s in cloud cuckoo land mate if you think the current form is a temporary blip and not an inevitable consequence of Ashley’s siphoning of money away from the club.

      A cold doosh of water at 6 am should do the trick.

    • Superdooperhooper

      Cobblers . We were very lucky with lack of injuries last season. We’re getting a normal amount of injuries this season. And who are you calling people chavs?

    • grantham mag

      Keep dreaming dicksplash.

  • BigHairyDog

    Fans come in 3 types…

    The ones that are fed up and will stop at nothing to get back at Ashley.

    The ones that are fed up but think there’s nothing they can do to rid the club of Ashley.

    And there’s the Benny Hill mob, they think Ashley’s doing a decent job. The club is stable in their eyes, even if it’s going nowhere. They’ll follow Ashley, Ashley is the club and they won’t go against the club.

    So which ones are the problem?

  • Jate Legend

    Going to the Brighton match. Can’t wait. HWTL

  • Jate Legend

    Has anyone even done the numbers on the cash Ashley would lose out of a boycott? Inc. the speculative rep damage from an empty stadium on sky. I bet it’s insignificant in the scheme of his wealth. He bought the toon for fun,now regrets it and is bleeding it dry partially out of revenge but also partally cos it needs to cost him nothing. I think a boycott would just lead to further cuts in costs to offset the lost revenue from the gate.

    • Themoscow72

      The maximum exposure if no one bought a ticket for this game which they will is approximately £150,000 as there a round 4,000 tickets going on sale to season ticket holders, members and the general public. We are guaranteed a gate of 48,000 all ready so Ashley has won before it starts.

      • Jate Legend

        Right, so a boycott doesn’t affect Ashley but does destroy the moral of the team. I’ll be at the match.

  • Themoscow72

    The last time you had a boycott against Spurs and it failed. Has he sold the club no.
    The Wolves game is an important match and people call for a boycott you could not make it up. The only people who will be happy are Sunderland fans not our manager or players and you will probably make Rafa walk not Ashley. Have contacted over a hundred fans over the weekend and not one boycotting.

    • Wezza

      Your ramblings once again prove you are not a Newcastle fan. Kindly do one and report back to your leader.