Newcastle fans need to escalate their protests and to me that only means one thing, we need to boycott a one-off match to really get the message out to a nationwide, indeed worldwide, audience.

A message that time is up for Mike Ashley and he has to sell the club.

That tens of thousands of Newcastle fans are so fed up that they are prepared to miss a match that they have already paid for.

I have written a couple of times about this (see below), the latest as recently as Sunday.

Then, I said that Wolves on 9 December 2018 was the glaringly obvious choice, the next home match which is on live TV, beamed out on Sky Sports.

I stated that the boycott had to be announced ASAP as tickets would soon go on sale, now that announcement (of on-sale dates) has been made, with tickets for Newcastle v Wolves going on sale to members as from Monday 29 October.

I make it that we have around five days now to get that one-off match boycott announced and get the message around the fanbase, before people start buying tickets for the game and making hotel/travel arrangements.

I have seen mentions that The Magpie Group and others are supposedly reluctant to back/announce a one-off match boycott because Rafa Benitez has indicated he wants supporters inside St James Park backing the team.

With all due respect, we will all be still here supporting this stupid club when our manager is long gone. That is just the way it is.

We have to do everything we can to try and persuade Mike Ashley to leave.

There are no magic answers but we need to do everything that we can, things that stand a chance of getting good support. Saying to season ticket holders to stop going now altogether is unworkable when they have paid for the season, when you are talking a one-off game that is live on TV though, we can make it happen.

As for Rafa wanting support for the team inside SJP, well it isn’t happening at the moment so it won’t exactly be missed!

Yes I would like Rafa Benitez to stick around but in reality the only show in town is getting rid of Mike Ashley, if that doesn’t happen then it is meaningless whoever is manager.

My Mag article on Sunday 21 October 2018:

Boycott.

A word that generally divides Newcastle fans on one side or the other.

Is boycotting matches the next logical step in protesting against Mike Ashley?

I wrote a previous article (see below) on the boycott subject that was published on The Mag 10 days ago.

I think talking about boycotting games as an ongoing thing is totally unrealistic. Asking fans with season tickets to just not go match after match is a surefire way to fail.

If Newcastle fans are going to stop going to games altogether, they will do so by not renewing them, not when you still have most of the season still to go and having paid hundreds of pounds for the ‘pleasure’ of having one.

However, a one-off boycott is exactly what we should be looking to do.

After all, what we are trying to do is something symbolic, a big warning shot for Mike Ashley to think about. That this is what he will see (a half empty stadium) in the future on a regular basis if he doesn’t sell up.

(I have seen a suggestion that rather than a boycott, fans should wait and only go into St James Park once 15 minutes of the game has gone by. Whilst I think all options should be considered, I think this would simply cause hassle for the fans themselves. By the time the final people got in, it could be almost half-time, plus there would be safety implications and the police not exactly impressed if 30,000 fans were suddenly trying to get in the stadium at exactly the same time.)

As for choosing a match to boycott, it totally makes sense to choose one on live TV.

This means fans can still get to see the game on TV and most importantly, it will be a far bigger story if beamed out live on Sky Sports to a worldwide audience.

My initial choice, before the live TV games for December/January were announced, was Man Utd at the start of January.

However, I am persuaded now that we should do it ASAP and so Wolves at home on Sunday 9 December, live on Sky, must be targeted.

Bottom line though is that The Magpie Group HAVE to announce this ASAP because on-sale ticket details for West Ham (home on 1 Dec) and Everton (away on 5 Dec) have already been announced, so the Wolves arrangements will be next, very soon.

Honestly, what will you be missing out on by boycotting a one-off match?

Also, I was up in the Milburn for yesterday’s Brighton match and took this photo above, the big gaps are where away fans would usually be but in past times they would all have been snapped up by Newcastle fans.

In truth though, there were smaller pockets of empty seats all over the place (look at the middle tier of the Leazes in the above photo, for example – far bigger gaps than that in the Milburn as well). The attendance was claimed to be over fifty thousand but I reckon there was no more than 48,000 inside SJP, if that.

Wolves will obviously sell out the away tickets for the game but I think that if announced now, a boycott could still get the crowd under 25,000 for his match. Willing to make a one-off sacrifice even if they have already paid for a season ticket.

The decision/announcement has to be made now to boycott, as you need it to be done before fans start buying tickets for the game and booking travel/hotels.

It is time to escalate and that means a boycott of a live TV match.

Part of my previous article on The Mag – 11 October 2018:

‘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.’

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  • Wezza

    Rafa is most likely being told we need supporters in the ground as the KBA PR machine know fans will listen to Rafa. We must see through their BS.

    • Leazes.

      An unholy combination of a malevolent owner and a large enough population to accept meekly the asset strip…… largely filling a stadium.

      ……, and a local press who pump out the message of ‘get behind the team’.

      When a club was stripped to the extent of playing loan players
      The owner spends player money literally like monopoly money on a high street Chain store.
      Puts his faith in his own ridiculous judgements
      The local press who will not ask questions.
      Gamble on a repeat escape like last season?

      Charnley said…..’results will come when we play lesser teams’….

      …. he gambled again that there are three worse sides….

      #BoycottWolves

  • Leazes.

    Superb Dean….Well done!

    It cant be any later because its the Xmas holiday period and all planes, trains and automobiles are heading inward…. the population swells and they take in a game.

    #BoycottWolves

    • justchampion

      Agree, xmas games will be full of expats visiting home who don’t normally get to a game.

  • Themoscow72

    Rafa does not want a boycott, the players do not want a boycott and 99% of fans do not want a boycott. We have sold every single seat for the normal part of the ground and this must continue for the Wolves game. This could be the game which is the difference between staying up and going down so support the team they need you.
    Have spoke to over 100 people and no one is boycotting not even that Magpie Group lot who seem to spend their lives outside Pizza Parlours and high street shops.
    Wolves tickets on sale Monday October 29th so bring your mates along to counteract what will be a lively and noisy Wolves support.

    • relaxed

      You are not the sharpest tool in the box are you

      • Themoscow72

        Why Rafa and even Keegan have asked the fans to support the club. These protesters think a boycott will find us a buyer. I think not.

        • relaxed

          I think that you will find that everyone does support the club
          Unlike you the very vast majority do not support Ashley
          End of story

  • John D Williams

    Moscow 72. You are entitled to your opinion. However what do you think this club will achieve with Ashley in charge. We are heading for our 3rd relegation under his “leadership”.

    • JohnnyH

      Monks yardstick of success is business viability. Competing as a football team is secondary to running the club in profit.
      His posts are usually good for a laugh though

    • Themoscow72

      A one off boycott will not help us find a buyer. The Refs have cost us at least six points this season and all will be well when we get a striker back.

      • Kenny

        you moron troll, f##k off with your krap posts

        • Themoscow72

          Hope you enjoyed your holiday nice to have you back. Support the team and Rafa.

          • Toon Arnie

            We will while you support Ashley and Bishop

      • Toon Arnie

        No but it might help Jabba to finally sell to one.

    • JohnnyH

      See what I mean; “all will be well when we get a striker back”.

      Hilarious

    • John D Williams

      There are buyers out there. They are not going to pay £300 million. They know the training ground needs ripped up, the stadium needs repaired, not just a lick of paint, and we would have to invest at least £80 million on players. Don’t hang your hat on Rondon as he is not a 15 goal a season player

      • Leazes.

        Have you seen Brightons training complex, and Leicesters plans for a state of the art one….

        It must be difficult for Ashley as there is nothing left to strip from the club….

        I do suspect that he’s recently taken ownership of the stadium and leases it back to the club in order to get his hands on the magic weekend, concert and international rugby money too….

        ….that’s why Justin Barnes was brought in…. to complete the strip.

      • Themoscow72

        Mike taking his loan back will reduce the price of the club but for any serious buyer £300m is petty cash so no real buyers out there.

        • Toon Arnie

          Either that or Ashley has no intention of ever selling. He needs that tv money for starters to buy ailing High Street brands.

      • Leazes.

        Why do you think that’s a lot of money?

        The poorest club in this league gets revenue of around £120m per season! The United Brand is worth £200m….The Stadium is worth £100, the Squad is worth £150m

        I wish people would stop saying the price puts people off…..it doesn’t…..if Ashley is haggling between 300 and 400 they should snap his arm off….

        He’s not selling the club at one third of its worth…. the sale is a con trick to keep the charade going as he’s now stripped it bare.

    • Paul Patterson

      He either works for the club or is clearly an idiot. Nobody can say that this current situation is good for the club. Two options- protest/boycott etc, or keep turning up and show support. We’ve tried the latter and it’s caused this parasite to stick two fingers up at the fans- literally. Enough is enough.

      • Leazes.

        Ask Brian Standen about him.

      • Themoscow72

        So what will protesting achieve nothing at all. Will probably lead to Mike just taking more loans back. This team finished tenth last season just had bad luck with refs this season.

        • Toon Arnie

          Nothing at all to do with under investment ? Is that honestly what you believe ? I don’t believe you’re that gullible.

        • Kev Newcastle England

          Embarrassing

  • Paul Patterson

    I’d actually suggest to anyone who says a boycott would adversely effect the team that staying away may actually help the team. No pressure from the stands when a ball is misplaced, etc.

    The players know the score anyway. They know where the anger is directed and it’s not at them and Rafa knows that if Ashley goes (there’s another story) he will be in a better position . .

    • Lord Portland

      I’m sure Rafa would secretly support a boycott although he can’t say this publicly for obvious reasons.

  • Kenny

    No guts, no boycott

    • Themoscow72

      I will be there Kenny supporting the team because they need it like never before. Be in the Three Bulls half nine.

      • Toon Arnie

        ‘The Team’ ? You mean Ashley, Barnes & Bishop right ?

      • Kev Newcastle England

        Why would you wanna drink nearly 6 hours before a home game you alcoholic p once?

    • Leazes.

      No boycott no club!

    • Wor Lass

      Is Club Tropicana still standing?

  • JohnnyH

    New name for Pezza/Clarko : Rob Brown

    • Leazes.

      Yes….got that one ages ago !

  • BanJones

    Like a mug I gave the Assett Stripper £740 of my hard earned ( i’m sure I could hear a fat bloke laughing as I walked away with my cash receipt). I will gladly watch the Wolves game in the bar, we need to get the message out. I think Paul is right below that an emptier stadium might help the lads a bit – less moans and groans piling on the pressure.

  • Steven05

    Some fans (you all know who I’m talking about) are lucky to have the club they deserve right now

  • Wor Lass

    I`m reluctant to criticise anyone who wants to go to the match and support Rafa and the lads on the pitch but, I`ve got to say, a boycott is the ONLY way a clear message can be sent to Fatso. If people really can`t do it then how about staying in the concourses for the first ten minutes (5 even!) to show what it could be like and come into the stadium singing Mike`s song then support the hell out of the team and Rafa?

    • mentalman

      After 10mins when we are 2-0 down they may want to stay in the concourse.

      Although the stewards will probably have something to say about it

  • LA toon

    This needs to happen. For fans who state that we have to support the team seems a moot point as watching all the Toon games from the USA, the atmosphere at the ground resembles a wake. 50,000 lost souls getting their fix but realising that the previous high is not evident.

  • Ba ba.

    I’m in. .. [email protected] it.

  • Lord Portland

    What will it take for Newcastle fans to stop handing their money over to Ashley?
    I honestly think he could change the team colours to red and white and rename the stadium Roker Park, and 50-odd thousand would still turn up because “it’s their duty”. Can’t people see that is the root of the problem. They are hurting the club with their “loyalty”. He knows he can get away with anything now. Relegations, undermining club icons, renaming the stadium, asset stripping, jobs for the boys, inferior strip designs….

    It should have been nipped in the bud when Keegan walked. But 90% of fans turned up the following week without protest, and that let the genie out of the bottle. Ashley knew there was no limit to what he could get away with.

    And yes, I know a lot of income now comes from tv rights. But a couple of home games with empty stands would help to force his hand to sell up at a lower price or at least show that there is a limit to what fans will put up with.

    • Dave Pattinson

      FFS, DO IT!

  • Jamie

    There will be 50k at SJP.
    INSANITY=Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results!!

    STOP GOING ITS NOT ROCKET SCIENCE
    Do you honestly think the players care whether the stadium is full or empty? They still get paid and if we get relegated they will leave anyway!

    If you REALLY want Ashley out stop going otherwise shut up moaning

  • Tweed Mag

    Rafa would probably love to say “Boycott the match and get rid of Ashley” but he cannot. He is restrained by the need to work within, even though he knows that the regime is slowly suffocating the club. We have to ask ourselves how long we want this saga to continue – wait for the next transfer window? Nope. Wait for another false takeover story? Nope. Wait until relegation and Rafa’s exit? Nope. Empty seats and a clear message to Ashley and his trolls? YES!!

  • magpiefifer

    Nothing ventured etc!!
    A match boycott is unlikely to be a game-changer for the team the way this season is going,and what is there to lose – apart from not being at SJP,which may be regarded as not much of a loss!!

    It has to be worth a try!

  • WildBill

    How many of the 50,000 (give or take) even know about the proposed Wolves boycott? I spoke two season ticket holders today who knew nothing about it. They were in agreement when I told them but the question still remains. What percentage are even aware?