My first ever Newcastle United game at St James Park was in 1979, when I was 4 years old. We beat Oldham 3-2, courtesy of a late couple of goals from Alan Shoulder. That was a topsy turvy game and, although I didn’t know it then, it was just the beginning of my relationship with one of the more interesting teams in English football.

Over the last 40 years I have witnessed highs and lows…but never have I felt so despondent as I do now.

Before I go any further, I have to point out that this is a club that I love, one that I have spent my life supporting and one that has given me many amazing memories. I am ‘one of us’ but I have had enough. Our club is dying, and maybe we, the supporters, are the life support that needs to be turned off.

The current situation, to me, feels worse than in the late 80s when we had the famous ‘sack the board’ season because ultimately, the board were sackable. Gordon McKeag didn’t own the whole club, and in due course history took us down the Sir John Hall road and all of the fun with King Kev.

This is a very different situation. Mike Ashley is accountable to nobody, he listens to nobody who cares about the club, and as a result the club has been in freefall for years. Deep down, I think even Rafa has thrown in the towel, and he is merely clinging to the hope that he soon has a new boss. Unfortunately, I simply don’t see this happening.

A club with the very real possibility of relegation looming over it, is not worth £400m of anybody’s money. It was Catch 22 this season because, if we had got off to a flyer, then Ashley would have put the price up, and now that we are staring at the Championship nobody will meet an unrealistic valuation that hasn’t come down. You are also dealing with a man who seems to shift the goalposts almost every day when it comes to his demands relating to the sale of the club. It is a tough space to do business. So, if the club is unsellable, what is best for the future of the club that we love?

I find myself more and more drawn to the idea of relegation, maybe even a couple of relegations if it means a clean break from Ashley. He will eventually stop putting money into the club to cover his own deficiencies, below average and over paid players will leave and Newcastle United will no longer be an invaluable vessel for Sports Direct. When that happens he will go.

As long as we provide him with the advertising and the facility to flog his dodgy wares he will not go. On Saturday day, he (Mike Ashley) looked like a man in a panic. He is in a panic because if we go down Rafa will go, and only a manager with very few options would work for him. If that happens we will not jump back out of the Championship like we have managed before and all of a sudden a £400m asset is worth a packet of fags, maybe less. His gamble is backfiring and he knows it.

There is nothing that I would like more than to see Ashley lose everything he has put into the club and the only way that is going to happen is if the club as we now know it dies.

Sometimes in life / business you realise that you have to rip everything up and start again because the road you are on has absolutely no positive ending. This is one of those times.

We don’t have any heroes on the pitch for our kids to idolise.

We don’t have a club that invests in the community.

We don’t have an academy of any note.

Our training facilities are significantly in need of renovation.

The stadium is beginning to show signs of wear and tear.

All that is left is us, the life support. We have been there through thick and thin, with some of us remembering the ‘thins’ very well. I think it was February 1991 when I was one of 12k at a freezing cold 0-0 draw with Brighton in the old second division. Two years later, almost to the day, there was a capacity crowd to watch us batter Brentford on our way to winning promotion to the Premier League. The difference between those two dates? Kevin Keegan and entertainment. We can rise again, but to rise, you have to fall.

What we are now witnessing at Newcastle is not entertainment. It is some of the worst football I have ever seen.

Rafa is doing what he can with a bunch of average players, and the only way to give us half a chance is to slow the game down and make us hard to beat. That is not entertainment and anyone that is enjoying going to the games these days must love football far more than I do.

In every other thing we do in life, if something is not entertaining us, we do something different instead. We have to do the very same to save our club. By staying away from dull, hard to watch football, you will not be abandoning the club, you will be saving it. There are no heroes on the pitch worthy of your time.

If we go down our two best / most valuable players, Lascelles and Shelvey will go. They are players who wouldn’t even have got on the bench in the days of Keegan. That is how far we have fallen.

Nobody wants to see us challenging for honours more than me, but that is not going to happen without a complete reboot at the club – £400m is too much for a club that needs to reboot.

The playing squad is almost worthless and investment is needed almost everywhere across the club. When your computer is running poorly, you reboot it, but you don’t wait around for it to go through the process of rebooting, that would be a waste of time. You go and make a cup of tea and come back when it is working again.

We have to do the same for OUR club. We need to come back when it is working again. So let’s all put on the kettle, occasionally glance to see what progress is being made and when it is time to sit down again, we will know.

Kris Marshall, aged 43 and ready for a reboot.

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  • mactoon

    Not for the first time I would ask do you really think Ashley would sell the club at a massive loss if we were relegated?

    Trim the wage bill and get cheaper players who can do a good enough job to get us back into the Premiership. History dictates this is what he would do.

    • Carverlier football

      He fluked promotion twice, I doubt he’d manage it a third time. Villa have proved that outspending the rest of the Championship is no guarantee of promotion. Especially if there is a lack of hope and a toxic atmosphere, which there will be. If (when) we get relegated, I’d predict that even with a £50m net spend we’d be closer to relegation than promotion next season.

      • mactoon

        More than likely and Rafa will know this and probably told Ashley as much. But Ashley doesn’t listen to advice and will believe he will get back at the first shot.

    • phildene

      We view every much doubt that we will come straight back up next time round as totally different set of players. We go down, we’ll stay down and if that’s the way it has to be, then so be it, anything to get rid of Ashley. Even doing what Sunderland did (staying away and dropping down another league) then again so be it.

      I know full well there’ll be plenty on here who won’t agree, but that’s our opinion.

      • panther

        WHATEVER IT TAKES

      • mactoon

        I just don’t see Ashley selling the club at a loss. It’s just not how he does business. He will only sell if he gets his initial investment back and a big profit. If we get relegated, he will trim the wage bill and attempt to get back to the Premiership. He has done this twice already.

  • Themoscow72

    Yes the Oldham game when Peter Withe got the other a great player. Attendance a very good 19,000 at the start of the season. Sadly by the end of the campaign gates slumped to 13,000 and 14,000 against Luton and Swansea. However fans staying away made no difference and never will only money talks. Three hundred million will get the club but you need a buyer first and not any old buyer.
    You need a buyer with a couple of hundred million spare to buy players as the income we generate after operating costs is not enough to compete in the long term.
    Staying away will only damage the club and the players confidence. Our crowds will drop shortly not by many the reason being some fans do not like seeing their team get beat every week. When the good times come back they will come back like rats out of a sewer like they did under Keven Keegan. As only of my pals said we need a couple of bad seasons to get rid of them as they are not supporters. A supporter is for life through good and bad.
    Wolves tickets on sale Monday 29th October make sure you are there to support the club.

    • TheFatController

      What operating costs ?

      We made £160m from last season in tv money and revenues, £20m profit in transfer market, and will receive over £10m from instalments in the likes of sissoko, wijnaldum etc.

      Upwards of £200m income . Explain operating costs for the benefit of readers and why you can claim ‘the income we generate is not enough to compete’.

      By compete I presume you mean against our competitors?
      What revenues and operating costs do the bottom 13 PL sides have that means we can’t compete with them?
      Are they making well over £200m in revenues and making profits in transfer windows too?

      Take your time gathering the evidence, as right now this reply makes you look like a bollsh1tter.

      • mactoon

        Regardless of what the club does or doesn’t have the difference is that other clubs are willing to spend it, Ashley is not. Therefore we are where his spending has left us. In the bottom three.

        • TheFatController

          Yes true, I was just not lettting him get away with the Bishop PR that we don’t make revenues and have higher costs than our competitors and that’s why we don’t spend.

          You’re right, we don’t spend because Ashley won’t. Which leads to the question, what does the money other clubs put into new players get spent on here …

          • AbusedCourier

            Buying fancy shops in Glasgow!

      • Themoscow72

        In simple terms the revenue generated will be round £170m and operating costs £130m. However from the last set of accounts the overdraft was £12m and deferred income £23m so basically we started the season £35m overdrawn as season ticket money was in the bank for the following season. In short no money left for players.

        • TheFatController

          So you’re saying the club is really badly run financially, and that Ashley hasn’t stabilized the club as some claim ?

          • Wezza

            He is yes, he always slips up!

          • Themoscow72

            Tell me where I slipped up that would be a first.

          • TheFatController

            Yep, ill. Delusion.

          • Themoscow72

            No I get the accounts and read them simple.

          • Jarramag

            1652 playing staff.Moron.😎

          • TheFatController

            It’s not hard to undermine his arguments because they’re not the arguments of a skilled researcher, just the bizarre sound bites of an ill man.

        • Wezza

          Monk you are being dishonest again. You already said you base your figures on assumption anyway lol.
          Wage bill has never been lower. Do you honestly believe Lazaar is on 150K a week? You are a very bad shill.

          ‘In short no money left for players.’

          But no money short for FCB to take back some of his “loan”.
          You are so bad you always slip up. I feel sorry for you.

          • Themoscow72

            Think Rafa and his team on £10m and National Insurance and Pension payments £14m and players bonuses £10m so out say £100m that only leaves £66m for 1652 playing staff and 127 administration staff .

          • Jarramag

            You are a total tool.Try to get your lies somewhere near you Muppet.We have nowhere near 1652 playing staff.How do you think anyone can believe you when your figures are so incorrect.You are guessing breakdowns of accounts you know fkuk all about because none of this is shown you ballbag.Go and play with the traffic you moron.

        • JohnnyH

          1. Break down the £130m operating costs.
          I think you’re miles out.

          2. So from what you’re saying in that period we had no other cashable income?

          • TheFatController

            Don’t mention breakdown to him, he’s clearly had plenty of them…

          • Themoscow72

            Wages £100m with Rafa’s team £10m, National Insurance and Pensions £14m and bonuses £10m. That only leaves £66m for 152 playing staff and 127 administration staff.
            Other operating costs easy £30m for most clubs eg rent, rates players insurance will be massive, marketing costs, security, police etc etc.

          • TheFatController

            So he hasn’t controlled costs ?

    • FatParosite

      Good times in the Championship… yeah great… & you put out an Ashley built mantra ‘Staying away will only damage the club and the players confidence’ It’s like some kind of cult and you’ve been brainwashed.

      • Themoscow72

        The other way round I think. The Magpie Group are a cult with training camps in Pennywell and Castletown.

        • TheFatController

          Don’t they just believe a different owner wouldn’t get us regularly relegated ?

          That’s not a cult. A cult is where a leader brainwashes followers into believing they have a high status, a status that society doesn’t give them so they exist divorced from the realities of society.

          TMG just think Ashley’s no good for the club. Society seems to agree.

          • Paul Patterson

            Any new owner would at least want the club to do well. Ashley doesn’t. He actively sets the club up to underachieve/fail.

          • porciestreet

            Surely there must be something in the League or Premiership constitution that rails against the way this 8ast**Rd is destroying our club.

          • Themoscow72

            Well these moaners should buy the club and do a better job
            as they get on my nerves.

          • Wezza

            I ask again…
            And why didn’t WE have a decent centre forward Monk? Oh that’s right because your saviour, your lover in the lift lies yet again, made a profit, replaced players with freebies, loans and bargain basement buys all the while reducing the wage bill to 43M AND pocketing the TV money.
            We didn’t buy a top striker because of the greed of your master. You cannot defend or twist that. Hypocrite.
            Still trust the accounts? Grant Thornton, independent auditor for our accounts are under investigation for SD accounts! Oh dear! Now that doesn’t look good does it.

          • Themoscow72

            No because Rafa let Gayle go a disaster waiting to happen.
            Have you been in the new bar yet. Our accounts are sound but will see in March how much of the £19m provision has been used for players wages.

          • Wezza

            ‘Our accounts are sound’
            You base that on pure faith alone, SD’s are under investigation and Grant Thornton also do ours. Of course, you don’t see any problem with that.
            So it is Rafa’s fault he let Gayle go yet it IS NOT the FCB’s fault for taking all the TV money AND making the club a window profit. You are a complete and utter shill and a very dishonest one at that.
            You’re blocked now for good.

          • Themoscow72

            Just tell the truth your pint still waiting behind the bar.

          • TheFatController

            Just because you say that doesn’t make it true, no pun intended.

            You’re a busted flush, Mugpie

          • TheFatController

            You’re logic is that any owner can do what they want because they have more money than the fans?

            Does that mean anyone can do what it likes to anything it owns. If it’s a dog, you can beat it and if it doesn’t lie it it should raise the money to buy itself of the abuse?

            Your morality is weird. Maybe see a shrink?

          • panther

            you could always nosedive off the high level, sell tickets , all profits go to ashley

          • AbusedCourier

            Sounds a bit like Ashley and his minions.

      • porciestreet

        WHAT CONFIDENCE….?

  • Mike

    there were plenty stayin away on Sat but it still showed 50k in attendance#
    had to be the lowest crowd for some time

    • FatParosite

      Ashley can only do that for so long….. A massive gate drop and an official gate posting lie will have them laughing up their sleeves on MoTD.

    • Themoscow72

      There were not plenty who stayed away it was the fact that Brighton sent two thousand back and that 500 corporate tickets at very steep prices were not put on sale. Not only did Newcastle sell every single ticket available in the normal part of the ground they sold an extra 1,000 tickets in the Brighton end.

      • TheFatController

        No, thats not true.

        • Themoscow72

          It is as we sold all the tickets available with the exception of £55.00 to £250.00 in the corporate areas and 1,000 of the Brighton tickets. When I last checked at 8.37 on the morning of the match there were only 47 tickets left and they went.

          • TheFatController

            So that’s 1k plus corporate tickets unsold.

          • Themoscow72

            I would say 500 corporate plus they had a net 1,200 left after Newcastle sold 1,000 and 240 in the Family Enclosure single seats which you cannot buy as a single that works out at 50,365 which was my estimate so close.
            No way are we going to sell seats at an average of sixty pounds except for big games. Also the minimum price this season has been £34.00 whereas last year we had £25.00 games so the club is making even more money.

          • TheFatController

            We need to make more money because you keep revealing how high our costs are compared to our competitors – we need someone who can control costs after 11 years.

            It’s great that you show how high costs are but then why do you say that’s ok and justifies not spending?

            Are you stupid ? Surely it’s not ok to have high costs in any business when you compare to revenue ?

      • panther

        my mate who still goes says it lookes a bit thin

  • kingfisher

    Excellent post Kris.I’ve supported Newcastle since 1968 aged 15 and have witnessed some great times but this joke of a football club (as you rightly say) is in it’s death throes and I agree that if it takes relegation to get rid of Ashley then so be it. The 50,000 who regularly attend are not bothered about keeping Premiership football as long as they get their ” football fix” they will watch anything as was proved by the attendances when we were last in the Championship.
    Newcastle have been linked with a move for Brendan Rodgers and while sources at St James’ have played that possibility down, they would be faced with a £9milliion compensation fee to get the ex-Reading and Liverpool manager out of his current deal over at Celtic.
    Quote from todays Chronic website:

    “The bigger risk is the potential public reaction if Newcastle decided against giving Benitez extra time to lift the club out of the bottom three.
    Fans aren’t happy with results and some have questioned Benitez’s tactics and substitutions in recent weeks.”

    It doesn’t matter what happens or who is in charge, be it Brendan Rodgers , Pardew, McLaren etc, etc, The season ticket holders will still keep going so I’m afraid your request for them to stop going will fall on deaf ears !

    • FatParosite

      Therin lies the rub.

      • Kris Marshall

        Thanks for your positive comments Kingfisher.

        I think the discussions around a new manager are premature. I agree that Rafa’s tactics have been questionable at points this season, but I wonder how much he is doing it to make a point? Ashley knows replacing him would be akin to lighting the proverbial touch paper. Maybe that is one risk too far, even for him. There is also a £6m compensation package to consider.

        The ultimate problem is that we can’t support the team without supporting Ashley. The two are not mutually exclusive and anyone who thinks they are, are living in cloud cuckoo land.

        I am only one voice but I hope that I resonate with a few and eventually a snowball effect can rid of us of the scourge that is Mike Ashley.

  • Peaky

    We are the football version of “American Pie”…..the day that FatTwat took over was the day our club “died”…..

  • killymag

    We could have a whip round to bung his Helicopter mechanic a few quid to put iron fillings in the fuel , or leave a few vital nuts and bolts loose .

  • X,WHY,Y MAN.

    Kris, You have been a fan since 1979 then you will know that nothing ever changes at this club.
    The situation with Ashley is no different to what we had with McKeag, Westwood etc
    30 years on and the same sorry tale exists with protests against Ashley that you cannot really get off the ground.

    Talk of boycotts that the fan base never get involved in with 50,000 turning up to watch a team who are rock bottom of the league ffs !
    In fact the latest sorry chapter in this clubs history is worse than in 1989 because the attendance has went up 20,000 as opposed to 30,000 back then.
    There was a documentary called Newcastle Disunited where John Hall was fighting McKeag and Co for control with interviews with the “Sack The Board” movement.
    They were bemoaning the fact that they had set up a boycott for only 5,000 to take part with 25,000 still attending to watch a team rock bottom of the league !

    I agree with your sentiment mate but until the fan base of this club learn that blindly turning up does no good what so ever , Then this club will be a magnet for thieves and criminals that have beset the place for years.

    • Leazes.

      Its on youtube…. Newcastle Disunited

      I go back to the earlier 70s protests against Westwood, but when you look at the people who have run the club the same attitudes are there….. a stubborn refusal to run the club professionally or with ambition…. because they don’t need to.

      A small ground in a large conurbation (it was 70k capacity at one stage) you didn’t need success to plod along….. this is a club fanbase which can be taken for granted.

      The attitudes I refer to are an elitist paternal group and the attitudes there from the earliest days with William McKeag who Joannou has exposed as a reactionary colonel blimp military type….

      …..the board room and the terraces were the divide in society itself.,,,,, now in the form of Ashley there it is again!

    • Kris Marshall

      I agree with you X,WHY,Y MAN. I don’t understand how so many can put up with the drivel that is served up each week. This is the first season that I refuse to go to the games. Nothing against Rafa, because if he wasn’t getting paid, I don’t think he would be there either!

      I don’t remember the Westwood days personally but have read about them in dispatches. You are right that our support, as great as it is when things are going well, is a detriment to us when things are as bad as they are now.

      At least with the Mackems, the supporters / great unwashed stop going which results in more swift change at the top. I am a little jealous of the scum this year. They are just starting a new journey that seems to have the best interests of the club at heart. It may be some time until we feel we have a club that belongs to us again.

    • porciestreet

      Absolutely never a truer word spoken.

  • Mrkgw

    Good article but, relegation would be an absolute disaster and would likely spell the end of years in the big time. As quite rightly mentioned, facilities are on the decline but they would deteriorate further in the lower leagues. So much so that a decaying stadium would become a rusting blight on the landscape and we need to keep the city onside.

    • Carverlier football

      I keep banging on about this, but I’d rather us be a lower league club striving to be the best it can on limited resources, and putting the community and fans at the forefront, than a Premier League club which deliberately underachieves and doesn’t give a flying fig about the fans

    • Roblee07

      Thing is though what do you mean by ‘big time? Just being in the premier league? So what! We are a dead duck as a sporting institution. No cup runs, no ambition, CLEARLY no intention to improve. Summer gone was the litmus test for anyone who had any doubt. We are just an advertising board that used to be a premier league football club. We Could go down and stay down but it must be better than the curre4nt situation – a dead club

      • Mrkgw

        True, the words ‘dead club’ echo exactly what we are right now. And the fact that Ashley has allowed this to happen to ‘his’ club beggars belief. Of course, we shouldn’t be surprised as he has ridden ripshod across us all for way too long now. Intolerable and something has to give, surely. But, in answer to your opening question, yes, by big time I was inferring to our being a Premier League club. I wonder though, whether the likes of Leeds, Forest, Sheff Wed or Villa would trade places with us right now. Coventry even…..?

      • Dave Pattinson

        If this is ‘big time’, then stuff it. Its only big- time in the PL if you invest & have a go. Treading water isn’t big-time & ultimately results in drowning! Is there actually.a Mag fan who can honestly say they enjoy being in the PL?

        • porciestreet

          If we could consistently be involved in playoffs and near promotions from the Championship under a caring ownership for a few years, it would surely be better than life as we have it.
          CASHLEY OUT. !

      • porciestreet

        There was some great dog racing at Gosforth
        ….but it doesn’t exist any more. Point is, it doesn’t matter how much of a great history we have, it’s history.
        we as a club must move on and if it means lower league football, then so be it.
        I do believe that if relegation were to happen, it would inevitably be for the best.
        HWTL.

    • Kris Marshall

      Thanks Mrkgw. I do disagree with you on the relegation though. I also disagree that we are in the ‘big time’ as that has been sucked away by Ashley et al.

      The facilities would deteriorate further, but not beyond repair in 3 or 4 years. The renovations across the board would be similar to what they would be now, but you wouldn’t have the costs asssociated with maintaining the expensive playing staff to worry about as that would dwindle season by season.

      This is a short term fix up, not one that would leave a rusting monument to former glories!

      • porciestreet

        Yep…short term fix for a long term cure.absolutely no doubts about it.
        Bring it on..HWTL.

  • Wezza

    That’s a great article Kris.

    ‘the only way that is going to happen is if the club as we now know it dies.’

    I’ve said this to many of my mates that I think will only take for the FCB to go is if we die and plummet down the leagues. I honestly think this may be the only way we get rid. Even if we go down to the Championship, the FCB will ‘put in his own money’ (untrue) to get us back up (yay Mike the saviour PR BS!)
    This time I don’t think we will be so lucky to bounce back and for sure Rafa will not be here.
    A sad harrowing truth that looks nailed on to turn into a horrible reality.
    RIP Newcastle United. For now!

    • Kris Marshall

      Thanks Wezza. I agree with you whole heartedly. He will not go when it doesn’t cost him anything to run the club.

      If we go down and stay down for more than one season he will pull the plug and be forced to give it away. He will not be able to afford the salaries of the likes of Manquillo, Aarons and the like and they will stick around until their contracts end. We are simply not in a position where costs can be cut accordingly. We have alarmingly few assets to speak of, and that would normally balance the books if you go down.

      If we go down, and it pains me to say that I hope we do (if we don’t get sold), then we are one step closer to realising the end of Ashley is nigh.

      I am not going to stop supporting my team, but I will do it in a different, non financial way. I can’t stand by and just accept that this is how it has to be. None of us do.

      • Billmag

        Chumley said they where 💩ing themselves if they hadn’t gone up at the first time of asking, there’s absolutely no chance of Ashley subsidising more than a couple of seasons in the Championship.

    • porciestreet

      Newcastle Phoenix has a kinda ring to it. Bring on the future.
      HWTL.

    • Jarramag

      I have a guy feeling that Ashley is going to bullet Rafa and bring fat Sam back.I At the end of this season Ashley would have recieved approximately £270 Million from tv alone which is the amount he has invested in our club so isn’t bothered if we get relegated this season as he can just take the money sell Shelvey and JL and sell us for £50 Mil! Giving him a nice profit of approx £100Million.Job done.

  • Tweed Mag

    Good article and it sums up what most fans are thinking. The worry is that there is likely to be a generation of fans who do not get a connection to the club that past fans have, mainly because there is nothing to support: nothing to get them excited; nothing to get them hooked. Ashley has killed the passion and the ambition we have had (in spells) from the year dot. Instead of backing the Manager and the team, he orchestrates pathetic side shows (rich americans/Kenyon/Saudi/buying Greenock Morton) designed to try and take the attention away from his incompetence. Even worse, he deploys half wits in the form of Monk-Moscow and Clarko to spread lies about his financial affairs and his asset stripping of the club. Ignore them please. They have no opinions based on fact and they are all part of KBA’s PR propaganda. If relegation finally gets rid of the current regime – so be it. Saturday was a turning point.

    • Themoscow72

      Will relegation find us a buyer no. Will protests find us a buyer no. Will boycotts find us a buyer no. Simple the Magpie Group and the protesters buy the club and do a better job. Look how many years Boro and Sunderland spend out of the Premiership most to be honest and they do not moan on half as much as you lot.

      • TheFatController

        ‘You lot’ – you’re a very divisive person.
        Do you think that comes from a need to be seen as superior? Is that the attraction of this site?

        • Themoscow72

          In short I wish the protesters would buy the club or go away sick of them full stop.

          • TheFatController

            So because they don’t have money like Ashley they have no right to a say or to protest as customers and with a huge emotional investment?

            You’re against freedom of speech, any moral obligations of football club owners to the club’s Community, and consumer rights?

            You are weird and not too smart.

          • Tweed Mag

            He is on the payroll at Shirebrook – no connection to NUFC.

          • TheFatController

            They can’t be paying him, he’s thick as. Surely he was a bag searcher turned social media manager ?

          • Carverlier football

            I’d really hope so because if he’s doing it for free that’s just sad…

          • Themoscow72

            Ask Monty from Berwick if I am on the payroll when he comes back from Spain.

          • TheFatController

            So you’re not paid by SD to talk nonsense is your point then?

          • Tweed Mag

            You have asked me this once before – when you were Monkseaton. So much for your scholarship and degree by 20. My DOG is called Tweed. Perhaps ‘Monty’ might want to post on here and let us know where in Derbyshire you live.

          • Themoscow72

            Scholarship to University and degree by the time I was twenty so wrong on both accounts.

          • TheFatController

            Your mental illness is what makes you ‘not very smart’, not your brain’s academic ability, sorry I should have clarified.

          • Paul Patterson

            A degree/education doesn’t mean you’re clever . .

          • Tweed Mag

            Exactly. Academics are described as people who know everything about very little. Once outside their comfort zone they are knackered.

          • Peaky

            Spot on…The University of Life is all anyone needs….

          • drc74

            so didnt you need a-levels to start your degree

        • Tweed Mag

          That more or less sums him up – he is not part of the wider fan base. If he is so sick of the rest of us, leave and go troll somewhere else.

      • Toon Arnie

        Will Ashley sell the club to a buyer – no !! Why can’t you understand this, you’re now part of a very small minority who actually believe Ashley has any intention of selling. Come on, wake up !!

        • East Durham Mag

          He knows the score he is a troll and spouts sh*t for Fatty and that [email protected] Bishop.

  • Geordiegiants

    If only everyone would make the sacrifice. It wouldnt be long before he was gone and we could start to build our club from scratch with our marvellous supporters.
    Until it happen we have to stand by and watch the spectators keep it alive by drip feeding it week in week out.

    • Themoscow72

      So who would buy the club the Magpie group as we have not had one decent offer yet and will the new owner have any money for players I doubt it.

      • FatParosite

        Ashley knows this and remains rooted like a tick because of it.

        • Geordiegiants

          He has that many different arms and business’s connected to the club it will be hell on earth, the due diligence, then once people have made sense of it they will realise he has everything tied up to benefit him and his cronies.

          • TheFatController

            Plus once you’ve spent a lot of money on negotiating and due diligence, he ups the price because, hey, you’ve come this far, show Mike you really want it…(this is the technique of pretending you have the club’s best interests at heart so refusing to sell to someone who won’t pay over the odds to secure it, because they clearly ‘don’t have the funds..’)

          • Davey drape

            Plus clause after clause then a few hidden clauses ask rangers

      • TheFatController

        Guesswork.

        • Geordiegiants

          Somebody would buy the club given an even playing field. Can you imagine the mine field that he is trying to sell?

      • Toon Arnie

        Nobody will buy the club as Ashley won’t ever sell it – are you really that gullible ?

  • panther

    hasnt been the club I grew up with for a decade

  • Coble’s Return

    If you support the club; if you really support Newcastle United Football Club, then you have to take a stand now. Turning up at every home game to spectate on the club’s demise is not being supportive. Providing Ashley with a public display that “all is well” is not supporting the club. Newcastle United is very clearly heading towards disaster and if anyone expects that the Premier League, or the media, or the politicians, or anybody else is going to do anything about it, then dream on.

    This is in our hands. We protest, We apply direct pressure on SD and the associated businesses and We refuse, point blank, to continue to provide Ashley with the backdrop to the advertising campaign that sustains his limited interest in our club.

    To those who say that we should support the team and not the regime, I’m sorry, but to do one is to do the other, like it or not. The manager, the coaching staff, the players – they are not stupid and although no-one could possibly admit this, I bet that each and every one of them would understand a boycott. You think that Rafa doesn’t want Ashley Out too? You think that he wouldn’t prefer to work with a supportive owner who has the same emotional investment in the area that he has?

    As for those who bleat “show me the buyer” – no, show a willing seller and the buyers will come.

    • Themoscow72

      Rafa wants the fans to support the team. He hates the protesters like me as it will do no good at all. It will not find a buyer and only damage the team. In essence the protesters are supporting the other team.

      • TheFatController

        I see you are not above the psychological manipulation of distracting people away from attacking Ashley by using the old ‘you’re actually hurting yourselves when you do it’ trick?

        Well done. Textbook psychology 101.

        Maybe not investing at any level of the club may be higher on Rafa’s list of things he blames?

        Maybe he is grateful that the fans still turn up at all given the lack of investment (of the money fans generate) into the club’s progress ?

        • Carverlier football

          Ha – maybe it’s not Monky boy after all – maybe Bishop has turned to one of Putin’s social media misinformation trolls and he’s giving us a clue in his alias…

        • Paul Patterson

          I’m not replying to him as he’s clearly beyond help or a troll.
          If anyone believes that Ashley being at the club is a good thing then they need looking at.
          Treatment of Keegan, treatment of Shearer, Treatment of Hughton, treatment of Jonas, appointing Kinnear x2, Dennis Wise, keeping Pardew on, no transfer spend for numerous windows, not building on 5th place, not building on 10th place, treatment of cup competitions, two relegations, lack of academy development, sale of land at St James’, sticking two fingers up at fans, S****s D****t Arena, unpaid for advertising, shirt prices going up, tickets going up.

          At very least it’s gross incompetence, at worst it’s deliberate sabotage.
          NO owner would get away with that list ANYWHERE else.

          • drc74

            hes got mad ashleys spxnk disease, bumped into him to many times in a lift

          • Gareth Jones

            Deliberate sabotage matey

      • X2

        Sports Direct is disgusting: “The BIS Committee were presented with a disturbing picture of the working practices and business model at Sports Direct.” “The Committee also heard a series of accounts of worker mistreatment, including staff being penalised for matters such as taking a short break to drink water and for taking time off work when ill – the ‘six strikes and you’re out’ policy. Allegations also surfaced of some workers being promised permanent contracts in exchange for sexual favours.”
        Buying NUFC branded gear or, tragically, attending games supports these disgusting Sports Direct work practices.

      • East Durham Mag

        Damage the team? Unless it escapes you we are bottom of the league and are not looking likely to get off it for quite some time. Chronic mismanagement and an acute lack of investment from your boyfriend has f*cked us.

      • Toon Arnie

        Do you actually understand what this thread is about or are you just being awkward for the sake of it ?

        • Tweed Mag

          That is his only tactic. Paid for by his leader at KBA/SD.

          • Themoscow72

            Your lots only tactic is to protest you have not bought the club yet or gone out to find a buyer.

      • drc74

        SPXNKSTER, BACK AGAIN, 😊 hows mikes facials these days, did the nice man give u a lovely pearl necklace

      • AhDivvinNahNootMe

        It’s like the marshmallow test. You can have one marshmallow (team) now, Or you can have two marshmallows (club) in the future. You can’t have both. Don’t be a dimwit, support your club and eventually you’ll get a team that doesn’t need to ask for support.

  • Mlew

    I have been reading this blog for some months now. I have been living in Newcastle for 6 months from Liverpool and decided to take my son to Newcastle for his first premier league match. I have to say I was shocked at the atmosphere in the ground. No singing by the fans, no encouragement to the team and I can’t say I blame you. I think the majority of you are right it is not the die hard Newcastle fans that are going it is those football fans that get to go a premiership game. I used to live in the north easy 14 years ago and the atmosphere at SJP is so far removed from those days. Newcastle were known and envied for their fandom. As an outsider looking in Its a sad sight to see what has happened to NUFC

  • Paul Edwards

    I have to say what a read from Kris Marshall I’ve been a Newcastle supporter for as long as I can remember I can’t go to matches as I am disabled but I follow the Mag religiously and I believe what he said is absolutely true maybe it will take a couple of relagations to get rid of the FC and his minions and start from scratch because I know that when Rafa leaves there isn’t a manager out there would touch us why he is in control

    • kingfisher

      My sentiments exactly Paul.I think a relegation ( or two) would do us the world of good.If (as most of us assume) relegation is inevitable,then far rather it happened sooner rather than later and Rafa might at last then have our team playing decent attractive football (not neccesarily winning, but restoring some pride).
      Once we are relegated and Rafa leaves, there will be no expectation of success and hopefully we would be able to give most of the Championship teams a good game, not like now where we are an embarrassment to the Premier League, and let’s face it, if we can’t beat or at least get a point against Brighton at SJP (who hadn’t won away for ages) then we really deserve all we get.

  • jinkyjimnufc

    Repeat – Would it be frightfully naughty for me to suggest that someone just kills Ashley? Job done me thinks

    • TheFatController

      If you could frame Monkseaton mugpie for it whilst doing it – a lover’s tiff might seem belivevable?

      • jinkyjimnufc

        People don’t seem to realise that they would be an instant Geordie hero with streets and a stand named after them not to mention a statue erected to them outside the ground and the renaming of the Angel of the North in their honor. Will someone just do it! Match boycotts, walking out of a game early, not buying ‘ground’ beer WILL DO NOTHING – he doesn’t give a jot – believe me

        • porciestreet

          Sadly, all the outlets at the ground are franchised and any boycott would only hurt the folk behind the counter…not the fat thief.

          • jinkyjimnufc

            You’re right bonny lad. That man is so thick skinned that nothing will hurt him. 5,000 people boycotting a game (and we’ll be lucky to get that many) won’t even make flinch. He’d just have an inward smile and think, rightly, how pathetic

      • relaxed

        As long as its done in the lift
        Game set and match

    • Jonas

      you’re just saying what were all thinking
      how many potential suspects?
      everybody chips in for a hitman – can 100,000 people be sent to jail?

      triangulate cross-fire from the Leazes, Gallowgate and East Stand

  • Davey drape

    Excellent yep temporarily walk away that’s all to bring him down

  • Mirandinha9

    An excellent article. You cut me in half and I’ll bleed black and white, but, for the last number of years I have wanted the Toon to lose each match. The club under Cashley is devoid of any ambition, he has turned it into a shell – utterly lifeless. The only way to resurrect it is to rid ourselves of Cashley and successive relegations would be the best way of precipitating his departure. Sometimes in life you have to go backwards, before you start going forward and to gain the pleasure of seeing him lose monetary value in the club he is simply a temporary ‘custodian’ of, would make my day and improve the club in the process.

    • mactoon

      Yet again I ask the question, how would relegation force Ashley to sell? I just don’t get the logic.

      Ashley makes money, it’s what he does. He will NOT sell NUFC for a loss, he will make sure we get back to the Premiership where his golden egg is and will spend enough to make sure successive relegations do not happen. He has done this twice now. Any sale will see him make a profit and will happen when we are in the Premiership.

      • relaxed

        When will the lights come on
        When will you and like minded fans realize that you are supporting Ashley and not the club

        • mactoon

          Mate I gave up my season ticket around 2013 when I realised the summer transfers of 5 French players were brought forward to the January window and I knew it was not for progression but simply to prevent relegation. I’ve been going since the early 70’s and Ashley caused me to fall out of love with football even though I had been to every home and away game during the season we got promoted to the Premiership, been to 2 cup finals and a Champions League game at Monaco without seeing a goal scored. I’ve been blessed to watch the Keegan entertainers and the beautiful Bobby Robson era. I’ve cuddled Ned Kelly after that fantastic game away at Grimsby when he scored the second goal in a 2 – 0 victory when the stewards dragged us all onto the pitch to celebrate our promotion on a cold mid week night and had my T Shirt signed by David Ginola when I have travelled miles just to watch them train. I would gladly trade ALL of those experiences if I could help get Ashley out of my club. BUT, I am simply saying he will not sell if we get relegated, he would lose too much money.

          Search for my other posts on the Mag, I have offered my opinion as to how to get rid of him, and believe me, I DO NOT SUPPORT ASHLEY!

          • Billmag

            But how long would he subsidise the club if we didn’t go up at the first time of asking.

          • mactoon

            Parachute payments would achieve a lot

          • Kris Marshall

            Nowhere near enough to get to the end of year two in the championship. He would take the parachute payments out of the club in Y2 anyway.

      • Kris Marshall

        Hi again Mactoon.

        Relegation will put such financial pressure on him that, not only will the loans not get repaid, but he will have financial obligations in the form of existing contracts etc that have to be met. Just think of Aarons, Manquillo and the like who are on whipping contracts until 2021 /2022.

        The second year after relegation the cost of running the club will be c35m greater than the income and no bank will fund lending based those figures. He will have to channel money from elsewhere or declare the club bankrupt / go into administration. The fact that he is taking money out of the club now suggests that he would go down the latter of those roads. Maybe he is already preparing by taking another £23m out now.

        At that point the club sale would be handled by administrators such as KPMG / Deloitte and they would negotiate a sale of the club based on the financial reality of where it is.

        If we stay up we simply extend his tenure as he will keep taking money out while he can. If we go down and stay down for more than a season then we will get rid of him.

        The only risk is that he leaves the club in such a perilous financial position that we are almost unsellable. That would be no surprise to any of us and just about bang on expectation when it comes to this poor excuse for a human being.

        • mactoon

          Hi Kris.

          The way I see it is this. Ashley’s response if relegated will be the same as the last time. Big names like Wijnaldum, Janmaat and Sissoko were sold and these sales made money and lowered the wage bill. Rafa then got over £50 million and bought players who were suited to the Championship like Clark, Gayle, Diame, Yedlin and so on.

          If we are relegated I have no doubt he will do the same, he simply can’t afford not to. The parachute payment for year 1 (£40m in year 1, £35m in year 2 and £15m in year 3) together with sales of Lascelles, Shelvey, Dubravka and others will lower the wage bill and give him enough to construct a team capable of getting us out. We will also have Gayle back who is proven in the Championship. (Most of the current players have played in the Championship anyway)

          He has spent a lot of money in order to buy and keep the club running, he will not want to sell it at a loss. By investing in players (using money he is given in parachute payments and player sales) it will give him the chance to get back to the Premiership. He has done this twice before and history dictates he will do this again. It won’t even enter his mind that he will be in the Championship for more than one season, or relegated two seasons in a row, he just doesn’t plan ahead that far.

          I’m not saying it will work, I’m simply saying that’s what he would do. I hope I’m wrong.

  • wheyayeman

    Agreed it’s time for all of us to step back and watch Ashleys dream unraveling for a change. It’s hard but you simply have to detach yourself and remove yourself. He is forever playing a game of cat and mouse in aiming for the cheapest / least invested in club at every level whilst aiming for the ‘achievement’ of premier league survival. He is also playing a permanent game of the club sale. He wants an offer which would reflect our value if we weren’t a yo yo, unprofessionally run, threadbare disjointed mess of a joke which is doomed to permanently battle with relegation or strive for promotion. If we have a miracle season he wants crazy money and if the season turns sour he can’t accept less of an offer. If we get relegated he waits until we have a miracle season again. The only hope is if that cycle of relegation, promotion is broken and I have a strong feeling he is going to be out of luck this time, I reckon we will be relegated, Rafa may even mischievously see to it and I would actually be happy if he did after the lies, isolation and [email protected] hes been through! After this I hope enough of the sheeple have been sufficiently disaffected to leave or not renew in their droves and Ashley fails to get a good manager again for promotion. Then it all starts to unravel from there. Sounds like a maddening situation but as soon as his cash cow gets sick and expensive he will quickly see the light! Ashley Out!

  • AhDivvinNahNootMe

    Brilliantly said. I completely agree even if 50,000 others cant survive without low grade instant gratification instead. I don’t know what it will take for them to understand the difference between supporting the team and supporting the club. It’s almost like domestic violence, as if it’s easier to defend their abuser than admit there relationship is a lie. That’s fine, but the rest of the family are suffering too whilst they continue to delude themselves.

    • porciestreet

      The domestic violence analogy is brilliant and encapsulates perfectly everything that is so wrong with the Ashley situation

    • Kris Marshall

      When I stood in that 12k crowd in 1991 I looked around and wondered why I was one of 12k idiots watching absolute garbage. Now I am watching from home wondering why there are 52k doing the same almost 30 years later. At least in 1991 it was only £3 for me to get in :-)

  • Martin

    I seem to have a memory of Brighton at that game in 1991 wearing blue and white striped shorts as well as their tops. Very odd.

  • KennySamsung

    I would willingly die for my club but I would never let my club die for me. However Ashley is willing to allow this club to die then jump ship just before the last penny roles out the door. This is just the beginning for Ashley, relegation if it happens will be the end of the beginning. Someone needs to lead this, someone that we ALL follow. UNITED is just a word, one day it may get rid of Ashley, only then will we be able to witness the beginning of the end, but hopefully not for the club.

  • BigHairyDog

    The club is dying a slow death and it’s down purely to Mike Ashley, you have a manager struggling to perform miracles season after season. The club dies and Ashley loses EVERY penny he put in, he can forget getting his loans back.

  • Arty Hume

    Great post and more or less what I have been saying for years. We as supporters should be prepared to take the club down to get rid of the parasite who mocks us all. Sunderland are a classic example of how it is done as much as I hate to say it, but making him have to sell club for only £1 would be worth seeing and better th an the football he has served up for over a decade. I love the club but hate him more!

    • Kris Marshall

      Thanks Arty, and I realise that I am echoing a lot of the excellent points that have been made here throughout the Ashley administration.

      We all know that when we have a tinge of envy towards the Mackems in League 1 that it is time for a change, don’t we?

      The average crowd at the Stadium of ***** the season they went down was 34k I believe. That had an impact and a similar effort from our fans would also have an impact. It is time to force change and 52k turning up every week is not going to achieve a positive outcome.

  • Down Under Mag

    Ashley has stripped the life-blood from the club and when he does leave it will be an empty shell of what it used to be, perhaps never to recover. There is no hope, no dreams, no heroes. Ashley has torn the soul out and replaced it with his brand of tat for maximum self profit and the club is slowly dying. As you say, perhaps it is time to pull the plug. I think we will go down and he will firmly believe that he can get us back up at the first attempt again…he literally has no clue how lucky he has been to see us bounce straight back.

    I suspect the only way he will leave is when the club is no longer financially viable and that involves dropping down a division for a while, maybe even doing a Mackem trick and dropping down to the 1st division. The only thing I can see being the problem though is Ashley will no doubt try and wangle in some agreements for the sale to offset his losses and/or debt and that will hamstring the club for decades to come.

  • Jonas

    I agree.
    though I’d hate the ignomony of playing in the third tier for the first time

    I hope the end game has begun. Rafa leaving and relegation at least, I hope, 20k extra fans boycotting. No fans, managers or players kidded that’s there’s anything but a scam going on here. The clubs value will drop to £150million tops. No assets – so he’ll have to spend money (which will kill him) to get the value up –

    When it stops being beneficial to him (financially) that’s when he’ll look to sell, unfortunately it will be worth a third of what he’d sell it for now, so its not sure he’d sell – but £100m in is better than £100m out on a busted flush of a project.

    can the city take the name NUFC from him?

    • mactoon

      No as I understand it, it’s owned by the club which is owned by Ashley