Another mad week at Newcastle United which included winning an actual football match.

We all saw Lascelles’ comments about Mike Ashley and his advice for any fans thinking of protesting against the owner. When I first saw the comments I was astounded. Quite literally.

Straight away I was ready to fire away with an article, but I thought I would take a day or two to gauge the reaction of other fans, local media etc.

That was probably a good thing…because if I had written something on Thursday afternoon, given how angry I was with his comments, I probably would have written something naive along the lines of ‘sell out’ – In retrospect, that would be an overreaction, but my admiration for our captain has probably decreased.

Jamaal Lascelles was used as a tool for Keith Bishop’s PR comedy road show. Except in this instance, given the positive reception from some fans to his new contract and the lack of local media response to Lascelles’ comments, it would appear Keith Bishop has won this latest battle.

Everyone is talking about Jamaal Lascelles and fighting between ourselves when all attention should be diverted towards Mike Ashley. The problem is that most fans, and the local media, have no intention of directing their anger towards Mike Ashley. In fact, given that 50,000 turn up at SJP every week, I would hazard a guess to say that a lot of them aren’t even angry at all with Mike Ashley.

I seem to remember an NUFC related statement a while ago in which Rafa and Lascelles signed a letter along with Charnley calling on everyone to pull together. Coloccini came out with a similar statement too when he was captain.

What really annoys me about this, and it also annoys me when the manager and captain come out with “no negativity” and “we need the fans to support us”, is that we always do. We always turn up every week, we always sell out away games in our thousands. The rallying calls to fans make no sense.

It is take take take with Newcastle United and to be frank, I am sick of it. There is no such thing as pulling in the same direction. It’s either Mike Ashley, or Newcastle United.

Funny how Lascelles, the captain of the club for two and a half years now, has only just met the owner?

Doesn’t make much sense to me.

I feel for Lascelles as he has now come across as putting himself in a position in which he was more than happy to stand up for his teammates (in bonus row for second summer in a row) earlier in the summer but not the fans. Perhaps it suggests that the players are willing to stand up to Mike Ashley but only when it is in their financial interests.

If the truth be known, any Newcastle player getting a new contract shouldn’t be thanking Mike Ashley, it is the fans who will be paying their wages. As everyone knows, Mike Ashley doesn’t put any money into the club. The club is running to make ends meet.

That means all of the money that goes on transfer fees or wages are made by what the club makes. The majority of what the club makes comes from the fans and the Premier League. So a message to all the players, especially the captain, you have the fans to thank far more for your ‘new contract’ than you do Mike Ashley.

What I will say though, is that this is much much bigger than Rafa Benitez or Jamaal Lascelles, and I think they need to understand that.

The most important thing at every club is the fans, and the club itself. Without the fans there is no football. There is no club, and there is no team. Football without fans is nothing.

It is just a shame that the vast majority of Newcastle fans are the most gullible in the country. Or is it just the hope of success that makes us that way? I am astounded that Lascelles signing a new contract (again it’s not a new contract, you are an idiot if you think so), or talk Rafa will sign a deal, is actually appeasing some fans. I have said it before but where on earth have you been for the past 11 years? Genuinely. Wake up and smell the coffee.

Alas, my opinion on this whole Lascelles debacle is that the captain, the manager, the local media, the majority of fans who turn up at SJP every week and sit there in silence, only opening their mouths to slag off the players or the referee… all of them have stuck up two fingers (in some cases quite literally) to those fans that are trying to make a positive difference to the club they love.

When Mike Ashley does leave the club for whatever reason one day, and this terrible era at NUFC comes to an end… how will you be remembered?

I will not criticise one person for going to the Wolves game, it is your money, your team, your prerogative. What I would ask is, what are you doing to combat Mike Ashley?

Will you be remembered as being a part of a group fans who actively tried to change the club for the better?

Who took a stand because of their love for the club and the city, or will you be remembered as going along with the actions of an owner who had such disdain for the city of Newcastle, as someone who did nothing but sit idly by and do nothing as our club drifted away into footballing irrelevance.

One thing is for sure now though, those fans that are going to the Wolves game with the motto “support the team, not the regime”… you are now very much supporting the team AND the regime.

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  • Paul Patterson

    Lascelles’ contract was a token gesture. A PR stunt. One of many to deflect from protests. A bit like the Peter Kenyon affair to deflect from KK’s book launch. There will be others in the coming weeks. All you need is decent timing and a good story and is doesn’t have to be real.
    It’s an old trick often used in politics. I seem to remember a government press officer using it to great effect, once saying that ‘It’s now a very good day to get out anything we want to bury.’
    The day? 11th September 2001
    Newcastle United are run on the same sort of PR advice.

    • Themoscow72

      Lascelles got an extra year and a lot more money. Let’s hope the protesters do not drive him and the great Perez away a disgrace they are.

      • Danimal

        I wouldn’t call them a disgrace, both decent players on their day.

        • Themoscow72

          The protesters not the players a disgrace.

          • Wezza

            What is a disgrace is trolling here on weekdays posting provoking drivel and loving the reaction you get. What is a disgrace is supporting Ashley and making up lies and regurgitating the clubs PR via KBA.
            In short it is you that is the disgrace, but you already knew that.

          • panther

            Hope you die soon

      • East Durham Mag

        They disgrace is people like you kissing Fattys @rse.

      • panther

        Lascelles has planted his flag, it’s not on our side, he can go tonight for me

    • Steven05

      Ashley is a decent human being as the ‘official theroy’ of 911 is of being plausible

    • Hughie_Gallacher

      Yes, it’s not as if Fat Boy is going to wander down Northumberland Street kissing babies to elevate his PR image. But talk of the club being sold, new contracts, and clandestine meetings seems to get the attention of the local hacks every time.
      Incidentally, does anyone know how to block someone whose username is greyed out, or do they enjoy ‘official troll’ status on the Mag?

      • Peaky

        Don’t think you can block them…it’s a tool they use….Leazes will be able to confirm…..I like what you say mind you “official troll”….👍👍

      • Cockneytrev

        “Official Troll”
        Very good,,,👏👏👏👏

  • t00nraider

    Booing players who come on and score a winning goal or boycotting is not my idea of support. Ashley had to pay for wreckless spending from Shepherd and Hall and paying for making very unwise decisions. He now has a decent manager, enough money coming in to both invest and repay himself. With loyal support we can start our climb up the league with stability.

    • Kenny

      what a load of utter bollix, we now have 3 times the debt & a squad not fit for the premiership and to call Rafa who is a World Class manager decent just shows what an idiot you are.

    • JohnnyH

      Do you get paid to post on this site?

    • Cockneytrev

      Ballocks!!!!

  • Themoscow72

    Many points here. First of all thanks to Lascelles and Jane Clark’s article on here the atmosphere was a million times better on Saturday. The flag display and the passion of the supporters especially in the second half helped win us the game. So Lascelles I cannot thank you enough and you have earned your extra £20k a week. I will start with a quote from Freddie Shepherd in 2006 after a defeat against Southampton. ” I don’t get upset by the protesters. I will not walk out the business. We have the weather and we are three hundred miles from London.
    In short the protests had started before Asley came and it is because Mike put in £100m on arrival and later more that we were able to offer Lascelles and other players bumper contracts so when he leaves I will be grateful. Look at how many years Boro and now Sunderland are going to be outside the Premiership a lot.
    You mention Wolves well I bought an extra three tickets yesterday so that’s nine in total and I hope to buy more. In the Three Bulls on Saturday and at the match must have asked over hundred people if they are going and all said yes they were.
    Yes they are the die hard supporters but mark my words the Wolves attendance will hit 50,000 for a vital game which could keep us up. Rafa and Lascelles have asked for your support and they got it on Saturday let’s hope their wise words are taken on board on Sunday December 9th. Only 3,303 seats left so get yours now.

    • Kenny

      See your pics on the dart board in the Monkseaton Arms

      • drc74

        100 people, that mustve been a biggl fxckin lift

    • JohnnyH

      Monk, do you get paid to post on this site?

      • Rabid Dog

        He just posts in a style to provoke. I’ve repeatedly asked why he bothers responding at all, given the reactions he gets, but it is clearly seeking attention. Since he supposed to be a grown man, it’s really quite sad. Referring to “the great Perez” is an example below as well.

        • Themoscow72

          Not counting the goals he scored in say three nil wins his decisive goals got us thirteen points last season and kept us up. He would be the first name in mine and my sons team sheet that is for sure. When he becomes Newcastle’s second top Premiership scorer ever then you will see I am right and then you might agree with me.

          • Rabid Dog

            I like him on his day but great he is not. He’s a confidence player and lacks creativity to make his own chances when thing do not go his way. On that alone he is bang average.

            It wasnt at all surprising he popped up at the weekend after being benched for that exact reason. The reaction in his celebration was petulant and show no class.

      • Kev Newcastle England

        Why you changed your name Monk T wat?

      • panther

        Either that or he’s one of those mental mackems who just can’t help themselves, they’re all over every Newcastle article on every paper

    • Wezza

      Oh pipe down troll. You’re insane.
      In the 3 Bulls, first you said you asked fifty, then sixty, now a hundred. You cant ben get your lies right!
      Really. I bet you cannot fathom why you are called a troll.

      • Themoscow72

        The fifty or so were in the Three Bulls the others on the streets or in other bars. No I am not a troll just know my stuff.

        • Wezza

          You’re insane, you can’t change your story when you messed up. Fifty, sixty, hundred all in the 3 bulls you said. Whatever. You really need to get a life.

    • David2211

      We didn’t lose to Southampton in 2006. We beat them 1-0 in the FA Cup.

  • Kenny

    Lascelles was behind the 8 ball when the question was asked,
    what do you think of Mike Ashley, he has been slaughtered for his answer but it is best put to bed & let bygones be bygones.
    his is Capt of Newcastle and he is fully committed to the team, the City & the fans let`s not spoilt it

    • panther

      Doesn’t sound like it, sounds like a deals been done on one side till Ashley pulls the rug on whatever they had planned

  • mactoon

    Something to bear in mind is that he was asked what he thought of Ashley when he met him at the restaurant and he said he was a nice guy. That comment bears no correlation to how he thinks Ashley has run the club since he bought it but the two have been linked together. He did say he understands the fans frustrations and understands the situation behind the Wolves boycott but that has been swept to one side. His main statement is that the fans support in the ground makes a difference.

    It would have been better if he just didn’t answer any questions about it and just said he was focusing on his football.

  • Peaky

    Is that fella on the right of Ashley up top saying….”my God The Geordies are right…he IS a fattwat”…..

    • Rich Lawson

      Probably more worried about the f#####g and gurgling sounds from the pre match drink ?

  • Toon

    God get over it, dry the eyes and get on with your life. If you are that bothered then cancel your season ticket, although as Mag writer that would make you the odd one out as you are all in Ashley’s pockets

    • panther

      Did it 11 years ago

  • phildene

    A good articles do well written. The truth hurts some fans who continue to support Ashley when still going to the home games. They seriously need to wake up and smell the coffee! If you still continue to go, don’t complain afterwards about the players/Rafa or the match.

  • Kneebotherm8

    No more players’ contract wrangles……..Lascelles has got a hot line to Mike to sort out those in future….

  • Leazes.

    Well said Jonathon….. Its a heck of a fight when Ryder is coming out with his rally round the club stuff and playing the loyalty Card for Ashley….

    …. We have to expect it though, they are what they are! Journalists and fans of other clubs who have helped keep this owner here! Like the Islington based ‘snack media’ sites (This is futbol, transfer tavern HITC etc) a game of tormenting United fans with low expectation as if the asset strip hasn’t been enough, they are now trying to finish the job.

    …. The fans themselves have to do it because the club can’t exist any lower than this, and a lot of fans will pack up and go at the end of this pitiful campaign and Ryder will still blame someone else…. because he’s Ryder!

    Its Our club we are the custodians because the owner and the press have abdicated that responsibility!

  • kingfisher

    Excellent article Jonathan.The 50,000 come out with various excuses for attending.At the end of the day they don’t give a **** about Newcastle United.

    • Leazes.

      How many are from Newcastle? John Hall said he was surprised by where the fans came from when he looked at the membership lists.

      Is that a contributing reason?…. less than 25,000 actually are from Newcastle. And far from Newcastle being a football mad City its really the host to a regional club.

      ….The gates are quite poor but boosted by matchday experience trippers. meanwhile Ryder thinks they are the same 50k attending as attended 11 years ago…

      • Kenny

        Right again, Newcastle have a large catchment area, plenty travel down from the Borders

        • Leazes.

          ….and up from the borders with Yorkshire. That may be the problem here….

          …..John Hall did want to turn it into a Geordie Nation club….isn’t this why he did it?

          How many contributors on here are from the City of Newcastle?

          • Wor Lass

            One or two on here are bordering on the ridiculous.

          • Leazes.

            I’m talking about posters here as well as contributors as a bit of a straw poll…..

          • Peaky

            South West of Sheffield in The Peak District now……..born and raised in the NE.

          • Leazes.

            Where?

          • Peaky

            Born in Consett…lived in Stanley as went to Tanfield Grammar School…..lived in Chester Le Street then Durham before moving away.

          • kingfisher

            I was born in Newcastle General Hospital in 1953, lived in Fenham then Benwell until I was 18 ,then moved to Whitley Bay !

          • Ashley-out

            a stones throw from Monkseaton

          • kingfisher

            Sadly yes, 😁

          • Leazes.

            Seen the world then.

          • Themoscow72

            You will know the Monkseaton Arms and the Black Horse then a hot bed of Newcastle fans.

          • panther

            Born in the general, newbiggin Hall

          • Ram Kishore

            What is Leazes banging on about Wor lass?

          • Wor Lass

            Not entirely sure, Ram – “Comme d`hab” as the French would say!

          • Kenny

            I am, we have an invasion from France & Peaky moves around a bit, god knows where Jezza is & quite a few others

          • Leazes.

            Jezza has to pass the Stadium of Light to get here, but there may be a reason.

          • Gallowgate Dave

            I’m from Gateshead but have lived, worked and went to university in Newcastle, my two sons were born in the RVI and almost all of my socialising is done in Newcastle. I live closer to SJP than most people who live north of the river. Does that make me less of a fan? Maybe it does in some eyes but I’m not too bothered, it’s all a bit playground stuff isn’t it? Granted i’m not sure I get people from this country who have no connection to a place or no family connection supporting a club that has nowt to do with them and choose a club based on the silverware they win or colour of its strip but do you have to be from the city centre to support a club? People across the conurbation form all sorts of connections with Newcastle that make them feel an affinity with the club.

          • Leazes.

            Ah well….Gateshead is really Newcastle South tis a quirk of history concerning the Bishop of Durham that it didn’t become just that….

          • panther

            Interesting point

      • Kev Newcastle England

        Same 50,000 as 11 years ago??? No way,at keast 20,000 of us have left

        • Leazes.

          Yup I know….. I did….. but took in the odd game and was conned by the phantom Rafalution and returned

      • kingfisher

        Spot on Leazes !

      • JohnnyH

        When I stopped going there were more foreign students and tourists around where I sat in the East Stand, who were obviously there just for the ‘ match day experience ‘
        As these numbers grow , the spine of the support has got to suffer.

        • Leazes.

          Newcastle has a huge student population…. it amazes me that when the local tv companies want to interview fans they set up a pitch on Strawberry Place where you will more than not find fans of clubs outside of the city because its Studentville….

          ….There are more Man City fans there than any other club apart from Newcastle according to a twitter survey map.

          • JohnnyH

            The club used to offload unsold tickets to the students union for a tenner to fill the seats. That was four years ago, god knows what they’re doing now to get arses on seats.

          • Leazes.

            Did they, I know that Sodexo utilises them as match day staff, hardly surprising that student who come here do get a connection like Gabby Logan for instance.

            I wonder if that’s what they are doing to fill seats…..Sunlan used every ploy in the book to fill their ground.

      • Rich Lawson

        Time for a graph perhaps ?

  • X2

    Well said. “Support the team”?? There is no NUFC team as any normal football supporter would think of one – a proper team represents a club which is tied to heritage, families, the region, future generations. That’s all gone. Stripped out. It’s like looking at plastic footballers and all against the tawdry backdrop of ugly exploitative Sports Direct tat shop ads. And don’t mention Wonga. I’m not giving up though,I do my bit by not going to games or buying any NUFC merchandise or other Ashley tat.

    • Wezza

      Spot on!

    • I disagree. The players give 100% for the shirt, the fans and for the Gaffer. I love this team, just wish there was a bit more quality and leadership in them, but that’s what you get with very young teams in terms of average age.

  • Wor Lass

    A well written piece, as ever, Jonathan. I agree with what you say say but I also think it`s best to let this whole thing go about Lascelles. As Kenny says, he was sandbagged by the PR machine. It`s been a long time since we`ve had a player as committed to the manager and club as he is and who “gets” the fans. Yes, he said something that was ill-advised and which he obviously regrets but it was out of naiivity rather than cunning or malice. He just answered a question honestly and without thinking through every nuance of his answer. He`s not a UN negotiator, he`s a young man who plays football and does his level best every time to get it right for us.

  • panther

    He’s struck a deal with this monster so he can go

  • What BS article. Ashley didn’t go to any matches or the grounds for the last 2 years. You think he like keeps tabs with Players via Whatsapp or something?