On Saturday, the London Magpie Group demonstrated against Mike Ashley on the streets of the capital.

Newcastle fans living down south coming together to protest against Ashley’s ongoing ownership of the football club.

The NUFC supporters spreading the message outside Sport Direct and Flannels on Oxford Street, the offices of KBA (Keith Bishop Associates), Agent Provocateur and Lilywhites.

Handing out thousands of leaflets informing the general public about Mike Ashley and explaining why Newcastle fans have been pushed into these measures.

One of the Newcastle fans involved, Jim Carlsberg, has given us this overview of how Saturday went…

All with Smiling Faces.

It’s a line that’s practically part of our genetic code growing up isn’t it?

You likely heard it at your first match and a thousand times since.

The most recent version for me was heard somewhere very different – echoing off the tube tunnels of Oxford Street and the tight-knit streets of Soho, a far cry from St. James Park.

It felt great. I’d met people three weeks ago I never knew existed, or had only ever spoken to online. To put names to their faces was fantastic – earnest smiles and firm handshakes, new people to laugh and share stories with. No doubt we’ll be meeting again soon to watch a match together or talk about next steps. The London Magpie group had made its first visible step into the wider public arena.

And so, it was all the more disappointing when the news came through that The Magpie Group protest at Shirebrook, which was planned to coincide with the demo at Oxford Street, was off. Suddenly the debate was focused not on the ultimate enemy, but the group’s intentions, its sincerity and its resolve. I’m still none the wiser what truly went on (with the Shirebrook cancellation).

mike ashley

Let’s take a breath and a step back.

Our esteemed North Eastern neighbours were typically quick to criticise. What was more disturbing though was the level of abuse and vitriol aimed at the group in the wake of its errors from fellow Newcastle fans. Make no mistake, from a lone fan point of view and someone deeply invested in the anti-Ashley movement, that was a blow. There were a small group of committed volunteers who were more local and who turned up to meet the intended protest (people set to travel from the north east) off their own backs in Derbyshire and it was regrettable their efforts seemed in vain. Their time is a valuable commodity.

Second breath.

The scale of the protests was hugely ambitious. Two protests coinciding in different cities and with limited resources, ensuring attendance was always a big ask. These were intended to happen on the same day with the same message, at the heart of Mike Ashley’s empire and at one of the busiest commercial streets in the world before Christmas at the very front of his flagship store. People should recognise that and in light of mistakes made, people cannot claim a lack of fresh ideas or ambition, it’s certainly more than ‘shouting at a shop’ as some have characterised it.

More disappointing was the agreement and aggression following this sentiment expressed by our own fans. I get it – people have issues with these methods for their own reasons and there have been mixed messages from those in support of them. However, what shouldn’t be tolerated is the level of character assassination of those people I met, who include teachers, construction workers and office clerks, who did nothing more than stand up for something they believed in and despite the usual narrative, had a good time doing it. There was even a poet who helped make something potentially dour, an uplifting experience.

The London protest on Saturday was empowering. Not to the extent where I could delude myself into believing it would be enough to force Ashley out on its own and the lack of a Shirebrook equivalent blunted it slightly, but it was full of new friends, fresh ideas and a mixing of generations expressing both anger and enthusiasm in a bizarrely wonderful mix.

In the end it boils down to the fact that on Saturday, a group of strangers got together, from different walks of life, united in common purpose and standing together as people, not avatars, all with smiling faces.

mike ashley

Poet Mark Coverdale poet with ‘A question for Mike Ashley’ (which was spoken by Mark outside the KBA (Keith Bishop Associates) offices on Saturday):

Is your jacket quilted?

Your bog roll,

The same pattern?

While your Sports Direct derrière

Does prepare,

On the golden throne

You’re sat on?

mike ashley

Pants by ankles, hoping

The golden retriever,

Doesn’t leave you,

Jilted on the John.

After you wipe your arse

With our season tickets,

Just remember who

You’ve shat on.

Find out more on our website www.londonmagpiegroup.co.uk and follow us on Twitter @LondonMagpies

To feature like Jim Carlsberg submit your article to [email protected] and/or for more info go here

  • Loco

    Well done to all the lads & lasses,keep up the pressure.

  • mentalman

    Any update on the other protest which was planned for saturday

  • Carverlier football

    Well done, keep it up!

  • Leazes.

    Good stuff lads!……

  • JohnCornwell’sHair

    Anyone giving them any stick whatsoever is bang out of order.
    Well done all involved.

  • Wor Lass

    Like the poem! Well done to all involved it just helps to keep the thing alive.

    • Toontaff

      I don’t get poetry that does not rhyme!

      • Leazes.

        Go to an Eisteddfod.

        • Wor Lass

          To be fair, it`s hard to get a rhyme with, “llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch”.

          • Leazes.

            I went for a swim, twas in a lough….
            A very fair place called llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch

          • Wor Lass

            It rhymes but the meter ….. 10 out of 10 for effort!

          • Wor Lass

            PS I assume this poem was written by an Irish tourist. Llyn just wouldn`t have done the job, I suppose.

      • Wor Lass

        I didn`t until I heard someone read some out.

  • Toontaff

    Even the local shytehouse poet rhymes!
    ‘Shakespeare came to sit and think – I just came to shyte and stink’!
    ‘The painter’s work is all in vain, The shytehouse poet strikes again’!

    • Wor Lass

      Here I sit broken-hearted
      paid a penny and only f*rted!

  • Steve Smith

    The dissenting “fans” need to be ignored and not responded to.

    It’s rather curious these people have popped up almost at the same time as each other in the last 5/6 months, when with previous organised protests against the scapegoats of Pardew etc they were nowhere to be seen.

    I wouldn’t be in the slightest surprised if they were planted agitators.

    • Wor Lass

      One of the less subtle wind-ups I`ve seen on here, Steve.

    • Geordiegiants


  • JohnnyH

    Well done
    We need to ramp it up in Northumberland Street on Saturdays.

    Remember; “All that is needed for evil to triumph is that good men do nothing.”

  • Leazes.

    First time anyone has read poetry TO a vogon.

    • JohnnyH

      Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz

  • Chris

    Well done. So many of these online doubters and complainers, do nothing. I wonder how much of their lives shows ambition, rather than complaining and moaning. They seem to enjoy attempts to push down anything they perceive to be lower.
    I applaud anybody taking time to push for positive change. Being a Canadian, I am limited, other than supporting from a far.

    • JohnnyH

      Don’t matter mate, good to know.

  • Leicester Mag

    Anyone been offered a mobile phone every time they open an article on here? Peeing me off!

    • Ram Kishore

      Nope.. Using chrome?

    • Peaky

      Yes and Argos vouchers….doing my head in…

  • Loco

    Any dissent against this vile owner,even one man and his dog shows that this
    parasite isn’t going to get it all his own way,canny poem too.

  • Pezza

    I understand that 20 people turned up, there was the most embarrassing chant about closing the street and a pretty poor urban poet trying some self publicity. Then they tried to join some lefty dole scum group to appear to have numbers

    • Ram Kishore

      Just wondering, why do u have to discredit or suspect over the intentions of this protest?
      For a second I just felt, u had a bit of Leazes in u .😂 JK.

      • Pezza

        Ouch, that hurt. Unlike Leazes’, I stick to the truth.

        I’m against the protest as it’s clearly not going to achieve their stated aim. Its counter productive, more likely to put buyers off. Shiek mansor must be glad he chose City because his record with workers rights makes Ashley look like a philanthropist in the style of Titus Salt (bit of a UK reference) .

        I ask you Ram, you are overseas, does your mates lookk at these guys and think they are sensible?

        • Ram Kishore

          Haha sorry..
          As I told you earlier, I agree the protests won’t get a new owner. But if it leads to other things that I talked about regarding the way club works and engages with fans.

          You are right about the City owner’s worker rights will make Ashley look like a good industrialist. (add your Brit reference).
          Idk whether it’s a coincidence or not. Last night I was reading this opinion piece in Guardian about Saudi crown prince Mohammed Bin Salman, then a comment by someone at Mag struck my mind. Someone posted hoping for Saudi ownership to take over from Ashely.
          Will the Nufc fans who are calling Ashely as liar, especially Leases who keeps insisting on the word
          When a person like Salman comes and buys the club and fills the club with money like what Manchester City owners did.. will all the people who are calling Ashley with all names.. Keep quiet and accept what he’s doing outside of football?

          The last question u asked about my mates. Almost all of them are big 6 supporters. They do know and tell that the protests won’t force Ashley to sell unless a buyer comes, which will be difficult with the protests are going.
          But they were bit surprised about the transfer dealings this summer but also said we bought a good number of PL players and internationals.

  • Wezza

    Good stuff keep up the pressure!

  • Geordiegiants

    No surreneder! No Surrender the the fat bastad.