For me, the tipping point came at the Leicester City game in September – my 50th anniversary year at St James Park – although there was nothing “golden” about Newcastle’s performance that day.

As usual, I had travelled up from London. I grew up half a mile away from SJP and have been living in the capital since 1973, first as a student, then staying on as an economic migrant and also enhancing the gene pool by raising a family there.  Newcastle will, however, always be home for me and I have been a season ticket holder since the 90s, making the 560 mile round-trip journey for our home games.

Enough was enough!

After 11 years of the toxic Mike Ashley regime with a lack of respect being shown to us: no trust, no decency and no hope, combined with broken promises and a lack of investment. I desperately wanted to do more than shout abuse at our owner during a match (great for providing short-term physiological relief to one’s rising anger, however I prefer positive sports psychology during a game to show support to Rafa and our players).

So what was I going to do?

Adopt a BMW approach (not the car but Bitching, Moaning and Whining) or get out and do something?

Then I heard about the London Magpie Group, got in touch and I found my kindred spirits, far away from the Toon, living in the south but still passionately keen to stand up, be counted, play our part and make a difference.

Last Saturday we took to the streets of London to protest.  The definition of a protest is “the act of saying or showing publicly that you object to something” and that was what we were doing.

We know that Mike Ashley is not bothered about us, what he cares about is Sports Direct, so that was our focus last Saturday: spreading the word outside his Oxford Street store to shoppers and passers-by.

In August this year, Sports Direct was named the least reputable retailer in the UK in a survey of consumer attitudes, scoring badly on four measures: workplace, governance, citizenship and leadership.  Our beloved NUFC has been tainted by association with this shameful brand for too long.

On Saturday, far away from the Toon in London there were encouraging levels of interest in our protest – many shoppers stopped to take a leaflet (we had 2,000!) and we engaged people in dialogue to explain the situation and why we are taking a stand.

Each of us will have a personal tipping point with the Ashley regime – what’s yours?

It’s great to be part of the London Magpie Group – good souls with a wide-range of expertise and talent, all keen to play our part to achieve positive change for our wonderful club.  Do get in touch with LMG if you live in the south and have reached your tipping point and want to do something to make a difference!

HTL and KTF: “One day”, as Keegan said, we “will get our club back.”

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

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  • KennySamsung

    My tipping point will be when Ashley doesn’t leave, I give the man until the end of 2019, if he hasn’t vacated the premises by then I’m ofski. I will always have hope though that the magpie will once again rise from the Ashley I mean Ashes.

    • Leazes.

      You should consider it now and when Rafa goes on 31st May…..

      • KennySamsung

        I just can’t see Rafa going and leaving a sicking ship.. hope not anyway!

  • toonterrier

    Well done Jo. Keep up the protests but still cant believe anyone would travel from London and waste money watching second class football. I gave up my ticket over four years ago due to the reign of the fatman and I know I was one of many as most of my mates did the same and wont return until a new owner comes in. Its obvious that fatty doesn’t care what supporters do or say as long as they keep giving him money. Your money, your choice but probably the only people bothered about your protesting outside the shops are the poor underpaid workers who will more than likely be sacked if the money doesn’t come over the counter.

  • Leazes.

    When he treated Keegan the way he did, I heeded his words….. ‘the club will go nowhere with this owner’…… you could see what was coming…..

    …..and every action since has been designed to extract the maximum amount of damage….eleven years on….

    ….,,and keegan now says keep giving him money…..

    Keegan stayed silent, as did Shearer, as did the Chronicle, Lowes and Anderson, Starforth, Brown, and the Nationals too…. they are traitors to the club and its fans.

    Ashley manufactured a debt to hang around the neck of the club, its still there….. its there for a reason…. to hit the club with for the next decade too….

    ….he siphons off advertising and merchandising, and probably the concert and rugby money too….. the 17th most valuable squad is the result, because he has got away with it, unless the ground empties he’ll continue.

    Empty the stadium…..#BoycottWolves.

    • Danimal

      Keegan says keep giving him money?

      • Leazes.

        yes

    • KennySamsung

      Agree with the Keegan stayed silent paragraph..

  • Down Under Mag

    I often get the feeling that many fans view on the possibility of protests is similar to peoples view on voting. It’s the whole thing of “meh, me doing that won’t make a difference”. It does make a difference when the thousands that are thinking that get up and do something. But there is also a massive sense of apathy now set in and fans are left feeling like nothing they do will make a difference because the fans just don’t count any more. That is firmly on the F.A. and Premier League, and a major point of why I think the money handed out by clubs to Scudamore is a total joke!

    What I do begrudge more than anything though are those who criticise those who are making a stand. If you don’t want to then fine – but dont’ have a go at those who want to make a difference, no matter how small. Those who don’t want to participate are fine with me, but they also definitely shouldn’t be rocking up to a match and daring to criticise either. You can’t have it both ways!

    • Danimal

      Meh? FFS.

  • Superdooperhooper

    The tipping point has been and gone ten years ago! We had our chance to be rid of ashley after the keegan debacle but most didn’t take it

  • Jonathan Drape-Comyn

    I’d encourage any away fans to get behind the London Magpie Group at away games in the Capital. Especially Chelsea in January.

    • Leazes.

      They should hire a bus and go to Ashley and Mort’s local the ‘Orange Tree’ in Totteridge, decked in scarves and get drunk…. just a thought for a Christmas outing.

    • Themoscow72

      If I see them at Chelsea will give them a piece of my mind. I like Rafa and Lascelles hate the protesters.

      • Toon Arnie

        You’re only love is Ashley – it’s borderline obsessive. Chelsea is an away game so you won’t be able to see them from your armchair.

  • Kenny

    The protests are welcome and add to the pressure on the Fat Rat but until
    St James Park is empty or nearly so you won`t get rid of him.
    Boycott Wolves, it`s not asking much to miss 1 game

  • Leicester Mag

    My tipping point came when against my better judgement I went 3-4 years ago to see us ‘play’ Leicester under Geordie John. We conceded the first in under 30 seconds despite kicking off, two down in 15 mins. At this point not having strung 2 passes together I walked out. I walked out because what was coming next was a coronary or a criminal record. I lost it. I lost it because I realised that we were awful and moreover it was deliberate. Moscow was in Loughborough last week following Morpeth. They played Loughborough a team I know a bit about. I’ve been there on a number of occasions and what strikes me is the passion of everyone there to make the club a success. Ok you can’t compare an ameteur team run on a part time basis by unqualified people to Loughborough but my point is everyone cares. I’m resigned to exile until Ashley leaves, that said in some way grass roots football is a tonic free from the soulless nature of the PL where money and doing just enough to remain tied to the gravy train

    • Themoscow72

      A chap game up to talk to me last Saturday and he said he was the keepers father. The keeper lives in London and gets a train to Watford every Saturday and his father drives him up to Loughborough every week and back. His wages hardly cover the petrol money or the train fare. A good club but could do with more support as it’s a good standard of football. My next Morpeth game is December 8th against Cleethorpes the day before our biggest game of the season against Wolves.

      • Squintytoonarmy

        Why is wolves the biggest game of the season?

        • Themoscow72

          It will be the day when it is proven that most fans are like me and support the club. Also could be the day we reach mid table. Get your tickets now and support Rafa.

          • Squintytoonarmy

            I’m down in tewkesbury Mosc, only get up now and again. Took my little boy to his first game the other week (Brighton). Everything was soulless. Even the protest was muted, some guy on a megaphone who dressed like Riggs from lethal weapon, a guy on the concourse trying to hang a bedsheet over the wall – he looked like one of those who hang around playgrounds and a lad in a stone island telling all those in the road to stand but moved at the first police request. I’m from the 80s and getting chased down Barrack Rd from horses when protests were proper.

          • Themoscow72

            Yes great days the 80’s but my favourite time was 1974 to 1976 and just a young lad going away to all them cup games which were eventful to say the least. Those days for me will never be beaten and even Keegan’s days did not come close to the two Wembley visits. For some reason the atmosphere for the Watford and Bournemouth games was superb with flags and great signing unlike the rest of the home games.
            Take it your nearest game is Cardiff.

          • Squintytoonarmy

            Cardiff and Wolves. Normally would be Villa and WBA

          • Toon Arnie

            You support Ashley above the club / team. You’re not a proper fan just a puppet for the Fat Clown.

      • Malcolm Fisher

        Why don’t you get your mate Mike to invest?????

      • Toon Arnie

        Senseless rubbish again.

    • Rich Lawson

      Was that the game Vardy needed 1 goal for a record ? I went to that,it was woeful,hadn’t Mcclaren adopted some pass the ball 3 times in your own area before passing upfield nonsense ? Misery,best part of the match was the bloke behind who kept shouting amusing comments about Thauvin playing with his hair.

      • Leicester Mag

        No one at Leicester near end of the season just before we replaced Carve up with Pep McNuggett

  • Leazes.

    This is Ashleys 600th week of ownership….. how much of a tipping point do people need?

    • Ronnie Pickering.

      Fascinating.

      • Leazes.

        Yes and did you know the 31st May next year is 12 years to the day that Ashley took over…. coincidentally its also the day Rafa leaves.

  • Themoscow72

    Notice you came a long in the 1990’s the glory years and gave the late 1970’s and early 1980’s a miss like many others. Leicester scored with their first shot a penalty and were well in the game till then. Notice your group of twenty two included wife’s or passers by and Mike did not sell the club on the Monday such a shame. Why not do something useful and visit some venture capitalists and find a buyer rather than pestering old grannies doing their shopping.

    • Toon Arnie

      Come on Moscow, support the club / team – not Ashley.