It feels strange to say it but I am pleased to say that the home win over Bournemouth will be my last Newcastle United game until at least Chelsea away on the 12 January 2019. An impending trip to Asia awaits me and I will be glad to get away from it all.
This season more than ever, it has been hard supporting Newcastle United.
The owner remains one of the worst football owners in the UK, as well as an immoral business leader.
The future of the manager remains uncertain.
The performances in general on the pitch this season have been abysmal to watch (although I am leaving at a time when performances have picked up).
Our fans are more divided than ever.
The stadium is falling apart.
The academy is a mess, and well, I love Newcastle more than any other city in the world, but I hate the cold! Maybe I have spent too much time in London.
To sum up what it is like supporting Newcastle at the moment, I went into Barluga before the Bournemouth win and one member of our party was told that they couldn’t come in because they were wearing a Newcastle shirt. A Newcastle shirt, in Newcastle, before the Newcastle game!
Another example this week came from the news that Newcastle are one of the clubs to agree to pay £250,000 to Richard Scudamore for quitting his job. There are many a reason to criticise Ashley but the fact that he has given more money to Richard Scudamore than he has (in net spend) to Rafa Benitez this season should boil the blood of every Newcastle fan… although I don’t think it will.
This whole saga represents yet another illustration of the increasing disconnect between regular fans and those who run the game. As if we needed reminding.
What has Scudamore actually done except make more money for the rich at the expense of the poor?
The English football team is yet to benefit with youngsters being forced to go to Germany to get their chance, ticket prices remain a disgrace and issues surrounding TV dates and cancellations have only got worse. For Newcastle fans at the moment, football stinks, from top to bottom.
Likewise, there remains no support from the local news media, especially the Chronicle, who seem intent on remaining neutral on most issues rather than backing the fans. I can only assume that this is to keep in the good books of the club, who provide them with access to Rafa and the players for interview. Lets face it, if it wasn’t for that access, there wouldn’t really be much point in that once great institution existing. I can’t remember the last time anybody in my family bought the paper, nor do I know anyone who still buys it.
Additionally, because of the incompetence of those leading the Magpie Group, the protests against Mike Ashley have derailed significantly. I think if it wasn’t for the success of the London Magpie Group so far, and the team’s poor start to the season, then the group may well be dead and finished. While we must continue to back the group, and back anyone who is against Mike Ashley, I believe that over the coming weeks, new leadership at the top of the Magpie Group is needed.
The Premier League is not the be all and end all that some people like to make out. Having a football club you are proud of though, that is the be all and end all.
I sense that the next few weeks will be massive, not just for the current season but the entire future of the football club. It is make or break in terms of the ongoing protests, it is make or break for the playing squad, and I also suspect it will be make or break for Rafa who will want money to spend in the upcoming window.
Of course I will be watching he Toon games from a Bangkok bar for the next few weeks, you may call me whatever for it but I’m quite happy that I am not going to be around to see it unfold from the front row.
You can follow the author on Twitter @_jonathandc