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Letters to The Mag – Mike Ashley forces out Rafa Benitez and Newcastle United fans react

2 years ago

It has been quite a week, Mike Ashley finally completing the job of forcing Rafa Benitez out of St James Park.

Monday’s club/Ashley statement confirming there will be no contract extension beyond Sunday 30 June 2019.

Not surprisingly, there has been ‘some’ reaction from Newcastle fans.

Our thanks to everybody who has taken the time to express themselves via The Mag.

It is now 31 years since The Mag came into being.

Newcastle United back in 1988 were in crisis/chaos as Paul Gascoigne had followed Chris Waddle and Peter Beardsley out of the door, due to the club’s lack of ambition.

Issue 1 – August 1988


The Mag was the first publication to give Newcastle fans the chance to express themselves.

It is 2019 and it feels very much like another world, apart from of course the fact that 31 years on and talented individuals are still leaving Newcastle United due to a lack of ambition…

Not everybody wants to write a long/full article, so we have put together a number of so far unpublished contributions we have received this week, enjoy them below.

We are looking to make this (a ‘letters page’) a regular thing so if you have anything at all to say about Newcastle United, please send it along, long or short, and it will be considered for publication as either an article or letter (Please send to [email protected]).

Letters to The Mag:

I recall Gordon McKeag predicting the current situation after John Hall took control of NUFC.

McKeag said something along the lines of ‘It is not John Hall the fans should be worried about, it is whoever buys the club after Hall has moved on’…

Now, in the present circumstances, has anyone asked John Hall what he thinks of his deal with Ashley? It would be interesting to hear his views.

If I remember rightly, and I am willing to stand corrected if I am wrong, John Hall said on TV after selling to Ashley that the club would be in good hands.

As for Ashley, the best I can say is that he is a failure. And please don’t point to his shops as evidence of his business acumen. Shopkeepers are not ‘businessmen’ they are traders or dealers, nothing more than that.

Can I remind the fans and all football club owners that one of the most successful clubs in Europe is Bayern Munich and they are owned by their supporters.

In fact every German club is, by law, 50% plus one share minimum owned by supporters. No single individual will ever fully control a German club, he could always be outvoted by the 50% plus one share.

John Douglas


Why was the best manager to happen to Newcastle United for decades allowed to leave without any effort to try and keep him?

Why was he offered a derisory transfer budget when Steve McClaren, who caused our last relegations, given £80 million pound? Think of what Rafa could have done?

Why were the negotiations allowed to last this long and why was no concerted effort made to keep him when there was clear evidence he was doing a fantastic job?

Gary Jackaman

I just hope all the Newcastle fans boycott all home games, because that is the only thing Ashley will listen to.

Empty stadium would be very bad PR for him.

Paul Garrod


This so called owner is running NUFC as a cash cow to line his own pockets. No interest in progressing our club at all and just happy to reap the profits to subsidise his other interests.

He is also a proven liar as shown by previous courts/tribunals.

He is just a tenant of our club, it belongs to the supporters and the city of Newcastle.

Ashley should be investigated by the FA and governing bodies of football about the way his ownership is not for the benifit of Newcastle and the supporters but just total greed.

This bloke is so thick skinned and does not give a sh…

Only people that will drive him out of our club are the football authorities, for unscrupulous ownership.

Dennis Tate


Wouldn’t be surprised if it wasn’t all sorted, with new owners to let Benitez go and bring in Mourinho.

Alan Bates

So what has really annoyed me over the last week?

Is it the fat parasitic disease that is slowly sucking the life out of our magnificent club, yes obviously.However; the main reason for writing this article is to “call-out” is the lack of pressure being placed on this depot regime by our local media in particular the Evening Chronicle.

In short, (John Gibson aside) they are not standing shoulder to shoulder with their readership and expressing their total disgust/ disbelief at the way this man-made plague has blighted our city. What is going to take for the editorial content to reflect the mood of the city they serve? If I did not know, better I could conclude that our famous local paper is also pandering to the fat man’s whims worried about being banished from the ground, or possibly loosing “group” advertising revenues.

Where is the Chronicle’s wholehearted support for the Magpie Group or NUST? Both have admirable qualities and great people however, they simply do not have the reach or influence to wipe the smug grin off Ashley’s face. It is simply not enough to offer up minor column inches to report the various activities of these hard working and passionate people.

I for one am not in the least bit interested in reading or talking about transfers in/out or who the next manager might be. Surely, the Newcastle Evening Chronicle’s job now is to lead a loud concerted campaign to stand up to the injustice that is Mike Ashley.

Come on the Chronicle, stop sitting on the fence and stand up for the people who pay your wages.

Alan Wilson


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