St James Park flag displays suspended until Mike Ashley sells Newcastle United
On Wednesday it has been revealed that there will be no more pre-match flag displays until Mike Ashley has exited St James Park.
The flags had grown ever bigger and better throughout the season, with the finale being the final game when a flag covering the entire Gallowgate End was unveiled before the Liverpool match.
However, they are now cancelled until further notice.
The organisers and fundraisers, Wor Flags, have said that (see below) they felt it would be wrong to carry on with the flag displays after Mike Ashley has forced Rafa Benitez out of Newcastle United.
They say that whilst the group are split in terms of still going to games, they are united in deciding that no longer will Mike Ashley and the club benefit from the pre-match displays, images of which the club are always keen to use.
With many Newcastle fans having indicated that enough is enough.
If nothing dramatic happens in the near future in terms of a takeover going ahead, we are set to have a very visual image of Ashley’s actions affecting the club and fanbase.
Instead of a packed Gallowgate and impressive flag displays, it will be empty seats and not a flag to be seen, not even at half mast.
The Chronicle report:
Asked what it would take for the displays to return, a spokesman Wor Flags said:
“Ashley has to go.
“There are people in the group who are cancelling their tickets until Mike Ashley leaves this football club – so it would be fair to say that [the hiatus] is until Mike Ashley goes.
“It’s gone on too long and we can’t keep pretending that everything’s okay.
“We know the club like to use the images of the displays that we do but it just seems like we’re going along on a ride that says ‘Everything is okay’, but we just don’t feel we can do that anymore.
“While Mike Ashley is there we just don’t feel it is right to pretend everything is okay.
“We wanted Rafa to be the man to build this team, so we were always more than happy to back his word, support the team and do the displays.
“We fed off his positivity, and now he is gone, it’s difficult for the entire fan base to take. It’s a joke of a decision.
“Certain members will continue to go to games but we all agreed that we couldn’t continue with the displays; the want to do so is just not there. The enthusiasm just isn’t there anymore because it feels fake.
“As a group we’re not going anywhere, we will come back when Mike Ashley is gone. The flags will return, the big one you saw against Liverpool? That will be used again.
“He won’t be here forever but it’s hard because we have spent all that money, put in all that effort and fans have donated, and it is a difficult decision to take.
“But this doesn’t feel right – we have members of the group who are cancelling their season tickets, one of them after 43 years.
“It’s not something we’ve decided to take lightly, it’s hitting people quite hard that we seem to be going through another episode with Mike Ashley as owner.
“It feels like we’re trying to force something – to the club, and to the players – but it’s just not right.
“We’re still going to back the team but we just don’t feel that we can put on displays which portrays everything is okay.
“But the issue is that the fans wishes are constantly be ignored, and the fans wishes were quite clear – Rafa Benitez was to remain as manager. They’ve just let him walk, it is devastating.”
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