Maybe the very maddest thing in this very very mad Newcastle United Summer
I would certainly say it helps to be at least a little bit mad if you support Newcastle United.
Certainly if for any bizarre reason you believe you are still going to see a trophy, it is best to have madness on your side as part of a defence mechanism against total meltdown.
In the past I have seen Newcastle fans, hailing from other parts of the country and abroad, described as ‘gloryhunters’ by some.
That is surely a whole extra layer of madness, why on earth would anybody not born into this nonsense, choose to glory hunt a club that has won nothing for 50 years???
I think there is a whole layer of damage being done to our football club, over and above what is consistently talked about on the obvious surface.
As every other club does their best to grow a worldwide audience, Mike Ashley’s NUFC do everything they can to reduce theirs.
If you live on Tyneside then it is pretty much impossible to escape even if you want to, even if you stop going to matches and/or watching on TV, unless you avoid online and never leave the house, it will catch up with you somewhere.
However, if you live in a far flung exotic place, whether Lincoln, London or Laos, if you turn the Newcastle United noise off, who would blame you?
Likewise, when I go and watch my kids at football skills/practice, at one time I would say it would be 80% wearing current/recent NUFC tops, maybe an odd England one, plus a few proper gloryhunting ones – Liverpool, Man Utd etc.
Nowadays you are lucky to see more than one or two Newcastle ones, my kids still wear NUFC tops but they are fakes from China/Thailand – only £13 or so and the same quality as the FCB knocks out for £65. Indeed, at times there are as many Man City ones as NUFC, only a few years ago I had never ever seen a Man City replica shirt up here and indeed I don’t think anywhere outside the north west sold them, even after the Sheikh had bought them their first few trophies.
Anyway, back to my point.
This Summer has been a case of thinking surely this must be as bad as it gets, only for it to get even worse.
We all know the score, from Ashley pushing Rafa out, to Perez sold and not even trying to buy Rondon (or anybody else), then a total pi..take on top of everything else when he put season ticket prices up as well.
However, I don’t even think we have hit rock bottom yet this Summer, I fully expect it to get a whole lot worse.
Truly the maddest thing for me as things stand less than five weeks until the season starts, is that I think that like me, most of you out there don’t even expect us to appoint a proper manager or buy proper players.
Whether you intend to be there or not on 11 August when we take on Arsenal, the ‘norm’ at this club has become so ludicrously bad, I think we are just taking it for granted that Redfearn and Dawson will be in the home dugout, there will have been another significant (potentially massive) Summer profit on transfers in and out, players who Rafa had totally sidelined will be now valued members of the squad, whilst any signing…if they happen, will be loans and/or budget buys that leave you totally underwhelmed.
All expectation has been stamped out by Mike Ashley and now hope is rapidly fleeing the building after it.
Like you, I will never shift my allegiance to another club but I think Ashley has finally really succeeded in making inroads into tearing apart this Newcastle United fanbase.
The club will always have massive support but whether it can truly be what it has the true potential to be, can only be seriously harmed by every passing day Ashley continues to control this football club.
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