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Opinion

Newcastle United – The gift that keeps on giving

1 month ago
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Unfortunately, it is the equivalent of that unwanted pair of socks that you always get at Christmas, or the uncomfortable underwear that doesn’t quite hold things where they should be. Terrible gifts – we wish they were better; we don’t expect our family members to break the bank, just a thoughtful, practical gift would be great.

This close season has been, without doubt, the worst I have seen for Newcastle United.

Never in my relatively short 33 years have I witnessed such crass stupidity and blind ignorance from a Newcastle owner. It really does appear like he is intentionally sabotaging the club, doing everything in his power to destroy 125 years of history.

No matter what happens this summer and subsequent season, the club will go on, but where we find ourselves 12 months down the line is anyone’s guess.

One of the worst things that I can see developing this summer, is a very clear and big divide between us, the fans. Everywhere you look on social media there are people arguing about what should be done with the club, what the fans should be doing to help, and how we can move forward.

One comment I read yesterday is that by staying away from the matches, the team would be affected more than by anything that has happened this summer, almost as if the actions, or inactions, of the owner have less impact than a full stadium. When I asked the question why, the answer I got was centred around the 12th man effect – the team needs us to kick on, and if we aren’t there to roar them on we are doomed.

Do people still believe that? Was I being trolled, or are there members of society out there that truly believe a full stadium is more important than a good manager and fit for purpose squad?

Before I say what I am about to, I will be totally honest with you all; I don’t go to games. The last match I attended was Shearer’s first game in charge against Chelsea. The reason I don’t go isn’t because I can’t afford it, it isn’t a case of staying away until the FCB has left the club; I don’t go because I don’t live in the UK anymore. North Shields born and bred, now living on a nice little island in the Med. I watch every game on IPTV (Sky don’t get a penny off me, and never will), and when I fly over to visit, I spend my time with family, so that my parents can see their grandchildren. It doesn’t make me any less of a fan/supporter, or prove I love the club any less than anyone else. It is just circumstance.

Now, I think it has become ever more apparent that the BZG takeover is not going to happen in time for the new season; I still harbour some belief that it is genuine, but clearly something is not going according to plan, and whether it happens later on down the line or falls through completely,

I am not expecting any black and white bunting to be strung across Strawberry Place any time soon. That means, undoubtedly, that over the next 23 days there needs to be some extremely positive movement in both the appointment of a manager and incoming transfers.

Can we expect that to happen? Not likely.

Steve Bruce is coming in as Head Coach. He is a Newcastle lad, so I will be willing to give him a chance, but my expectations will of course be extremely low. In my opinion he will be the worst appointment since Kinnear and I have no doubt whatsoever, that he will lead us down a very similar path to what McClaren did.

Incoming transfers? With 23 days left and a Head Coach just appointed(which means there are no identified targets so far suited to the style of play the eventual manager will want to implement), I can’t see anything other than a few last minute bargain buys and loans. Couple that with a low ability Head Coach, minimal time on the training field to prepare for the season, and we really are in serious trouble (we all know that anyway).

So, next question, what do we do about it. We have little effect on transfer business. It doesn’t matter how many insults we throw at Ashley on social media, that isn’t going to force him to get the cheque book out. No matter how much we didn’t want Bruce, he is here because Ashley wants him. What can we do?

It is my opinion, one that I know a lot of you share, that boycott is the only option. Boycott everything NUFC. We don’t have to worry about S***e D****t, they are damaging themselves just fine on their own at the minute – I stay away and refuse to buy anything from there, I never will again, but that is me. It is NUFC where we need to boycott, and by that I mean staying away from the matches.

There are a hell of a lot more people willing to give the FCB their hard earned money this summer than I thought there would be. I really thought there would be over 20k Season Tickets left at the box office at this stage, which would have been a fantastic show of force to the oaf.

When boycott is mentioned, a lot of people say ‘well, he still gets the sky money so what difference does a few tickets make?’

Sky are a global brand. They pay the money they do because of the financial benefits it brings to them. For all the money they pay out, trust me, they make the same amount in profits. They protect that brand fiercely. Can you imagine the impact televised premiership matches with empty stadiums would have on Sky top brass? They would not be happy and would instantly apply pressure.

We have seven live TV games already announced, if all of those which are home games were played in front of an empty stadium, it wouldn’t be long before Sky were banging down Ashley’s door demanding answers and changes.

Going to the match is an obsession for some people, I get that, I really do, and anyone who chooses to go, fine by me. But whilst people continue to go, don’t expect changes. Don’t expect good football, don’t expect trophies or European adventures. Until he is gone none of that will happen.

We have tried getting him out for 10 years, nothing has worked. We need to change tack; we need to do something different. We need to make new people take notice of what is going on here.

Boycott is the only option.

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