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Opinion

This is no longer the club I fell in love with as a boy

1 year ago
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As a kid all I dreamed of was going to the match and watching Newcastle United.

We weren’t rich and coming from a large family my dad only took me to the game on three or four occasions.

At the age of 12 I started to go with my mates, travelling from North Shields and standing in the Leazes End; my first full season was 1975/76.

Since then it has been full on, including the really dark days of the late 70s and 80s travelling to places like Wrexham and Shrewsbury, as well as hitching to see us lose 4-0 in the cup at Exeter.

Keegan’s arrival changed all that, first as a player and then as a manager.

It was after the first home match of his second season as manager, that I realised that if I didn’t get a season ticket I would be locked out.

Going through a messy divorce with two young kids, I decided that I needed two season tickets, so I could introduce them to my love and my passion; I have had one ever since…until now that is.

As most of us have done when we have kids, we get them the latest shirts home or away or sometimes both and ALWAYS from the club shop – that’s what you do to reinvest in the club isn’t it? Well I did…until about five years ago when I thought ‘what’s the point, we never buy anyone anyway’. So since then it has been retro or a ‘supporters shirt’.

Unfortunately, cup matches also went out of the door around the same time as it just seemed pointless, we always put out a second team and often beaten by poorer opposition.

Rafa going was the last straw for me, the end of hope and the signal that what ambition we did have (or Rafa gave us) was now gone.

I have spent a fortune on my two season tickets and have introduced my four lads to the Toon over the past 30 years.

I am an optimist at heart and genuinely believed what Ashley has been telling us “every penny will go back in to the club”, “I’m not leaving until we win something” but now realise that it has been a pack of lies.

He has systematically been asset stripping the club; advertising money, the club shop and merchandising, money paid to him for loans he has made to his own company (how does that work?) or the sale of club land to a separate company he owns.

So whilst it has taken a long time, I have finally realised that he filters my season ticket money via the club into his bank account, one way or another.

This is no longer the club I fell in love with as a boy.

It is no longer the club that Keegan fell in love with and transformed as a manager.

It is no longer the club that the late great Bobby Robson came back to rejuvenate.

It is a business tool for a very rich, greedy and immoral owner to use and abuse as he wishes.

We now need to stand together and fight to get our club back.

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