After over 8,000 empty seats: Protest group call to boycott next Newcastle match – #BoycottBrighton
With thousands and thousands of Newcastle fans already having said enough is enough, Thursday has brought a statement from an NUFC protest group asking Newcastle fans to boycott the next home game.
The boycott of the Arsenal game saw an official crowd of over 47,635 but with thousands of season ticket holders staying away, the actual number of people inside St James Park looked more like 44,000 or so.
The Leicester cup match saw a really low crowd, the club claiming 22,727 but it actually looking closer to 15,000 for many of the people who actually went.
As for Watford on Saturday, it was officially 44,157 but as well as the 8,000+ official empty seats, it looked as if there were actually maybe a couple more thousand than that figure.
Now the call is #BoycottBrighton, with ‘Toon For Change’ asking fans to support a boycott of the next home match, NUFC playing Brighton at home in 16 days time. A 5.30pm kick-off on Saturday 21 September, the match live on Sky Sports.
Toon For Change announcement:
Newcastle United protest group, Toon For Change (formerly Empty For Ashley) is calling on supporters to boycott the side’s next home game, against Brighton on Saturday 21 September.
The group, which is campaigning to force Mike Ashley to find a genuine buyer for NUFC suggests that supporters can use the match as an opportunity to make games at St James’ Park less appealing to live broadcasters and show the footballing world that they are taking a stand against Ashley.
A spokesperson for the group, Joe Moore said:
“There’s genuine momentum building in the protest movement against Mike Ashley and this has been clearly demonstrated by falling attendances at St James’s Park.
“There were mixed opinions about how successful the boycott of the home match against Arsenal was, but it was our lowest opening day Premier League attendance since 2011. Thousands chose to stay away.
“Last weekend’s match against Watford saw the attendance fall to a level that we haven’t seen since at a Premier League match since December 2012.
“So far this season, St James’s Park has been at 88% capacity, this is the lowest in the league. Mike Ashley, Lee Charnley and other senior executives at the club will not be ignoring the pattern that is emerging. It will concern them, which shows that the supporters who are choosing to stay away and who want Ashley to sell the club, are winning.”
The group will again be partnering with local bars showing the match as part of its #SupportOurToon initiative. Venues showing the game including Idols/Vaults, The Hancock, Players and Filthy’s offered fans boycotting the Arsenal match last month happy hour-style offers and discounts in support of the protest movement.
“Empty seats on live television makes St James’ Park less appealing to Sky and BT – if broadcasters stop paying to show live games at the stadium, Ashley loses a revenue stream.
“It shouldn’t have come to this – but it has. We’ve been left with no choice but to try and get the club we fell in love with back and if that means not going to St James’ for a period of time, it’s a sacrifice we as a group are willing to make.
“This isn’t about not supporting the players – we love our club, it’s about showing a global footballing audience that we are unwilling to continue supporting Ashley financially, while he doesn’t invest in the club appropriately.
“The extent of our ambition this season is survival. What can we get excited about? 17th place? We aren’t deluded, we just want our club to compete. We want genuinely ambitious owners.”
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