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Opinion

I feel sorry for the Newcastle United fans still going to the matches after seeing this

3 months ago
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The mood amongst Newcastle United fans isn’t great.

The media and Mike Ashley want it to be divide and rule, between those who are still going to the home matches and those who have packed in.

The truth is though that everybody is fed up with it.

When I say everybody, no doubt there will be a handful on the lunatic fringe.

The kind of happy clapper characters who would still be seeing the positives, even if Ashley turned St James Park into a giant Sports Direct store and had the team playing non-league football in the car park and all supporters required to sit on seats that had a spike up your backside to add to the enjoyment.

I am one of those who has packed in season tickets, we had three and they had varying levels of away loyalty points from 100 up to more than 200. All gone now. Mike Ashley’s vengeance meaning that even if you later do return and buy a season ticket, those loyalty points built up over years and years, still remain lost.

However, I don’t regret any of it.

Of course I wish I still had my season tickets and loyalty points and was sitting watching exciting winning football under a top class manager, with ambitious owners…but none of that exists or is available as things stand.

I agree with doing anything and everything we can to try and convince Mike Ashley to go but what I don’t agree with is having a go at anybody who is still attending matches.

Instead of berating them, the match-going fans deserve our deepest sympathies.

Most of them committed to this season’s season tickets long before the Rafa Benitez departure and are trapped, at least for now. It is silly to go on at people expecting them to now stay away this season, when they have paid so much money. It is showing a lack of class if you abuse these people, there is only one enemy (and his patsy minions such as Charnley, Bishop and Barnes).

One of my mates was away on holiday last weekend and  so I went to the Watford match.

Dear me, what a depressing experience.

The pre-match build-up totally soulless (apart from the alcohol…) with now those doing the flag displays on strike due to Ashley. There was near silence as the final minutes led up to kick-off.

The game itself was a shocker. Apart from 10-15 minutes in the second-half when the team had a bit of a go after realising how rubbish Watford were (Javi Gracia has even been sacked now due to failing to win at Newcastle) and dominated for that brief period, having a few half chances, with the crowd at last waking up to an extent. However, that quickly fizzled out and it was the visitors who were then dominant in the final 20 minutes and should have won.

Fabian Schar had scored in pretty much the only NUFC attack of the first half, he is one of the very few quality players Newcastle have.

Sitting there surrounded by loads of empty seats, even where I was in the East Stand (unimaginable!), watching terrible football, presided over by a clueless Head Coach…I wondered what am I doing here, even with a free ticket.

In normal times it never bothers me the quality of football. Obviously I would rather watch great football but in terms of going to matches, what I am watching has never been a factor in deciding whether to go or not. If we had a normal kind of owner then I’d still be there even if we were non-league.

However, Mike Ashley has stripped away any pleasure there is in supporting NUFC. Now in his 13th year he has finally succeeded in draining the lingering hopes of so many Newcastle United fans.

Those still going to watch this rubbish football under a clueless Steve Bruce and an ambition-free administration, deserve our pity.

When I walked out of St James Park after watching that Watford match, it was like walking away from a rotting corpse.

There are no benefits gained by those still going to games, only ever more negatives and pain.

One day we will all have hope again and both those Newcastle United fans going and not going at the minute will fully deserve it, after these years in the wilderness under Mike Ashley.

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