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Opinion

No guarantee Newcastle United will recover from the downward spiral on the horizon

2 months ago
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After the atrocities against football, more accurately against Newcastle United fans, in the summer, it’s no surprise to see the club struggling as the league table settles down.

Who can blame the thousands of loyal fans turning their backs on the club?

That said, I don’t blame the very loyal ones who still choose to go, it’s not their fault that we have a vindictive owner with zero ambition.

It seems that the protesters are now seeing the sort of thing that they maybe don’t like, but predicted, and feel justified now in staying away.

The team can’t score, are in the relegation zone, have lost credibility, organisation, team spirit and resilience. The players are losing heart as the coach doesn’t even know his most effective formation, never mind his best team.

The Ashley Model is in full flow and 17th is the aim. In a nutshell, it’s the nightmare scenario that lots will get satisfaction from and say ‘told you so’.

Many feel that it’s all a step towards the end of Mike Ashley’s reign. I don’t know about that.

On the other side of it, the Newcastle fans who choose to stay with the club, regime and players, giving their unwavering support, must feel desperate. I still love NUFC but after 11 years of personal boycott, wouldn’t regard myself as a supporter as such, though it’s still in me. These fans deserve better but by supporting the regime have to accept that they are complicit in Ashley’s actions. Even these diehards can see that relegation is nailed on.

Ironically, the situation that protesters feel is working in their favour against Ashley, could actually be the start of the long term, if not terminal, demise of our once great club. There is no guarantee that we will recover from the downward spiral on the horizon. Nor is there a certainty that Ashley will buckle or be forced out. Past relegations have seen him invest after selling key players to compensate. He wants to be in the EPL and won’t sell at a Championship price. He is just the sort to dig his heels in.

Personally, I think he would sell now if he could get a buyer wanting to pay the going rate but who will pay Premier prices for a club destined for the Championship?

We may not come straight back up but I’m sure Ashley has contingency plans and will stay with Steve Bruce, maybe that’s why he’s here, a kind of human shield. It will take sustained failure for Ashley to leave. By then a lot of the protesters will have lost interest in the club.

A warning for the protesters:

I’ve stayed away for 11 years now and it is far from easy.

Not trying to be clever or patronising but I don’t think your feeling of justification will last. Early on I felt that I was on a crusade and others would join me, it felt quite a novelty. Soon after though, denial kicked in, ‘how could my club fail to respond’.

Then it was anger, ‘why should I be forced away from the club I love supporting’?

Then comes the worst bit of all: indifference, lethargy and a cynical dislike of the game and team I love. I have other interests now and wouldn’t go back if you paid me, that’s what it does to you.

I’ve turned down free tickets and although I still have black n’ white blood, yesterday’s loss won’t make me bad for a week anymore.

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