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Opinion

Newcastle United in danger of Mike Ashley owning the club’s history as well as the present

2 weeks ago
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Congratulations on surviving these couple of weeks without any football.

International kickabouts against Kosovan and Montenegrin pub teams not quite the same.

To fill in the 16 day gap between Newcastle matches, the newspapers have had to find ever more ingenious (desperate) ways to fill in.

One such initiative saw a local newspaper producing numerous articles under the overall title/theme of the last decade at Newcastle United.

Further inspection showed it to be a theme handed down from above, with all the relevant local titles in the Reach group (formerly Trinity Mirror) doing the same.

However, a little bit different if you are a journalist at the Liverpool Echo looking at the highlights of the last decade for Liverpool and to a lesser extent, Everton. Same at the Manchester Evening News with Man City and Man Utd.

As compared to the poor unfortunates at the Chronicle, having to produce an endless series of articles on the highlights of the last decade at NUFC, which is basically the highlights of supporting this football club in the Mike Ashley era.

Which then gets you thinking…are we in danger of Mike Ashley owning Newcastle United’s history as well as present day?

This is the 13th season under Ashley and in a handful of further seasons, we would be within touching distance of ‘celebrating’ 20 years of Mike Ashley.

If we did reach that point, then maybe half those or more still going to the matches would have pretty much all their reference points rooted in the Mike Ashley era.

Not only talking about the here and now and the future under him – but also looking back and recalling what life was like in past Ashley years.

At the moment, you are looking at a minute proportion of the fanbase who have any real memory/appreciation of the 50s FA Cup era, slightly more being able to relate to the Fairs Cup winning team.

After that it is going to be shortly approaching 50 years since the Supermac era and 40 years since the Keegan playing era. What proportion of the NUFC matchgoing crowd were adults when KK signed in 1982…you would guess far less than half of the SJP crowd are in their late 50s or older.

Kevin Keegan returning as manager is now over 27 years ago meaning Newcastle fans need to be in their late 40s to have been an adult back then, with Sir Bobby arriving over 20 years ago now!

The KK and Sir Bobby managerial eras are now our last remaining and most recent touchstones of Newcastle United times when you really felt alive. The eras so many of us hark back to, if we want to cheer ourselves up and depress ourselves in equal measures.

If we end up reaching a couple of decades of Mike Ashley then only a minority will still be properly appreciative of the Keegan era and the Sir Bobby one be fading as well for so many.

Imagine looking back at the past 20 years and one of the highlights is the moment it became St James Park instead of the S….. D….. Arena?

The 50s saw the FA Cup wins, the 60s a European triumph, the 70s the Supermac/Joe Harvey exciting team, the 80s saw Keegan, Waddle, Beardsley and Gazza, the 90s the Keegan entertainers, the early 2000s Sir Bobby’s team challenging at the top of the Premier League and Champions League adventures.

This last decade and more of Mike Ashley?

Yes, not much to celebrate, that time Newcastle got to the fourth round of the FA Cup?

This can’t turn into looking back at two decades of Ashley’s NUFC, you would really worry about the future (and the past) of this once great football club.

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