Toon For Change put out new call to arms to unite against Mike Ashley
Toon For Change is led by a group of five like-minded Newcastle United supporters who came together in the summer of 2019, fed up with the way our club is being and has managed under Mike Ashley.
In a matter of months, we’ve managed to attract 500 members who recognise our desire to build a more ambitious future for NUFC.
Our key objective is to work towards putting Mike Ashley in a position where he has no option but to sell our football club.
We appreciate that there probably isn’t one single think that will achieve that, but we’re committed to a long-term, sustained campaign to make his ownership of NUFC untenable.
We believe that Newcastle United is an attractive commercial proposition for investors and moving forward, we want to develop relationships with potential buyers for the club.
Our cause is about more than the results on the pitch. Our cause is about cup competitions not being a priority; the club deliberately misleading fans; a lack of investment in players; selling Strawberry Place for personal gain and not appropriately investing in the stadium and training facilities.
Protests such as boycotts are, and continue to be, divisive, which is why we are looking at different ways to unite our fanbase to achieve a common goal – forcing Ashley to sell. Despite what happened in the summer, there was an official crowd figure (not actual number of people inside St James Park) in excess of 47,000 at the Arsenal home game.
Since the Arsenal game, attendances have dwindled (with the exception of the Man Utd match) and the latest ticket sales indicate this is to continue. Attendances dropped to eight-year lows and this isn’t a result of apathy – tens of thousands of fans no longer attend matches at St James’ as a way of taking a stand against Ashley.
Two weeks ago, we launched the Era of Ambition scarves campaign, which we want to act as a large-scale, symbolic rejection of Mike Ashley’s ownership of the club. The scarves feature the maroon and blue colours of the famous 1995/96 season away kit and celebrate a time when NUFC showed the ambition to be one of the best clubs in the world. Over 800 scarves have now been bought by fans choosing to wear blue and maroon until Ashley sells the Toon!
In short, the campaign has been created to be something that all anti-Ashley fans can hopefully get behind, whether they go to matches or are boycotting St James’ Park. They can also be shipped worldwide and our supporters can be a part of the movement wherever they are in the world.
We designed the scarves alongside UK-based, independent sports retailer Football Shop Online. The guys at Football Shop Online handle the manufacturing, sales and distribution of the scarves. This means that no money changes hands between Toon For Change and supporters, we also don’t earn a penny from the sale of the scarves.
One of the most common questions we get is “Why don’t all the protests group work together?” but we can tell you that we do. We are in regular contact with other protests groups and we’re all fighting for one common objective – for Mike Ashley to sell our club to an ambitious buyer. A number of supporter groups are working on different ideas to step up the pressure on Mike Ashley and a lot of the work is going on behind the scenes which we understand can be frustrating for fans. The scarves campaign is a big focus for us right now and we’re also identifying ways to engage with prospective buyers for the club.
Last weekend, we launched a free membership programme that will allow us to involve more supporters in the decisions that we take as we strive towards an ambitious future for the club.
We hope that anyone reading this will join the 510 fellow supporters who already have signed up to play a role in removing Mike Ashley from Newcastle United, once and for all.
Get involved at ToonForChangeMembership
Follow on Twitter @ToonForChange
If you would like to feature on The Mag, submit your article to [email protected]