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Opinion

Are today’s planned Newcastle United v Chelsea protests against Mike Ashley just a waste of time?

9 months ago
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Today there are the latest protests planned against Mike Ashley.

Newcastle fans having the chance to register their disapproval at the ongoing ambition-free ownership of Newcastle United.

Today’s initiative promoted by the Toon For Change Newcastle fan protest group.

This particular initiative is ‘encouraging Toon fans across the world to wear blue and maroon as a united, symbolic rejection of Ashley’s ownership of the club’, whether or not you are going to the Newcastle v Chelsea match today (full details below).

Up above I started with the question: ‘Are today’s planned Newcastle United v Chelsea protests against Mike Ashley just a waste of time?’

In today’s world of the three second attention span, I have no doubt a number of ‘hilarious’ people will have simply reacted/replied to the article title when it appeared on the likes of Twitter and Facebook and made ‘witty’ comments, without bothering to actually read this.

However, for those of you who have struggled on and bothered to read this, here goes.

In my opinion, saying today’s protests are a total waste of time is the equivalent of believing that by some Newcastle fans simply wearing a blue and maroon scarf, Mike Ashley will instantly be shocked into selling the club.

That doesn’t though then mean that the protests are a waste of time, far from it.

When a normal group of people are faced with a billionaire who is taking the p.ss out of them, ‘forcing’ the billionaire to stop it and go away is never going to be an easy task, especially when that billionaire is getting richer and richer thanks to the ways in which he has used and abused our football club.

To their shame, some Newcastle fans take great delight in mocking the efforts of fellow supporters because of their attempts to try and campaign against Mike Ashley and exert some pressure on him.

It is simply a sad situation all round and apart from a handful of attention seeking irritants/trolls, all Newcastle fans want to see the back of Mike Ashley, whether or not they still go to matches and whether or not they join in with this protest or indeed any other.

I completely understand those Newcastle fans who throw their hands up in frustration and say ‘what can you do?’, that there is no magic answer for getting rid of Mike Ashley…because that is the truth.

However, just because there is no obvious certain way, no magic answer, it doesn’t make protesting pointless.

Protests such as the one today are ideal as everybody can take part if they want to, whether at the Chelsea match or not.

It also brings more negative publicity to Mike Ashley, especially with the match live on TV, reminding everybody that fans are still desperate to see him sell up.

Today’s protest also brings fans together in a common purpose.

To think that the organised protests and the individual ultimate protest by individuals (stopping going to matches) has had no affect is ludicrous. Only weeks ago Mike Ashley was forced to hand out 10,000 free season tickets to try and fill the seats of those committed fans more than happy to pay to watch NUFC but who have finally said enough is enough.

Just think if the same kind of numbers walk away before next season, never mind what would be the case if Mike Ashley ‘succeeded’ in managing a third relegation from only 11 Premier League seasons…?

Mike Ashley has zero interest in showing any ambition to build and progress this club year on year, we have seen 13 years proof of that already. Not a penny allowed to be spent on the long-term infrastructure unless he has no other option, whether that is St James Park, the Academy or training complex.

What will be the tipping point that makes Mike Ashley decide to for the first time properly/genuinely put the club up for sale at a market price and for somebody else to be able to take it on and hopefully run NUFC with ambition? Rather than simply using the club to promote their other businesses and make them more profitable at the expense of Newcastle United.

Whether you are joining in with the protests or not today, lets hope we are all still on this earth when Mike Ashley walks away for good.

Toon For Change statement/announcement – (Published on The Mag on) Wednesday 15 January 2020:

Protest group Toon For Change can announce that Newcastle fans have now bought almost 1,500 ‘Era of Ambition’ anti-Ashley protest scarves.

With 100 being sold in a 72-hour period across the weekend/early this week, ahead of its blue and maroon day of protest this Saturday.

The group, which has 950 members and campaigns for Mike Ashley to sell Newcastle United is encouraging Toon fans across the world to wear blue and maroon as a united, symbolic rejection of Ashley’s ownership of the club this weekend.

Joe Chilcott from the group, said:

“Paying tribute to United’s famous 1995/96 away kit, the blue and maroon scarves represent a time when the club showed genuine ambition to be one of the best sides in Europe and also act as a symbolic rejection of Mike Ashley’s disastrous decade at Newcastle United.

“People have pointed out that Mike Ashley isn’t going to sell the club just because we are wearing coloured scarves – and they are right.

“However, part of the fight to force Ashley out of Newcastle United is winning the PR war. We have to show the international football community, be it in person at the match, or on social media, that we are taking a stand against Ashley and that Newcastle supporters around the world are united in doing so.

“We hope the blue and maroon day of protest is something that all anti-Ashley fans feel they can get behind wherever they are based and whether they go to games or choose not to. If you’re going to the match or watching at the pub, whether you’re in Longbenton or Los Angeles – wear blue and maroon and use the #ToonBlueAndMaroon and #AshleyOut hashtags to get involved!

“If you don’t have a shirt or scarf to hand then we’re inviting anti-Ashley supporters to change their social media profile pictures or just post a basic blue and maroon graphic that we have produced, with the hashtags.”

Toon For Change partners with an independent football merchandise retailer, Football Shop Online, that manufacturers, sells and dispatches the scarves for £7.99. Toon For Change and its members do not financially benefit from the sales of the scarves.

UK postage is free, while international shipping is also possible, with postage to mainland USA, for example costing around $8.

Toon For Change

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