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Mike Ashley pulls the plug on Saturday 3pm retro Newcastle United matches online for fans

6 months ago
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Whist the rest of us are in lockdown, Mike Ashley has fled to Miami.

After acting disgracefully with regard to both Newcastle United and his retail empire during this virus crisis, Ashley fleeing the scene of his crimes for a place in the sun at his Miami mansion.

Amongst his actions at Newcastle United, the club’s owner refused to pay casual matchday workers as normal as other decent Premier League clubs are doing whilst games are cancelled.

Then on Monday (30 March 2020), Mike Ashley passed responsibility to the government to ensure most of his NUFC staff (who aren’t players or senior coaching team) have enough money to get through these next few months, becoming the first Premier League club to take advantage of the government’s furlough worker scheme. Those staff effectively now on leave and the government ensuring they get 80% of their usual pay up to £2,500 a month.

This has been much criticised, with many people saying that this kind of scenario was not what the furlough scheme had been introduced for. Rich billionaires opting out of paying low paid staff and yet still paying players, chief executive and the head coach massive amounts of money.

One of the few positives to come out of club during the crisis has been those working on the Newcastle United social media, coming up with initiatives to entertain and distract during the virus crisis.

The most popular of these was the move to show classic retro NUFC matches from the past on the club’s YouTube channel at 3pm on Saturday afternoons.

The club’s social media staff making it a real event by replicating the usual matchday experience, with a build up on social media, previewing the games, announcing the teams an hour before kick-off and so on.

Then during the matches posting on the likes of Twitter, with media and fans joining in enthusiastically with the whole experience, including post-match debate and so on.

Not exactly the real thing of course but a very good attempt at giving fans something to enjoy on a Saturday.

At 3pm on Saturday 21 March it was Newcastle 4 Arsenal 4.

At 3pm on Saturday 28 March it was Newcastle United 5 Man Utd 0.

At 3pm on Saturday 4 April?

The answer is, even the retro reruns of classic NUFC matches are now suspended.

Amongst the numerous staff to be furloughed by Mike Ashley, are the club’s social media staff.

You might have noticed that instead of the usual volume of posts on the official Newcastle United Twitter account, this week there has only been somebody retweeting the odd Twitter post from elsewhere, as well as birthday messages for past and present NUFC players that will have already been in the system, scheduled and to post automatically.

So another casualty thanks to Mike Ashley, opting out of paying the low paid staff now means there is nobody left to put on these Saturday 3pm retro match events.

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