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Opinion

Newcastle United Fans on trial in court of public opinion as welcome new owners from Saudi Arabia

5 months ago
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Newcastle United fans are in the dock.

The court of public opinion now putting them on trial in the court of public opinion as they are seemingly set to welcome new owners from Saudi Arabia.

How dare Newcastle United fans having the temerity to want to be rid of Mike Ashley.

So many journalists who have stood by and done nothing, or even worse, happily backed Mike Ashley in his 13 dismal years at Newcastle United.

At best, most national journalists (and others) have patronised Newcastle United fans for over a decade, as the NUFC owner has shamed our club and city.

Even these past few weeks, Newcastle United fans have called out Mike Ashley for his shameful actions at St James Park, the first PL club to furlough staff, refusing to pay casual matchday staff as normal as decent clubs are doing, insisting on taking full season ticket money from many fans by direct debit despite nobody knowing when next season will start.

The media feverishly attacked and pressurised the owners of both Liverpool and Tottenham for intending to exploit government (taxpayer) money, saying how it would shame those clubs and their fans. Both sets of owners accepting this was a PR disaster for both clubs and doing a u-turn.

Newcastle United? The media have said next to nothing against Mike Ashley for what he has done at St James Park, his set of actions far worse than any other PL club owner during this virus crisis. Ashley hasn’t even allowed a single official statement to be made, explaining/justifying the moves he has made.

This season, Newcastle United fans have been repeatedly attacked by journalists for calling out the shocking way the club is ran, how fans are treated (some paying over 25% more for season tickets than two years earlier, then Ashley gives out 10,000 free season tickets to other fans!), how shamefully people are treated, Rafa Benitez one in a long line which includes Shearer, Keegan and Jonas Gutierrez. Supporters repeatedly lied to and the club used simply for the benefit of Mike Ashley and his retail empire.

Now that a takeover could actually happen, Newcastle United fans predictably once more find themselves in the full glare of the media spotlight.

Apparently, we should be taking to the streets demanding that this alleged takeover backed by Saudi money doesn’t go ahead.

It is absolutely laughable, why is this level of media spotlight not shone on the fans of other clubs?

Why should Newcastle United fans have to justify anything in terms of who owns their club?

The story the media no doubt want to put across is that Newcastle supporters are a disgrace because they don’t care who owns their club, so long as it isn’t Mike Ashley and they run NUFC with ambition.

Well sorry, I never ever realised that I actually had a vote on who owns Newcastle United and how they act at the club and in their lives elsewhere.

In these 13 years of Mike Ashley, I have had zero influence on whether he stays or goes and how he trashes the football club.

Likewise, I won’t get any vote on whether new owners are from Saudi Arabia or wherever.

Isn’t this why we have governments…

If something is so bad, in terms of dealing with what happens in other countries, surely then politicians are paid to represent us and take action against them if a moral/legal line has been crossed.

If governments don’t take action against those acting  badly elsewhere, then surely the football authorities are the one to prevent undesirables taking over our football clubs…

What about the Premier League’s fit and proper person test? Surely that should do the job and if it isn’t, then government should step in and impose regulation.

Should we allow anybody to own a Premier League club who comes from a country where there is no (or minimal) democracy? Where individuals/regimes are fabulously rich because they assume/take the riches and/or natural resources, whilst the ordinary person has no say and living on a pittance?

I make no apology for saying I simply want Mike Ashley gone and for new owners to run the club in an ambitious fashion.

I would like it even more if they were decent people who have made billions by running their businesses and lives to the highest possible ethical degree.

I won’t have sleepless nights worrying about the morals of whoever might buy Newcastle United because I don’t have any say in it. If I had a choice of ownership it would be fans having majority ownership of all clubs in England and those clubs all ran for the benefit of their communities. That is not reality though.

As for the journalists who put such a moral obligation on Newcastle United fans, I take it that they work for newspapers and other media organisations that always refuse to take advertising etc from any business or country that doesn’t pass their high moral line.

Surely if say their newspaper takes any advertising from any Saudi or Qatar backed/owned business, the said journalists would clearly have no option but to resign…or at the very least, insist on writing in their own publications about what a disgrace it is for their employers associating with such governments, businesses and individuals?

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