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‘What right does Steve Bruce have to say that we are demanding?’

4 months ago

Like most other Newcastle United keyboard warriors out there, I want rid of Steve Bruce.

I don’t know him personally, so cannot comment on his motivations, but I hate his style of play.

I hate the predicable lack of tactics.

I hate his excuses.

I hate the way he dumps on the team and the fans.

I hate the way he destroyed the working unit that Rafa put together with limited funds, the fact that he’s done so with such funds that I wish Rafa had seen when he was the manager.

However, what I have also come to hate as much in his tenure, is the cosy boys club he shares with the traditional English football hierarchy, sycophants and ‘journalists’. That gentleman’s club (because make no mistake, there are no women or minorities other than for tokenism allowed) which stopped the takeover and will hear no wrong about Bruce’s obvious gross incompetence.

So I ask you. What is a football club.

Is it the stadium and grounds?

Not really. So many clubs have changed stadia over the last couple of decades and whilst fans might fume over the name, the clubs go on.

Is it the players?

Again no. Teams change. Remember the entertainers?

Or Sir Bobby’s teams (destroyed by that other footballing idiot, Souness)?

Or Rafa’s team… which was absolutely not the same as Bruce’s team even though there are so many players common to both.

It’s certainly not the manager.

No – a football club is its fans.

We are talking individual lifetime tenures in excess of 60, 70 or even 80 years. For me, depending on when I realised it, I’d guess I’ve racked up 45-50 years or so far. That is a huge collective experience. A culture of songs (to be charitable on some of the chanting) and shared highs and lows, whether you regularly attend or you don’t. It’s our money (not Ashley’s) that keeps it going and it’s our tears when we get relegated.

We were here long before Asley sunk his grubby claws into us and long before Steve Bruce danced his little Man U jig.

And we will be here, as a collective, long after both of them have packed up and gone.

So what right does Steve Bruce – or any of that grubby little club of ex-footballers and hangers on – have to say that we, the fans, THE FOOTBALL CLUB ITSELF – are demanding?

What right do ANY of them have to say Newcastle United fans don’t know what they are saying. That our opinion should not be heard. WE ARE THE CLUB. We will still be the club when Bruce has trousered his £3m and gone on to ruin some other club.

We have nearly 130 years of experience. We have won trophies and won the league. We have experienced the very best football bar none. My lifetime experience includes 17th September 1997 and a certain five goal haul in October 1996 – both seared into my memory.

And we have experienced some of the worst (this season stands out).

And from that almost 130 years of collective experience as Newcastle United fans, we know what bad is, and what we have now is very bad indeed. I won’t repeat the current stats (they are there for anyone to see). They are a detail. A symptom. Such a run with so few wins will stand out in the history of the Toon for the next hundred years. It is not a question of opinion… it is there. Hard. Uncompromising.

The Toon will survive. We may end up, like the mackems, for a period in the third tier. I suspect we have a long way to fall. But Newcastle United – the club – the fans – will endure.

So make no mistake, Mr Bruce. You are not the club. You are ephemeral. You are an accident we will get over…but you will be remembered.

And remembered as part of a different cosy club. With fellow members such as Steve McClaren, John Carver, Bill McGarry, Joe Kinnear and a few others, dinosaurs all, keeping you company.


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