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Opinion

Newcastle United? The proof that nobody cares but us

1 month ago
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Nobody said it would be easy supporting Newcastle United.

However, at the same time, nobody said it would be quite this bad…

I think our geographical location definitely works against us as well, as far away from the London-centric media as it is possible to be as a Premier League club.

When it comes to the shameful goings on at Newcastle United, the massive majority of the media don’t even have to turn a blind eye, they simply don’t ever take any interest unless it suits them.

I refuse to believe that if a London (area) based English multi-billionaire had treated Arsenal, Chelsea, Spurs or West Ham (or Man Utd, Liverpool etc…), as Mike Ashley has ran Newcastle United these past 14 years and counting, that there wouldn’t have been a massive media led outcry into that particular club and that owner ridiculed and shamed.

With Newcastle United, I get the impression that when the London media do take notice when the latest shameful antics are dropped on NUFC fans, it is treated just as a joke. Something that is to be laughed at, rather than massively impacting negatively on hundreds of thousands of people and the civic pride / prestige of their city.

Anfield

Imagine if the owner(s) of Liverpool had renamed Anfield as the Sports Direct Arena AND paid nothing from that business into the football club for the privilege? There would have been hell on, a national institution such as Anfield etc etc and the audacity of an owner to promote the rest of his very rich business empire at the expense of the football club.

Accounts / Furlough / Signing Players

Just look at when Tottenham and Liverpool owners were planning to use and abuse the furlough scheme, which was never ever set up so that billionaire owners of Premier League clubs, could get taxpayers to pay the wages of many of their staff. In no uncertain terms the media told those clubs they had to do a u-turn, or else they would be shaming their famous institutions and all the fans who supported them.

Mike Ashley has had some / loads of Newcastle’s non-playing staff on furlough for the entire past year and a half

Mike Ashley has also continued to refuse to release the official Newcastle United accounts for the 2019/20 season, which will include the early months of using the Furlough scheme. Newcastle the only Premier League club yet to release their accounts for two seasons ago (2019/20). In June 2021, Ashley pushed back the time when legally he had to release those 2019/20 accounts via extending the accountancy period for another month, this pushed back the date to 31 July as the very latest when he had to send the NUFC accounts to Companies House. Now it is 3 August 2021 and I just checked – still nothing showing.

As well as the only club not to so far publish their 2019/20 accounts and Mike Ashley the only Premier League club owner to use Furlough through the entire time it has been available, Ashley is also the only PL club owner who has refused to allow his club to make a single signing so far this summer. We are now on day 56 of the transfer window with the Premier League kicking off in a week and a half’s time.

The club is absolutely rudderless, up the river without a paddle, drifting towards yet another disaster. However…it isn’t even worth a mention really, as anything of note, in the newspapers or on Sky Sports or wherever, even though all the other potential relegation candidates have been very busy in the transfer market, including the three promoted clubs.

Saudi / Man Utd

Can you remember last summer, all of those people desperately worried about the future of Newcastle United?

You know…the politicians, the journalists, the campaigners – all concerned about our well being as Newcastle fans and just how tainted our football club would be forever, if the Saudis gained part ownership of it? That was how it was sold wasn’t it, a lot of the time, these people getting involved because they were supposedly worried about us – the citizens of Newcastle Upon Tyne / Tyneside, the fans of the football club, so many of them concerned about what it would mean about the future of our much loved institution.

Once the Saudis pulled out a year ago from the then still active takeover, they all disappeared, never to be seen since. Their concern for Newcastle United and the fans / citizens disappearing just as fast. Why aren’t they bothered about the fact that Mike Ashley is shamefully dragging our football club and by association, our city, ever further into the mire and depression?

An even more awkward question for them all, is why exactly they choose to be still blind to the fact that Manchester United’s longest running sponsor is Saudi Arabia?

The state owned Saudi Telecom now moving into the 14th year of Man Utd sponsorship (since 2008), which originated almost as far back as Mike Ashley buying Newcastle United.

That was then added to when the state run Saudi Arabia General Sports Authority also partnered with Man Utd in 2017 and started to pump even more millions into the Old Trafford club.

Where are the journalists on their soapboxes? Where are the MPs grouping together to demand this disgraceful Saudi financing of Man Utd stops? A quite blatant use of the Man Utd branding to present the Saudi state and their institutions in a better light.

Free advertising

Every other Premier League club owner tries every means possible to put more money and benefits into their club from the rest of their business empire and personal wealth. Mike Ashley does the opposite.

A decade of free worldwide promotion of Sports Direct and his other brands using Newcastle United and not a penny paid. In recent years Mike Ashley has claimed a pittance will be paid by SD into NUFC for the massive promotion and benefits he and his retail empire enjoy, yet with no accounts published it is impossible to see if even that pittance is now paid into the football club.

Newcastle United Takeover

If you are honest, we (Newcastle United fans) are the only people concerned about the health of Newcastle United due to the impact of no takeover.

Certainly the Premier League and Government don’t care, only paying lip service. No other public bodies giving a damn. We are on our own.

As for the buyers and sellers, get real.

You would have to have MUG written in felt tip across your face if you honestly believes it when Mike Ashley claims he is only bothered about selling the club to the right people for the benefit of the football club and supporters / region etc. Somebody who has so ruthlessly milked the benefits from the club and treated the fans with utter contempt…it is only his riches that he is bothered about and banking the cash the Saudis have offered which is way above the true market price of the club.

As for the buyers, so much naivety amongst supporters.

Yes, we obviously hope and expect that the Saudi financed takeover would mean a better run and more successful football club, on and off the pitch, BUT their motivations are purely selfish as well. Nothing wrong with that. We want them to be driven to make the club succeed and the thing that drives people such as the Reuben Brothers and Amanda Staveley is money and power, as much of it as possible, as well as related glory / prestige that further boosts their egos / business standing. As I say, nothing wrong with that, it is just business and they would be driven to make the club a success because only then would it deliver on the money, power, prestige, glory front. The Reuben Brothers and Amanda Staveley didn’t stand on the terraces at SJP as kids, dreaming of Newcastle United winning a trophy. That’s ok, the fact they are driven by different things than supporters is alright, it is still a massive win/win if we get success on the pitch and they pocket the benefits financially and power-wise. The Saudis the same of course but very different, they have their very own complex motivations along the lines of those owners at clubs such as PSG and Man City.

Newcastle United fans are the only ones whose love and concerns for the football club will never change. If those attempting to buy NUFC don’t succeed, they will simply move on to other new business opportunities, it is at the end of the day, just business.

We are alone.

So as we look forward to a season that as it stands only appears to promise yet more tough love for Newcastle United fans, we know we stand here alone. Whether you intend to go to the matches or not is immaterial, the fact that you care is all that counts.

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