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Opinion

To go or not to go? Part two.

4 weeks ago
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I asked last week, to go or not to go, that is the question…and I’m unapologetically going to ask the same question again this week about Newcastle United fans.

Four things have happened since then and one was a very good thing, a step in the right direction.

You will be able to guess what that was, as not many good things have happened this summer.

As with part one, I won’t be making recommendations and certainly won’t criticise people either way, for this freedom of choice decision of whether to attend or not for Newcastle United fans.

It’s a free country. I have friends who go and friends who won’t with Mike Ashley there.

Joe Willock is a great signing but don’t kid yourself, Mike Ashley wouldn’t have sanctioned the move if he wasn’t young with sell on value. It’s still a great move.

Then there is the crowd on Sunday which surprised me, 50,673, which included the 3,000 West Ham contingent, but impressive nonetheless. This accompanied by a first day home defeat against a team we did the double against last season.

Don’t forget though that the team had no new additions and was no stronger than the team that finished last season. Even with Joe Willock we are players down in terms of numbers. The team was allowed to start the season without reinforcements, the club couldn’t even get the Willock deal done in time.

The case to attend is backed by compliments from pundits and rival managers, easier of course when your team has won, or the team you loathe are struggling.

Attendees will point to their enjoyment, social interaction and loyalty to the team, not the regime. Many also see boycotts as pointless as it’s the Sky and other TV money that Ashley hangs around for.

In the grander scheme of things you can easily argue that the huge support is the only thing big about NUFC at the moment. Something that makes us attractive to the buyer.

If you want to see football, even the cynics will agree that as Mike Ashley is going nowhere, this is as good as it’s going to get. Go or don’t go but if you like the match, this is all you are going to get. The crumbs in my honest opinion mind!

So, the case for Newcastle United fans staying away.

Well, to be honest I could spend all today and tomorrow listing things, so let’s keep it simple, Mike Ashley.

It can be argued that by going you are agreeing and giving your blessing to his austerity, vindictiveness and basic running of the club, which has only one aim in mind, survival. I’m not even convinced that Ashley sees relegation as that bad a thing.

I would ask all the Newcastle United fans who go, would you still if you heard him go public saying…

“Our mission statement is survival only, without spending any unnecessary outlay. The only players we want will be young with sell on value. I refuse to spend a lot as I intend to sell as I have for 13 years. If it doesn’t happen I’m not too bothered.”

We know that won’t happen of course as Ashley doesn’t communicate with the Newcastle United fans but he may as well make that statement. That is the message he has sent out via his PR team.

He didn’t even warn of an arbitration deferment, even if it meant a devastating blow to the Newcastle United fans, all he wanted was season ticket money. Led up the garden path by all parties!

So there you have it, go or don’t, but if you do, don’t moan about the outcome.

A long hard relegation battle ahead and that’s after one game.

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