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‘I am so looking forward to this Chelsea match, great to be back!’

4 weeks ago

It is Newcastle v Chelsea this afternoon.

We may get beat.

In fact, we almost certainly will.

Am I bothered? Not at all.

Obviously, I would love to see Newcastle United sneak a draw, whilst if they win…I will need a week off work to recover from the alcohol consumption that would follow.

However, some things are far more important than winning or losing any particular match.

Today, I walk back into St James Park, with my son and daughter, for the first time since May 2019.

That was a class night and I just hope Newcastle v Chelsea is somewhere in the same ballpark as that match against Liverpool. Yes we lost 3-2 but it was a great performance and superb match, which Newcastle didn’t deserve to lose.

At the same time, if it is a boring 1-0 win for NUFC today, I would absolutely take that!

Anyway, the big thing is that myself and my teenage kids are going to be back inside St James Park. I had feared that they wouldn’t even be teenagers the next time we went to a home match, as removing Mike Ashley, or even Steve Bruce…looked such a remote possibility.

I am so looking forward to this Chelsea match, great to be back!

Yes, obviously I know that the issues surrounding the identity of the new Newcastle United owners will never go away whilst they remain in control.

However, that / they is something beyond my control, just as having Mike Ashley as owner was.

I would like to think that in the other areas of my life I do the right thing, I vote the right way and so on.

This though is my football club and all I am concerned about when it comes to actual football on the pitch, is the fans, players and management all pulling together.

Amazingly, the same as pretty much every other football fan at every club.

I only have one football club, it isn’t like your supermarket. If Tesco’s was bought by Saudi PIF, I would go to Sainsbury’s or wherever, even if it cost more money it would be a one second easy decision. However, if I don’t go to watch Newcastle United, I don’t go anywhere to watch football. Yes, great if you get some kind of similar satisfaction / enjoyment out of going to watch a non-league team instead, but the few occasions I have given it a try I have thought I might as well be at a Sunday league match. None of what I get from actively supporting Newcastle United is replicated watching Gateshead, Blyth Spartans, Whitley Bay, or whoever.

The outsiders who are using Newcastle United fans as an easy political football target for their own satisfaction, are full of accusations and criticisms for NUFC supporters, yet very short on constructive debate or suggestion. It is all about how terrible fans are for supporting such terrible owners, like we ever had a choice! Plus, the vast majority of Newcastle fans inside St James Park today, will be there because they signed up for their season tickets long before 7 October 2021 happened.

I don’t like the regime in Saudi Arabia and how they behave, the same as in China, Russia, Qatar…and countless other countries around the globe. I don’t think the UK should entertain / trade with any of them, the politics though (and UK self-interest…) apparently dictate that this does have to be the case.

Give me a credible route (no, I am not going to spend my matchday waving anti-Saudi banners) to influence things and I will do it. Don’t though lecture me on why I should or shouldn’t go and watch Newcastle United, unless you have totally clean hands yourself and never use the services of BP, Facebook, Disney, Twitter and so on.

I can already hear shouts of these aren’t the same as buying a football club.

Quite right.

I was born into supporting Newcastle United, they will be my club until the day I die. However, nobody has to give money / business credibility to the Saudi PIF /regime due via their investments in Disney, BP, Facebook, Twitter and a host of other business.

You CHOOSE to do that, whereas Newcastle United chose me all those years ago.


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