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Opinion

Only one Newcastle United fan needs to answer for selling to Saudi Arabia

6 days ago
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I was one very happy Newcastle United fan on Thursday.

The date of Thursday 7 October 2021 will be etching into my mind forever.

It was the day that we finally rid ourselves of Mike Ashley.

The spontaneous celebrations that broke out at St James Park were great to see.

I was in my local celebrating as it’s a young person’s game [drinking cans outside the ground!], my sons and their mates were down there late into the night.

It did honestly bring a tear to my eye, especially seeing young NUFC supporters so happy.

Imagine as a Newcastle United fan knowing nothing other than life under Ashley’s ownership?

I thought everybody played a blinder on Thursday night down at St James Park, from everything I saw and heard. There were a serious number of people there celebrating but I didn’t hear of any trouble and to their credit, the police just let the celebrations happen and made sure everybody was kept safe, as well as ensuring the road remained relatively around the ground.

Of course, it hasn’t all been plain sailing.

Although, this wasn’t a surprise either.

Like every other Newcastle United fan last year before the takeover collapsed at the end of July 2020, I was confronted (via the media etc) by question after question about how could this despicable act be allowed to happen, the sale of our club to a regime like Saudi Arabia?

So when on Wednesday the possibility of the takeover happening finally became apparent, it lit another touch paper, as well as the one marked Newcastle United fan excitement.

The morality of Newcastle supporters called into question.

What I find quite extraordinary, is that with all the comments from campaigners, rival fans, politicians, journalists…not one of them from what I have seen have directed this question at the only relevant Newcastle United fan that it could / should be aimed at.

Mike Ashley – July 2019:

“If you’re a football fan, and you can have Kevin Keegan as your manager – well, it’s very exciting, isn’t it?

“And I’m a bit of an excitable bloke and I loved it, I found it amazing that he was ours.”

Mike Ashley speaking to The Sun – 7 October 2021:

“Owning a football club gets into your blood and l would love nothing more than to see Newcastle winning trophies.

“I’m pleased that a consortium backed by PIF is the new owner of Newcastle United.

“I am sure this will deliver the success that fans deserve.”

Yes Mike Ashley claims to be a Newcastle United fan…yet in all of this I don’t see him being blamed for our great football club ending up in the hands of Saudi Arabia (PIF!).

How ironic, the only Newcastle United fan who actually had a vote in all of this, isn’t quizzed about why he has allowed this to happen.

The Newcastle United fan who has pocketed £305m from Saudi Arabia, isn’t questioned as to the morality of where / who he is taking that money from.

Yet seemingly every other single Newcastle United fan has to justify why they are happy to be free of Mike Ashley.

All of us who didn’t have a vote, blamed for what the one Newcastle United fan who did have a vote, did.

If along with every other Newcastle United fan I did have a vote in who owns Newcastle United, then Mike Ashley wouldn’t have been here these past 13 years after what he did to Kevin Keegan.

As football fans the only choice we have is whether or not to support our team.

As for any political / moral issues concerning whoever happens to own Newcastle United at any particular time, most fans / supporters are sympathetic in terms of doing the right thing to help push things in the right direction, if there is something practical / meaningful they can do. As in something that is separate to when they turn up on a matchday and support their team.

Simply attacking the Newcastle United fanbase though for something they have no control over, instead of going after Mike Ashley, is simply pathetic.

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