Steve Bruce declares he can keep Newcastle out of League One as Mike Ashley confirms 40,000 free season tickets (satire)
It is 20 July 2022 and Mike Ashley is looking forward to his fifteenth season owning Newcastle United, with Steve Bruce preparing for his fourth season as head coach.
Welcome to a parallel universe, where 7 October 2021 never happened, there was no takeover.
Mike Ashley and Steve Bruce never left, nothing changed, except Newcastle United swapped divisions.
Yes, Ashley and Bruce completing the job they started and breaking records along the way.
They said it couldn’t be done, that Derby County’s record was safe.
However, after only three points in the opening games ahead of 7 October 2021, Newcastle United defied the critics. Ending the Premier League season with a 6-0 defeat at Burnley on Sunday 22 May 2022, meaning only nine points in total and confirmed rock bottom and relegated. That nine points total beating the eleven points Derby County managed back in 2007/08 (when Sam Allardyce gave them four of their eleven points and only PL win of the season, before getting the sack in the January 2008).
With relegation looking a near certainty, matters weren’t helped when in the January 2022 transfer window, Mike Ashley sold Callum Wilson, Allan Saint-Maximin, Martin Dubravka, Fabian Schar and Joelinton.
Steve Bruce declared that this actually made the team and squad stronger, as it meant he could now play more local lads, promoting a number of players from the under 23s.
With gates falling to around the 30,000 mark at St James’ Park and Sports Direct adverts threatening to outnumber supporters, Mike Ashley declared in December 2021 that he was going to break another record. Having given away 10,000 half season tickets in December 2019, Ashley doubling that figure, giving away 20,000 free half season tickets to try and fill the massive gaps next to his adverts.
This proved to be only marginally more successful than the form on the pitch, with crowds struggling to reach 40,000 for most home games at St James’ Park in the second half of the 2021/22 season, as fans – both paying and freebies – couldn’t bear to turn up anymore. Despite the obvious huge gaps that still remained, Lee Charnley regularly praised the excellent support from all the loyal fans, bragging about the 52,000+ sell outs at every home match.
Once relegation to the Championship was confirmed in early March 2022, Mike Ashley announced his latest vision for Newcastle United. Based on Athletic Bilbao playing only / mainly local players from the Basque region, Ashley declared that from now on ‘Geordie legend Steve Bruce would only sign and play Geordie players, those players born within ten miles of the new giant Sports Direct megastore that will open at the Gallowgate end of St James’ Park in summer 2022.’
Denying that this was simply a way of really cutting wage and transfer costs to the bone, Mike Ashley said that instead it was by far the best way to ensure that Newcastle United fans had the ultimate pride in their football club.
Steve Bruce agreed, saying this was the proudest moment of his life, leading his beloved NUFC into a glorious new era.
When the 2021/22 Premier League season finally ended, all non-Geordies didn’t have their contracts renewed and any non-Geordies still contracted to the club, were put up for sale.
Meanwhile, this exciting new Geordie era was launched with Steve Bruce declaring that Sean Longstaff would be club captain and brother Matty his assistant. Paul Dummett named assistant manager as Bruce was forced to get rid of the other Steves on his coaching staff. Graeme Jones then announced as the new Director of Football.
With Mike Ashley revealed to have broken yet another Newcastle United record, only around 3,000 season tickets sold ahead of this upcoming 2022/23 Championship season, the NUFC owner declared that 40,000 free season tickets would be handed out. Each of the 3,000 that had bought their season tickets sent an extra 10 each, whilst the first 10,000 customers buying a pack of £1 white sports socks at the new St James’ Park Sports Direct megastore would also get a free NUFC season ticket for the 2022/23 season.
The new revolutionary forward thinking way of running Newcastle United has seen other exciting developments.
Steve Bruce introducing a totally new approach to pre-season preparations.
The new look Geordie Newcastle United squad have been asked to report back only four days before their first Championship match of the season.
Steve Bruce reacted angrily when asked by a reporter if this was so he could have a far longer time off in the summer, watching cricket and lying on a sun lounger.
Bruce insisted that his 40+ years in the game and 1,000+ games in management had taught him that it was best to keep players as fresh as possible ahead of a new season, not to tire them too much with pre-season training.
The club also refused to comment that the late return to training had also been partly done to allow Lee Charnley time to cut the grass at the training ground, after he’d finished laying the new pitch at St James’ Park.
Steve Bruce has stated that he is very confident of success this season, believing that there is even a chance of avoiding relegation to League One. Brucey has also confidently predicted that his team might pick up a point in one of the Championship matches against Sunderland, as the derbies return.
Mike Ashley has released an official statement ahead of this new season, thanking all the true Geordies who have stayed loyal and backed the new look Newcastle United. Steve Bruce agreed with him.
The owner is looking forward to seeing the team run out in their new red and blue strips, having ditched the black and white stripes, Ashley declaring a new look for a new Geordie nation club. The new away strip is blue and red and both of the new kits see Mike Ashley welcome Flannels as shirt sponsor and Lonsdale as the sleeve sponsor. The owner saying that the initial ten year shirt sponsorship deals are worth £0 but that he hopes they will help bring in paying shirt sponsors in the future.
Major improvements have also been made at the training ground, with two extra wheelie bin ice baths added, as well as a new (second hand) hydrotherapy paddling pool purchased after the old one couldn’t continue after 14 years dedicated service.
He says he can’t wait for the first home match of the 2022/23 Championship season to kick off, with Rotherham the visitors to newly rebranded Kangol Stadium (at St James’ Park…).
Mike Ashley also said that it had been a close shave back in October 2021, because if a takeover had happened, he dreaded to think just what state Newcastle United would now be in…
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