Who goes? You decide…

Posted on November 9th, 2009 | 32 Comments |

A couple of apologies first. One for introducing Marcus Bentley’s dulcet Big Brother tone into your head and secondly for perhaps once again putting the cat amongst the pigeons on a sensitive and potentially divisive topic. The topic? Well it’s the topic of whether or not you’re doing your duty by Newcastle United in attending games or staying away. And if you do, how much are you allowed to complain before you stop becoming a supporter and instead become a destroyer?

Other far more respected and established writers on sites, such as True Faith and .com have had their say on the matter, and each offered only limited advice as to the right actions to take last Saturday, effectively a ‘follow your heart and your instincts’ theme. I wanted to actually write this before the Peterborough game but for the very reason I almost missed the game, I didn’t get chance. With all that has happened recently, this is one game I wanted to be at. I wanted to see if the majority of my fellow supporters felt as indignant as I did/do. But due to my daughter’s fifth birthday I nearly didn’t make it. But I was issued a late afternoon pass and offered the blessing of the two ladies in my life to go and enjoy myself. And of course therein lay the issue.

I don’t mind admitting I was pretty angry over Ashley’s latest ridiculous decision to rename St James’ Park. Like many others, for me it was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I really felt like he’d gone too far. While a big deal on it’s own, following the unpleasantness of the prior 12 months, relegation and the fallout from the tribunal, it was just a kick in the teeth we didn’t need. And I jumped down from my perch, where I previously sat patiently waiting and giving this man time to redeem himself.

But I also felt like if I went to the game, I might go a bit too far myself. No, I don’t mean setting fire to the place or smashing up Ashley’s car. They are ridiculous notions that only a very few morons are capable of, but possibly more embarrassing than getting lifted for something like that, would be getting caught on camera like a performing chimp by the Sky cameras. Mouthing anti-Ashley tirades from a distance and looking for all the world like just another half-wit that they seem to attract to the front of the crowd like moths to a flame. And of course, there’s then the attractive proposition of voicing my discord for his blundering decisions when inside the ground. Would that detract from the performance on the pitch?

I have sat here and rationally debated the current state of the club and the best way forward for Newcastle United. It has been discussed to death just what Mike Ashley and his pal Llambias have and have not done for this football club. They do not need to be repeated here. I have made my mind up, that I want him gone. But I don’t believe we can oust him. Not with protests, not with boycotts, not with all of the tantrums in the world. But boy do I admire those lads who are throwing their heart and soul into saving something they love. By whatever means, they manage to expedite his departure, they can always know that they did something rather than nothing.

Perhaps they have more love for this club than me? Perhaps they have more inclination or maybe just more time on their hands? Real life sometimes gets in the way and I have family to support and a fulltime job to go to. But that seems like a lazy justification. They are following their instincts and trying to make a difference. Maybe at some point I’ll join them in their pursuit. Because as 40,000 Mags rose to applaud the the chant in support of keeping St James’, I felt like my gut instinct was right and there were very few who disgreed with me. That was a reassuring moment to know I was still connected to the people with whom I share a love for this club.

Because if you can’t follow your instincts or your heart when dealing with Newcastle United, then quite honestly, I think you’re already starting to lose sight of what being a supporter is. I’ll be following my heart and my instincts, potentially down to Coventry, possibly down to Preston and definitely on the train, up the bank and into turnstile 84 against Swansea. And I will have my say, thank you very much, because while Ashley trips and bumbles around this alien business, with scant regard for the feelings of the supporters, I will let him know each and every time he f**ks up, just how that makes me feel. But I will support Newcastle United, Chris Hughton and the lads. I supported long before Ashley was here, I’m supporting now and I’ll support long after he’s gone.

NUFCBlog Author: bowburnmag bowburnmag has written 234 articles on this blog.

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32 Responses

  1. I love Newcastle United and everything that goes with it with a passion. As long as there is a football club, regardless of what division, i’ll always support them.

    However, just because i’m a supporter, doesn’t mean i’m afraid to be seen as otherwise by another supporter if I criticise or voice my opinion, regardless of it being positive or negative. The club has majorly fcuked up and this has to be seen from the owner down. However, I do believe all things happen for a reason, and I can’t see us NOT coming back and better than we could ever think.

    See Arsenal, see Man City? One day, I believe, we’ll be back up there, be it through painful rebuilding, or through a billionnaire investor, but we will get there.

  2. “But boy do I admire those lads who are throwing their heart and soul into saving something they love”

    Some would say they are ruining and destroying the thing that they love…funny opinions arent they.

  3. Doocey says:
    November 9, 2009 at 10:05 pm

    “Who spruced up the theme? :D

    I’ve still haven’t even finished the first theme yet, Doocey! There’s still the banner to finish off properly.  I decided to do it all from scratch rather than use someone elses template, but then other things got in the way. The first thing was just an awful, unfinished rush job, a hasty coat of primer, so to speak.

  4. Forget the stadium renaming farce for a minute.

    I hold Ashley ultimately responsible for our relegation. By the same reckoning he’ll be ultimately responsible if we get promoted. Has he made the right calls? Sold enough players to nearly half wage bill but kept enough to ensure we get promoted? Has he made the right choice in appointing Hughton as manager, who – we can hardly deny – is doing a good job?

    Going by his history of taking gambles too far, letting things drift and then making rash decisions, I suspect he’ll screw up somewhere along the line, but if he doesn’t and we get promoted then he’s gone at least some way towards rectifying the damage he caused last season. It’s what happens after we get promoted – assuming we do – that worries me most. We will require investment and I have my doubts whether he’s prepared to pay to build a competitive PL team.

    The biggest problem is that I don’t believe Ashley wants the club in the long term and that’s reason enough for me to want to see the back of him. However, for that to happen there needs to be a viable buyer in place, or we can shout and scream all we like but he has nowhere to go, and it’s clear to me that he can cope with the abuse now.

    It might be possible to force his hand with enough pressure – maybe get him to sell the club for less money in his desperation to leave – but I very much doubt it. And things like staying away from games to try and ‘hit him in the pocket’ will also damage our prospects of promotion.

    I think it’s about choosing your battles and my view is that Ashley’s aims and our aims coincide where promotion is concerned, so promotion’s the priority for me at the moment and I’ll take another look at things at the end of the season, assuming Ashley doesn’t screw up again in the interim.

  5. BBM very good thread mate and I fully understand how you feel. What gets to me is that if Ma does have the best interests of the club he could do so much to proof to the fans that he does care, but he continues to remain silent and do nowt as usual

  6. If anybody has read the book I have on Jackie Milburn then you’ll know one of his first managerial jobs he either wanted the club to be relegated, or not get promotion, because he didn’t believe they could cope with the upper division.

    He was a born and bred Newcastle legend.

    I think it applies here too. We simply can’t (and haven’t for a good years) cope in the top flight, we need this rebirth to shift dead wood and sort the club out at every level.

  7. Andy,
    i hear what you’re saying man.
    But when you consider the ‘musical chairs’ way play in the managers office,
    that goes some way to tell you where we’ve been going wrong.

  8. People have to understand that this year is exactly what NUFC needed. All the pain and turmoil has brought the players together; it was sadly missing from the campain last year. Also we have cleared out the majority of the over paid sh*te that we had playing for us. The club is starting to manage it’s debt, this needed to be taken under control. As far as not being in th PL anymore… As far as I’m concerned, this has been coming for a number of years. I have lost count of the number of “big name” signings that have failed to deliver on the park.. Do you think we would be seeing the likes of Ranger and Kadar playing if we were still in the PL. These guy’s would barely get a look in over the “big name players”
    If we are promoted next season, I hope we continue down the shrewd spending path. Up and coming players only please, I have had enough of watching 1/2 arsed performances from 5m+ paid players.
    The players are playing for the shirt again, that is whay fans will continue to flock to the games.  When you see your team busting a gut on the park, it makes all the other BS associatted with the club seem insignificant…

  9. Even for a Newcastle fan who’s seen it all down the years, this looks like idiotic decisionmaking in the extreme.

    Darren Ferguson gets Peterborough promoted twice in a row with a team that cost 5p, they invest hardly anything, still have a whole squad that is worth about the same as Kevin Nolan alone, and less than half as much the next cheapest Championship squad, yet they blame him because they haven’t stormed the division.

    Stupid gets!


  10. I’ve just been reading the NUST website, and, apparently, if someone deposits a large sum of money with the NUST for a planned takeover of NUFC (10% of the amount they want to invest as ‘proof of funds’) and the bid fails, the group will take 5% in ‘administration’ fees. So, if someone chips in say, £1000 (10% of an eventual £10,000 investment) and the bid fails, the NUST will keep £100 of the money. The sum of around £10 million (10% of £100 million) will be kept in a “high interest” Escrow account. Minimum investment is £1500.00.

    5% of 10 million is £500,000 in total, plus any interest earned on £10 million of someone else’s money. Admittedly, interest rates are very low ATM but this could still be a very tidy sum on such a huge amount.

    I don’t understand how 10% is proof of funds when 100% has been expected from other bidders for the club?

  11. workyticket says:
    November 10, 2009 at 6:52 am

    Worky,  The way I read it is was that the 5% admin fee would be off 10% of the proof of funds not 5% of your full investment.

    Could be wrong but it’s not that clear.  Cannot see it happening to be honest.  Were we getting the £30m needed to stay in the PL if we get promoted?

  12. BBM – Good article.

    I do feel sometimes that supporters are being  judged on how much they care for their club by how loud they protest against Ashley.  I don’t think that’s fair at all.

    Some fans want to go to the match with their son or daughter and just enjoy it.  Bt it seems their not ‘proper fans’  in some supporters eyes if their not chanting anti Ashley songs or protesting.

    How can you be judged by how loud you protest?  Should you not be judged on the games you go to and support you give to the players?  Not how you take on Ashley!

    This Ashley debacle as completely taken over the club – The mentality seems to be getting rid of Ashley rather than getting promotion.  That cannot continue.

    There’s more than one way to skin a cat as they say.

  13. Stuart79 says:
    November 10, 2009 at 8:04 am

    You are right stuart – it’s 5% of 10%. So if you have pledged £2500 you put £250 down and will be charged a £12.50 fee in the event that the buy out does not go ahead.

    From what I have read they are running the campaign on a 6 week basis with a focus on education. What I would say is even if you are cynical try to listen with an open mind. I am going to do my best to do so.

    They’re claiming to have a lot of local business investment and support from the council. I think it’s our duty to at least listen to what they have to say. If it looks good I’m in.

    With regards the £30m needed stuart this club has shown in the past it is more than capable of self-generating success without a benefactor. The money is there if the club is being run properly and within it’s means. Many fans seem to obsessed with a large benefactor but it’s not that important. Our problem is we spuffed all our money in the Shepherd era. It’s not that long ago the club was in the black and operating as a successful premier league club.

  14. seeing as all the talk has turned to money issues, been reading:


    personal opinion, right now, in our current situation, we don’t need to be spending sums of money like that on players from a division below, sure he looks good at leeds, we’re not Leeds, and no disrespect, currently his reputation is as a div 1 player, we need to cultivate the players we already have in place, Ranger is coming along nicely and Carroll/Shola are already a potent strikeforce, we need players in no doubt, but we need to build a squad not buy one in, we made that mistake over & over again before

  15. Stu – yeah I agree, we shouldn’t be turning on each other, in times of contention. Fighting each other at games, and grumbling at people who don’t join in demonstrations. Or criticsing those that do. It’s a personal choice. But one which should be open to both sides and the respect should be there for both, even if you think the other way is the wrong way. It’s undoubtedly all being done for the right reasons in most cases.

  16. Beckford, £5m? where did that come from? He was going to come to us for just over a million in the summer? I think someone, somewhere has been making things up again.

    BBM – Good article and one that reflects exactly how I feel at the moment.

  17. been reading reports fpr that sum for a couple of weeks MT, not surprised TBH, Leeds & Newcastle both former EPL teams so the EPL prices hang around like a bad smell

  18. Good article BBM and it’s led to some constructive dialogue too.  Anyone notice that Sawdust’s not commented yet?  

    I wholeheartedly agree that all the demos in the world will not unseat Ashley and his cronies and that whether by accident or design, the club’s in far better shape than it was last term.  Why oh why doesn’t Ashley communicate, honestly, with the fans?  I’m sure life’d be a damn site better if he did and that he may be a little less despised than he is.  Silence is the fertilizer of speculation and that’s just not good! 

    Mr Ashley, please talk to the people whose hearts you’re wrenching at –  you never know, you may well find out that whilst Gerordies aren’t the easiest of pushovers, you may just go a little way to getting us on-side.

    In the meantime, things are giving grounds for optimism and so long as we don’t sell key players and buy well, there’s more reason to support thr team and help Newcastle United back among the Prem next year.

    It’s sad that Ed Harrison’s gannig back ti work but he’s got nee choice cos the bairns need new shoes and there’s broth ti myek ti see thim ower the caad winter months.

    But, from Ed’s threatened and now real withdrawal from the scene, this site, the phoenix that rose from the near ashes of Ed’s blogsite has the scope now to develop and encourage sound and constructive dialogue among Newcastle United fans throughout the world. 

    Keep it up guys, solid stuff so far.

  19. why are we looking at another striker??
    i think with ameobi carroll nolan and ranger we’re fine
    i would like to tie simpson down permenantly  and also get another decent CB… Matt kilgallon???from doncaster was mooted about recenlty… i think he’d be a good investment… big strong northern lad.. used to play for doncaster i think, from donny?
    not to mention a creative midfielder if poss… butt and geremi need to hang up there boots

  20. BBM cracking thread there mate, really enjoyed the read.

    I more through necessity than desire have had to stay away this year as living in Hull and no work since a year tomorrow have had to cancel mine and my sons season tickets. Though MR Ashley and LLambias have made that decision a hell of a lot easier through thier bungleing of ALL things Newcastle last year.

    I am not an Ashley apologist as he deserves almost all that he gets at the minute, since the handling of the Keegan/Wise debacle it has been one mistake after another. TBH I feel (maybe wrongly) that all the sence of the early regime left with Chris Mort. However we including myself have not helped matters as we have been swept up in a terrible situation caused by MA and made worse by the her majesties gutter press, as they have taken every opportunity to stick the boot in to a club that they have hated due to nothing else than from the north east. Only time will tell if Sunderland will be given similar treatment if they gain any resemblence of success.

    or me the next 2 transfer windows are the watershed for this administration, as we need to look at promotion and hopefully premier league calibre players in the first window as anything else is a bluff on Ashley’s behalf. If that is satisfied in January then the big one in the summer of players/foundations that will cement safety for the next couple of seasons. As Newcastle fans this can only be hoped for with blind faith and optimisum, something that has sadly disolved to nothing in no less than ONE year.

    I for one hope for better times ahead and unfortunatly if those better times do come along then Mike Ashley will be a part of that somewhere down the line, be it in our push for promotion or safety next year as I cant see any other outcome at this present time.