George Caulkin has backed the Magpie Group’s decision to postpone ‘Boycott Wolves’ – stating Mike Ashley would have only blamed any failed takeover on fan’s negativity should protests have continued; with this decision now invalidating any potential excuse.
The reputable north-east reporter has probably hit the nail on the head here, and this seems to be the main reason why the Magpie Group have called off the boycott that was planned for this Sunday’s game against Wolves at St James’.
I do take issue with the fact many fans have committed to the boycott – meaning they will now miss a game they could’ve gone to after being told it’s off just 72 hours before kick off – however it seems the decision has been made to give any potential new owner the best possible chance of securing a takeover.
Before we get to the Magpie Group’s latest statement, here’s what George Caulkin’s said about the decision; suggesting it is a great move which will not allow Ashley to use protests as an excuse for any failed takeover:
“Guaranteed if/when takeover collapses: Ashley blames climate of negativity at club. This averts that. I’m sure it wasn’t an easy decision, but I think on balance this is the right one. TMG might get things wrong – who doesn’t? – but they are fans, trying to do the right thing.
“I also think this allows TMG & everybody to take stock. There has been a lot going on – possibly too much – and although there was a huge wave of Twitter interest in last week’s walk-in, it wasn’t reflected in numbers. If the same happened on Sunday, what then?”
I also think this allows TMG & everybody to take stock. There has been a lot going on – possibly too much – and although there was a huge wave of Twitter interest in last week’s walk-in, it wasn’t reflected in numbers. If the same happened on Sunday, what then?
— George Caulkin (@CaulkinTheTimes) December 6, 2018
I agree with George. It could be a smart move, giving Ashley 0 excuses now – and the prospect of a HUGE backlash should he mess up a takeover from here.
Here’s the Magpie Group’s statement from earlier today, confirming their reasoning for postponing the boycott until February:
“In light of recent developments concerning a potential takeover of the club in the very near future, members of The Magpie Group have taken the opportunity to re-evaluate its proposed boycott of Newcastle United’s home game against Wolverhampton Wanderers this Sunday.
“After careful consideration, and following consultation with a number of Newcastle fans across the divide, we have decided to postpone the boycott to a later date; a provisional date has been set for United’s home game against Huddersfield Town in February. This decision has not been taken lightly and was made in response to Mike Ashley’s appearance on Sky News on Monday night and further revelations in the media since. Although we continue to have very deep reservations about Mike Ashley’s resolve to sell Newcastle United Football Club, we understand that any protest activity which could have a negative implication on Sunday’s result could jeopardise the potential sale of the Club.
“Alongside this, we will be suspending all protest activity at Newcastle United games until after the closure of the January transfer window. This suspension period is designed to allow Mike Ashley and any potential investors a clear run at reaching a deal, an outcome which, needless to say, provided the stimulus for the inception of The Magpie Group in the first place. Our decision is also intended to preclude Keith Bishop Associates from laying the blame at the door of supporters if a sale does not come to pass. If a takeover has not been completed by the end of this period, then protest activity will resume at the away game against Tottenham Hotspur in early February.
“Whilst this is the official position of The Magpie Group, we fully recognise and support the right of individuals and groups to protest on Sunday if they wish to do so. Indeed, individual members of the Group are proceeding with their own plans to boycott the game.
“Further to this, protest activity aimed at Mike Ashley and his retail interests will continue, and will not cease until the sale of the club has been agreed. To this end, we will continue to work with members of the London Magpie Group, who have done excellent work in trooping the colours and preserving the integrity of Newcastle United fans in the capital recently.
“As the Newcastle fanbase keenly observes developments over the next few days and weeks, we truly hope that this is not another false dawn and that, this time, Mike Ashley genuinely wants to sell. We also hope that any potential sale will be a true “clean break”, and that all ties between the Club and Mike Ashley’s retail outlets will be severed upon its completion. If Newcastle United Football Club is subjected to similar circumstances to Rangers Football Club, then The Magpie Group and the London Magpie Group will be left with no choice but to continue targeting Mike Ashley, his retail interests, and his known associates.”
What do you make of it all folks?