Would a protest really work?

Stay away day?
I’ve read a lot over these last few days about protests and campaigns about the ownership of Newcastle United which have largely been brought about from the Joey Barton fiasco.

My own personal opinion is that the bad feeling has always been there simmering away – it just needed another reason to rear it’s head.

Now this great democracy (hahahaha) we live in allows us, the normal folk, to hold a good old protest providing it’s peaceful, organised and, above all else, legal. There is nothing wrong with people wanting to make a stand of course, but to me it’s all folly and is kind of a pointless exercise. Why? Well here goes…

I’ve read various fanciful suggestions ranging from borrowing another clubs “Poznan” celebration (who in turn borrowed that from another club anyway) and doing it inside the ground to marching before and after matches. Great, wonderful. Whatever floats your boat.

Hardly original though is it? I thought the best fans in the lad were better than that? It also kind of defeats the object of the protest if you ask as ultimately you’ll still be giving your hard earned cash to the club. All you’d be doing is making noise and looking like an idiot with no actual difference to the club whatsoever. You might get your face on camera but going by some of the exhibits that Sky drag up I would guess that’s perhaps not the greatest thing, unless you’re like me and have a face that the camera loves of course!

The idea of a protest is to make a difference is it not? To make the person you are directing said protest to realise that you are making a stand against them. Marches, banners, chants have all been done and guess what? None of them have made a difference.

If people are so determined to make a stand then they need to make a sacrifice. If you love somebody, set them free, and that means parting with NUFC for a period of time.

A lot of people are convinced that Mike Ashley is only in it for the money. The accounts say that the club still owe him cash after all he has put in like, but still people are convinced that he is lining his pockets. Whatever, it’s an irrelevant point.

Why not have the courage of your conviction to turn off that tap and stay away from the ground? Don’t buy merchandise? Don’t buy pies or drinks or anything at the ground. Hit him in the pocket and make him realise that without us suddenly his latest plaything will start costing him more and more money.

I’ve not bought a Newcastle shirt since before we were relegated, which is odd as I used to buy them all. I don’t go to St James’ Park anymore as a general rule but if I do I buy a ticket and that’s it. In fact 99% of games I go to now are away from home. I put as little as is possible into the club. It’s my own little stand which probably saves me around £1,000 a year when totalled up.

Imagine 100 people doing that? Imagine 1,000 people doing that? Will it ever happen? Probably not. Loyalty being the reason that many will state, although I must admit that I’m actually still a Newcastle fan and I’m actually still as loyal as they come.

I just despair when I see these half-baked “Poznan” ideas and thoughts of marches. It’s not original and has been proven not to work in the past. Why waste energy doing it all over again?

Something else I don’t think will work is all these new groups being dicks in general and getting all abusive. Steve Wraith’s latest group done just that. It was a great idea until that happened and you realise that it will end up just the same as the rest of them. If you want to talk to people then don’t slag them off. Is it that hard to understand?

So what do you reckon to my idea? It’s crazy, but it just might work. At the end of the day if people feel so strongly about it then they need to take strong action to back it up. Short term pain, long term gain.

Or are people just going to keep paying their money blindly anyway?

About toonsy

A lifelong Newcastle fan and current webmaster of this very 'blog who has the sole aim of creating a place by Newcastle United fans, for Newcastle United fans.

182 thoughts on “Would a protest really work?

  1. Andrew @ 144 not if it was done right and organised proberly, but you dont even need to protest to hurt that fatman the best way is to hurt his pockets but that means staying away and not giving him money 😉


  2. Dave @150

    I think the only way to get rid of him if a few people find out where Mr Ashley lives 🙂 😆


  3. Big Dave

    Just seen your tweet there, this is what I seen

    MsiDouglasMark Douglas

    @MancAgent01 suggesting Barton met with David Moyes today. Seems like the right fit. #NUFC have a replacement lined up…


  4. I just saw this:

    Rodzilla eating fkn spaghetti hoops out of Adam Ant’s jewelry (yes it’s American) box.

    Mike Ashley, a question:



  5. Ok so lets take an objective look at this situation.

    (1) MA is as stubborn as they come.
    (2) NUFC earns MA no money (read the accounts and if you don’t believe them tell the police and they can bang the guy up – you’ve won!)
    (3)Stop attending matches, buying merchandise etc reduces the Club’s revenue
    (4) Loss of revenue means more player sales and less money for wages meaning lesser quality players
    (5) Lesser players results in relegation which in turn means less revenue again.
    (6) MA gets so pissed off he puts the Club up for sale and even supposing he wipes of the debt to him (100m will hardly make a dent in his wallet if its what he wants to do.)
    (7) On the back of a groundswell of public support a local consotium takes on the Club, but they don’t have the money to invest heavily in players.

    Result is it will take at least 10 years to get back to the very position everybody is protesting about.

    The quickest way to be rid of Ashley is to fully support the Club and help get it to the sound financial platform Ashley wants, then he will probably look to sell and to a buyer who will liekly have the money to invest and fingers crossed match the ambitions of the supporters (more likely from their show of strong loyalty and passion rather than the destructive image of an angry unpleasable mob)

    Support him or hate him the best way of getting rid of Ashley is to give the Club its full support, sorry!


  6. This is a message going out to ahhhhl you Toon fairns.

    Oo-oo- the black and white army, WwwOOOO, yeh.

    The Fu<king Fu<ked Fu<k Fu<kers are fu<ked. So FU<k you, you FU<K!



  7. yeah, that telt them, the fkers.

    Due to the lack of responses within my given timeframe, I can only deduce one winner.



    …ahum, errrghh, arrrghhh, hack…. PAT-OOOOw-Weeeeeeeeeeen! (splat)


  8. BBM – don’t confuse the Mob of backward pitchfork wielding ****s with the likes of Martin Luther King.

    Kind of embarrassing that fella – MLK had a dream and a cause – the Mob have nothing but hatred, misunderstanding and thickness.


  9. I’d just like to mention the domain of materials science that studies the physical and chemical amphibian structure of B&Q elements, their intermetallic compounds, and their sheer lack of Top 10 Hits by Indie groups of the 1980s.




  10. Will be interested to see what’s in the journal and chron tomorrow about supposed transfers. Granted, it will probably all just be speculation from “a club source”


  11. Dunno if anyone’s been on Twitter but Mark Douglas said there’s be news about Erdinc, Long, and a left-sided player in tomorrow’s Chronicle.
    He also has confirmed to another twitter user that Erdinc deal is definitely dead, and when asked about whether we’re chasing Long, he responded with “Erm… No Comment”.

    Any thoughts?


  12. I was mocked on here for wanting more signings a few weeks ago, told we were going great guns and had numbers already. My opinion has not changed.

    HOWEVER, I don’t want a Joey Barton replacement, I want Wayne Routledge/Jose Enrique replacements. We have Danny Guthrie, Dan Gosling, Alan Smith and Haris Vuckic who can fill Barton’s midfield spot.

    It’s the one area in our team that is actually stocked and not in need of fixing. We can’t waste any non-existent transfer money on a position that doesn’t need help.


  13. /Mocks funkyjesus

    Yeah well….The last shirt I bought was an NTL one, should tell you all you need to know. I rarely go to games, anyway, with away being the more likely and swansea aint too far from me this year (yay.) I definitely won’t be buying this year’s kit, I was considering our away one, but will it make a difference? Doubt it.


  14. FJ,
    With respect mate, Smith can’t fill Barton’s midfield spot. He is absolutely crap.


  15. Ashley will want as much as he can get out of the club financially before selling up, and it appears he wants his money back.

    However, he is a businessman and also a high stakes gambler, so he is also aware that sometimes you have ti take a hit and move on.

    There is no law that says he has to get all his money back when working out a selling price for the club. Anything for sale is only worth what somebody is willing to pay for it, and also selling price can be dictated by need.

    If this little gold mine he has on his hands suddenly becomes a poisoned chalice, and fans (customers) stay away in their thousands and the club becomes dogged by bad press and customer discontent, then something has to give at some point.

    That major stumbling block of a £200mill price tag starts to drop more and more each week and month, as the asset becomes something to be rid of, at almost any price.

    One way to do it for sure is to starve him. Few customers and major discontent = a massive headache and a financial drain.

    Who has the courage of their convictions to do it though?

    I’m doing it this season and I applaud you for doing it also… There’s two for starters.


  16. Banner protests and chants wont work with Ashley. He would have to care about the fans and care about the football for that to be the case.
    He clearly cares about neither.

    A protest that threatens to hurt him financially is the only method that has a chance of altering things.

    “3)Stop attending matches, buying merchandise etc reduces the Club’s revenue
    (4) Loss of revenue means more player sales and less money for wages meaning lesser quality players”

    This is obviously a risk of mass non-attendance but only if its carried to extremes. It also depends what the ultimate goal of the protests are.
    Obviously the goal most people would like is to force Ashley to sell. This would require a buyer to be in position. It could also require quite a long period of protest to force Ashley’s hand.
    However, many people would probably settle for the secondary goal of forcing Ashley to re-evaluate his policy on not spending any of the money recouped from transfers on new recruits.
    In theory that would be easier to achieve as the fans would only have to make Ashley believe they would be prepared to seriously affect his revenue for him to consider a rethink on his lack of reinvestment in the squad.

    There are a lot of maybes. Nobody can know what Ashleys reaction would be. Nobody knows if there is a potential buyer out there.

    I doubt it would matter, I cant honestly see enough fans having the fortitude to see the fight through.

    I suppose where we stand is people have to decide on their actions as a matter of conscience. I think after considering the musings of Toonsy and a few others who have espoused not giving more money to Ashley until he makes better use of that which should already be available, I now know what my conscience is telling me.


  17. Hey, who knows Ebeneezer Ashley may wake tomorrow and have an epiphany. He may realise what a complete arse he is making of things. He may decide in the next few weeks to do the much needed squad strengthening which is now almost universally accepted as being a necessity.
    He may no longer propagate lies and deceit to players, managers, the press and the fans. He may seriously try to take the club forward.

    I think I have more chance of winning the Euromillions, but we only have a few weeks left until we know for sure. S’pose we could try crossing our fingers.


  18. The only problem i see with a financial protest ,is that Ashley’s money comes from sports direct,NUFC’s money comes from shirt sales ,pies etc.So the only thing we are doing by boycotting merchandise is hurt our club.WE let the club get in a poor financial state then where does the money to repay the Lardy one come from “Administration “? Simple answer make his shops the poison chalice.


  19. @ Pootle 177

    Sorry mate but NUFC is pretty much just a play thing for him, there is no way you could hurt him financially by choking the money flowing into the Club. Like I said earlier the less money coming in means that he will simply make that up through player sales etc.

    The only way you could hurt him financially is by boycotting his stores, but how effective do you think that would be? His stores are nationwide, a massive success and even if this region if every passionate Geordie never set foot in there again, how do think those numbers stack up against supporters of other teams and non football supporters?

    Protests are only worthwhile if they have an acheivable goal


  20. Of course a massive boycott protest would hurt him financially if persued for long enough. If Ashley wasn’t bothered about losing money over the club he could have just sold it at a loss ages ago. The problem isnt that a financial protest couldn’t work per se, its that it seems very unlikely that a protest of the scale necessary is achievable. Besides the goal of the protest would be to make him listen to concerns about under investment in the squad. All that requires to have a chance of success is for Ashley to believe the fans would be prepared to starve him of ticket and merchandise sales. Forcing him out would be far more difficult as it would require a willing buyer to be ready and waiting.


  21. I think hitting him financially in every way possible is the real answer. The bigger the action the more likely he is to take notice.
    The real reason it won’t happen is not because it will be ineffective b its because not enough people would be prepared to tough out staying away.
    The argument that if we keep going and supporting the team it will encourage him to sell up once he claws his loans back is flawed for a few reasons:
    1) We have no idea if he actually intends to sell up once he claws the money back. In fact, if he is making enough money to pay back the money the club owes him, then once the loan is paid what’s to stop him continuing in the same vein and just taking the money made as profit?

    2) We have no idea if the ‘5 year plan’ to make his money back will actually work. He’s been working on a plan for a while now. So far he’s got us relegated once and actually increased our debt.

    3) Most people feel that the squad is not being strengthened sufficiently. It appears we have no transfer strategy beyond getting the cheapest young players we can find. His lack of effort, attention and application for improving the squad when we have a large surplus of cash from outgoing sales suggests that in the future when no such cash surplus is coming in we have no reason to expect any form of investment at all. In other words, he way he is running the club right now, has at least as much potential to seriously damage the club as any boycott anyway.


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