Fan-led protest group ‘If Rafa Goes We Go‘ have now released their first media statement, explaining who they are, why they have formed and how they plan to create a revolution at NUFC – with the end goal being to force Mike Ashley out at St James’ Park.
Incase you haven’t seen over the past 24 hours, @IfRafaGoesWeGo is a fan-led movement that emerged on Twitter on Thursday night, vowing to boycott Mike Ashley’s Newcastle United IF Rafa Benitez leaves the club last summer.
The response to their campaign has been huge (now have over 7,000 followers just hours after forming), with several supporters, celebrities, ex-players, NUFC fan accounts, journalists (both local and national) getting behind the movement already.
Even Ant and Dec have showed their support, tweeting ‘#IfRafaGoesWeGo’ to their 6.7million strong following earlier today!
Here’s their official statement that has been released today:
Who are we?
‘We are fans of Newcastle United Football Club. We love our club. We love our city.
‘We are brothers and sisters. We are mams and dads. We are sons and daughters. We are grandparents and grandchildren. We are friends. We are best mates.
‘We’ve had enough of Mike Ashley and the way he runs our club. We respect and value Rafa Benitez.
‘We think (we fear) this could be his last season as our manager. We will do everything possible to keep him here. Failing that, if he goes we go.
‘We are a fans movement. We are a platform for all voices. We want to be a force for change. We want to inspire action.
‘We are the fans.’
‘For too long, Ashley has mis-managed our football club and failed to even consider the potential of what could be achieved.
‘We have a manager who fits. A manager who, like Kevin Keegan and Sir Bobby Robson, understands the fans, the club, the city. A manager who would help us to realise some of our potential with the right backing.
‘A manager who will honour his contract and, if he leaves, he will have tried everything in his power to change the toxic regime that Ashley thrives on. We will know then that it’s time for us to say “no more”. We will leave as well.’
What are we going to do?
We aren’t going to just sit here until May, watch Rafa leave and then follow.
We believe in positive action.
We’re grateful for the contact we’ve already had from groups/organisations who have the best interests of Newcastle United fans at heart.
Our focus will be on four main areas in partnership with those who want to work with us.
Direct action/protests at and around St James Park
Direct action/protests in connection with Sports Direct
Lobbying, talking to and working with people and groups who can improve the situation at Newcastle United
Marketing and Publicity – making sure that everyone hears our collective voice.
We will be seeking support from individuals and companies in terms of both funding and helping to promote the action being taken.
Our priority is to do everything possible to ensure that Rafa Benitez is the Newcastle United manager for many years to come.
What do you make of this folks? Could this be the start of something big?
For me, it’s a bold but brilliant move and one that was coming, with Benitez’s fate all but sealed unless change comes. Unless Ashley is forced into action (whether that be to show ambition or sell up), Benitez will be gone next summer – and that’s something I am not ready to accept.
A revolution for Rafa has begun. A storm is coming for Mike Ashley is he lets Rafa Benitez slip away from St James’ Park.