Imagine a picture titled ‘the new season’, it’s a picture of St James Park and we are all in that picture.
Where do you put yourself? Last season I would imagine myself in a seat right on halfway, leaning forward, eyes fixed on the centre spot, full of…hope, expectation, excitement, passion, defiance? All qualities which pump the heart and warm the blood. This season I am standing outside the Strawberry looking across the road from a distance. I’m out.
Don’t get me wrong, if I was still living in Newcastle I would have stopped attending games two or three years ago. A small gesture but my own.
Things changed with the decision to ignore and ditch Benitez. We had momentum, we were going forward, we had a plan, he was the man with the plan and we were behind him, the players were behind him, the owner was behi…sorry, against him totally.
Did Rafa’s business plan enable Mike Ashley to extract the competitive life out of the club? Did it enable him to extract Sky money with a minimum outlay for maximum profit? Would it involve the maintenance of a zombie football club, suspended between 10 h and 17th position, unable to break into the sunlit uplands of the top six forever?
It didn’t, so Ashley ignored him. And now we have Steve Bruce and didn’t we know it would be five minutes before we got the stories about bleeding black and white and what his Mam and Dad would say and he’s just a down to earth bloke and did he mention he’s a Geordie? Bruce’s apparent contemptuous treatment of Sheffield Wednesday casts a shadow over the whole ‘When The Boat Comes In’ stuff but I tell you what, it makes him a perfect fit (albeit an 11th choice fit) for this riff-raff of a club hierarchy.
So when I say I’m out, what I mean is not just that I would not attend home games or buy merchandise that gives any of my money to Ashley, I also mean that I no longer care whether they beat Arsenal in that first game or not….in fact I would rather they got absolutely blown off the park.
Let’s see them fail abjectly all season and hear Bruce bleat out the same s*** Carver did.
We need to take Ashley’s income away, no sky money, no merchandise, no tickets.
How is it possible that I can will those players to win last season and then be content to see them ship 4, 5 or 6 goals this year? Tough love.
We will never be in a better position to become a truly competitive club under Ashley, than when Benitez was here. Ashley knows that and he stopped it and reverted to type. Hence Steve Bruce. It will never be healthy again under Ashley. I love Newcastle United. It is our team, our city but it is time, for its own good, for tough love.
Every game should be boycotted. Boycotts need to be affirmative, positive experiences. It needs to be against attending, but for the club, our club, our city. Can the city council be involved? MPs? Shearer? The Ronny Gill, Ant and Dec. You get the idea, anyone and everything that makes it attractive to fans to stop attending. Live music in Leazes Park? Free screening of the match in local cinemas? Regular mass attendance at local non-league games giving Ashley’s revenue to those clubs. Encourage opposition fans to donate something, how about badges that can be awarded for non-attendance? I don’t know! Someone else must be thinking the same as I am. Are you?
I cannot support another team, Newcastle United is family. But sometimes it needs to be tough love.