As every Newcastle United fan under the sun will know, all the talk on Tyneside is currently centred around whether the Premier League will or will not approve a £300m Saudi-backed takeover at St James’ Park.
It’s the big question we’ve been waiting to hear the answer to for what feels like a lifetime now, however the ongoing delay allows us to focus our attentions elsewhere for a moment.
I won’t name names, but a piece was released today from a Newcastle United site urging the Premier League to BLOCK the proposed buyout. An awful take on a situation that’s frustrating enough as it is, yet there is one person they need to take a good look at – Mike Ashley.
We talk about their ‘fit and proper person’s test’ to determine whether a potential new owner is deemed suitable to own a Premier League club – something the Saudi-backed consortium are currently being scrutinised over – yet the latest actions of our shameless owner tell me he needs seriously looking at.
The list of unacceptable decisions he’s made over the years is endless, but his latest act of carelessness should not be tolerated, with today being yet another sad reminder that he’s STILL charging fans and refusing to issue refunds for season ticket payments – both for this season and the 2020/21 campaign.
Both he and the club continue to hide behind a potential takeover, instead of communicating with fans who are the ones left to suffer yet again – in more ways than one on this occasion.
These times are tough enough as it is, but leaving loyal fans out of pocket and in the dark when we now know the 2019/20 season will be played behind closed doors is unacceptable.
Other clubs have already issues refunds/stopped payments given most clubs are set to play over a quarter of their home league games behind closed doors. They’re showing us up.
Not only that, refunds are yet to be issued (or even addressed) for the tens of thousands of ticket sold for our postponed FA Cup clash with Manchester City at St James’ Park or the away trip to Bournemouth.
In typical Newcastle United style under Mike Ashley, we are the ones left behind. Ignored, neglected and cheated, with several protest groups such as the NUST and Toon For Change also seeing letters of complaint fall on deaf ears.
Is anyone listening? Or is he just going to keep on getting away with it while this ‘imminent’ takeover continues to drag on? This is a club that have just announced a profit after tax of £34.7m…
At a time where the Saudis are being scrutinised by every man and his dog on a daily basis, isn’t it time Mike Ashley was questioned about the club’s complete lack of communication and constant exploitation of fans?
If I was paying for a service and that service was no longer being provided in any other walk of life, I’d have every right to expect action to be taken and repercussions for the business involved.
The severity of the accusations may seem insignificant when compared to *some* of the claims being made about the Saudis, but it’s ironic that the Premier League have been inundated with complaints against our would-be new owners, all while they’ve allowed Mike Ashley to get away with murder for 13 years, watching on as he single handedly runs a football club into the ground after over a decade of neglect, betrayal and a total lack of investment and communication.
Protest groups have sent letters, statements have been released and there’s been widespread dismay voiced on social media. If no one will listen to that, perhaps it’s time a greater power gave our disgraced owner the kick up the backside he deserves.