“One thing I’ll never do is take these fans for granted – you can’t.”
Irony is dead. May it join its comrades, self-awareness and honesty, in eternal rest. Speaking just a few days ago, Steve Bruce says that he doesn’t and won’t ever take the fans for granted.
This is the same Steve Bruce who says that any critics of him are keyboard warriors and that the fans’ expectations make it difficult to manage the club. The same Steve Bruce who tells us we need to wait for the “big, huge clubs” to do their transfer business before we can possibly think about doing anything ourselves. The same Steve Bruce who is employed as a football manager yet refuses to acknowledge that tactics are a thing.
What are you doing to earn the fans’ support, Steve? Because to me, the answer is nothing – and that means you’re very much taking them for granted. All the time. Ad infinitum.
Of course, the above makes Steve Bruce the perfect manager for Mike Ashley’s Newcastle United. All our owner has done for 14 years is take the fans for granted, often whilst actively taking the mickey out of them, too.
Let’s just have a quick recap shall we:
– Sold the land around Strawberry Place
– Treated Shearer, Keegan and Gutierrez appallingly and lost court cases to the latter two
– Appointed Joe Kinnear TWICE
– Renamed the stadium and covered every inch of it with his company’s advertising
– No investment in the training ground
– Grime literally covering St. James’ Park
– Rafa allowed to leave and replaced by Steve Bruce
– Pathetic net spend on transfers
– Season ticket refund debacle during lockdown
– £65 for a poorly-designed new home kit which is essentially the 19-20 strip with a different collar – £10 MORE than Wolves fans will pay for a shirt made by the same manufacturer
I could go on. The catalogue of disdain is never-ending and ranges from disastrous to just petty. The club didn’t even issue a released / retained list this summer to explain who was leaving the club – how’s that for treating your customers with contempt?
Whilst many of the listed acts are years ago now, the bigger abomination is that nothing has changed. There are currently about 13,000 season tickets still available at St. James’ Park. What I’m incredulous about is that any have been sold at all.
Who is signing up for yet another rancid season of anti-football under a clueless Head Coach, at a club that doesn’t even pretend to want to try to do any better than scrape survival in 17th every year?
My personal view is one that upsets people, but I’m struggling to care at this point: if you’re putting hundreds of pounds a year into Mike Ashley’s pockets STILL, after everything he’s done and with the club in its current hollow, decrepit state, then you’re part of the reason he’s still here after nearly a decade and a half.
I appreciate that some wouldn’t know what to do without football on a Saturday at St James’ Park and the chance to reunite with family and friends, but he’s serving you an arsenic sandwich and you’re paying him for it.
For those who have refrained from jumping on board The Titanic so far this summer, I see the club are advertising season tickets on social media – a sign of their desperation, considering they rarely promote anything.
My question to them would be, WHY? Why should anyone want a season ticket? What are you doing to attract, retain or reward fans? Where is the money going that you want supporters to invest in the club? How are you making it worth my while to spend my Saturday afternoon on Barrack Road as opposed to literally anywhere else?
The club doesn’t care enough to answer any of these questions. They rely instead on you being so desperate to hang out with your mates at the football every other week that you’ll fork out for a ticket anyway and, largely, they’re getting away with it.
No incentive, no encouragement, no appreciation, yet still packed away ends all round the country when the Geordies visit and probably around 50,000 at St. James’ Park come the 15th August.
Newcastle United: the club that can’t ever take its fans for granted. Rest In Peace, Parody.