The message I’ve waited 14 years to send to Mike Ashley…

For 14 of my 27 years on this planet, all I’ve known from Newcastle United is lies, greed, no hope and a soulless club stripped of ambition, with us held down by heavy chains ever since a certain man seized control in 2007.

As a kid my dad told me of the entertainers. I watched VHS’ of Beardsley, Cole and King Kev, then fell in love with this club through the Bobby Robson era as a young lad going to games for the first time.

Those happy early memories aside, the fact of the matter is that, for over half of my life, we’ve been a shadow of our former selves and a club we follow out of habit – not excitement or expectation.

That’s not right. It’s not right that there’s teenagers out there who’ve only known the Mike Ashley era. But that is about to change.

After a miserable 14 years of deceit, destruction, a host of horrific errors, acts of greed and complete ignorance, it’s finally over. He’s gone. He’s packed his bags, with new owners now having the keys to St James’ Park.

We are no longer just customers on a ship that was struggling to stay afloat, we are excited football fans once again, ready to see our club and city thrive like we all know it could.

It feels surreal after so many false dawns and a moment many almost felt would never arrive following countless ‘failed takeover attempts’, but the moment we’ve all been waiting for has arrived.

The cans are no longer in the fridge, they’re out in full force and they never tasted so good, with this news giving us a rare moment of joy and relief during what have been surreal and difficult times over the past 18 months for just about everyone.

Football is about dreaming big, saying ‘why not’ and going to games with butterflies in your stomach for all the right reasons – not starting a season hoping to stay up, settling for mediocrity at best and arriving at St James’ Park uninspired and fearing the worst.

Mike Ashley never understood that. He may be a good businessman in the world of retail, but you can’t expect to treat a football club and its fans like Sports Direct and expect success.

He tried to blend in early on, downing his pints in the away end as he wore our famous black and white stripes, but it soon became evident that this was the first of many PR stunts in an attempt to pull the wool over our eyes.

Mike Ashley’s time on Tyneside has been 14 years of destruction, turning what was once a club regularly competing at the top end of English football into Premier League cannon fodder that may or may not stay up each season.

I, like many others, will never forget that day at Villa Park in 2009. I cried. I feared for my club and wondered what would become of my greatest hobby and passion.

We may have returned to the top flight a year later, but no lessons were learnt and we suffered relegation once again in 2016. Rinse and repeat. Rotten to the core. A regime that wanted to just survive, not strive, when a certain Spaniard arrived on the scene and saw our potential.

With ambitious new owners now in place, arriving with big plans and even bigger wallets, let’s hope this is the start of a bright and successful era for Newcastle – both on the pitch at our beloved club and off it for our beautiful region.

As Kevin Keegan once said, “One day you will get your club back and it will be everything you wanted it to be. Newcastle United is bigger than anyone. It hurts I know, but just keep going. He is only one man we are a city, a whole population. Trust me.”

An inspirational quote so many of us have held onto and one that’s enough to send shivers down the spine of any Newcastle United fan as we finally enter a new era without Mike Ashley.

If it happened last April, we’d have partied alone in our back gardens and Facetimed family/friends while blasting local hero in the background, but with restrictions lifted, vaccines rolled out and COVID rates on the decrease, we can go gather outside St James’ Park, sing in the streets to our heart’s content and paint the town black and white with one big celebration.

I’d say it’s been a pleasure Mike, but it’s been anything but.

Goodbye and good riddance.

About Olly Hawkins

Olly has been a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan - he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC.

89 thoughts on “The message I’ve waited 14 years to send to Mike Ashley…

  1. Olly – as a 42 year old who started supporting the club pre KK the first time round, I’m so pleased for you mate – and all Newcastle fans who know little more than the Ashley era.

    Sir John Hall is up there in the NUFC legends for me. Not just for what he did with the club but for the whole City, the whole area if you want to throw the Metro Centre into it as well.

    I was mid teens – early twenties when it hit its peak & honestly there was nowhere else I’d have rather been – and that was not winning anything!!.

    I am seriously struggling getting my head round what this could lead to – the manager we could get, the players could could come in.

    Strap in mate!! 😂🥳😂🥳😂🥳

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  2. I just want a club that competes and has planned development. I’m not sure I want us to go out and spend ridiculous amounts on players whose commitment is purely to the money and not to the club. However I don’t want to see us playing on the fringes of relegation season after season. In short I just want a well run club. Something we have not had for 14 years.

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  3. Groucho:
    I just want a club that competes and has planned development. I’m not sure I want us to go out and spend ridiculous amounts on players whose commitment is purely to the money and not to the club. However I don’t want to see us playing on the fringes of relegation season after season. In short I just want a well run club. Something we have not had for 14 years.

    Groucho – it’s a different game now mate. Players only play for money or their own interests.
    I’m with you though, I’m not fussed about spending a billion on players – though we are that far behind the clubs competing for the CL spots that it may well take a spend like that – and I suspect players would still favour the London & Manchester clubs. That’s why I think we need a Conte type manager to draw the players in – I’m
    in no doubt that’s what happened with Keegan.

    There’s many years of progression ahead, but I hope that they cotton on that it’s investment in the academy that will pay off long term.

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  4. Sharpy: have you ever been to Manchester? Sh!thole. Cheshire is nice though. And the Lake District, obviuosly.

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  5. Eric+Sykes:
    Sharpy: have you ever been to Manchester? Sh!thole. Cheshire is nice though. And the Lake District, obviuosly.

    Eric – I have an Auntie that lives in Cheadle Hume just outside of Manchester. I only went out drink there a few times with my cousin & her friends & hated it. It just felt so edgy in comparison to Newcastle & so many thought they were one of the Gallagher brothers 🙄. Never had any bother like, but it didn’t have to same vibe as Newcastle & my cousin much preferred to come to Newcastle after just one visit anyway so we did, and often 😂.

    I’ve been to the Lakes a couple of times, but you know of my love for Northumberland and I find it difficult to look beyond there really 🤷🏼‍♂️.

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  6. My nostalgia has kicked in and I’ve been YouTubing King Kev.

    I really hope the new owners bring him back to SJP.

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  7. Just checking Sky Bet for odds on our next manager – Conte 9/4 🤞🏼.

    But Shola is in there at 40/1 😂 Allegeri & Gattuso are 33/1 to put that in some perspective 😂😂

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  8. PremAndUp:
    I think it’s between Conte, Martinez and Favre.

    Prem – I really hope it’s not Martinez. He had a golden generation of Belgium players – at least 8/10 in all positions and won nothing with them. They are ranked no.1 in the World but how Mickey Mouse is that???. He has totally under performed with that nation of players imo.

    If not Conte then I’m going for Lampard who may be able to convince so of the Chelsea youngsters who aren’t getting a game there to come join him – Hudson-Odi, Loftus Cheek, Connor Gallagher.

    We can take them with a buy back clause if Chelsea want to do it that way – they can have them back when we up grade 😂.

    Forget that – it has to be Conte!!.

    ‘So Antonio, how much is this gonna cost?’ 😂😂😂

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  9. If anybody doesnt get the message that I think Steve Hastie, The Geordie Drunkard and Keith Patter-Man are full of shyte, then let me just say it. They are full of themselves and full of shyte.

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  10. The new board of directors are supposedly going to meet to discuss Bruce’s future. What are they going to talk about? 29% PL win rate. 19% in 2021.

    Get rid of the man Bo0bed waster who was just hanging around for a pay-off. And get rid of the other Steves and Graeme Jones if he sanctioned a move to 5 at the back at Wolves.

    A new broom, a new start. Get rid of the lot of them. All of them. Harper included. He was content to sit on the bench for 10 years and we dont need losers any more.

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  11. Harry Enfield is really funny. Have you ever seen the Julio Geordio bit Sharpy?

    I will find it.

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  12. Eric+Sykes:
    Harry Enfield is really funny. Have you ever seen the Julio Geordio bit Sharpy?

    I will find it.

    I have mate, I grew up on Harry Enfield & Paul Whitehouse (Fastshow). I loved Charles Charlie Charles as well 😂😂

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  13. I suppose their first job is to replace the manager. Rumour is that he will be gone this weekend and Jones in as caretaker for Sunday’s game. Why wouldn’t they try and find a manager before Sunday?

    Anyway it’s going to be interesting. I’m sure they’ll make mistakes but I expect the mistakes will be made when making decisions based on what they think will give us the best chance of success. We won’t agree with all what they do and that’s fine. Otherwise what are we going to argue about on here?

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  14. I’ve been thinking CBs to improve our defence & I thought Nat Phillips was excellent for Lpool last season. Young lad thrown in at the deep end & he didn’t do much wrong. He’s only 24 now I think so plenty of years ahead of him.

    To partner him, Martinez from Ajax. He’s excellent with the ball at his feet, fast & only 23 as well I think.

    Making way – Clark & as much as it hurts to say, Dummett.

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  15. Right back – Kieran Trippier. Out – easy!! Krafth

    Left Back – Marcos Acuna. Out – sorry but has to be Ritchie for me.

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  16. Newcastle fan thinking about defense first, WOW.
    OK I’ll play. Looking at clubs struggling with debt and players nearing the end of their contracts.
    new Back 4
    Gaya Valencia LB
    Romagnoli AC Milan LCB
    Kumbulla Roma RCB
    Dodo Shaktar D RB

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  17. Stuart79:
    I suppose their first job is to replace the manager. Rumour is that he will be gone this weekend and Jones in as caretaker for Sunday’s game. Why wouldn’t they try and find a manager before Sunday?

    Anyway it’s going to be interesting. I’m sure they’ll make mistakes but I expect the mistakes will be made when making decisions based on what they think will give us the best chance of success. We won’t agree with all what they do and that’s fine. Otherwise what are we going to argue about on here?

    Stu – couldn’t agree more mate. Nobody can please an entire fan base with every decision – but their actions will be to improve the club, I’m sure of that.

    The big one will be – will they look to rename the stadium?. I expect it to come up at some point.

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  18. PremAndUp:
    Newcastle fan thinking about defense first, WOW.
    OK I’ll play. Looking at clubs struggling with debt and players nearing the end of their contracts.
    new Back 4
    Gaya Valencia LB
    Romagnoli AC Milan LCB
    Kumbulla Roma RCB
    Dodo Shaktar D RB

    Prem – no mate, i went forwards first. But the defence desperately needs improving as not only are the CBs not good enough, they are all 30 odd as well I think.

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  19. PremAndUp:
    Why not, and while we are at it, Kessie from AC, Zakaria from Borussia and Jovic from Madrid

    Oh go on then 😂. I did suggest Jovic the other day actually Prem. He doesn’t seem wanted by Madrid & I think he could be a good signing.

    Would you go Jovic or Lacazette … or both 🤷🏼‍♂️😂

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  20. PremAndUp:
    I think Jovic is 23 whereas Lacazette is 30, difficult choice

    I went with Lacazette coz he already knows the league & at 30 would hopefully come with a bit of fire in his belly – 1. To prove Arsenal wrong and 2. To try and make that France WC squad as it may be his last chance.

    Get shot of Gayle and get them both in though I say. We had Wilson, Gayle & Carroll last season so are technically a forward down on last season already. We have 4 keepers in the squad now, so we’d have to squad space.

    I’d be well happy with a forward pool of Wilson, Lacazette & Jovic for the next 2 or 3 seasons as we progress up to those top 6 spots.

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  21. I am surprised that none of the journos or Blogs, including this one, didnt even get a smell of this takeover happening when it did.

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  22. I am still shocked about the takeover. They had to have something on the Premier League and probably Spurs as well.

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  23. Eric+Sykes:
    I am still shocked about the takeover. They had to have something on the Premier League and probably Spurs as well.

    Do you really care mate?? 😂😂

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  24. I see Levy wants new limits for sponsorship, aye that’ll be right and they just signed a £250m sponsorship deal I believe.
    I’m beginning to really hate Spurs.

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  25. Kimtoon:

    Nufc have enough money now to pay for 1,000 years of the nappys Levy is crappng into now.

    Top 6, Fck off!

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  26. Does anybody really care if SJP is renamed? They can stick 200 million in sponsorship on the table and call it Aramco Park, for all I care. That’s what Man City did with the sham Etihad deal. My problem with naming SJP Sprorts Direct was that he wanted something for nothing. Changed the name and paid nothing.

    I am OK if we call it “Dirty Mackem Scumbags @SJP” as long as we get the 200 million investment.

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  27. Eric+Sykes:
    Does anybody really care if SJP is renamed? They can stick 200 million in sponsorship on the table and call it Aramco Park, for all I care. That’s what Man City did with the sham Etihad deal. My problem with naming SJP Sprorts Direct was that he wanted something for nothing. Changed the name and paid nothing.

    I am OK if we call it “Dirty Mackem Scumbags @SJP” as long as we get the 200 million investment.

    Eric – I do mate. City was different. They moved from Maine Rd which was always Maine Rd. The new stadium didn’t have the history and was called the City of Manchester stadium or something like that before the Etihad.
    If they built a new stadium for us to move to, name it what you want – but that is St James Park.

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  28. What am I going to b!tch about now? I cant possibly stay on here without Fat Steve, Ugly John and Pards to moan aboot.

    See you later guys:

    Kimtoon
    Sharpy
    Stuart
    Icedog
    Aussie
    Prem
    Georgio
    Groucho
    Olly, of course
    Shamrock

    Even BrisV

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  29. The way this lot operate I’d be really surprised, if all the time they’ve waited for this, they didn’t have everything worked out already. New DOF, manager and players. Calls made, contacts made etc etc.
    I think it’ll be Rafa. He said yes when they asked ages ago.

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  30. georgio:
    The way this lot operate I’d be really surprised, if all the time they’ve waited for this, they didn’t have everything worked out already. New DOF, manager and players. Calls made, contacts made etc etc.
    I think it’ll be Rafa. He said yes when they asked ages ago.

    Georgio – you’re crazy if you think Rafa is in the running mate – in fact there isn’t another manager less likely imo.

    He was getting death threats from Everton fans for taking the job – do you think he could ever show his face on Merseyside again if he did that to them???.

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  31. I think you’re right about the rest though mate – especially backroom staff and their plan on growing the club.

    I think there will be a shortlist of managers now & players they will be looking to bring in.

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  32. I was watching re-runs of The British Office and David Brent was asking the staff how old he looked. Obviously he wanted them to say he was younger, but none did.

    How old do you think Cabbage Doubtfire looks? How old does Steve Bruce look? I would say 70.

    His face looks like a bag of potatoes.

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  33. I watched the England game last night and I pity the pundits sometimes – what the hell are you meant to say?!.

    One of the questions was ‘have we learned anything about England tonight?’ – yeah we’ve learned that most of our ‘C’ team with a few ‘B’ team players can beat Andorra 5-0 🙄.

    I do think Arsene Wenger is on to something having a long International break and getting all these Mickey Mouse games out the way.

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  34. I know there is still time yet but the only thing that would spoil the party against Spurs is if Bruce is still in charge imo.

    They have to know that the vast majority of fans want Bruce gone, so why drag this out?.

    The players must know that he will be out within the coming weeks – so what must training be like??

    What’s the preparation for the Spurs game??

    I know they wanted to review things first, but really? – how long? – they’ve had 7 games already this season to see Bruce needs shifting ASAP

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  35. Is Ashley really gone? The guy from Rangers is already on board. Castore well placed now . . . Is MA still around too? Didn’t he give £s to Amanda last year?

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  36. So Bruce to be relieved of his duties today I guess. Don’t drag it out – just get it
    done and get on with the job of finding his replacement. Brendan Rogers for me.

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  37. I find it a bit odd that Bruce is still in the job. He’s clearly going and yet he’s met Staveley and he then took training all media saying no decision today… ? What’s the point in that? Is it fair on Bruce?

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  38. Where did this 8 million figure come from to get rid of Fat Fck Number 2? The press had always said 4 million and now this new amount is what they are talking about!

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  39. We do not need a repeat of the Mark Hughes at Man City experience where he stayed on for 6 months. Perhaps they are trying to negotiate a lower settlement? I might have him stay on after we teach him to make balloon animals for kids. Him and the other Steves dressed as clowns at Gray’s Monument?

    Knowing Brucie’s record for having players out of position you would end up with a crying child who wanted a balloon dog and Bruce made them a balloon rabbit.

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  40. PremAndUp:
    It takes time to learn to do balloon animals properly, One of my mates is regarded as one of the best professionals in the UK

    Does he need a 60 year old apprentice?

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  41. Sharpy: you know a “professional” balloon animal guy? Bruce’s number is 0191 236 1980.

    The 1980 bit is because that’s where his tactics are stuck.

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  42. This isn’t your normal twiddle a few animals guy, This is full character performance with a vast array of shapes, inc hats etc. He has a range of other characters and is soon to be working as Santa. He even has me helping out for a few sessions.

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  43. Prem: I wasnt taking the p!ss mate. It was much more meant at Bruce.

    But, onto the Dannies (Mills and Murphy). So, you have the biggest budget in the league and you want to hand it to a Manager with a 29% win rate in 21 years and 999 games and 19% in 2021 because he is used to fighting relegation? That makes absolutely no sense.

    Please dont let him get to 1,000 games. Let his 1,000th game be for the Cheadle Chieftans or somehere like that.

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  44. I think the new regime is very concious of how the will be viewed in the media, now and in the years to come. Everyone know that Bruce is a dead man walking as far as being our manager is concerned. If they went in all guns blazing it would taint the great PR work they have done to date. A gentle, well planned exit is what is called for. It would actually be nice if Bruce’s departure was handled with respect and dignity. We have seen very little of it in recent years from Ashley and Co.

    Stuart79:
    I find it a bit odd that Bruce is still in the job. He’s clearly going and yet he’s met Staveley and he then took training all media saying no decision today… ? What’s the point in that? Is it fair on Bruce?

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  45. Probably right, Aussie. I also think they have a dilemma in that they haven’t got a technical director lined up yet and it’s the chicken and egg with that position and head coach.

    If they want someone who is out of work then there’s no reason why they couldn’t do it now so maybe they want someone in work?

    Other issue is who will make the decision on a new coach and technical director? There’s nobody apart from Frank Mcpartlan who is experienced in football so will the responsibility be all his?

    One thing is clear – we don’t have a lot of time given our league position and given our next two home games are against Spurs and Chelsea with Palace away in the middle we need to make progress.

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  46. Aussie – good to see you mate.

    I agree. Nobody can dispute it’s not been pretty, but it has been affective and he kept the club in the PL – without that I don’t think this takeover would have happened.

    He was never the right man for the job, but it’s who Ashley went with. Whatever we think or say, history will remember that he got an 11th and 12th league finish with Newcastle.

    I never wanted Bruce in, but some of the stick he’s got from day 1 has been disgusting really, so yeah a bit of dignity and respect would be nice to see for a change.

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  47. Stuart79:
    Probably right, Aussie. I also think they have a dilemma in that they haven’t got a technical director lined up yet and it’s the chicken and egg with that position and head coach.

    If they want someone who is out of work then there’s no reason why they couldn’t do it now so maybe they want someone in work?

    Other issue is who will make the decision on a new coach and technical director? There’s nobody apart from Frank Mcpartlan who is experienced in football so will the responsibility be all his?

    One thing is clear – we don’t have a lot of time given our league position and given our next two home games are against Spurs and Chelsea with Palace away in the middle we need to make progress.

    Stu – I like the idea of the lad that set the red bull teams up as TD and get the Ajax coach in – I think that would be a good combo.

    I also like Rodgers as manager though. He’s a ready to go option with his experience & when you look at his record he’s very good.

    My fear is they go with Martinez because a lot of fans have a love in for Jones & he’s worked a lot with Martinez in the past. He’s obviously be better than Bruce, but he wouldn’t be my preferred choice.

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  48. Stuart, couldn’t agree more. We need to work from the top down if this is going to be done right. I want Bruce gone but we need to get the right people in place to manage this transition. There is no point putting on a new manager if the boardroom has had no say in his appointment. It’s a recipe for disaster. Everyone needs to be pulling in the same direction.

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  49. Gday Sharpy, hope you are well mate!

    Sharpy17:
    Aussie – good to see you mate.

    I agree. Nobody can dispute it’s not been pretty, but it has been affective and he kept the club in the PL – without that I don’t think this takeover would have happened.

    He was never the right man for the job, but it’s who Ashley went with.Whatever we think or say, history will remember that he got an 11th and 12th league finish with Newcastle.

    I never wanted Bruce in, but some of the stick he’s got from day 1 has been disgusting really, so yeah a bit of dignity and respect would be nice to see for a change.

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  50. Aussie:
    Stuart, couldn’t agree more. We need to work from the top down if this is going to be done right.I want Bruce gone but we need to get the right people in place to manage this transition.There is no point putting on a new manager if the boardroom has had no say in his appointment.It’s a recipe for disaster. Everyone needs to be pulling in the same direction.

    Aussie – all good mate 👍🏻.

    Yeah this is the very thing that Ashley got wrong wasn’t it?! – and it was all downhill from there really.

    You can sit in the stands with ya toon top on and down pints with the fans, IF you’ve got the right people running your club – NOT Wise & Kinnaer and the other amateurs pals he handed jobs to.

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  51. Yep it was a sh*t show right from the start.
    I thought that Chris Mort seemed slightly switched on but the motley crew you just mentioned makes we cringe.
    How could that set up, have ever worked!!

    Sharpy17: Aussie – all good mate .

    Yeah this is the very thing that Ashley got wrong wasn’t it?! – and it was all downhill from there really.

    You can sit in the stands with ya toon top on and down pints with the fans, IF you’ve got the right people running your club – NOT Wise & Kinnaer and the other amateurs pals he handed jobs to.

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