by • June 29, 2015 • TBAWEComments (14)1553

Depending on who and what you read Newcastle United’s season ticket sales have tf121_cover_ipadcollapsed by between 25, 35 or even 40% in some parts of St James’ Park. That isn’t me being the hand-wringing misery you have come to know and er, love rather it’s based upon informed calculation from information gleaned from the club itself. So, it’s happened then. Those who for years have told you and me they were going to chuck it have done so.

Those who accuse me and those like me of negativity in matters of Newcastle United can now join Moncur and Co. in attempting to persuade those fellow Mags who have walked that they should come back. For many, this isn’t any longer a decision about leaving, that’s happened, now it’s about lost supporters returning.

We all know supporters who have walked away. Good, loyal Black & Whiters with a deep and loyal love for the club who have become sickened by a lack of investment, lies, broken promises, selling any player who looks half decent and failing to replace them, Wonga on the shirt, the Sports Direct Arena and players with no pride in pulling on Newcastle United colours. Steve McClaren has walked into a shit-storm that may for a large swathe of the club’s match-going public have simply passed the point of no return. It’s not his fault of course but he is looking increasingly incapable of being to do anything about it.

The club now appears to be in something of a downward spiral with its public. Last seasontf121_jonas_ipad came the realisation that quite possibly having a season ticket, paid for in advance is possibly the most expensive way to watch our club when the traditional deal for as long as I can remember is that an up-front commitment  was supposed to generate a value, a commitment bonus if you like. Not at Newcastle United. This is one fucked up football club.

For those of us who continue to oppose Ashley and who want him to remove himself from the club this isn’t a time for celebration at the support finally turning away in the massive numbers many have hoped for over an extended period. Personally, I’m saddened it has come to this. Not saddened actually, wholly depressed that the light of our great city and region has been dimmed by the charlatans in the boardroom, in the dugout and on the pitch.  After all of the trials, tribulations, disappointments that have tested us down the years the stoicism that has been the USP of our support has gone. That indefatigable Geordie optimism has been worn down by eight years of Ashley’s perverse approach to running our club. It’s a time for mourning not celebration.


It’s going to be the Fans Forum next week. This is the one that was promised would betf121_supermac_ipad pulled forward during the season but never was. I know, I wasn’t surprised either! This is the one where a public demand by someone presuming to represent the Fans Forum demanded the attendance of Mike Ashley. Good luck with that.

Here are a few thoughts.

If Ashley does not attend and instead sends his powerless, over-promoted troupe from the “board of directors”, I suggest supporters end the farce of this circus and walk out.

If they do as I entirely expect persist with the charade of this Fans Forum then I suggest that rather than be cowed into inertia, those with permanent seats (How? Why?) start behaving like a proper fans representative body and at least publish their own account of the meetings rather than allow the club to stage manage the whole thing. I won’t hold my breath on that one.

Here are a few questions however:

Why did Newcastle United pay Sports Direct £3.4m as detailed here

Does Newcastle United have a similar arrangement with Sports Direct via NUFCDirect that Rangers do where it is reported only 7% of monies spent on the Ibrox club’s merchandise actually goes to the club?

How much did Newcastle United make from the sale on a lease of land at the Gallowgate End and in which Lee Charnley played a key role?

The Premier League has made a commitment for its clubs to pay its employees and those tf121_review_ipadvia its contractors the Living Wage – how many of the club’s directly employed staff (full and part time) now receives the Living Wage? How many employees of the club’s contracted out services are paid the Living Wage?

Why are the club’s running costs increasing year on year as detailed within the club’s accounts?

When will Newcastle United replace John Irving (Finance Director) and other departed finance personnel?

How much does Newcastle United now owe Mike Ashley?

Who was responsible for appointing John Carver as Head coach from January to May 2015?

What is Bob Moncur’s area of expertise on the Newcastle United “board of directors”?

Who took the decision to inform Ryan Taylor and Jonas Guitteraz they would not be offered new contracts in the manner they were?

Where in the process of purchases and sales is Mike Ashley consulted?

In 2013 then Director Football Joe Kinnear revealed plans for new investment in the Academy facilities at Benton. He outlined work would statr in May 2015. It hasn’t. Planning permission was only applied for in Autumn 2014. Why is the development delayed? When will work start? When will it be completed?

What is the estimated value to Sports Direct of their advertising at St James’ Park?tf121_krul_ipad

Why was The Mirror the only newspaper invited to the Steve McClaren opening conference at St James’ Park?

Has the club estimated the damage to its brand of its continuing poor relations with the football press?

What does the club calculate the financial advantage of buying a season ticket rather than obtaining tickets match-by-match?

How many  season ticket holders who bought tickets for the 2014/15 season have failed to renew for the 2015/16 season?

How many season tickets did Newcastle United have in the 2007/08 season?

How many does it have now?

Don’t you wish your girlfriend was hot like me?


Although it seems that Cathro has been offered to some kind of coaching job at United thistf121_mcclaren_ipad hasn’t been confirmed and with the players expected back for pre-season training next week, a full coaching team has yet to be appointed. I expect (hope) that will be resolved this week but with nothing happening with incoming transfers and a mountain of preparation to do before the season kicks off in just over a month’s time there is an understandable lack of enthusiasm for the new season to put it mildly. The whole club is in a bad place, on and off the park. It can’t go on.

See you at Gateshead a week Friday though.


Have a great week.


Keep On, Keepin’ On …


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14 Responses to THRU BLACK & WHITE EYES – CRITICAL MASS – 29/Jun/15

  1. Alan says:

    You’ve used your last two editorials now Michael to eloquently state a whole host of perfectably understandable and justifiable reasons to not only not renew season tickets but also highlight the bleeding obvious, ie that those running what was NUFC are a bunch of despicable lying twats.
    I’m curious to know why anybody in their right mind, yourself included, would therefore as good as sanction the repulsive fat cunts destruction of something they love by blindly paying him in advance?

    Utterly bizarre.

    • I think you’ve misunderstood me Alan. I’m not criticising anyone who has jacked a season ticket I’m simply bemoaning the fact fans feel this is the only way to express their dissatisfaction at how the club they and we all love is being treated by Ashley and those who work for him at NUFC. I’m not celebrating this because I don’t think its where any of us really want to be following our club. It shouldn’t be this way.

      • Otterburn says:

        Is it not possible for you to answer the exact question that Alan eloquently put to you or did you not understand the fundamental issue raised in his missive?

  2. Ande Walsh says:

    Bullseye, Alan.

  3. Alex says:


    • Paul smith says:

      Michael I think they have a point however tough it must be as editor of this superb fanzine. It’s easy for me I stopped going the day keegan left second time and haven’t been back and won’t til he’s gone. Wonga man you couldn’t fucking write it and as I predicted a big red flash on the new strip. The bloke is torturing us on purpose

  4. Peter Shearer says:

    I try desperately hard to see the position of any committed fan and try not to criticise their position-as long as it is anti-Ashley.But we have very little effective action that we can take,besides boycotting,unless those that choose to keep going are going to make Ashley’s life hell-which they have not done so far.I think boycotting is our most effective tool and we have to take a long-term view to protect our club.It does involve sacrifice-but the goal is to get rid of this man.

    It is sad that we have been forced to do this, but it is also encouraging that the fans appear to be fighting back.

  5. Ian Summers says:

    Surely the letter from the “Ticket Operations Manager” which promised a target of top 8 and a real go at the domestic cups has resolved the club’s season ticket crisis?

  6. Mikey says:

    I take it the ticket operations manager is a anagram of charnley , Ashley , Moncur

  7. Greenys Guitar says:

    Was in Alnwick yesterday enjoying the weather and the sights.
    My day collapsed however when I saw a guy walking down the cobbles in the disgusting new ‘cup’ shirt. I instantly hated the poor bloke. Never seen him before. Don’t know anything about him but I despised him for wearing that shirt in public and looking so proud about it.
    I couldn’t get him and his Wonga shirt out of my mind and last night after reading this article I came to the conclusion that we are totally fucked.
    Our strength as supporters is that we have always stuck together through thick and thin, the good times and bad. NUFC was the common denominator. It was our club that kept us together. Ashley not only taken our club away from us but he has succeeded in turning fan against fan. United we stand divided etcfuckingcetera.
    Just as I couldn’t bear the sight of that guy in Alnwick I am becoming increasingly annoyed at the likes of our Mr Martin who regularly preaches what we want to hear but does nowt about it. After all the articles he’s written on the subject, most of which I agree with, he goes out and renews his season ticket then tells the members of the fans forum what they should do.
    I even get annoyed at who have a policy of reporting facts and rarely criticise or express opinion. Conversely I also get annoyed at the Jeremy Kyle viewers who regularly post their views in the Chronicle.
    This folks is where we are at. I suppose some shrink or similar will be able to explain how Ashley has done it but I personally have never seen anything like it. Why do I hate Wonga wearing arseholes and why do I get worked up about other fans opinions and actions ( or lack of them )
    I can’t help. I don’t have any answers. I like so many others have given up but can’t get the club out of our hearts which is why we still read this gobshite fanzine and every thing else relating to our club. See I’ve done it again called it our club.
    My first match was in 1954 55 season and my season ticket was bought with my first pay packet in 1964 so you can appreciate some of the shite I’ve put up with over the years. I’ve long been disillusioned with football in general, the EPL in particular, the influence of SKY but it took Ashley to stop me going to matches. Sad

    • Angry says:

      I actually think out of the 50,000 ‘best supporters in the world’ that attend the home games, about 18k are hardcore. Most of men of routine, a few pints on a Saturday in my black and white stripes or Middle Class types who want to have something to talk about on Monday at work.
      Have you been to a London away game recently? Our support is completely embarrassing. Its a jolly boys day out for lads who want a day out and love to sing their zaney songs but whether we win lose or draw they don’t care. I know one lot who go to every game. They get tickets for their none Geordie friends who they went to university with so they can see just how daft and mental and hard us Geordies are. It makes me cringe.

      The club is dead. The game itself is pretty dead but NUFC is probably the best example of how to destroy something. Thing is, it was so easy to do. It was always held together by sticky tape. He bought the perfect club in us, always loads of brain dead ‘propa Geordies’ like Mr Alnwick to go to the games. Last 2 seasons I have been at the point where I want them to lose. Fine line between love and hate…

  8. Bob says:

    We are between a rock and a hard place. Can’t support another team, really. Yes we can go to Gateshead or Blyth or Heaton and probably enjoy it, maybe even get “Into it” but hearts and minds will always be NUFC. We can stop going to deny Ashley dosh and make a point. On the other hand, it is our club so why should a bloke like Ashley stop us going to SJP. either is right, make your own mind up, there will be many reasons for your decision but don’t abuse either decusion. I find it difficult to understand people, certainly adults buying wong shirts and stuff, even from the kiosks and bars at the match.

    • David Rutherford says:

      I completely lost faith in any ‘unity’ we had as a fan-base when last season’s boycott was abandoned after one game and virtually everyone who missed the Spurs match went back the week after. I’ll still support Ashleyout in whatever they do and I believe their protests did achieve some good but it was all too short-lived and even with the slight drop in season ticket sales, as long as 40, 000+ turn up every week Ashley’s still laughing his cock off at us.
      I won’t be back until the fat twat’s gone and until then, frankly, I give up.

  9. JOHNNIE P says:

    At our disastrous season was about to end, one of the things I found most depressing was to hear a member of the Fans Forum say on Radio Newcastle that at least the club is going to go for trophies next season. If he’s reading this I have to point out that ASHLEY DID NOT SAY THAT! Ashley sad he wouldn’t sell up until we had won silverware or got into Europe. So if Ashley really doesn’t want to sell the club (and why would he when he’s coining all that money) then he’ll make sure we don’t win silverware! It’s a clever ploy to con the fans once again into thinking he’s on their side. incidentally Bobby Moncur also said in the Journal last month that we are going for silverware which, with Bobby now cuddling up to Ashley, reinforces my argument.