I can’t tell you how disappointed I was with Alan Pardew’s abysmal dedication to Mike Ashley following the entirely merited and fabulous win over Chelsea at St James’ Park. Dedicating that win in any shape or form to Ashley, for me, soured what should be a day when the rancour at our club should have been put to sleep for a few hours and we relished the sheer sporting joy of putting one over a club, similar in stature to ourselves but upholstered by the tens of millions of a Russian oligarch’s dubiously attained wealth.
Does Sports Direct sell knee-pads Alan? You are going to need a pair at this rate.
Mike Ashley is about as far from being a supporter of Newcastle United as I am of being the next Magpies No.9 goal-scoring hero. A supporter wouldn’t trash the club’s heritage, treat its icons so disgracefully, lie to supporters, starve the club of investment and cynically use the club as a free advertising hoarding for his businesses. A real supporter wouldn’t allow the Newcastle United business to regress, pay it little attention and impose a model of joyless defeatism upon it as well as employ complete nuggets like Joe Kinnear to lead it.
A real supporter with Ashley’s vast wealth, would write-off the club’s debt (largely created by himself) instead of continue his grasping repayments – money he absolutely does not need but just wants.
A real supporter would not ban the local press from the club. I’m hardly a fan of how the club is covered by NCJ Media – I feel they have a long history of bending far too readily to the club’s will and have failed to ask the questions and investigate the issues which are vital to the well-being of the club. That has gone on for decades. I don’t want to paint any journalists as the villains of the piece – they are by and large hired hands doing the will of their bosses like you and I reading this – but I do think all of them, local and national could use their time and resources to shine bright lights into the running of the club which should concern any serious Newcastle United supporter. Honestly, when Joe Kinnear (cough) writes in the official programme that United is a well-run club, I think we have moved to a new level of satire. The club is most definitely not well-run, it is shrinking and becoming less competitive every season Mike Ashley is in the chair at Newcastle United and the reason for that is his strategy isn’t for success it is to support the expansion of his business through free advertising and keep us on the TV gravy train and no more. In my opinion that is an ambition which cheats Newcastle United supporters but also cheats the Premier League and football itself. Having a club content to simply coast along, whose main goal isn’t success and being the best club it can possibly be, is a distortion of the whole competitive principle of sport. It’s disgusting.
If a bad week could get any worse before the sun came out on Saturday afternoon it did with the news the club had made the unilateral, ham-fisted and completely wrong decision to ban the Newcastle United Supporters Trust from the Newcastle United Fans Forum after only one meeting over a disagreement concerning protocol. It’s truly pathetic. To be fair, I don’t imagine this was Mike Ashley’s decision. I’d suspect it wasn’t even Lee Marshall’s (the Supporters Liaison Officer) decision but that it was made by the Finance Director, John Irving and Club Secretary, Lee Charnley. The invisible men of Barrack Road.
What they have in essence done is to completely wreck the Fans Forum.
The Newcastle United Supporters Trust is the only properly constituted, members-based organisation which has a correct form of governance and which is affiliated to the Football Supporters Federation and Supporters Direct which is in turn supported by the FA and indeed Government. The NUST has now been slung out without ceremony and the Fans Forum has now absolutely zero credibility as far as I can see.
Before the news of NUST being banned last week broke I had learned that two members of the Forum had already resigned but I don’t have any information as yet why. As soon as I get it, I’ll publish it here.
So then, what do we have left with the Fans Forum? Unknown, disparate, disconnected supporters without any organisation of their own and means to provide their perspective on what happens within the Forum meetings. For me, I’m perfectly expecting the Forum to be used as PR fluff for the club.
For those remaining on the Forum, the risk they have to deal with is of being used as club stooges and I’d encourage them to resign en-masse and have nothing more to do with it until it is re-constituted in such a way that senior club employees cannot unilaterally expel people who have done something they aren’t suited with. Jesus, there seem to be some precious people walking the corridors of St James’ Park and it’s about time they acted with a bit more class than adopting the knuckle-headed behaviour of their thin-skinned bully of a boss.
But there was football last week wasn’t there?
I thought we could have beaten Man City in the LC but for a bit of expertise in finishing positions. Maybe if we’d signed another striker in the summer we’d have been celebrating two great wins last week rather than licking our considerable wounds following the derby loss which I’ve still haven’t forgotten, nor will I ever forgive, victories over Chelsea or not. Whether an exit from the League Cup was mission accomplished for as Ashley and his bean-counters remains to be seen given Irving’s disclosure United did not prioritise the cups. After all, if we did win the League or FA Cups (I know, stay with me, here) we’d be back in the Europa League and we wouldn’t want that, would we?
Much has been said and written about the derby defeat but it was a disgraceful surrender against a very, very poor team who look every way up to be relegated this season. On the back of a home defeat to Hull we have to ask the question, why is it our players can rouse themselves for the games against the Premier League’s leading sides but struggle against the shite ones?
With a trip to Spurs this coming weekend it is to be hoped the feel-good factor from the Chelsea win is carried through all week and taken to White Hart Lane because if we start like we have on too many occasions this season and last, we’ll be looking down the barrel of a good hiding. Will the real Newcastle United please stand up?
Best wishes to Paul Dummet who agreed a new contract with the club. It’s always good to have a supporter in the team but if the news was meant to have Mags dancing in the streets it failed. What would be better news would be a positive press release about Loic Remy’s future. There have been mixed messages about Remy. Kinnear has made a previous statement which would indicate Remy will return to QPR at the end of his loan period whilst Redknapp has made remarks about how he doesn’t want players back who have gone out on loan. Now, Redknapp and Kinnear aren’t exactly people I’d rely on for truth but it seems to me the club will not make any real efforts to sign Remy on a permanent deal because of the financial package it will involve. With Ashley it is all about screwing the costs further and further down. I absolutely expect another Ashley kick in the balls involving Remy.
Beating Chelsea at SJP was a great result and if you can’t enjoy those moments then the game is really up in honesty. However, in the grand scheme of things, under Mike Ashley, it means absolutely nothing . We are going nowhere under this man and the sooner he is history, so much the better. Get out of our club!
Have a great week.