Thru Black and White Eyes

THRU BLACK & WHITE EYES – Its Later Than You Think – 28/Dec/2015

by • December 28, 2015 • TBAWEComments (13)3369

I don’t think there has been anything more depressing in the entire time Ashley has been suffocating the life out of our club than being told by a lad I’m proud to call my friend telling me he was chucking Newcastle United in, lock, stock and barrel. This is a lad who comes from a family of loyal supporters in a heartland of supporters and who has followed the club home and away I’d say from between three to four decades. I know he will have thought about it a lot. I know he will have tortured himself with this decision and I know even now he’ll be chucking it around in his head and wondering if he’s made the right decision. Unlike some of us he’s never threatened this before in any kind of idle way and gone into any kind of huff with the club. He means it and he’ll carry it through. He has written for true faith for many years and he’s an intelligent, thoughtful lad who cares deeply for Newcastle United and I think he and I are on the same page about what we think politically and about our city and our region and our class. I am absolutely gutted he’s chucking it even though I am well aware of many others who I would describe as the club’s absolute hardcore support who have similarly walked away. There isn’t a day when I’ve not had the same thoughts and everyone has their own tipping points. If things continue as they are, I know I’ll walk away at some point and I’ll have the same agonies about doing so as my mate. Right now though I honestly feel our fan-base is draining its real, proper support but no-one can rebuke anyone for looking at what is unfurling at Newcastle United and deciding enough is enough.

January is the big decision month for season ticket holders. This is the month when direct debits can be cancelled and theMcClarenWestBrom1 long goodbyes begin. I’ve no doubt hundreds, possibly thousands will be making that decision now and joining the many others who have decided the club is a pointless charade and will only consider returning when Ashley has gone. Again, I could never criticize anyone at all for coming to that conclusion. We’ll have guidance online soon to give guidance to people about what to do to cancel direct debits and chuck season tickets. God almighty, has it come to this?

With a trip to title-chasing Arsenal next up and a horrendous run of fixtures thereafter and United in the bottom three the outlook is looking absolutely grim. We appear to be at severe risk of being cut off and sinking with the Mackems and Vile into the Championship in what will be three absolutely and entirely deserved fates from three clubs that have completely lost their way and been overtaken by others who are better run, with greater direction and purpose though fewer resources and less profile. As Newcastle United has been describe previously on numerous occasions, the club is a zombie outfit but is now drifting inexorably towards the life of the undead.

If we are to avoid thousands of loyal supporters walking away this month or next, Mike Ashley has to intervene and he has to do what he has hitherto been unable or perhaps unwilling to do and that is take decisions in the interests of Newcastle United rather than for his own narrow business benefits.

The first thing he has to do is to appoint an experienced and capable Chief Executive Officer. One who knows how the pre-order-hamburggame works, can work with agents and the media but more importantly provide strategic long term direction for the club as well as managing the day to day challenges of a Premier League club. That will require the removal of Lee Charnley who is yet to make a call in the interests of United in the time he has been pretending to be in charge of our club. Then must come the instant dismissal of Steve McClaren, a man so painfully out of his depth its almost cruel to watch him trot out his nonsense after another dismal display and performance. That he has failed miserably shouldn’t come as any surprise as he has failed at Derby (sacked), Forest (sacked), Wolfsburg (sacked), Twente (sacked) and England (sacked). Whatever success he has had as a coach to Ferguson at Man Utd or winning the Eredevisie with Twente or some distant successes with Boro are lost in the mists of time. At United he begun his work with a plan to play possession football. That failed miserably and has been abandoned and replaced with a kind of bad counter-attacking style which lacks craft, pace or guile. Of course he isn’t helped by a recruitment policy which is so flawed as to defy caricature.

For me, I’d appoint David Moyes. That’s not because I think Moyes is a magician but because he is the absolute best we might be able to get if we are to persuade him the club is fit enough for him to join. He is our best option in my opinion but he on his own won’t be enough and that’s why the operating model for the club just has to change. That means a good CEO in place and Carr’s position as the de-facto Director of Football completely changed to be more akin to a Chief Scout.

Moyes would have to be allowed to bring in four decent players of his own choosing. Players who know the Premier Classic1League, who know what’s required in every game and not just those on the telly against the teams with the big budgets and profiles. Thereafter, regardless if we are relegated or stay up the manager has to be allowed to build a team and he has to be central to the development and ethos of the playing style and personnel. The manager of the first team isn’t a Sports Direct flunky taking in a delivery of bad Lonsdale trackie bottoms and hanging them on the rails in one of his shops. The manager has to be the absolute and central person working between tactics, recruitment and building a squad worthy of the name of Newcastle United FC.

If this doesn’t happen and doesn’t happen quickly, we are going down and I really don’t think we’ll be bouncing back in the grand style at the first time of asking. And I’m pretty certain the SJP stands will empty.

Doing nothing or worse bringing another selection of inexperienced players looking to use Newcastle United as a trampoline bounce to somewhere better just won’t be good enough.

One decision on its own – new players or a new manager won’t be enough. It has to be a complete change in philosophy. Link to Toon Photography websiteAnd it has to be now.


Thank you for all of the kind words about the new issue of true faith (Issue 123) we have out now. We are delighted at how it has been received by lots of you and thrilled at the numbers who are downloading it. It’s no idle boast that we claim it is the most widely read club fanzine in the UK and we fervently believe this is the model for a new era in fanzines. Unlike some websites or whatever we aren’t after clicks as a means to drive advertising revenue and despair of so called fanzines who are now reduced to doing that as well as chopping up news releases and claiming them as their own to bring traffic to their sites. We’ll never do that and I guess neither will our valued friends and colleagues at

Anyway, click on the image below and you’ll be transported to some of the best fanzine writing anywhere in the UK and all for nowt, nada, zilch, gratis.

Of course if you felt like you wanted to write fro true faith, just drop us a line on and we’ll put you to work immediately.


Anyway, its been an absolutely shite 2015 so far as Newcastle United has been concerned and if our fears aren’t to be realised, 2016 could get worse if Ashley doesn’t act and start treating our club with due care and respect it deserves and that goes for us as supporters as well.

For all of that, thank you for your fantastic support throughout 2015 and the many years previously and one day we might get the football club its support deserves.


Keep On, Keepin’ On …

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13 Responses to THRU BLACK & WHITE EYES – Its Later Than You Think – 28/Dec/2015

  1. Jim says:

    Finally woke up and smelt the coffee? McCLaren was never going to improve the position we have found ourselves in! Our club introduced him as an outstanding acquisition which showcased the position NUFC were in ie: capable of attracting a top class coach……give me a laugh!!!!!! Myself and my 23 year old son knew we were doomed as soon as this appointment was made yet ‘true faith’ liked what they saw???? Liked what they heard???? Could see improvement??????? Look at your August posts don’t take my word for it!!!! I know he is not the root cause of the dire situation we find ourselves in but howay man! Also I sometimes, no actually always feel the majority of our fans get what they deserve. At home games any criticism of ‘King Colo’ etc: is met with derision…….well if people are happy with what they are seeing fine but it’s becoming a struggle for me to even go to a game now. On that very point why do I still attend? Well the season tickets went last season but I still attend on a game by game basis because I love Newcastle United FC and have done since I attended my first game in 1969. But the main reason is keeping the club alive in my family, I could not bear my son not to be a NUFC supporter and he is ‘big style’ as will be his son and his son’s son……the answer, if I had it I would give it……..desperate times.

  2. Alex says:

    I’d like to think this will happen but does Ashley really care. Allegedly standing to make hundreds of millions from his property deals what does it matter. He seems to hate us anyway. Sad times.

  3. gjbnufc says:

    ‘And I’m pretty certain the SJP stands will empty.’

    The only line of the article I can disagree with, continuously soaking up the force fed drivel we have come to accept as standard.

    I really hope you’re right and we can be on our way to finally reclaim our once great empire formally known as NUFC.

    Great reading as always and all the best for 2016. At least we have a fanzine worthy of our former football club.

  4. Ken Brown says:

    As a fully paid up member of the Smug Bastards Society I quit going at the end of the season we finished fifth TOP of the league as it was patently obvious then as to what was to follow.
    I first went to SJP in the 1948/49 season and hardly missed a match since then including friendlies against Scottish teams in the fifties, the Anglo-Scottish cup, the Anglo-Italian cup, the Texaco cup, any other shit cup you can think of, various and many friendlies and even a game against a “crack” Brazilian team called Bela Vista which we won 12-1. Also some (but not many) away games. I was one of the clubs hard-core supporters you mention.
    Ashley is now in his NINTH season as owner of our club and his record from the off has been, and still is, appalling. You are correct in your assertion Michael, that absolutely nothing will improve until there is a COMPLETE change of everything to do with our club.
    Believe me it is extremely difficult to walk away but unfortunately I don’t think any of us have the answer to the problem.

  5. Vin1892 says:

    It’s not going to happen because Ashley simply doesn’t care. I’ve had a feeling for three or four years now that’s he’s simply being vindictive because of all the shit being thrown his way. He’s developing land in London that’s going to net him profits in the 100 of millions so losing 150m or so at NUFC means nothing. The land at Gallowgate will also net him a good profit and the value of Sports Direct has more than doubled from the free advertising at NUFC and the economic crisis. He could run the club into the ground and not give a fuck.

  6. SteveP says:

    I find it quite galling that our owner has approximately 20% of his wealth wrapped up in NUFC, yet seemingly isn’t arsed about it except to ensure he has the exposure for sports direct. He has attended only 3 fixtures this season that I know of.
    As I’ve said several times on the Facebook page, if your big boss at work couldn’t give a toss about the business, that filters down and those that are meant to do the main graft see this and think it’s not worth giving your all, ALL the time.
    It’s depressing that nobody in the public eye at NUFC (ie Ashley, Board, Manager, Coaches and players) have no pride in themselves (most importantly) and the business that gives them such a luxurious lifestyle.

    • Anton says:

      Exactly right – no pride in the NUFC business from the top, which filters down to the staff. We are like any other organisation in the same state of terminal decline. The result?
      Some workers will become desperate and flail around to show how proactive they are but without really knowing what they’re doing (Collback, Anita), others will despair and decline (Perez) and others will fear for their careers and spend most of their time updating their CVs/avoiding injuries than actually doing their job (Janmaat, Sissoko).
      These are all natural human reactions and getting on players’ backs is not the solution.

      I still think we have better players than most other teams in the bottom 12 (yes, even Chelsea and Liverpool have significant skill gaps in certain areas – I would take Elliot over Mignolet any day). But we haven’t had a team in years. We haven’t had a club in years.

      There is no way that Moyes or Rodgers or any decent coach on the up is coming here. This is a sinking ship and the captains (Carver, McClaren, JFK) reflect this. In many ways, as far as fans are concerned, it doesn’t matter if we go down or stay up just because another 3 teams are even more rubbish than us.
      We need Ashley to go. There is no other way.

  7. Dan says:

    Went to my first game in 1961.
    Went to my last yesterday

  8. Peter says:

    It is not a proper football club any more in my view. If you look at the recruitment policy, it is aimed at making money for Ashley, who also wants the publicity from all the hoardings about Sports Direct. I really don’t think that the prime purpose of NUFC any more is a s a football club.

    I also feel that it is pointless calling for a new manager. We can’t get anyone bettter. Other, better managers would not tolerate the way Ashley runs the club.

    The only time things will improve will be when Ashely sells up.

  9. Anton says:

    Also, can I just say that I don’t really think we’ll go down?
    There are another 23 easy/moderately easy points available till the end of the season. Other teams will have off days too and I believe that we can reach 40 points which will keep us up.

    The question we need to ask ourselves is: will there be any point to it for the fans and anyone outside Ashley’s business circle?

  10. Peter Shearer says:

    Well it is good to see the anger growing again. What makes anyone thinks Ashley will change now? Our only answer is to get out until he goes,so he can do no more damage to us personally. Whatever damage he does to the club will be recoverable -however far we fall. His pride will not cope with an empty stadium-so get out and hasten his departure!
    I am waiting for Gadgie and Andy Bee to tell me that i am being negative again-but I am actually feeling very positive that Ashley’s days are numbered. Please let 2016 be the the year we get rid of him!!

  11. tom Bates says:

    You’re right about the core support drifting away. Replaced by pl era fans who go for the day out. The passionate support we used to have at the games would not have accepted the way Ashley has taken the piss out of us. Keep paying him if you like but don’t be suprised that nothing changes. Sign some english or experienced premier league player’s and we might stay up and provide Ashley with another stack of TV money

  12. David says:

    Going to the games is tiring. Its like a war of attrition.
    I can’t see any real changes in how the club is ran.
    2016 is going to be another tough one.
    Crowds will dwindle.