THRU BLACK & WHITE EYES – No Fun – 26/Apr/15

by • April 26, 2015 • TBAWEComments (17)1285

Is there an unhappier football club anywhere in Europe than Newcastle United? Yes, thereAO1 may be clubs in greater difficulties than United right now but for sheer, unremitting gloom, depression and stomach churning furstration, Newcastle United will take some beating.

I couldn’t be arsed to leave the readily available flow of Irish stout in one of our fair and noble city’s fine hostelries on Saturday and the great company I was with couldn’t be stirred to head towards St James’ Park either. My season ticket remained unused in my pocket. Having barely missed a home game for 30 years+, I’ve now missed two in a week. Jesus Christ man. The worrying thing is I have missed nothing and I feel no guilt at not being at those games. Like many, I’m numbed by the whole head-fuck of Newcastle United.

Everywhere I looked on Saturday, talking about Newcastle United with its embittered, betrayed followers there was almost total disaffection with the club. Mike Ashley is sitting on top of a powder keg of discontent that is threatening to turn into a vast exodus from the stands. I bumped into several like me, season ticket holders who just could not bear to be inside St James’ Park for what was an entirely predictable defeat to opposition that can barely be described as top drawer.  We couldn’t even be bothered to move to a nearby bar to watch it on a dodgy channel. I’m in the Direct Debit scheme for next season’s feast of football but I really can’t imagine me heading up the hill to The Gallowgate again this season and next season just fills me with dread.

It would appear however that the defeat to Swansea followed the same familiar pattern. AO1The word is out that there is almost a complete lack of application from our players. Carver may rail at criticism from Philip Neville, Jamie Carragher, Michael Owen et al but he will have a little more difficulty dealing with club legend Alan Shearer’s acid criticism of a lack of effort. Although Carver and the club deny he swore at angry and upset supporters on Saturday, I think I know who I believe and it all bears the witness to a man who is painfully out of his depth and who is completely unravelling in front of our eyes. The man thinks we think Ashley has done a great job? Please someone take the shovel off this bloke. He has offered to speak to supporters about what he’s trying to do – I can pretty much guarantee that if I asked the Media Department for an interview with Carver, I’d get short shrift. I won’t even bother.

Can the club win another point this season? I really don’t know. I can’t see anything but a defeat at Leicester on Saturday coming and it fills me with dread that the team of cowards in our ranks is sleep walking to relegation. It’s even more depressing when I hear some supporters wishing that relegation to happen as it might mean the beginning of the end for Ashley – how in God’s name did our straightforward love for our football club become so distorted?

There are some who are calling for more boycotts of the club’s home games and I can’t Van Strawberry Place #boycottspurs I blame them. I’m not even sure they need to be organised to be honest. What is on show is so mind-numbing that many are just voting with their feet in any event. The club’s support, so stoic, so staunch for so long has just reached a critical mass and can’t put up with any more.

And the club’s response? Slash the ticket prices in the apparent thought that it might be shit but at least it’s cheap. In so doing they are also convincing many long-standing season ticket holders that their paid-up front commitment is having the piss taken out of it. I’ve not done the sums just yet but it seems like being a season ticket holder is a more expensive way of watching the club than taking advantage of the range of offers to get bums on seats. It’s a mad strategy symptomatic of a dysfunctional model for running a football club.

I’m told the 34th minute Red Card protest as organised by the Ashley Out group was a success. When that was happening I was sitting less than a quarter of a mile away, glum-faced, staring at a pint of the black stuff.

I look forward to more protests. There has to be more done to keep the momentum built AshleyOut1over the last week rolling and make Ashley just find a buyer, sell on good terms and allow our club to be re-energised. Obviously the sooner the better but we need to dig in for a long war if it requires it.

Those behind Ashley Out have struck a seam of discontent and it needs to be mined and action needs to continue.

So, what is the club’s response? It is going to bring forward the Fans Forum. Well, let the church bells ring throughout the sunlit uplands of Tyneside, you have sorted it all out Mr Charnley, you absolute genius.

Honestly, if it wasn’t so tragic you’d piss yourself laughing. The Fans Forum? Please. Now don’t get me wrong, there are doubtless some well-meaning people involved in it but as an effective means for dialogue the way it operates would embarrass a North Korean secret society. The club selects which fans sit on it, questions are submitted in advance, no supplementary questions are allowed to quiz whatever bull-shit story the club prepares in response and the club decides who to ban and who can report on what has gone on otherwise it will ban anyone who provides their own account. It is pitiful.

Fair play however to those who wrote to Charnley and demanded a meeting with Ashley with what I am presuming will be an opportunity to get some answers to what the man is doing to our club. If Ashley refuses to attend, so should they. They have drawn their line in the sand and they should stick with it. They should also publish their own account of the meetings and now be afraid that if they do they will be banned. That’s no way for a relationship between fans and club to operate. The club should also respond to the Newcastle United Supporters Trust’s and the Football Supporters Federation’s letters seeking explanations for NUST’s expulsion.

Bottom line however is if Ashley refuses to attend so should the fans.

A rumour also reached us that United’s Head of Media, Wendy Taylor is for the off, possibly re-joining Alan Pardew at Crystal Palace. I can’t say I blame her if it’s found to be true. She will likely get a big pay rise and at Palace she will likely be working in an environment less likely to turn her into a nervous wreck. I’ll be intrigued to see who gets a leg up into the post. Lee Marshall? Nothing would surprise me.

It’s not only members of the executive team preparing to do the off. I’d imagine Krul, who looked exceptional three seasons ago but who has been poor for eighteen months might think his career will best be served elsewhere. Janmaat would be insane to resist the blandishments from other clubs and I’ll drive Sissoko to the airport quite frankly. Colo’s commitment to our cause has been questionable for some time and there are others whose contracts are nearing their end. When was the last time United offered anyone an extension on their deal? Cisse, Tiote, Jonas, Sammy and a host of juniors all moving towards the exits.

What is going to happen in the summer?

Who knows the answer to that question or what division we will be in.

These are the darkest of days.


Keep On, Keepin’ On …


And another thing ….

How Fair Does Sports Direct Play? – The Telegraph Click here.

You may be interested in why Newcastle United have paid Sports Direct £3.5m.

The Secrets of Sports Direct – Channel 4, Dispatches, 8pm

Click here


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17 Responses to THRU BLACK & WHITE EYES – No Fun – 26/Apr/15

  1. “If Ashley doesn’t attend, nor should they”. Could be wrong but I’d put a little fiver on he won’t but they will.

  2. Iain Tranter says:

    Excellent article as usual Michael. Sums up the feelings of thousands of us. The Sports Direct programme tonight will be interesting and is only going to add to what is quickly becoming a PR disaster for Ashley and his cronies. This once proud great club is currently a fascist regime and nothing will change until Ashley is driven out, I for one will not be setting foot in SJP again until he is gone.

  3. andy mc says:

    do you know when the new true faith is due out mate?

  4. mammyslittlesoldier says:

    I read in the Chron that Charnley has admitted “mistakes have been made”. What a bell-end. It isn’t as if anything unforeseeable has happened. Squad not good enough or big enough + head coach clearly not up to the job = fucked

    • rich says:

      No mistakes were made. The club knew exactly what they were doing. Buy a ‘team’ in the summer, see how it pans out and reinvest in January if it looks like going tits up. They became complacent.Hopefully they will review the ‘strategy’after this seasons debacle.

    • Sando says:

      Every year we hear ‘mistakes have been made, we’ve learnt from them, things will be better next year’. Every year, the same mistakes, nothing learnt (other than you dumb Geordies are excellent at getting kicked in the teeth and smiling about it) and things get worse. Have been hoping nufc get relegated for a while now. It (no longer us) is a disgrace to the league, the sport and the city.

  5. Gordon Young says:

    Any player on 25,000 a week, most of the squad, is a pre tax millionaire!
    They should be ashamed of themselves if they can´t match the other team for effort.

    I understand that the coaching and training ( or lack of ) is not their fault but they have to give 110% in the next 4 games.

    I have boycotted club merchandise since Keegan went but I think that it is vital we stay up this year. Fatty will get the message if, for example, we are safe for the West Ham game and there is a crowd of 20,000 there.

    If the team can show passion against Leicester, hopefully Leicester will relax expecting a walkover, and we can sneak a point. West Brom at home is the biggy because we should have Cissé back and hopefully Aarons as well as De Jong fit, Dummet, Sissoko et al.

    We may have to set aside protests for that game which hopefully will be enough to stay up and give him a double whammy for the West Ham game with protests outside his shops again.

  6. Simon Sharp says:

    Great article. I follow Newcastle from afar these days, and rarely get to games (I don’t even tend to watch televised matches much these days) but the way I’m feeling at the moment jack-knifes between maddened and numbed – too angry to make a rational assessment of the situation but too indifferent to want to do anything about it. Maybe many others feel the same way?

    The feeling goes that you shouldn’t bet against your “own” team, but the online bookmakers are offering some still very long odds on us going down this season. I’ve stuck a tenner on without a second thought for two reasons a) this is no longer my team, this is a group of charlatans and imposters, in the dugout and on the park. With the exceptions of Janmaat and Perez (possibly Colback) I’d drive the buggers to the airport myself b) I may as well try and claim some financial recompense for the misery that NUFC have put me through over the years. I’ve had enough.

    Things will get worse before the get better. Ashley Out.

    • Jo says:

      As another long distance fan I also stuck a few quid on relegation – its a win win situation. If we stay up – hooray. If we go down I’m £750 up. I’m despairing of whats going on at SJP and doubt anything will make any difference to the Fat Controllers attitude. I’m taking all those promises of investment in the summer with a cellarfull of salt and can’t imagine any manager worth his salt who would want to work under Ashley and Charnley. Bad times.

  7. mikey says:

    Great and passionate article.

    I can feel your anger and share it.

  8. AndyMac says:

    “The worrying thing is I have missed nothing”

    The worrying thing for me is that despite some of the shitest football ever played at SJP, there are still 45k headless chickens who’d rather feed the Fatman than stay away and show solidarity with their fellow fans.

    When this is all done, there will be those who will rightly ask “Where were you on Boycott Day ?”

    • mikey says:

      I think there is less than that mate. Although i agree still a surpassingly high number.

      I reckon about 10k to 15k of us have decided to boycott permanently following Spurs, and that is pretty huge. This must now equate to season ticket cancellations.

      We can have a demand of any new owner that loyalty points are reinstated of those who boycotted. Because any new owner is going to have to treat us different, it will be the least we can expect.

  9. Graeme Pringle says:

    I look at AFC Bournemouth and I see everything that Newcastle are not.. From their owner, to the players, manager, coaches, style of play and engagement with their supporters.

    Theirs is a far better and more sustainable model than Ashley’s. Their style of football is much easier on the eye too.

    • Rob Brown says:

      Second that Graeme . Intelligence , humility and quiet sincerity at a football club . I think it is called mutual respect …… despite a world swimming in lowest common denominator swill . Lovely to see .No stopping now . Drive the despicable amoral tat pedalling liars from OUR club .

  10. Pat says:

    I feel sorry for Bournemouth – they’d be much better off staying where they are rather than being sucked into admiring the “Emperor’s New Clothes” that the Premier League has become. Their loyal manager will be sacked by Christmas, their fans will be divided and their heritage destroyed – Welcome to the Big Time!

  11. Gordon Young says:

    It´s a pitiful state that we are in but how did we get here, again?

    I would suggest that Charnley fell into the same hole, last January, as Llambias did .
    Trying to get his own big fat bonus by delivering a premier league team on the minimum outlay possible.
    Ashley runs all his companies the same; managers are paid big bonuses to deliver but a relatively low basic salary. That is why Pardew could triple his salary by moving to that giant club Crystal Palace. I wonder if Charnley´s 1M pound bonus will end up in a short term manager´s pocket for keeping us up in the last 3 games of the season, if we lose at Leicester!

    Of course the club will spend on players this summer. They would definitely get relegated next season if they didn´t. I have read 60M. I can believe that but with Fatty you have to read the small print. I read 60M on players AND WAGES. So it´s not 60M on transfer fees, plus will that be 60M new money or with sales money included? Obviously the 34M in the bank is there plus 18M profit, so that means only 8M from this season´s TV money and another big profit next year.
    I also read that he wants to buy strikers this summer before the new TV money kicks in otherwise the same players will cost more in the future!

    As you can see spending money this summer is part of his business plan, not ambition.
    However it is yet to be seen if Charnley (and Fatty) have blown our Premier League future.

  12. colmagoo says:

    brilliant article.