Thru Black and White Eyes


by • November 29, 2015 • TBAWEComments (31)4518

TRUE15 LUKE 1977 Voucher (1)



Newcastle United FC is broken. There is only one person who can fix it and that is Mike Ashley. Ashley, quite simply has to intervene and quickly. He needs to start paying the football club he owns some serious attention otherwise his asset, which you and I know as Newcastle United, a PL football club, is going to be relegated and lose its value and fail to provide him with what he wants – a billboard for his business interests. It is in Ashley’s interests and ours to start thinking very seriously what he does next. Inertia is not an option.

Ashley has to recruit an experienced and competent Chief Executive to run the club. Not a crony, a mate or someone he knows from his business world but a proper football person who understands how football works but who has a vision for the club, can communicate and who can repair the damage that has been done and is continuing to be done under the woefully inadequate people he has appointed to key positions. Someone who has his own ideas and isn’t a flunky as per Charnley et al. The first job Ashley and his new CEO have is to recruit a new first team manager. Not a coach or any of that nonsense but a manager who will build a proper football team, strengthen the positions that need to be strengthened and have a strategy to take the football club forward so it is able to fulfil its enormous potential. That of course will necessitate the removal of Steve McClaren, Lee Charnley and Graeme Carr who have all failed and will continue to fail the club with the current model which is simply dysfunctional. No-one can expect Charnley or Carr to make the right calls on managers or players. That is painfully clear.

There is no time to delay and I would hope Ashley would recognise the peril the club is in right now and move quickly. I’d McClarenCityhope a new manager would be in the dug-out by Saturday. There are managers of some pedigree out there but as a way forward my preference would be David Moyes at this moment in time. That’s not because I think Moyes is the perfect manager or anything like it but I do think he has the experience to save United.  Allowing Moyes to get in now would see him assess the current playing staff, start planning to bring in the type of players who can save the club’s Premier League status and there is an opportunity to do that in January.

The new manager will be aware of those players who are a waste of time and those who might be able to get a tune from. For me, Tiote, Cisse, Coloccini and Sissoko have to be packed off and quickly. They are priorities for the door. Others can follow in the summer. They are stinking the dressing room out and providing absolutely no value for money, leadership or anything approaching it. New lads need to be brought into that dressing room who the manager knows and respects and who have some professional pride. We need players who will run through fire for the shirt. Right now we simply have too many players who have poor characters – and that is something which amazingly was admitted by Jack Colback in one of those e-mails we all get from United every now and again.

We don’t have to discuss if McClaren isn’t up to it – he patently isn’t – but the people around him on that so-called Northern Threads Cyber weekend sale link“football board” (sic) make life impossible for any manager and their time has to be up. It has to be up now. Not enough was done in the summer, as people like us were at pains to point out but what was done wasn’t good enough and the question wasn’t just one of money on this occasion, it was of straightforward football knowledge. Money has been squandered and not for the first time.

If Ashley does not intervene this week and instead imagines keeping faith in Carr, McClaren and Charnley is some kind of article of faith in how he thinks a club should be run then he will be guilty of one of the biggest acts of folly in the history of Newcastle United FC. Ashley quite simply has to act. If he doesn’t or worse if he allows more of Carr’s targets to be recruited and have deals agreed by Charnley then a woefully inadequate McClaren will take United into the Championship where I don’t see a quick return.

I implore Mike Ashley to get involved and make the right calls, otherwise we are done.


Of course there are some who believe relegation won’t be a bad outcome. I’m sorry that does not wash. United will sink and I don’t imagine for one second Ashley will do the right thing by United and find a good owner who he can sell the club to on favourable terms. Ashley will soak every penny out of United via parachute money before he sells up eventually to the kind of people who buy desperate football clubs of the type we have only an hour and half train’s journey away in Leeds as an example. There is absolutely no guarantee relegation will deliver some kind of nirvana and every risk a Chellino or Oyston would get his hands on our club. If it could be guaranteed that we’d get to having a set-up like Portsmouth, I’d say bring it on but there isn’t. Retaining our PL status gives us more chance of getting an owner who will take the club seriously. Outside the PL we become vulnerable to all kinds of sharks – but only after Ashley has bled the club dry and left the kind of deals in place that Llambias sorted for him at Rangers FC with the merchandise (if we haven’t already got it). I have a mental image of Ashley taking the light-bulbs out at SJP on the last day of his ownership at United and I perfectly expect rotten fish under the floorboards for whoever follows him.


There is of course talk of boycotting games again – a prospect raised by no less a Newcastle United figure as the great Classic1Kevin Keegan this last week. Personally, if Ashley does not act and does not act quickly, I believe the time is right to target a televised match at SJP and have the kind of boycott that was so staggeringly successful last season against Spurs. Now, I expect the comments box below to be filled with the urgings of those who have already chucked it on a more permanent basis and who are utterly convinced theirs is the right path, though cannot detail how their own self-imposed exile has delivered any results whatsoever. I’ll be honest, if the tone of those who favour a boycott is of the hectoring, insulting type I’ve experienced (apparently I’m an Ashley collaborator) then people will just close their ears to the noise that comes from some fringe groups and I’ll be one of them. No-one ever really became convinced about changing their mind by being harangued, insulted or anything else. I say that as someone who can give it out as well as take it in a good honest row. No, it’s my opinion that without quick, decisive action from Mike Ashley a boycott should be back on the agenda and quick. Not that I’m volunteering to organise it. Social media etc. is rammed with what seem to be willing soldiers or more accurately digital generals whose passion is obvious. I’m becoming tired with it all and others need to step up to the plate.


We have Liverpool this weekend a club that has a buzz about it again because of the drive and enthusiasm of Klopp, a manLink to Toon Photography website who is fizzing with energy, ideas and expertise. I bet he doesn’t do everything he’s told, I bet he makes the people in the boardroom know what he wants to take the great Anfield club forward again. He has something of the Keegan about him – no-one’s fool, a strong-willed, determined man of action – no Yes Man of the type who have stunk United out for years.

I’ll be at the match on Saturday and apologies to anyone that offends but I think I’ll be watching it though my fingers.


Keep On, Keepin’ On …










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31 Responses to THRU BLACK & WHITE EYES – REPAIR KIT – 29/Nov/15

  1. Stuart79 says:

    Reports are that McClaren is safe “for now” and that Ashley will act if he thinks we’re in danger of relegation!!! He needs to look at the table!

  2. Gary says:

    Well Ashley needs to get a move on, or the season ticket payments will be stopped

  3. Dave says:

    Another excellent appraisal Michael of the sorry predicament of our basket case of a club. Although we have 24 games to go (25 matches if you listen to our illustrious head coach) and some are saying on social media that 34 to 35 points might just be enough to survive this season. I genuinely struggle to see where those 24/25 additional points can be scraped/achieved/won/battled for etc unless something changes dramatically and imminently. Apart from us, all the other so called relegation candidates around us are prepared to fight and scrap (as did Vile yesterday even though they lost) and are grinding out the odd win or draw not forgetting we have to play all of these teams at least once more before next May so some certain 6 pointers or must win games are still to come. The “feisty” talks of last week certainly didn’t do the trick nor did picking virtually the same team make any difference. If as we expect the next 2 games are effectively freebies and are going to lose heavily, so if we get one point it’ll be a miracle, I would bin Colo, Cisse, Anita and our hard working, back tracking, Champions League ambitious superstar Sissoko either from the squad or perhaps a place on the bench to shake things up, but hand on my heart will Schteve do the same or make any changes…..I don’t think so. As has been said I wouldn’t trust Charmless, Carr & McClaren with one penny in January but by then it might actually be too late especially as they aren’t quick in getting deals “over the line” and to be fair who in their right mind or for that matter right quality, would come.

  4. David says:

    NUFC is broken, I agree. The club hasn’t had a proper footballing M.O.T for over 10 years.
    I would expect Ashleys major action now would be akin to just checking the oil and asking if there was some in. I can’t see him making the sort of choices and decisions mentioned in the article. We make the continued assumption he needs Newcastle for cash and advertising……..perhaps he doesn’t….its small change to him. I don’t think he cares at all.

    I can’t see us getting out of this mess. I am up for boycotting games, purely on the basis of giving me a break from the boredom in SJP. I have missed a few this season due to work commitments and can’t be arsed. Next step is to cancel the season ticket and walk away.

  5. Bob says:

    The question is whether Ashley is that interested in this “project”. You would think so bearing in mind he ploughed £200,0000,000+ into it. Even as a multi billionaire he presumably won’t be happy to see that go down the drain even if there is enough in the relegation payments and player sales to make it back. Plus it seems to make him via SD richer and benefit SD. Someone mentioned before that even just among his mates he must surely lose some face with a failure of this size. We don’t know what he thinks and never will so none of us can answer any questions about him.
    Surely Charnley must feel awkward speaking to him to “explain” – hopefully. I was at the Villa relegation game but I feel a lot worse now and we’ re only in November.

  6. Ande Walsh says:

    How is our predicament any worse than Leeds…??? Leeds have at least won 4 matches. I can’t believe anyone who still goes has the audacity to moan.

  7. john says:

    we are down ashley wont sack anyone. just look at next 6 games how many points anyone?

  8. Peter says:

    I may be proved wrong of course, but I can’t see McClaren going in the near future. He won’t resign as he will want compensation and Ashley won’t sack him, as he won’t want to pay two lots of compensation in one year. I think that last season’s flirt with relegation shows that Ashley simply doesn’t care…however un-business like that may seem. I just don’t think anything is going to happen, except a hope in the ‘boardroom’ that there will still be three worse teams than us in the PL this season.

    There may be …or then again perhaps not….

    • mike says:

      Isnt McClaren on the board? so how does that work dont think he would sack himself? …and def cant see him bailing out!

  9. Ed Bell says:

    If we go down again, we won’t come back…

    So… If Ashley has any decency he’ll do enough to sort out the mess short term, i.e. replace Charley with a fully functioning CEO, replace McClaren with a decent manager and scrap the ridiculous transfer policy. If by some miracle that does enough to keep us up, when the summer comes, he’ll sell up and walk away…

    But he hasn’t, so he won’t, so we’re f**cked…

  10. Matt says:

    It’s an old cliche but you can’t standstill in football. If you’re not going forwards you’re going backward, and MA has been trying to tread water since the Hull game. We all know it’s unsustainable, in the same way we all knew that spending a bit of money this summer wasn’t going to repair the damage done by year’s of underinvestment. The culture at SJP is rotten and now ingrained in fabric. Something has to happen to give the club a massive kick up the arse, and if that’s not relegation then it has to be protest…. and all know that any protests will be ignored by the majority.

    Shit owner + shit managers + shit players + shit attitude = shit club.

  11. Mark says:

    Totally agree with all that is said in the first section of this article. Without Ashley waking up and seeing what is happening and making wholesale changes from Charnley down to the ‘professionals’ that make up the squad the end is nigh. Unfortunately, I just don’t see it happening. At no time during his stint as owner has he shown any inkling that he gives two shits about the development of the team for long term prosperity and working to become a cup/Champions League contender again. As long as we just scrape by, stay in the top flight and get more of the TV money he seems to be content. With the current attitude and performances so far, this is seriously in danger. I don’t want to see the club relegated but it looks inevitable unless he’s visited by the Ghost of Christmas Future soon.

  12. Allan says:

    NUFC IS BROKEN as you say. So why support it? Just stop going, it’s fucking simple!

    • mike says:

      Agree….but id bet that 50k will be at all the next games over Xams/New year. With Wonga tops and supping the ale in the ground. So heres my bit…..IF you keep the putting money into the Cashley machine even tho its sht why bother complaining. The fans are part of the problem, cos they bend over and get shafted every week.

  13. Tristram Boris says:

    Has anyone got any advice on how I can break up from a relationship of 20 years? I’ve been committed and loyal but she’s a narcissistic bitch who doesn’t try any more. I know its for the best but it hurts like hell.

    I’m worried about being lonely but there’s a new squeeze down the road who’s not as glamourous – she’s definitely a Conference girl to look at – but she’s honest and I can trust her.

  14. Graeme says:

    Most agree that to Ashley, NUFC is purely a billboard for his beloved Sports Direct. A full stadium provides the perfect backdrop to the constant stream of brand advertisements on the perimeter, which are beamed worldwide as with other PL games. Rows of empty seats would have the opposite effect.

    The Championship enjoys very little worldwide TV exposure and therefore provides little benefit to Ashley and Sports Direct. A year or two down there and I personally believe that he’d be off as the club would serve no purpose to him.

    The difference between the Championship and the Premier League is that gate money is of real value. That and the fact that we have a 52,000 capacity fully completed stadium, commercial and merchandise revenue, which would be untarnished if Ashley were gone, would enable us to secure the best players at that level who could get us back.

  15. Alex says:

    Groundhog Day. I remember reading similar articles when Pardew was here. What changed? People continue to go and the situation stays the same. As numerous people have highlighted if you continue to attend then you continue to endorse Ashley and his running of the club.

  16. Simon Sharp says:

    There’s so much wrong with every single facet of the football club that you could write a PhD thesis on it, but I think you can summarise the position of fans as follows, as to whether we want to stay up or not.

    In short, it’s Catch 22.

    Staying up means a continuation of the mediocrity and apathy in which we’re not even drenched, but has permeated every single pore of the club’s being. Accept that we will never compete for trophies, or try to, but will continue treading water, buying players for sell on value, keeping the SKY millions rolling in, accepting that Ashley will continue to use the exposure to market his company without paying for that privilege.

    Or going down. What happens to the club then is anyone’s guess, but the longer the club are out of the big league, the harder it would be to sell and it’s even less likely that there’d be a responsible steward waiting to take over if Ashley wants to sell. The Championship is a competitive league, a lot better than in 2009, and it would take guts and grit to get back at the first attempt (and let’s face it, we’re not exactly overly furnished with players who’ve got guts and grit…). Eventually, parachute payments dry up and what happens then? Do you see a future marked Blackburn Rovers or Middlesbrough, Forest or Sheffield Wednesday? Could we even compete in the Championship and to what extent will support drain away?

    The question you have to ask yourself is this: Do you want to be on life support in the Premier League or dead in the water somewhere else?

    • Anton says:

      Blackburn Rovers, Middlesbrough, Forest and Sheffield Wednesday are dead?!?!
      No one’s told me, or them, or their fans.

      While we were getting destroyed by Crystal Palace and becoming the laughing stock of the country, Forest were beating Reading at home.
      Middlesborough are sitting 2nd in the Championship. Also, Sheffield Wednesday are outside the play-off positions on goal difference. And Leeds and Blackburn have more points than us in their division.

      At this point in time, I wouldn’t fancy NUFC’s chances facing any of the “dead” teams you mention in a cup competition. We are the walking dead!

      • John J Kelly says:

        It’s taken Sheffield Wednesday fifteen years to get to where they are (throw in a trip to league 1, a place we’ve so far never been to).

        • Anton says:

          Sorry but in my book, 8 and a half years under Ashley during which we witnessed not just a relegation, but the systematic abuse of anything resembling human decency and values in NUFC (see KK, Shearer, Jonas; not to mention the club stadium becoming an SD outlet) have not been better than Wednesday’s 10-12 years in relative wilderness.

          Let’s stop worrying about the “worst case scenario” and let’s start assessing where we are in the here and now: we are actually living through the worst case scenario and our “participation” in the Premiership is offered as the single reason to be cheerful. Sorry, I respect your views (and I have nothing but respect and admiration for anyone investing money and time to turn up to see the abomination we’ve become every week), but I’m not buying into this.

  17. Tom Bates says:

    I fully agree with a boycott but its toothless when most people take the attitude of whats the point and turn up anyway. There were a lot of people mocking those who stayed away for the Spurs match. I have a feeling if the semi boycotts last season hadnt happened Ashley wouldnt have spent money at all this season. Its similar to a strike where some people want change but arent prepared to sacrifice anything for the greater good, those who do sacrifice a days pay often find it has worked despite the doubters and everyone benefits. If we do somehow stay up we will be making the same complaints next season after people have renewed again. You can still meet up with mates and watch the game in the pub if thats your excuse for still going. If not just admit that you just want to keep going and you dont care enough about Ashleys ownership to stop, thats fair enough.
    People say it was worse in the late 70s and 80s but then we had a wreck of a stadium and no TV money coming in to fund a team. Theres no such excuses now.

  18. Anton says:

    Sorry to say this, but I don’t understand where the whole 37-points speculation comes from. We got very, very lucky against Bournemouth and maybe we will have a couple of similar match-days where other teams have a bad day at the office. But, at this point, we must be the worst team in the Premiership. Villa, Sunderland, Norwich and Bournemouth are of limited capability, but they will fight to the end. Our lot will not fight to the end of the first half of a single game. The team is broken.

    Also, I’m not sure why we are flogging the Leeds argument again. Surely, the question we need to answer honestly is: do NUFC fans feel that they are getting more enjoyment watching our team every week, than Leeds fans watching theirs?
    Indeed, do NUFC fans feel that they are getting ANY enjoyment watching our team every week?

    And does it really matter which division we are in? I can see why Ashley and friends will miss the Premiership (money shower in the form of £80m per year just to make up the numbers: kerching!).
    But why should we, the fans, miss the Premiership ? Is it because relegation will take away the opportunity to become the Premiership champions? Or because we won’t be able to win any European cups?

    I’m sorry, I’m too old and feeble-minded; can someone please spell it out for me?

    • Steve says:

      Spot on anton absolutely spot on. Why do people care so much about the premier league? Are we ever gonna win it? No. Are we ever gonna finish top 4? No. So really honestly who cares. We may as well watch the shower of shite we have being hunpes off Blackburn, bolton, reading or whoever as opposed to palace, Leicester or the mackems. Honestly why does it matter. We will still support the team wherever we go and I would take 10 years in the championship or league one if it meant he fucked off.

  19. Tom Bates says:

    I dont see why Leeds keeps being used as the benchmark surely thats a race to the bottom scenario. Leeds made a bigger mess of it then we’ve managed but is that any reason to be grateful. At least they dont have sports direct plastered all over the club. We are in a situation unlike Leeds where we CAN do something about our predicament, whilst we are still in the PL we have a massive amount of TV revenue to improve the team, just being in the PL should make us an attractive proposition for potential buyers if we could persuade Ashley to sell up. I’ve even heard fans in past years judging us finishing marginally ahead of Sunderland as the benchmark for success! I’m sure some of the brainwashing by TV ‘experts’ and Pardew/Ashley to convince us we should be grateful to be in the league and cant realistically challenge for cups or with the likes of Southampton, has worked. We arent entitled to a successful team but should expect a reasonably competent team, manager and owner with our resources and a team that looks like they at least want to do well.

  20. Peter Shearer says:

    We can only win this fight if we are as stubborn and entrenched as Ashley is. We have to stop worrying about what will happen to us, on the basis that nothing can be worse. And however far we fall, it will just be the beginning of the revival. It is our fears (and the apathy!) that allow Ashley to continue with his policy. Yes he might hang around if we fall to the Championship, but if that is coupled with sustained protests and potential damage to his Sports Direct brand, at some stage it will become too much hassle for him. I think he will come under pressure from Sports Direct shareholders when they see him just in a stubborn fight with a rebellious football club. The only true asset we have left is our passion, and we have not yet truly used it!

  21. Pat Hughes says:

    Giving up is ridiculously hard, particularly when you’ve been going for nearly 3 decades and even though I’ve been to the odd game this season, I won’t be a regular anymore. It’s not just the indifferent performances, unsociable kick off times, money over sport policies but the overall direction of the game which places us supporters at the bottom of the pile. Having said that I do envy those who still have the heart to physically support our team both home and away. Everyone has to do what they feel they should do. I miss sharing feelings at the ground but at least at home I can hurl unladylike abuse at the dog or whoever – the passion and love for the club is still there and always will be but from afar.

  22. Lee C says:

    Here we are again, as someone has already mentioned its like groundhog day. I can’t speak for those who still attend the matches but I chucked it at the end of last season. Ashley’s interview prior to the West Ham game came too late and I didn’t believe a word of it. If he had meant what he said then a competent manager would have been brought in, a new CEO installed and a complete overhaul of the club from top to bottom would have been carried out BEFORE allowing £50m to be spent on ‘quality players’. What has happened is no surprise to me, granted I watched the first game at home to Southampton partly wishing I was at the ground but that feeling quickly subsided as the weeks have gone on. I have watched players who lets not forget are deemed good enough to represent their countries and are being paid absolute fortunes look like they have never met each other. I watch as a back four can’t even communicate with each other, players wander around the pitch not even bothering their arse to track opposition players and the coaching staff scratch their heads as goal after goal is conceded. Did anyone think that it might have been a good idea to recruit a commanding midfielder who can control a game and lead by example who might be proud to be the captain of NUFC? I’ve berated my mates playing 5 a-side more than Collicini has with his team mates this season. It all comes back to those who Ashley has employed to run the club and frankly he has got it completely wrong, again. I’m still not sure how we stayed up last season after our form from Jan onwards but when Pardew left Ashley should have acted and installed a respectable manager to take the club forward. Instead he allowed Carver to be promoted way above his ability then allowed one of Carr’s mates to be hired after being sacked at Derby for failing to gain promotion. Ashley’s mission statement for 15/16 – spend as little as possible as long as we stay in the cash cow that is the PL. Until Ashley either acts in the best interests of the football club and not his bank balance and puts credible people in senior positions within the club or sells up we will continue to be the laughing stock of the football world and the only way is down.

  23. Ali says:

    Our Club is on the edge of the abyss. If we don’t change the owner, the manager (remember ‘judge me after 10 games’), Charnley and his cheerless chums, and the whole mentality of the Club, then we will fail and fall into the darkness. The Club publicly stated that this season targets were top 8 and a decent cup run. We currently sit in 19th place with only 10 points. The reality is that we can not score goals. Forget the Norwich game when we put in 6, we have only managed 8 goals in the other 13 games. If that is our rate, then we will be relegated by early March. I honestly can not see any other outcome than that.

  24. Brian McGarry says:

    Ah!!! Now I understand…this useless, out of his depth McLaren is a mate of Carr’s!!!
    Now I’ve seen everything at our club………we, as fans, have been subjected to such abuse by this fat bastard Ashley, and there is not much we can do about it…….but I agree with a number of the fans, the only way we can hit him is via his wallet…..therefore boycott the home games. I don’t see any other way.
    Ashley needs to make big decisions THIS month….get rid of Mr Umbrella, Carr and Charnley, and replace with people who understand football, and turn us around. If not we best check which is the best route to Huddersfield…..
    Just disgusted with the whole scenario.
    Cape Town

    • mick says:

      why should he change? the cash machine rolls on. See how many folk turn up over the games and buy the Tatt from the sports direct shops over the Xmas. Fans are the problem