THRU BLACK & WHITE EYES – When Saturday Comes – 21/Sep/14

by • September 21, 2014 • Uncategorised • Comments (20)1503

What has become of us? I spent part of a long Saturday night deep in conversation with a SackPardewMag of many years’ service whose love for our club is as great as any I know. He has a deep and unbreakable connection to Newcastle United just like many of you reading this. His description of the days leading up to the Hull game with all of the online hoopla regards protests etc. as “noise” he is keen to move away from and in his own way return to what he knows best, going to SJP every other week and supporting his team. It’s a simple statement and stripping away all of the febrile chatter around United, this is what all of us want to do. The lad has a point but his isn’t the only one.

I’ve also heard and read people I know and respect as proper Black & Whiters openly hoping Newcastle United lost on Saturday gone as it might mean Pardew’s abysmal stewardship of our team would be ended. Further, I’ve heard some loyal fans hope we get relegated as it would rid us of Ashley and the malign influence he has on just about every aspect of Newcastle United and none moreso than the complete head-fuck it means to be a supporter of this basket-case of a club.

In this last week we have seen a campaign to remove Pardew mobilise with a poster campaign. Whilst not swamping SJP in the game v. Hull the campaign was big enough to be noticed and whether you did or didn’t hold one of the posters aloft, I don’t think it is overstating it to say the overwhelming majority of supporters want Pardew removed. We can argue until the cows come home about who his replacement could be and the Ashley straitjacket he might have to work within but that does not get away from the fact that Pardew has failed and will fail again.

I insist the situation we are in now is simply a stand-off between Ashley and Pardew over compensation. Alan Pardew will not walk away from the crazy 8-year contract Ashley gave him. Ashley, a man who removed the complimentary tickets from staff in the summer, will not want to shell out millions to a man he might regard as having failed.

Elsewhere I saw supporters in Sports Direct football shirts (the ones with Wonga) on them holding aloft Pardew Out banners and screaming for Ashley to get out of our club. If you didn’t laugh at this juxtaposition of rebellion and wearing the ultimate symbol of de-facto corporate supplication to Project Mike you would really have to cry!

Around me Mags were arguing with each other about the situation we find ourselves in and a heady mix of fact, opinion, the meaning of real support and generally people simply not enjoying the experience of being at St James’ Park. We’re still turning up in numbers for games but I don’t know if anyone is enjoying the experience let alone really, truly supporting the club. I know I’m not. I’m sitting there only briefly throwing my head in my hands as another set-piece involving a floating lump to Williamson at the back stick is easily collected or cleared by the opposition. I rarely join in with the chants, refuse to do anything “if you love The Toon” and have the same feeling sitting on my grey placca with the same morbid fascination as I might have watching an autopsy with a few light ales on board.

Many of those who have walked away from attending games slaughter those who still go and accuse us in not so many words of propping up the Ashley regime. Yet none step from cyber-space and leave the slacktivism of social media to get organised on the streets. People have their own tipping points but to witness supporters being criticised for just going to a match involving their favourite team, shows how far through the looking glass we’ve gone on this one.

I spent the early part of Saturday afternoon in a room with some thoughtful people discussing how the political process can reform football and the role of supporters to achieve that with real grassroots first action. It was a great meeting but you know, when my old man took me to one of my first ever games at St James’ Park for Supermac’s magnificent debut against Liverpool, I never imagined 40-odd years later this was how I’d be experiencing my football.

I spent last week absolutely appalled at those behind the Pardew Out campaign having their integrity questioned by people who don’t even know who they are for reasons I find are wholly and completely depressing. It was despicable but sadly untypical.

This is where we are now. This is Newcastle United in 2014. Unhappy!

So, where do we go now? We are still waiting for Ashley to take a deep breath and sack Pardew. We have a relegation fight on our hands and the club needs a new energy, a new set of ideas to keep the club in the PL. It will not get that from Alan Pardew.

On Ashley’s head be it.

*

It was distressing last week to hear of the disease Jonas Gutierrez is fighting right now in Chekem Ladshis native Argentina. It was heartening to hear the support for Jonas on Saturday at SJP and I am sure that will continue. There are doubts remaining at just how well Jonas has been supported by United. It seems just so inconceivable United could behave in a way many of us fear and the statement made by Charnley last week failed to deal with the substantial matter of whether Jonas was told to go away and find another club (throwing into question why he was at Norwich?) and the wider question of whether Jonas has been helped with his medical bills. We are not saying anything at all improper, unethical or even undesirable has happened between United and Jonas but Charnley’s statement did not demonstrate that he is getting real support from United.

What we need to now though, is something positive.

By coincidence for the last couple of seasons we have been providing free advertising space for the Check ‘Em Lads campaign for greater awareness of testicular cancer. Indeed in the next issue of true faith we hope to have a piece from a Mag who also happens to be a Testicular cancer survivor and he will tell us about his own treatment and what Jonas is going through right now.

In tribute to Jonas and as a symbol of our support for him, we will be ramping up our support for the Check ‘Em Lads charity and greater testicular cancer awareness more generally. We’ll need your support on this but for the time being, watch this space.

*

It was deeply concerning that Pardew, allegedly went against medical advice to play Cisse on Saturday. Similarly, at 2-0 down seeing Pardew taking off Riviere and bringing Cisse on just reeked of desperation and fear. Given Pardew has already admitted playing Siem De Jong when he was unfit, ahead of a lengthy (though unrelated) injury lay-off makes you wonder just how desperate things really are at United. You have to start wondering what is going on Ferreya. Signed from Shaktar Dontesk in as a consequence of the serious political and military situation in the Ukraine, the lad has yet to kick a ball in anger for United. I repeat, I don’t believe for one moment this player nor Ayoze Perez were scouted by Graeme Carr but of the two Ferreya is of most concern. Where is he?

*

This week sees us go to Selhurst Park for our League Cup tie with Crystal Palace. It wasn’t a great draw but really, Newcastle United should not be afraid of visiting SE London but I suspect it will be a low priority as it always for this manager and owner. Were our involvement in the League Cup to end before the end of September however, I think Pardew will find his stock will fall further, if that is possible. This is a game he has to win.

*

As United has no game this weekend, having been selected for the Monday Night graveyard shift, our mate, Mark Carruthers from the NE non-league football site, For The Love Of Football will be giving us some tips about where to go this weekend for a game. Watch this space.

How did we get here?

Keep On, Keepin’ On …

 

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20 Responses to THRU BLACK & WHITE EYES – When Saturday Comes – 21/Sep/14

  1. tom bates says:

    staggered that some nufc fans are calling others fickle for daring to criticise pardew.

  2. myclubyourclubworclub says:

    We all know the cancer that is at the centre of the club.
    The people he has placed in positions of “power” ( pardew, Chanley, etc ) are symptoms and side effects.
    We must suffer these in order to cure the life draining illness that is killing our beloved club and all it means to us
    I like many cannot see any prospect of anything changing until the “man” at the top moves on.
    “What chance have you got against a tie and a crest”
    So please , please , please let me get what I want .
    Lord knows it would be the first time
    Peace out

  3. Andy - southern supporter but originally from north says:

    Think Rod Liddle in the Sunday Times had it about right.

  4. Greeny's Guitar says:

    This year was to have been my 60th anniversary of attending SJP but like a few others I decided I couldn’t carry on backing what has become an odious, vile etc organisation.
    This club was part of my life. In fact along with my family, work and neighbourhood it was my life.
    Ashley has succeeded in changing my DNA and until he leaves and takes Pardew with him I will not put another penny into his pocket. At first it hurt. In fact it was agony. Junkies going through cold turkey couldn’t have felt worse but now I feel quite good about it. It’s my gesture of disapproval. I know the hard faced bastard won’t notice or even care if he did but if vast swathes of empty seats started to appear even he would react. It makes me feel as if I’m doing something to fight for my club.
    I wouldn’t dream of telling other supporters what to do but I think giving up your season ticket and adopting a policy of non attendance is the only way forward.
    We’ve tried organising protests but for whatever reason they do not work.Saturday was a prime example of that. The sackpardew.com people have an excellent well constructed website and did a great job of organising the logistics of their campaign. Unfortunately on the telly it looked as if it had flopped. Only a few of their posters were shown and because of that it actually looked to unbiased viewers that the majority were backing Pardew. We know that is not the case but that is how it came across.
    Despite press claims it’s obvious that Ashley has no intention of sacking Pardew so we are lumbered.
    I have made and will continue to make my own protest but when I see people walking around wearing Wonga shirts I realise there is no hope of us ever getting a concerted, effective action going.
    Sad.

    • Tom Pitt says:

      Thanks Greeny…youve saved me the job of writing all of that!
      It is only 30 years for me mind!
      But the rest is identical to my feelings.
      Of the seven of my match going mates, I and one other packed it in for this season….there are 3 others now preparing to cancel DDs in January.
      I guess there will be lots more to come.
      We are doomed while Ashley remains.
      One thing I will add is that the majority within SJP are beginning to look like they get what they deserve.
      Was that a protest on Saturday?
      Apathy rules it seems.

  5. Peter Shearer says:

    Any with long memories on here will know I gave up my season ticket years ago in protest at Ashley. I found Saturday so depressing, having really thought that a large section of fans had finally decided to fight back.I agree that we should all respect each other’s view, but to those of us who are boycotting it does look like people just carrying on doing the same thing will never rid us of the man.I do feel like I am doing my bit to make a stand,but I accept the right of all of us to make our choice.I think it is reasonable though for us to try and make our view heard, after all Ashley and his team do this all over the internet on other fanzine websites.Our only hope is that eventually enough people will join our viewpoint,but Saturday shows that telling other fans what to do is not a winner until they arrive at the same conclusion.How long that will take is anyone’s guess.In the meantime, I cannot ignore our club, but I regard it as being in a coma until that man is gone.

  6. Keiron Young says:

    Can I just say how disgusted I was at the stewards outside every turnstile confiscating anything remotely anti Pardew. The attempted banning of free speech is as big a story as anything that went on on the pitch. What an utterly horrible institution our club has become. Legally, they had no right to take the protest posters away, surely? I was raging.

  7. Chris C says:

    Did Pardew really say after the game “”I think our fans are realistic – they know the top six is beyond us. We can’t compete with those clubs at the moment.”

    That is not what he was telling us in the summer before the none attempt at signing a striker, wopper!!!

  8. Stephen says:

    “What have we become,apathy has replaced the fun”

    I was quite proud of our ‘support’ in the opening stages, defiant and touching (Jonas). The protest, feeble. I have nothing but admiration for those trying to put a movement together but they are fighting a losing battle. SJP is a meek place compared to its former self.The substance of our support has been broken.
    Daytrippers from Scandinavia,Scotland,students,stags and people who really are attending for the ‘event’ rather than a deep love of Newcastle United are making up our crowd. There are nowhere near 50,000 passionate Geordies in that stadium, its a myth and saturday proved it.
    Ashley will do what he wants when he wants, not when some stamp their feet. If he thinks that comeback makes things alright and anyone else thinks that then there is no fight to fight.
    Fantastic to see Papiss back.Thats how to strike a ball Emmanuel Riviere. His vest sentiment was touching and nice to see but i also would have liked it to have read ‘you tried to break me but i’m back’ in reference to Pardew and the coaching staff.
    Well done Papiss, you brought a rare Newcastle United smile to my face on saturday.

    • David Chapman says:

      Completely agree with everything Stephen said about our support, its a sad reflection on todays modern game that most stadiums in the Premier league lack the passion of even ten years ago, we unfortunately seem to be one of the hardest hit, but when you take into account everything that has happened to us plus the stupid singing section and sitting down rules its hardly surprising that many passionate Geordies are staying away, Saturdays at SJP used to be like going to a Black Sabbath gig now it’s like going to holy communion, don’t stand up, don’t swear, don’t make too much noise, It’s shite but it’s the way football’s going.

      I was at SJP when Newcastle was at its most vitriolic during Fat Sam’s last few games and it was actually terrifying and he had a much better record than Pardew, whereas from talking to mates who were at the match on Saturday, you’d think Pardew had lost a couple of games and deserves more time, it’s mental, just look at his record its beyond bad, its abysmal and I could maybe understand if he was a nice bloke like Houghton but he isn’t.

      My point is Ten years ago, Pardew would have been sacked at the end of last season, the crowd would have made sure of that, now well this will go on until Pardew does the decent thing and walks or Ashley spends some money and gets rid of him, neither of which is going to happen any time soon, we could have got beat 0-5 against Hull and Pardew would still be in charge, its a hopeless situation, it really is.

    • Stevep says:

      To be fair to Riviere, has he actually even had a shot at goal yet, never mind hit the ball correctly?

  9. Paul Lee says:

    Im 55 years old, and have supported the toon all of my life! Im sorry to say that i really think we are goig to be relegated this season, we are simply not going to score enough goals, or keep enough clean sheets! Ashley is never gouing to change his ways, he is a businessman, in it to make money!! he would be perfectly happy to finish 4th bottom every year, occasionally giving pardew some scraps to buy mediocre players, and banking the sky tv money.
    The only way to get ashley out is for everyone, and i mean everyone, to stop going.
    Sure it will hurt the honest, loyal fans, but ask yourselfs… just how long are you prepared to put up with this??? We will get knocked out of the cup at palace, and lose at stoke, and i can seriously see us being adrift at the bottom of the league by xmas!
    We need an owner who is football orientated, someone with ambition, someone who understands what the club means to us all.

  10. Ian Orrick says:

    For fucks sake when are people going to wake up and stop going to the match? I stopped after we were relegated because of the fucking parasites who were there at the time – Step forward Messrs Owen, Viduka etc. and because of the way Ashley was running the club. I still do and always will love the Toon but I’ll not get another season ticket until the poison has gone from our club.
    I’ve said this before but like it or not, everyone who spends money at the gate is supporting Ashley and therefor helping to prop this regime up.
    Those who still go need to ask themselves why do they put themselves through it? Virtually everyone I know who still goes has a face like a well smacked arse when you ask them what the game was like. The team is poor. We can’t defend & we struggle to score goals – an uncomfortable combination that will certainly see us in a relegation fight that at the moment it seems we could easily lose.
    We can talk about forming protest groups etc. till we’re blue in the face but in all honesty I don’t believe Ashley gives a shit about any of that sort of thing. Fifty thousand people could protest outside of the ground & march through the City centre with their anti Ashley/Pardew placards but as long as there’s still nigh on 50k filling the stadium he’s going to stay put.
    Under this appalling prick we’re going nowhere. He has no interest in us being the best we can be, he has no interest in the glory of a cup run. He just wants us to stay in the Prem so he can pick up his Sky money & advertise his shitty clobber emporium in the stadium for nowt.
    Don’t buy anything from his tatty shop – especially not a morally indefensible Wonga shirt and don’t put your hard earned through the turnstile. It might not get rid of him immediately but it’ll make him take some notice if gates drop below 40k & the income starts to drop.
    If there’s anyone out there who can come up with a master plan to get rid of Ashley then good on him but in the meantime the only thing to do is to hit the fat greedy twat in his pocket. It’s the only thing he understands.

    • Stephen B says:

      Well said pal! ^ not sure “slacktivism” applies to those that have took a form of protest in not renewing season tickets and not attending matches!

  11. Peter Shearer says:

    The problem is that it looks like there are sufficient numbers of people who do not feel as strongly as us about the regime, and that it is going to be some time before we get our club back.The reality appears to be that the Newcastle fans that we all grew up with are now no longer representative of the new followers. I will always believe that the fans I used to stand beside would not put up with this, so can only conclude that a heck of a lot of those fans have grown old or boycotted.Admittedly, I do not want to accept that Ashley could defeat that passion that used to be so strong and determined,so I may be holding on to a memory that I want to cherish.Even Ashley cannot take away those memories.

    • Matt Flynn says:

      Most the lads handing out the sackpardew stuff on Saturday weren’t old enough to have stood on the terraces, possibly not old enough to be Keegan era bandwagon jumpers. Whatever lies behind the mass apathy, when people became supporters isn’t it.

      Not that it matters. Saturday proved once and for all that the vast majority of supporters are either perfectly happy with the way the club is being run, or unwilling to support any attempt to bring about change. It’s a depressing reality for those of us that believe the club’s identity is being decimated but what can you do. Who I feel sorry for most is the next generation of NUFC supporters who will probably never get to experience the proper football experience.

  12. MYCLUBYOURCLUBWORCLUB says:

    Just a thought,
    Do you meet your mates for a pint and a fat chewing session prior to your walk to the hallowed grounds of SJP ?
    If Sky televise an away game and you don’t go, do you meet the same mates in a pub and watch it ?
    Why not try this when we next play at home !!!
    Meet your mates ( as per normal)
    Have a couple of pints (as per normal)
    Sing a few songs , more pints , abuse the fat old lad in the corner !!! more pints
    THEN instead of gulping the last pint down geet fast !! and rushing to the ground, your seat huffing and puffing JUST THINK !!!!
    IF YOU STAY IN THE PUB WHAT WILL HAPPEN ?
    1 MORE PINTS (might get some bother off the missus on your return to the homestead)
    2 SING SONGS , YOU AND YOUR MATES WANT TO , (blaydon races etc)
    3 STAND UP / SIT DOWN WHEN YOU WANT TO (no stewards telling you what to do and when to do it)
    4 USE INDUSTRIAL LANGUAGE, ABUSE SKY SPORTS “EXPERTS” , PLAYERS, MATCH OFFICIALS, ET ALL (without offending that nice couple/ nice old lady “enjoying the ” soccer experience”)
    5 WATCH THE GAME !!!
    6 HAVE MORE PINTS
    7 CELEBRATE THE VICTORY / MOURN THE DEFEAT !
    8 SAY GOODBYE , GO HOME
    9 THINK ” FUCK MAN, THAT WAS A CANNY DAY WITH ME MATES THOUGH BUT ”
    What else happens if we all do it !
    1 NO MORE INCIDENTAL CASH FOR THE FAT MAN’S MACHINE(1/2 time pints, pies, hot dogs etc.)
    2 BANKS OF EMPTY SEATS LIVE ON SKY ( embarrassment and the potential for less coverage by sky)
    3 WORLD MEDIA TAKE NOTE OF THE DISSATISFACTION SHOWN BY US (Geordie’s expect to much etc.)
    4 LOCAL BUSINESS BENEFITS FROM THE EXTRA CASH ( not fat boy !! )
    5 INSIDE YOU HAVE A FEELING OF SATISFACTION (even if your contribution is small, you have by your own actions deprived the fat boy of it )
    Just a thought !!
    imagine the effect if it happened the next time we were to feature in another SKY SPORTS SPECTACULAR
    Unity is Strength !!!

  13. Jackson Yates says:

    Some interesting points/discussions on what is the “right” thing to do in terms of being a Newcastle supporter in the Ashley era. Some of it is getting over complicated though. The bottom line is, people can go to the match if they want to, and likewise they can stop out of protest if they choose. Your pound coin is always a vote, however. If you go to Tesco and buy a pork pie, you’ve voted for Tesco. If you’re going to the match, you’re voting for the Ashley regime in the same way. So when Michael says the stay-aways “accuse us in not so many words of propping up the Ashley regime” – well, the truth is you are helping to do that. But that’s fine, if that’s what you want to do. To call staying away (out of protest at Ashley) “slacktivism” is like saying it’s wrong to cast your vote in the general election without mobilising some kind of activist group on the streets.

  14. David Chapman says:

    It’s a complete disgrace to call people who refuse to support Ashley’s regime slacktavists or anything at all because in truth we are the people who will still be supporting NUFC in the championship when the wheels fall off and Ashley waddles off with his suitcase full of money.
    I love our city and it’s people but I have to wonder about the intelligence of those supporters who hold up sack Pardew leaflets while wearing our latest strip, in reality anybody in SJP is financially supporting Ashley’s running of the club so any sort of protest inside the ground is ridiculous and Ashley wont give a shit about protests outside the ground, we literally cant do anything, people will always go to the match, I feel like I’m doing what’s right in my heart by not going to St James park and that’s enough for me.

    We will one day look back on these days and laugh at the sheer incompetence of it all, in my opinion Pardew will be in charge until his contract runs out, he won’t be sacked it would cost Ashley too much money, as long as Ashley is at Newcastle Pardew will be our manager, your pissing in the wind if you believe any different.

    Sorry if this post is a bit negative but I think it’s about time somebody told the truth, Ashley is here to stay he’s making a shit load of money and getting free advertising for his shitty shop’s, if you don’t go to the match somebody else will and there is nothing we can do about it, what I find more worrying is the media’s blatant support of Pardew and Ashley which is bordering on embarrassing.

    • To put things into perspective, matchday revenue at Newcastle is £28m or thereabouts. TV money is a minimum £62.5m this season, plus £1.2m for every place – so 15th would add another £4.8m = £67.3m in total. That compares to £51m two seasons ago.

      It’ll take mass cancellation of Sky TV subscriptions for supporters to exert any influence on football, because at present the media are running football and owners such as Ashley are a symptom. A few thousand staying away is neither here nor there to Ashley, financially.

      The way to get at Ashley is to have a majority of empty seats at a lower level which will reduce the impact of perimeter advertising and lessen the attraction to Sky TV, who want to broadcast from grounds that appear full and with atmosphere. That would attract comment and pressure from Sky.