Without shadow of a doubt, the best news we have had as a football club, group of fans and players was in this last week with the announcement Jonas Gutierrez was clear of cancer. News that he is on his way back to Newcastle United will gladden the heart of every supporter and I am looking forward to the lad being given a rapturous welcome back to his second home when he takes in his first game – either from the stand, in the dug-out or out on the pitch. This is the opportunity for us to show Jonas the regard he is held in and for his team-mates to know what kind of people they are playing for – not the ones in the offices at SJP – the people in the stands of St James’ Park.
It was genuinely heart-warming to see Jonas on TV looking fit and healthy and it was great he sent that message to us as he took his award in Buenos Aires. It will be better to see him take the ovation from our support.
On the subject of Jonas’ return to health, I still think there are questions to answer about how United has treated the lad. I still can’t work out the time-line between Jonas’ being notified of his need to find another club (and why he was told that – given the previous-season he was as close to being an ever-present as it was possible to be) and him notifying the club of his cancer. No matter what the opinion many of us have about the people supposedly running the club, I’d genuinely hate to think that Jonas has been treated with anything other than compassion and care by Newcastle United. That isn’t immediately obvious and sometimes it’s what Jonas has not said that articulates what some of us fear rather than what he has. There have been no words thanking Ashley, Pardew, Charnley or anyone else for their support. We know Colo has been over to Argentina to see him but there is no indication Ashley, Pardew or Charnley have done likewise – over the summer or at any other time.
I hope readers don’t think I’m looking for something to slag the club about. I really, truly want the club to have done what we all would hope our club would do for one of its people but it’s not clear and no matter how uncomfortable a subject it is to discuss, we should do so. There is a lack of clarity and it’s not cynical to just want certain areas clarified. The best man to do that will be Jonas.
The main thing though, is Jonas is well and hopefully ready to resume his career. We all wish him the very, very best. It will be great to see him back on Tyneside.
For those of you who missed the Newcastle United Supporters Trust’s launch of its new Credit Union accounts please see these here links:
Newcastle United Supporters Trust – here
Supporters Direct – here
It’s gratifying that the new Credit Union has such wide political support locally and I don’t think any right-minded person could possibly bend their logic so far to do anything but agree that this is a good thing. Obviously, the difference between the activities of the sponsor on the Newcastle United shirt and what the Trust has achieved in establishing a Credit Union for supporters is absolutely stark.
It comes as no surprise that a company with ethics lower than a worm’s bollocks (in my opinion) should do all it can to put a spoiler out on the day the Trust chose to launch the Credit Union and that is the news Wonga has decided to remove its logo from children’s size shirts from the 2016/17 season. This would be laughable if the media wasn’t so gullible and is unable to see how they have been taken for mugs by the loan-shark’s PR strategists. The promise to remove their name from the Newcastle United shirt in 2016/17 has about the same legitimacy as the dodgy letters from fake solicitors they sent to their customers and which were proven to be phony (click here) –
Indeed hopefully, there is every chance following legislation that Wonga and their ilk will not exist by then in their current form.
You might wonder however though why Wonga (doubtless with the connivance of the beauts in United’s own PR and Media team) would be so moved to act in this way were they not shitting it about an ethical and effective worthwhile alternative to their loan-sharking being flashed all over the media. It was a desperate tactic because it seemed to work and the Credit Union was pushed off the top of the news.
Josef Goebbels would be proud.
It is to be hoped however, many United supporters see through this shameful manoeuvring and go ahead and set up their accounts with Newcastle United Supporters Trust Credit Union. I know I will.
Have you voted for us in the Football Supporters Federation’s Annual Awards yet? We have made a shortlist of six under the Independent Website category. We are definitely the under-dogs in this scrap and if we are to have any chance of collecting an award we’ll need you to vote for us. It’s the fourth year in succession that the FSF has shortlisted us and that is really flattering. We’ll know on the night of the 1/Dec/14 who has done the business as its all being sorted at some big fancy posh doo in that London. Don’t worry, we’ll be there and we’ll have washed behind our lugs and have clean underwear on as well. If we win, we’ll go large all over the internet but if we don’t we’ll be down the pub picking fights with strangers. Soft-looking, speccy ones ones obviously!
Click here and ask your mates to do so as well.
There was more bad publicity for Newcastle United’s top brass as the week came to an end with the Labour Leader, Ed Milliband singling out Sports Direct for stinging criticism on account of its abysmal employment or rather zero hour contract practices. Correct me if I’m wrong but I’ve heard it quoted that 80% of Sports Direct employees are employed on the basis of a zero hour contract and that a third of the country’s zero hour contract employees work for Sports Direct. This isn’t of indirect interest to us at Newcastle United, it is of central concern because those staff who work on the club’s merchandising and in the Newcastle United shops are all but Sports Direct employees and the club’s merchandising operation is owned de-facto by Sports Direct. The merchandise might be Black & White with what looks like the club badge on it, but it’s all about Sports Direct.
This is what our club has become under Ashley – loan sharks names on the shirt and Victorian employment practices for the people that work for it. I’m aware that for some of you reading this, you couldn’t give a toss about that and are only fixed on the football. Okay, fair enough, but be aware for people of conscience like the many reading this and who are Newcastle United supporters, this situation troubles us greatly. I and I’m sure others won’t apologise for giving a shit about what the club stands for and its ethics. Those running the club clearly couldn’t give a shit about stuff like that but in the long run it will damage Newcastle United. The club isn’t a business – it is much more than that.
I see it’s started then. Rolano Aarons is interesting Man City and Liverpool and something could happen this January. He hasn’t played a full game for us and Ashley has got a price-tag on him with a doubt about the contract he is on and it all sounds very familiar …
With the good run of form we’ve had since our dire start to the season (following a desperate second half of last season) I think we all wanted a game United this last weekend but we were interrupted by another international break. Doubtless we’ll learn who has picked up a knock and is dubious for the weekend in the next few days but I’d love for Colo to be 100% because he is now back to his imperious best after something of an iffy spell. He is United’s most important player.
This Saturday’s game is one we should win but it will test Pardew’s ability to develop a game-plan when we are expected to enjoy the majority of possession and take the game to the opposition. This is a big game for Pardew because anything less than a convincing win and the doubts (most of us still have them) will return.
Hopefully this time next week we’ll still be in good cheer ahead of a very tough spell for us.
Have a great week.