THRU BLACK & WHITE EYES – Up and Running – 19/Apr/15

by • April 19, 2015 • TBAWEComments (24)1707

Whatever numbers anyone comes up with following #BoycottSpurs the conclusion is Boycott1inescapable, the Ashley Out campaign is unquestionably very much up and very much running. I have heard quotes on the attendance ranging from under 32,000 to 47,000+. One thing is for certain, it was nowhere near the latter and there were huge gaps all over the ground, particularly on Level 7. I’m delighted to see the campaign get started with such a degree of energy and just being amongst the protestors today gave me the biggest buzz I’ve had from Newcastle United for a long while. The images enclosed within this column illustrate the gaps in the crowd. I spoke to one journalist after the game who described the atmosphere as funereal.

This was an astonishing victory. Remember the vast majority of those taking part in #BoycottSpurs are season ticket holders, people who had already paid for their tickets. To knock 15,000 off the gate, from people who had already paid is an astonishing act. It says everything people would do this to make a statement to the football world about how our club is being run. Jamie Carragher knows the score, he knows what is happening at our club.

#BoycottSpurs was a massive success and now it needs to be used as the springboard to yet more sustained action which will inch by inch persuade Ashley to go. I’m prepared for a long war and I don’t think anyone should kid themselves this is going to be a quick win.

Although I enjoyed the spirit and camaraderie of the Ashley Out protest, there were a fewBoycott2 moments that gave me cause for concern. The barracking of those who decided not to observe #BoycottSpurs was a little unedifying as was the rudeness some experienced handing out leaflets. In our fight with Ashley, we cannot afford any divisions. We are not each other’s enemies and we cannot allow this to tear us apart. We need to focus our energies on the next stage of the Ashley Out campaign. A line needs to be drawn under #BoycottSpurs and we now need to move on to the next action. Nothing will be achieved by raking over old ground or holding tight to grievances. Pet lips need to be put away regardless of any injured feelings.

Throughout the last week, United handed the campaign one reason after Boycott7
another to redouble its efforts to take the fight to Ashley. I was staggered with the revelation there was £34m in the United bank account sitting alongside the £18m profit declared. “We’re rich but the team is shit” as those on Strawberry Place chanted pre-match could not be more accurate, though that money may end up being fool’s gold if Carver’s hapless team continues to nose-dive down the Premier League.

During the week Carver assured us he had seen the names the club was being linked to in the summer and he was confident investment would be made. Later in the week when rattling through his Phone-A-Friend confessional, he let on he had not had a conversation with Ashley. It would be sad if Carver went further down the bull-shit path. He has continued to tarnish his reputation with a bewildering hostility towards Cancer survivor and all round good-head, Jonas Guitteraz, one of the few whose commitment to the cause on the pitch I would not doubt. You sometimes wonder about the people at our club, you really do!

The Ashley flap was evident with the daily pitch of e-mails punting Spurs tickets, the Box Boycott4Office’s refusal to let on how many tickets they had sold and the nonsense slipped into the media by United’s PR promising to try in the Cups next season. No-one was being taken in. The patter about moves for Charlie Austin in the summer were somewhat undermined by rumours he will actually be on his way to Southampton rather than NE1. There is eight long years of cynicism that is going to take a lot to peel back.

Newcastle United now has a major credibility problem and it’s not just with its own support. Sunday started very well with news former No.9 Micky Quinn had publicly supported #BoycottSpurs and thereafter his fellow-Scouser Jamie Carragher lambasted Ashley via SKY TV. I hear rumours of Talksport now being on a bread and water diet from United’s media team. Frankly, that is a toothless sanction given the lack of interest in what Yoan Goufrann has to say about anything. All of the national press carried detailed reports on the state of the club and the negative publicity generated for Ashley and Sports Direct will over time begin to weigh that company down. Ratners anyone?

It is my understanding there will be a taking of breath this week after a massive effort over the last ten days to deliver #BoycottSpurs and plot the way ahead. Then the people behind will set the strategy and hopefully it will be deliverable and we will all fall behind it.

What I would say, having been around the campaign this last week and a bit, is that Boycott6leading campaigns of this type is far from easy. In fact, it is very tough. As you might expect 50,000 Geordies all know best and all have different ideas about how to take the campaign to the next stage. I am strongly of the view anyone can do anything they like within the law in my opinion. No-one should be waiting for permission to take forward any action so far as they have the will and the resources to do it – just get stuck in. If you and your mates have a plan to do something, then crack on … let us know and we will publicise it. Don’t imagine you can fire your latest wheeze to us here or others and someone else will do the donkey work. That’s not going to happen.

So then, a great start to Ashley Out, time to forget #BoycottSpurs and for anyone who has
been on the end of any sharp elbows to get over it and start coming together to move to the next stage, which I’m hoping isn’t going to be far away now.

Keep On, Keepin’ On …

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24 Responses to THRU BLACK & WHITE EYES – Up and Running – 19/Apr/15

  1. Rob Brown says:

    Prouder than proud . Easily 15 k light . Good on Carragher , good on you ,good on everyone and if any vindication was ever needed for anyone else , consider the treatment of Jonas . Beneath contempt . Classless , shameful and utterly disgusting . Keep on bloody keeping on !

  2. Matt Flynn says:

    It’s been a long time coming but today felt like the first time the support has really stood up and been counted. There was always going to be some tension amongst a support that has become divided amidst the confusion and carnage of the Ashley era, but overall I think there was an understanding we all want the best for the club and (apart from a handful of malcontents) both sides respected the others views.

    A big thanks to, all those associated with TF that have given up their time, and everybody who has spread the word and argued the merits of the boycott. First time in a long time the real NUFC has shown itself.

    Today’s battle was won. The war has only just begun.

  3. billmolyneux says:

    Superb start to the all out war against Ashley,lets now kick on to the next home game and increase the “Boycott Battalions”, Well done.

  4. Stevie Mac says:

    Let’s see this through and get our club back.

  5. Ian Summers says:

    Sad to see the gradual demise of another decent player in Krul continue, heavily influenced by the club policy of only one so called “purple” in each position. Look at the weakness of our bench yet we can omit an Argentinian international? Success of the boycott is shown by changing a previously twisted media narrative eg Carragher, Quinn & Hoddle on Sky. At last the media get the message and that in turn begins to harm the cheap promotion of Ashley’s corporate monstrosities.

  6. Kris McDonald says:

    Absolute admiration for all that had tickets and didn’t attend. Truly proud of what we are as a football fan base, and as printed many times on TF and other platforms, it’s just the beginning. The larger portion of the crowd, in particular the ones that argued the protest today, might not fully understand the reasoning behind this campaign. A lot of things ticket holders still think is that this one protest was meant to out the current owner in one blow, or hurt him by not buying a pie or pint in the ground. If only. If this keeps on keeping on then the snowball can only get bigger. Hats off to all that made this happen, I support the future efforts all the way, even though I live a few thousand miles from home.

  7. Gordon Young says:

    Well done, from Spain, to all involved.
    I think we will have a new manager after Swansea, if we don´t win. Possibly even before if fatty gets really nervous.
    Fatty is a horrible man but he is no fool. A change of manager would give us the impetus to sneak over the line because I reckon we need 5 or 6 points to stay up for certain.
    FCB´s adviser William Hill will be in trouble if we were to get relegated with 34M in the bank and not having signed a striker or central defensive cover in January nor appointing a manager!!!

  8. Davey says:

    I thought the days of protests were over when the club threw off the shackles of the McKeag/Seymour era and started to grow again, but these protests against the man killing this club have been long, long overdue. It was very refreshing to be joined by fellow fans outside Strawberry Place all making their feelings clear. A fantastic effort especially from the people running the Ashley out website and all at TF for putting their heads up from the trenches to risk getting shot at. It helped and was needed, I enjoyed the pre-game craic which I’ve missed out on these last three years of my own boycott so it was heartening to get involved again. This has to be just the start though as the club desperately needs fumigating. Well done all!

  9. Peter Shearer says:

    Yes,it was good to be there with the protesters and visit the ground again after a long boycott.2 Police officers who spoke to us in Leazes Park (where not many joined us!) said they estimated the crowd at 25,000. May not be totally accurate but they were certain it was a very low attendance.

    I agree we need to try and keep as many on-side as we can.Most of the more aggressive songs appeared at full time,perhaps alcohol-fueled! I had hoped that more would be alongside us-but I guess it will be a long-haul.Keep the faith!

    • jack says:

      Looked like at least 15k empty seats trying to claim 47 is laughable. 5 mins before kickoff it looked like it was going to be a tiny crowd but silly me I forgot how many people don’t seem to care and turn up late. 15 thousand was a success though doubble that took part in the walk out so it’s a good staring point and hopefully more will join. However was still bitterly disappointed with the amount of people who still went and then left early anyway. I think a large number of our core support stopped going over the past few years and have simply been replaced. I think no matter how much the fat man takes us for granted and no matter how much we protest Newcastle United will still pull 30,000 min. Not trying to be derisive in anyway but a large number of our support are totally docile and I think that’s unfortunately just a symptom of the modern premier league era.

  10. mammyslittlesoldier says:

    Changing managers, whinging shite players, fan unrest. We’ve all been here before and there’s a stink of relegation, I reckon. I said as soon as Pardew fucked off that we’d appoint some bum (check) then replace him with a few games to go and relegation looming. I’m usually wrong with my pessimistic ramblings – hope I am now. We’ll not come back again in a hurry if we go down this time.

  11. Tom Bates says:

    Very proud of those who took part in the boycott. Good on carragher, makes a change from the likes of patrick Barclay sneering at us. There were a few mags scoffing at talk of a boycott on Saturday night saying there would still be 50,000 there. Same the BBC reported yesterday there were 47,000 present without explaing how the attendances are calculated.

  12. rich says:

    well done to all involved. The actual number of non attendees is almost an irrelevance, the media interest it generated was priceless. Good on Carragher and Quinn.
    Personally i think we should cast the net out further, make a stand against what is happening to football in general not just NUFC. Engage and unite fans from other clubs to say enough is enough.

  13. Gary Ĺockey says:

    Very proud indeed and a big thank you to all the organisers. I stood next to the lads that barracked the fans that attended which I would not condone but will not totally condemn either. The fans on the Gallowgate external concourse were looking down on us as if we were animals in a zoo not fellow fans desperate to facilitate change.
    On a positive note the 15K no shows and the numbers in Strawberry Place was fantastic. Kick over the statues!

  14. mikey says:

    If 15,000 did not turn up…just think how huge the next boycott could be, and Rich totally agree, there is a bigger malaise in football…

  15. Andrew Thompson says:

    I’ll be honest I didn’t take part in the protests. I didn’t even travel into town. Instead I took my family out for Sunday dinner then met a few of my mates in my local and watched it in there, season ticket in pocket. Was a bit surreal watching a home game on TV but looking at how dead the atmosphere was, and the usual non performance I’m glad I made the decision to boycott because what would have been a tedious day at the match turned out to be a very pleasant afternoon/evening. Worrying thing is I could get used to that and could well drift away altogether, and I’ve been a season ticket holder since 1991 when Ardiles was manager.

  16. patricia hodgson says:


  17. mikey says:

    It was an amazing start. Am so proud of the third of the fan base that chose to take action. No more than 30k inside. And i hold no malice towards those who went, although i would say to them, look at what we can achieve together, join us for the next round.

    Another club is possible.

  18. Stewpot says:

    I would like to see positive action directed towards w*nga.

    It completely undermines any message we are trying to convey when people are advertising this throughly toxic brand. This sponsorship is smear on the black & white shirt and I’m disgusted that people persist in wearing this cheap, nasty tat.

    On Sunday there was a banner at the Gallowgate protest saying “w*nga out” and there were people stood next to it holding “” signs whilst wearing shirts with that awful bloody logo on the front. Beyond stupid.

    I don’t understand why more isn’t being made of this.

    It also demonstrates that people are prepared to further line his pockets by buying these terrible shirts and training tops.

    There should be a policy of discouraging this behaviour. I can’t take these people seriously and I don’t want to stand with them in protest.

    People should also be discouraged from buying the 3 new eyesores which are about to be released.

    I’d like to see us adopt the same tactic as Man U fans did and wear green and yellow in the ground. This would be a way of visibly protesting for those who still wish to go the games. The colours are relevent as traditional away colurs and would stand out a lot more strongly than some poorly scrawled-on bedsheets.

    I’m just putting it out there as an idea.

    Howay the lads!

    • rich says:

      Tend to agree stewpot. Negative publicity towards SD and Wonga will put external pressure on MA from other shareholders.

      • Stewpot says:

        cheers rich… it’s has a lot to do with the integrity of the protest too. as i’ve already said, how does it look to a national audience and beyond when supporters are begave so hypocritically?

        i won’t be boycotting any further games until the w*nga issue is addressed more widely.

  19. Will Diamond says:

    I watched the game from the comfort of my own living room. It was a sad day to see the stadium that empty, but I fully support the reason behind it. I sometimes look back on my own personal boycott of my beloved Newcastle United and think did I give in to easy?

    September 4th 2008 the day the club died for me under Ashley’s guidance. A day when a cockney dwarf won an argument with a Newcastle legend. I just knew then that trouble was brewing. I endured listening to moans and groans from the terraces, but hey that’s football. But to me it seemed to be getting to a point where my weekend was ruined by actually watching the team I loved. That was the last season for me…

    I have sat in silence for many years waiting to see if my decision to walk away was the right one. I have always had my opinion of the club, but rarely would I voice it because I admire the people who do support the team through all the hard times. I have done this also, but this time something felt wrong.

    On Sunday I sat watching the tv, checking facebook, reading comments and although I felt justified in my decision all those years ago, it did not make me feel any better. It made me sad and it made me angry. That he has preyed upon a city and a public who view their club as their shining star.

    I hope and pray that boycottspurs was the start of something that unites the people of this great city, not something that divides the supporters of a once great club.

    Ashley out is our only choice now, we have started down a dark road but dreams thrive in darkness. Let’s draw the battle lines now and hope that no other generation of Geordies have to watch a leach suck the spirit, money, soul and pride from our beloved club.

  20. tony says:

    funny how the rich prosper and ordinary people suffer, just see ashley and cameron yes people say keep the politics separate from the 22 players kicking a ball full of air around, but when comes to community,passion and support the boycott movement has shown real balls in standing up for newcastle UNITED!action needs to be taken and a voice 2 be heard take the POWER BACK!(rage against the machine)

  21. Graeme Pringle says:

    As has been mentioned many times over, Ashley is a symptom of the media and modern day football.

    #BoycottSky is equally important if supporters are to get their clubs back.Today’s announcement by West Ham of a 25% reduction in season ticket prices in an effort to fill their new stadium places football even more in the pocket of Sky and BT. Many will see it as a good move, but the media already have an unhealthy power over the game.

    Only a mass boycott of Sky will force clubs to re-engage with their supporters and see the disappearance of owners who see their club as a shop window for merchandise and brand promotion.