THRU BLACK & WHITE EYES – Zombies – 6/Apr/14

by • April 6, 2014 • TBAWEComments (61)5905

One of the benefits of age I’m told is perspective. I was fifty last year so I should have PardewSKYsome I’d hope. I’ll leave you to judge whether I have when it comes to Newcastle United if you manage to read to the end of this old toffee. I went to my first United games back in the early 70s. Like many of you reading this, my old man took me and I watched the likes of Macdonald, Tudor, Moncur, Hibbitt et al from the West Stand Paddock amidst mild grumbling about Joe Harvey and Lord Westwood. Later, when my half-interested old man packed in going to football almost completely, as a teenager I spent a couple of seasons on the old Leazes End watching Micky Burns, Geoff Nulty, Alan Gowling and Tommy Craig before the club went into a late 70s tail-spin, was duly relegated and as I and a few others from school and round the doors clicked enthusiastically through the Gallowgate Corner paying in from modest amounts of pocket money. I watched the worst standard of football ever put on at St James’ Park by Bill McGarry and those of a certain vintage still get a shudder to think of a forward-line of Shinton-Rafferty-Clarke.  There were moments of pleasure – Withe and Shoulder providing some excitement but really, the club was in a terrible condition and never really started to recover until Arthur Cox was appointed when the dreadful McGarry made his welcome exit.

I think of the 80s in mixed ways. I’d been a fully paid up member of the Imre Varadi fan club but I loved the two KK seasons at United when we clinched promotion with an attacking delight of Keegan-Waddle-Beardsley with the likes of McDermott, Wharton, McCreery, Roeder and others playing fantastic football in front of a bouncing St James’ Park. That 83/84 season, with all of those fantastic away days remain, even given what came after as one of my favourite ever Newcastle United years.

We had some okay times in the 80s thereafter though the club made horrendous mistakes (appointing Jack Charlton being the biggest) but a total lack of ambition in the boardroom from the likes of Seymour and McKeag inevitably saw the sales of Waddle, Beardsley and Gascoigne under Yes-Man Willie McFaul inevitably lead to relegation. The 80s ended as it had begun with United floundering in the Second Division firstly with Jim Smith’s ageing failures and thereafter with Ardiles’ wholly inadequate squad. Again but for the arrival of KK as manager after a bitter feud between the regime-ancien  and new money Thatcherite John Hall. God knows what would have happened to Newcastle United without Kevin Keegan but for several seasons I enjoyed the best football I have ever seen or will ever see.

In hindsight, the worst move Newcastle United ever made was to float on the stock market.Though for the Hall and Shepherds it provided a personal bonanza..  It led to the departure of Kevin Keegan as manager and it was the starting gun on the dash for cash for Hall and Shepherd. The club’s decline was arrested after terrible appointments in Dalglish and Gullit with the arrival of Sir Bobby Robson but for all the great job and super times we had under Langley Park’s finest, we were never the same club we were when KK was there. Terrible appointments followed in Souness, Roeder and Allardyce interspersed with Shepherd attempting to convince us we were an ambitious club with some pop star signings in Duff, Owen, Luque etc. but the truth was we had lost the plot as a club and the tide was against us.

We had missed the boat to establish ourselves as a Champions League regular, the appointment of Wenger at Arsenal showed the kind of insight and knowledge at Highbury with David Dein  while we had Shepherd whoring around in Spanish bordellos with enfant knacker, Douglas Hall. We were to fall behind further when the Russian rocked up at Stamford Bridge and saved them from a Leeds-style meltdown. Thereafter, Sir John Hall, itching to get out, was making it plain United couldn’t compete with Russian oligarchs and we were losing out on Champions League money.

Unedifying attempts by Hall to flog the club to Hedge Fund Investors (i.e. Polygon and Belgravia) came to nothing (they actually checked the books) but it was obvious Hall wanted his last pay-day regardless of Shepherd’s intention to remain as the Boss Hogg of Barrack Road. Hall wanted to sell and it’s my opinion he’d have sold us to the devil providing he had the money. Hall, in my opinion is almost pyschopathic in his love of money.

And so it came to pass that all the talk of Sporting Clubs of Newcastle, Geordie Nation, regional pride, share-holding supporters went straight out the window when Hall learnt of an incredible bid to buy our club.

Let no-one tell you any different, Hall and Shepherd left Newcastle United in a desperate financial state. The details have been covered in several issues of true faith by qualified accountants so anyone pining for the days of Shepherd running our club needs to wake up and smell the unsustainable debt. Hall and Shepherd had nowhere else to go with Newcastle United but out the door. Who they let in and under what terms is a matter for their own conscience. If they possess one.

In May 2007 Newcastle United was sold to Mike Ashley. Mike who? I remember asking. The Sports Soccer gadgie, or Sports Direct or something like that. Anyway, he was minted and so I foolishly thought, the club should be run properly. No more daft pop star signings, investment in the club’s infrastructure (shamefully neglected under Hall and Shepherd despite patter to the contrary). He appointed Chris Mort as his acting Chairman and in two months I’d met the Chairman of our club in my role as fanzine editor more often than I’d ever met Hall or Shepherd (i.e. never). All of the mood music was good though it became obvious the terms of the purchase of the club was starting to unravel as Mort and others learnt about the appalling state of the United finances. Basically, Ashley had bought “a bucket of holes” (Chris Mort).

We staggered on with Allardyce and incredibly Ashley sanctioned the purchase of players who would cost the club fortunes and take United into a nose dive – Viduka, Geremi. Cacapa, Barton, Smith, Rozenhal joined Owen and Duff on an eye-watering pay roll. Not one of those players ever justified their salaries.

But it got worse. For whatever reason, Ashley sacked Allardyce and  appointed Kevin Keegan as manager. He’d been out of the game for some time and admitted he’d not watched a PL game for three years. Nevertheless the 07/08 season ended happily. The team was playing good attacking football and KK bought the club trust in the stands. By that time Mort had gone back to Freshfields but only after appointing Dennis Wise as Director of Football with Tony Jimenez and Jeff Vetere in roles I can barely remember. Derek Llambias assumed the hitherto unknown position of Managing Director. Llambias from the shady world of casinos, retreated into his office (when he was there) and like Ashley said nothing.

The summer of 2008 proved to be disastrous. Ashley’s appointments were completely incompatible and along with Wise hung KK out to dry as lying to its manager and supporters became de-facto club strategy.

You all know what happened next. KK resigned, later to shine a hard light on Mike Ashley’s integrity and confirm Dennis Wise as the most poisonous cunt to ever draw breath in professional football. We got our first dose of Joe Kinnear and only a heart attack spared this buffoon the indignity of taking us to relegation in a not to be forgotten sunny day at Villa Park when Alan Shearer was let badly let down by the likes of Owen, Duff, Barton, Viduka and many others. That squad should never have been relegated.

Having alienated Kevin Keegan, Ashley then did the same to Alan Shearer, treating one of the club’s favourite sons with huge disrespect. Having offered Shearer the job as manager, agreed a budget for the forthcoming season in the Championship, Ashley then froze Shearer out. He simply ignored him. There was no contact between Ashley and Shearer or Llambias for that matter. That treatment of any man is disgraceful, of one of the club’s greatest players and a local boy was unforgivable. Ashley then put the club on the market but over an agonising summer, via Seymour Pierce was unable to sell United. Ashley just wanted far too much for the club.

Then United got lucky through Chris Hughton and a dressing room led by Nolan, Harper, Barton with Colo, Enrique and Jonas showing some character with an emerging Carroll to get us back into the Premier League.

Fast Forward and somehow Alan Pardew is manager of Newcastle United after the popular Chris Hughton had been treated badly. Hughton is remembered fondly on Tyneside and has the respect and appreciation of supporters who understand his contribution to our club. He is a good man and of decency and integrity. He was never going to last at Newcastle United Football Club.

Now we have a kind of half-dead football club, a club that exists to exist. That has no ambition or real sporting purpose. With a manager who will suffer any indignity to hang onto a position he is singularly inadequate to hold. He manages a coaching team that is providing very little in the development of our players. Talent is squandered at every turn.

We have Mike Ashley who barely turns up for games, has no interest at all and whose approach to our club is sucking the life out of us. As supporters, we seem barely alive. We are going through the motions, sitting dumbfounded at the soul-destroying excuse for a sporting contest we have paid good money to watch.

Clearly, the players don’t give a toss about the shirt they are pulling on, about you or I in the stands and nor do they care enough for their manager, who has admitted to being completely unable to motivate them. They are as disillusioned as us.

I now know for absolute certain that if we go a goal behind, we all might as well go home. There is never any rousing come-back. There is no fight, no determination, no courage and no leadership – no leadership on the pitch, in the dug-out or in the stands. That match yesterday was played out in almost complete silence but for the country’s most self-regarding fans going through a  selection of their dull-arse repertoire.

There is no-one on the payroll at Newcastle United who offers anything other than a yes-sir, no-sir, three-bags full sir to Ashley. I hear Charnley is tipped for the top job at United! What a joke, he wouldn’t get anywhere near a similar job at any other club. He is a yes-man, just like Pardew. A puppet, promoted beyond his ability, desperate to cling onto the pools win of a job, 100% in the knowledge he’ll never get another one like it. The same applies to anyone in any position of authority at United – they are all phonies, time-servers just grateful for their crust knowing full well they would get nowhere near a similar job elsewhere. As for Ashley’s lickspittles Moncur and Beardsley, I am nauseated by the weasel words these two so-called club icons put out in defence for a man anyone can see is draining the life out of the club.

The only defence Pardew has is that it doesn’t matter who Ashley appoints, he’ll be a prick just like him. That’s as may be but I think a change is as good as a rest and we need shot of this patsy along with Carver, Stone, Woodman and we need another selection of Ashley gimps just to spare us the tedium we’ve had thus far. I can honestly say, relegation next season doesn’t bother me and if it means it will hurt Ashley, possibly bring this whole sorry to episode to a close then so be it. Administration, points deduction, half empty stadium, bankruptcy? Bring it on. Anything must be better than living the life of football’s un-dead.

Keep Pardew and his staff and the club will continue wandering around in its half dead trance with no purpose whatsoever. We desperately need Ashley out as well of course but he’s working on the expectation of finding a buyer who will imagine paying off his debt is a  great idea. That doesn’t look like it will happen any time soon.

I can say, hand on heart, I’ve watched some terrible Newcastle United teams and some awful players in the 40-odd years I’ve been going to St James’ Park. This season is far from the worst I’ve seen by a long chalk. I’ve been angry, frustrated before but I’ve never felt this level of disillusion, disconnection or depression at what is going on at the sorry excuse for a football club I have the grave misfortune to have an affinity to. Whether its my age or the collective disappointments the club has provided down the years catching up with me, I don’t know, but I look upon almost everything associated with our club and I don’t see anything at all I actually like any longer. I am completely alienated from it.

We are away at Stoke on Saturday coming. We all know we’ll lose and it will probably be heavily. Stoke are in no danger of relegation really and their situation mirrors our own. But I can guarantee they will be up for playing a game of football. They will tear us apart. You know what? I’m not even arsed if they do or they don’t. If it ushers in the departure of Team Pardew then that is all to the good. If the next sap takes us to relegation, so what? If it means Ashley is a step closer out of our club then good. If it means we have to be reduced to penury, playing on Nun’s Moor then that can’t happen soon enough if it means we can rid ourselves of the cancer that is attached to Newcastle United. I don’t feel guilty in writing that, I feel kind of liberated by it. I’d rather follow a REAL Newcastle United in the lower divisions than the sorry excuse for one we are under Ashley and Pardew.

Nothing good is happening at that football club, not that football club is a description of the undead on Barrack Road is anyway accurate.


Keep On, Keepin’ On … TF_INITIALS_LOGO

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61 Responses to THRU BLACK & WHITE EYES – Zombies – 6/Apr/14

  1. Vin says:

    Probably the most honest and accurate article I have read about the goings on at the club. Like you, I am fifty and had the same kind of introdiction to supporting undoudtedly the most unique football club in this country if not in Europe. There is no other would get the loyalty from the supporters the way this club does and you have to wonder whether the word loyalty has been superceded by the word stupidity. I stopped going when Hughton was sacked and it was unbelievable that Pardew was appointed to take us to the next level. We have had far worse managers but as far as honesty and integrity is concerned he ranks alongside Gordon Lee. However, he must keep his job because his reputation and fucking hugo will be ruined next season whem we are eventually relegated into the fizzy pop league.

  2. Dave says:

    I’m coming up to my 60th year and like you Michael, I have this club deep in my heart since my first match at St James’s in the early 60’s (ironically a 2-5 humping from Spurs) and it hurts like hell with the state of it now. Like you I have witnessed some breathtaking football over the years, I remember when KK’s boys were everyone’s 2nd favourite team as we were so good to watch. Could be a long long time before we’ll ever be thought of like that again. Have to agree with your assessment totally and if it takes relegation to get rid of the fat man and his puppets, then it has to better than the dross we are enduring at the moment. What about famous Geordie fans, Brian Johnson, Jimmy Nail, Tim Healy etc etc getting a consortium together to somehow buy the fat man out?
    We live in hope eh?

  3. Andy Hoggins says:

    Excellent article, your comments mirror my feelings with following this club. It’s a chore to go to the match. It’s great meeting the lads, having a few pints but that is where the fun ends. The walk to the ground takes more time every week, and not just because of my advancing years, I’m 48 this year, it’s because I cannot be arsed to sit and watch th rubbish being served in a vast coliseum of a morgue.
    Joyless and soulless.
    I cannot wait for the season to end and neither can the players. I cannot say I’m looking forward to next season or the close season transfer window.

  4. DJAToon says:

    What an excellent analysis. It tells my own NUFC story better than I ever could, from the early drama of Supermac and Tudor, the three KK eras, to the present horrific period.

    I gave up spending money on the club after 10 years of 400 mile round trips to SJP when I could see the club was going nowhere. Part of the reason for that was the last months of Sir Bobby Robson’s reign, where it was patently obvious he’d lost the dressing room, whilst protesting he was still the man in charge. Sad times. I lost a lot of respect for the fella then and don’t subscribe to his apparent sainthood. He was a great manager who gave his best years to other clubs than ours. Anyway, I digress.

    These days, I watch from a comfortable seat, with an iPad perched nearby. I don’t even do the away games when they come to the Midlands. What’s the point? As this article points out, the club is desperate for some leadership at all levels. It’s just like national politics – no vision, no courage, no integrity. All it leads to is apathy.

    Pardew was once a young manager with promise, but he’s a busted flush and he knows it. He must go. He surely has enough money in the bank and could always take up punditry. In that domain, even he won’t be as bad as the odious Robbie Savage or the chummy but insight-free-zone that is our beloved Shearer.

    If Pardew can be persuaded to fall on his sword that a new manager, ANY new manager, will surely provide some freshness in the dressing room. Even is no significant improvement on the pitch results, it’ll at least be a welcome distraction. Owt’s better than this purgatory.

  5. Wallace Wilson says:

    This coming close season will be one of the most important in the history of the club. Because the club has been hollowed out by Ashley and Charnley, aided and abetted by Pardew, we will need substantial investment just to avoid relegation. The current ‘squad’ – and I use that term in the loosest sense – is nowhere near adequate for a PL season. I imagine Ashley will try to get by with the minimum required, it will prove to be nowhere near enough and there will be panic buying in January together with the sacking of the manager, if he hasn’t already gone. All with the aim of persuading enough mugs to reinvest in their season tickets. But what’s the point if we’re not even trying to compete? We finished above Liverpool two seasons ago but they showed ambition, changed the manager and invested in players. Because they still believe that the aim of the game is to win things. Ashley doesn’t care about anything else except money. Ironically, he’d make shed loads with a successful team.

  6. Peter Shearer says:

    Spot on in every regard-but the biggest problem to solve is why so many people keep supporting the regime. The only satisfaction I have is that Ashley gets nothing from me and I just have to hope that we outlive him! Never thought our fans would allow this to happen-but they have. Maybe there are lots more like me from this era that have left in protest-perhaps difficult to measure that number.Hope so anyway!

    • Rob says:

      What can the fans realistically do to alter the situation? I don’t subscribe to the belief that people continuig to go to games s a weakness, as those inside the ground could easily make their voices heard.

  7. Gary Lockey says:

    I am also in my fifties so this piece rings true with me (I stopped going after the Sunderland game in February). Fine line between loyalty and stupidity and fans of other clubs have often accused me of just being stupid.
    This season has panned out exactly as the MA blueprint. 40 points before Xmas which allows a sale in January and the season petering out exactly as it has. I do not blame the players. You reap what you sow and MA has set the agenda. Why should the players show any commitment (I do not buy the professional pride bit at least not at our level).
    For those that still intend to go to the games, get used to what you have seen this season as this is the ‘model’.

  8. Pete says:

    Another excellent article, with a perspective that so many of us share.
    I wrote on here a couple of months ago that there was only one way to get at Ashley, and that was through Pardew.
    Ashley has the skin of a rhino, and enjoys the fight – just read some of the newspapers today about his dealings with House of Fraser.
    However….Pardew is vulnerable, and he knows it – just look at him in the press conference videos….he’s terrified, and turns to bullshit cliches immediately.
    Hounding Pardew out of the club will at least take us to the next stage – maybe we will get more yes men in, but it’ll be a step nearer the end of this.
    Hounding Pardew out of the club will give the man exactly what he deserves.

    I would also sooner see us as a genuine football club (interested in winning games, run correctly, with honesty and integrity) in the 3rd division than live through more of this.
    What price the Sky Premiership? Prostitution of everything we hold dear?

    Not for me. Give me an honest toil with players who could give a toss and would fight every game for the cause over the vacuum of existing in 10th, and Ashley getting his loan paid off.

    So what now…..sustained criticism of Pardew in every forum possible, from tf, to the radio, through journalists right to the ground. Loud, sustained chanting against the man that has sold his soul, and ours with it.

    Pardew out. Now.

  9. David Edwards says:

    Apathy rules….ST cancelled after 30 years….what is the point? Won’t be back ’til MA goes. Enough is enough.

    • mikey says:

      I’m the same David.

      We all need to cut off his money supply, refuse to go back and fight for change

  10. John Burn says:

    I agree pretty much with everything what Michael said. The club is dying and it’s in danger of alienating completely a very large section of it’s fan-base who have become apathetic at best. We can only hope that Ashley decides to sell during the summer or at the very least, Pardew is binned. Otherwise – better get used to being the PL whipping boys.

  11. mikey says:

    Aye, that end bit is spot on.

    I would rather we catastrophically collapsed and went bust than that horrible bastards remaining at our club, sucking slowly dry and permanently dismantling our future (the sell off of gallowgate end carpark area).

    I left with half an hour to go on saturday. I went with my old man for his 80th birthday. He looked deflated, bored and sad at me and my brother’s absolute lack of passion, whereas he remember;s us as nutbag fanatics.

    We tried to catch the grand national in the strawberry but it was too full and as everyone streamed out we just stood there waiting to be let i the pub and i said to him ‘i am never going back’ ‘me neither son’.

    He’s 80, and if he can say he’s never going back he means it.

    It broke my heart,

    It just isn;t newcastle united anymore. No atmosphere, no solidarity, no nothing.

    I just watched the wonga signs flashing up on the touchline, listened to the racket from the Man Utd fans and looked at out lot like stuffed dummies and knew something had died.

    Its the end of an era and i don;t know if i’ll ever go back. Perhaps that is it

  12. Simon says:

    Totally agree. My only hope is we suffer relegation next season (be amazed if we don’t) and then possibly another one after that. Only then can I see Ashley selling up. Don’t think I’d miss the Sky league. Even if MA sacks
    ‘Pards’, fuck knows who would be next because I dread to think who is advising him. So depressing.

  13. john rush says:

    There were six of us out on Friday, all of us a similar age as yourself and the same history supporting wise. We are veterans of disasters from exeter 81 to the charity shield and better times like taking over Huddersfield in 84, being at swindon where it was a sea of black and white even as recent as Barnsley in the championship. Up till last season all of us had season tickets next year it will be just two of us and even one waivered whether to renew or not up to the last minute. We are all lucky to have jobs and can afford a ticket it is just that we have had enough. I am hearing similar stories more and more. I heard some people were surprised at the lack of stick pardew and co got yesterday. Truth is people haven’t got the energy to protest any more, many are marking time waiting for the season to finish and then they will slip away many of them forever. Good luck to the lads and lasses who protest, however, i get the impression ashley quite enjoys a bit of aggro so he can feel justified in implementing another of his little schemes to wind us up – he can see you coming in some respects. I hope though it will be the silent majority who he doesn’t necessarily see coming that just might end up driving ashley out

    • Pete says:

      Read the Mirror piece on Ashley and Rangers again.
      He can own 2 clubs as long as they are ‘not in the same competition’.
      The only competitions both clubs could ever be in together would be the Europa and Champions League.
      So…..current strategy continues to work…..Newcastle stay 10th, no investment, no ambition, but the loan gets paid off, slowly. Rangers get to pitch (eventually) at Europe, which gets him more TV money etc.

      • ArmyKev says:

        In reality the Mirror story was poorly researched and stinks of bad journalism, when this first came up last year I went through the internet and discovered in the Scottish FA’s rule book you cannot own a controlling interest in more than one club REGARDLESS of which league or competition they are entered into. I would look it up again and share the link but like the way I feel about Newcastle at the minute I just cant be bothered anymore. It is my dream for Ashley and his SD scroatbags to move on to Rangers….but I feel that even if Rangers can get back in the Champions League, the fat bastards cheap tat will still get more exposure from a premier league team.
        I never thought I would admit this out loud but, I hope we do get relegated next season do a Leeds/Portsmouth/Wolves et al. Its the only way I can see the fat bastard moving on, watching our club going into administration would hurt…..but to have a club back with soul and passion running through its veins would take away any pain. HTL

  14. Phil Jobson says:

    On a weekly basis, your editorials increasingly resonate – another brilliant assessment. There are many of us who subscribe to the views regularly covered here, however I worry we are in the growing minority. Too many ‘Sky Generation’ wallers – 50000+ vs Palace & Villa??? Where else, eh?
    Being 50+ like many of you I’ve seen some crap players and performances over the years, however I have never seen so many, paid so much, deliver so little, as I watched last week at Southampton – it was a desperate performance, sent out by a woefully inadequate manager.
    The paucity of our ambition and squad was encapsulated perfectly yesterday when at 3-0 down, we bring on Shola……
    Finally, while many of us suspend our contribution, attendances are increasingly inflated by ‘travellers’. I can barely get on the 11a.m train at Alnmouth now as its already packed with Scots ‘Mags’. Not always been the case, Its just easier to get a ticket now. – vs Man U as well remember. Also plenty Dutch in Strawberry and Danes, Germans, USA, Norwegians around me in the Gallowgate. Imagine that 3 years ago.
    We are still a big draw to those who don’t care, or for whom it does not matter.

    • Gary says:

      Great article ,agree with Phil about the travellers most stag parties must help keep the numbers up

  15. Ian Summers says:

    Keegan’s team were labelled “The Entertainers”, Pardew’s team should be called The Capitulators.

    • Nigel Pearson says:


      As you know I am 4 Years Younger & far better looking than You but our experience of supporting the Toon is a Mirror a Image.

      I feel as if I could have written your article. Perhaps not as eloquently.

      £35k will solve our problem.

      Associates of The Partizan Belgrade Grobari hold the key to the a Toons Salvation.


    • Nigel Pearson says:

      Hi Ian

      I was talking to Nelly in the High Bridge last night.

      Ever see Ritchie?


  16. JO says:

    “Everything they’ve tried so hard to kill…we will rebuild”

    • Rob says:

      Try to hold on to what we had,
      We build them strong, we built to last.
      Cos this is a mighty town,
      Built upon solid ground…

  17. Dave Ted Edwards says:

    Depressing but very accurate Michael. It’s a chore being a Mag at the moment. I can feel my passion ebbing away. The people slowly streaming out of the ground at 3-0 yesterday seemed to be beaten not angry. I watched them go and felt hollow inside. No energy, no fight, no hatred, just acceptance that this is the shit hand we’ve been dealt. I would be happy to support any kind of boycott / demonstration against all the bastards who have made me feel like this about something I hold so dear but it won’t happen. Disillusioned and demoralised sums it up and it hurts! One love eh?

  18. Michael Ord says:

    See Facebook comment
    Perhaps we have grown too old, but so many who care about the club are now apathetic. The sad truth is thag even when we were languishing undef McGarry we always had some hope, we hadplayers who were not good enough bug who tried. Now we have people from top to bottom for whom it really does not seem to matter. This season has from the view of Ashley, Pardew et al been a success. No relegation worries, no pesky cup runs, no dangerof European football which is such a nuisance and a nice fat wedge in from the sale of a player. That is why we exist now, to generate cash for MA nothing else. Investment only if it is unavoidable, everything on the cheap, keep the mugs happy, sell a few new shirts at Xmas. What a bloody shambles

  19. Bernard fee says:

    What a great article agree completely
    I too am in my fiftys
    My son and I have a season tickets in the gallowgate,they are not being used for the first time in well over twenty years and will remain empty until this lot are gone

  20. STEPHEN says:

    Brilliant piece.

    Oh for a Imre Varadi ,Peter Withe or David Kelly. Footballers not blessed as magicians, footballers who had no affinity with this club when they arrived but quickly bought into it and gave it everything. Players who we could identify with,could count on and became hero’s.

    I said yesterday give me an owner who has a vision and ambition and hasn’t got two beans to rub together rather than Ashley. Give me an owner who atleast when he sells Tim Krul in the summer for say £15m invests that money in two players, a top replacement goaly and a striker rather than an owner who’ll tell Pardew Elliot’s your new No1 and there’s £500,000 to buy Harper back as cover and gives Shola another contract extension.

    One of the saddest things in all this is that we’ve become like that lot down the road. We are more interested in seeing them lose than we are our own team winning. I’ll be celebrating if they go down but make no mistake i know we’ll be following them next season.

    • Nigel Pearson says:


      As you know I am 4 Years Younger & far better looking than You but our experience of supporting the Toon is a Mirror a Image.

      I feel as if I could have written your article. Perhaps not as eloquently.

      £35k will solve our problem.

      Associates of The Partizan Belgrade Grobari hold the key to the a Toons Salvation.


  21. Geoff Weir says:

    Great comments but at the end of the day the only way we can hurt the fat b****** is to stop buying his s*** and tickets, it’s the only thing that hurts people like him.
    I gave up after Marseilles away never renewed my season ticket. It is a total waste of time watchin a team who do not want to win a cup, not good enough ( by a long chalk) to get in top four so FB is happy gettin 50000 mugs in every week .
    Where do we go from here? Seems to me it does not matter which muppet or puppet is in charge it won’t get any better. Would they have sold cabaye if they were fighting relegation? My guess is yes FB would have done and Pardew would not have say.
    Glad I got out when I did but still luv the toon.

    • Geoff Weir says:

      My apologies Stephen I should have phrased from FBs viewpoint that he treats yous all as mugs. I know how the majority of the fans feel even though I do not go anymore.

      Cheers try and keep the faith

      Geoff(63-whenever Marseilles game was)

  22. STEPHEN says:

    Geoff, i’m not calling you a fair weather so don’t calll those who still go mugs. It’s your choice, my choice. I’m 48 been going since i was 8, likewise seen it all. I’m as sickened as the next bloke but it’s what i do, who i am.I’m clinging on for the return of hope,aspirations and glory. How long that is i don’t know,whether it happens i don’t know, will it finally break me i don’t know but i ain’t a mug.

  23. Brilliantly said . A terrific article that every Toon fan should read . Very depressing to read but hits the nail right on the head with much accuracy. The question on everybodies lips is , where do we go from Here ?

  24. kennythemag says:

    We will very probably go down next season – but if thats what it takes to get that fat grinning prick out then so be it. One of the lads had a spare ticket for the game but couldnt give it away. That tells you something – and for Man Ure as well. Sad depressing times, something is rotten right through our club and Ashley is the one to blame.

  25. tattyhed says:

    I’m 57. So fuck.
    why aren’t any of the young’uns writing in?

    They’ll still be going when all of you miserable cunts have packed it in 🙂

    Howay man. believe it or not – you HAVE got selective memories – we’ve had worse times – we stuck in because its about the aura, the camaraderie, the good times.

    no fucker will persuade me that they’d prefer Kenny Mitchell, Paul Cannell, Steve Carney (RIP), Peter Cartwright, Peter Lelly, John Ryan etc etc ad nauseum.

    Give ower man and get a grip. You know that you’ll be there net year – come hell or high watta

  26. Mark Brophy says:

    This is very close to advocating an ‘FCUN’ type startup it seems to me. We’ve lost hope and starting again from scratch must seem very attractive. Not sure I’d go along with that myself. We don’t know what’s around the corner, and there’s always the possibility that external factors will change the situation for the better. A buyout, a change in ownership rules for instance.

    Gateshead FC might see a boost in crowds from disaffected Mags next season though, especially if they make it up into League 2.

  27. Chris Baird says:

    Well written.I was born on may 7th 1955 the day we last won a domestic trophy.I am sad to say I feel I will be dead before we win another one.We came close once or twice and had the joy of winning the Fairs Cup.The thing that saddens me the most is the bullshit that comes out of pardews mouth.I really dislike this liar.He blames every one but himself.If I was manager I would be braying ashleys door down for players not saying yes mike yes mike 3 bags full mike.We need rid of the cancer as soon as possible.Even if we dont win anything I would like to watch good football and if we go 1-0 down at least think we may score.Sadly that wont happen with percy puppett as manager.I stopped going a few year back as never enjoyed 1 game at St.James and that breaks my heart to say that.We need 02 to be our sponsor as least then it wont be 0-3 or 0-4 arena as is now 🙂 howay the lads

  28. Nick Dryden says:

    In short, this is without doubt the finest article I have ever read in relation to NUFC.

  29. Deluded says:

    So newcastle are sat 9th in the league, or 2nd in the also ran league. And newcastle fans moan !! Whilst Ashley may not be alot of Toons fav man in newcastle, as the editor touched on, if it werent for Ashley the club would probably be bankrupt and in a similar position to leeds, Wolves, Sheff Utd or even Portsmouth. The only way Newcastle will break into the top 7 is if they get an owner like chelsea or City, which they wont. They aren’t a brand like Man U or Liverpool, they arent in London like Spurs, Chelsea or Arsenal, and dont have a billionaire local owner like everton. I don’t think Newcastle is attractive to any said owner, and said owner will want to buy a brand or a london club.

    The best Newcastle can hope is Ashley continues to recoup his money whilst finishing 8th or 9th each season, and sells to a half decent owner in a few years. Or you may end up with a fake sheik like Pompey did, or a tax dodger like Brum. Newcastle are achieving 8th or 9th is the best they can hope for, certainly until football implodes or the top sides f*** off to a european super league. Football is no longer a sport, and newcastle like every other former big club has been left behind by the big 7.

    • Joe says:


      Well done, not only have you missed every point of the article, you also seem to have managed to get through life by missing the point a football club.

      It does illustrate, however, that Newcastle fans’ desire for pride, passion & entertainment in their football above success seems perfectly vindicated in the face of what is classed as success nowadays (‘Top 7’ ?!)

    • mikey says:


      Its not just about the position you finish or the fact that we may or may not finish higher without Ashley.

      Its the heritage, aura, atmosphere, culture, connection, solidarity, togetherness and love that has gone.

      The sould of the club has been hollowed out.

      I’m not going back until he’s gone. It isn;t newcastle united. Its sports direct

  30. Chris Nappin says:

    Is relegation our best chance of getting rid of Ashley? It’s quite a strange thing to actually wish on our club, but the long term benefits could outweigh the short term costs. Would he still keep hold of the club if we were a mid-table championship side? Or would we have to go further down into the 3rd division before he would sell? I don’t think I would particularly mind playing in the lower leagues, it’s still essentially the same crack. Boycotting the games is the only weapon we have really, but it just doesn’t seem to be a goer, and I’m not convinced it would be massively effective anyway. Whatever way Ashley gets rid of the club, we need to try and accelerate it. Does that mean fans actually trying to hinder the team and cause a self-inflicted relegation? Persuading players to leave/advising players not to join etc? Picketing the training ground? One of the players would no doubt tell the media if we asked them to leave the club so we could try and get the club relegated! Weird, but we don’t have many options do we?!

    • CHARLES SCOTT says:

      Although I think MFA will buy in summer and January transfer to avoid relegation if we and especially the players did a revolt it doesn’t matter what MFA does it will be relegation.

      MFA will probably try and get straight back up but if we stayed in championship MFA would go. Loss of 55 million tv rights, no world advertising of sports direct and being in the championship harms the brand. So I reckon that is one way to get rid of MFA. May be MFA has a change of heart and go for ambition when he’s made 5 billion plus but until there is long term FACTUAL evidence I won’t trust MFA.

      People say Toon moaning on like other supporters at other clubs. HOWEVER our moaning has meaning this time around because MFA is actually making money from NUFC and not reinvesting the money back in to the club. Who else has made about 40 million from player transfers, lowest investment in players over last 5 years, selling off Strawberry place, genuine lies to supporters proven in KK court case, banning press, selling Cabaye with no replacement, publicly announcing can’t compete and aim is top 10 finish and no cup runs, 7 players mysteriously left out of Cardiff FA cup match that was questioned by respected pundits to just exit cup run early so thread bare resources focused on premiership survival

      • CHARLES SCOTT says:

        Oh yes I forgot, to my knowledge only club where press officer blocks certain questions to manager and I’m sure you can think of other reasons that don’t normally happen at other premier clubs

        • Horse's Knab says:

          Nor an owner who surrounds himself with muscle whenever he deigns to watch the team he owns. Balls of steel, aye reet.

    • CHARLES SCOTT says:

      I agree Chris, relegation and staying out of premier for about a couple of seasons will get shot of MFA

  31. peter taylor [ Tiger ] says:

    great article! , your spot on in your reference to pardew and his coaches?
    zero passion , this lot do not want to be here so can we hire allardyce`s double
    decker bus and take them were they will never be a part of us again and take
    ashley and his pals with them, on the beach my arse!!
    just been going for now for 52.5 years:
    coming up shortly will be the 49th anniversary of us gaining promotion to the first
    division after defeating bolton 2 – 0 on good friday with 59,960 in attendance, proper footballers proper people oh please come back……..

  32. Big Wolls says:

    Been going to SJP since the 1950’s – seen the great and the good – Milburn, Shackleton, Mitchell, White, great team men like Wyn Davies and Pop Robson, Supermac who thrilled every time he started a run, KK and Beardsley in the promotion season, All of The Entertainers, will never see soccer like that again at SJP……but a lot of the time we still had a poor Board in charge, we still produced however… we have a one man Board effectively, who has no feeling for the club or indeed the game itself. He likes money, that is all. We have a team virtually 100% foreigners and while some of them can be good if they so wish, they dont get the point – The Toon is in the blood and these guys arent with it. Nothing will change until we get local guys – hopefully honest guys – back in charge of the club and the team, then we may see a Newcastle United to be proud of again, only trouble is it may not be in my lifetime !!!

  33. David Rutherford says:

    As I’ve said many times (I’m boring myself now frankly), I’m all for an organised boycott but that’ll only happen if some influential voices such as True Faith, The Mag,, Time4Change, the NUST etc actively urge people not to attend matches (the final two home games would be a good place to start). Some average Joe like me could easily start a shitty Facebook page myself encouraging people not to go but what are the chances of more than a handful of people reading it?
    I was all for the intentions behind that Magical Misery Tour last week but let’s be honest, is hiring a bus really more effective than a couple of well-placed articles with a clear message on respected fansites that will be read by thousands? I very much doubt it.
    I’m not saying a half-empty stadium will solve everything (or anything for that matter) and he’s already got our money so it won’t hit him in the pocket but that’s irrelevant: the publicity would hurt him and send a clear message that a full house is no longer a foregone conclusion. And it might even, you know, give us a little pride and enable us to look back in years to come and say ‘at least we did something, at least we reached a point where we refused to take it any longer’. You think Liverpool or Man U fans would’ve let such a sorry state of affairs go on this long? Me neither.
    I’ve disliked the phrase ‘support the team not the regime’ for months as it is but it sounds even more ridiculous now when a man on a flying horse can see there’s no fucking team left to support.
    Anyway, great (if thoroughly depressing) piece that sums up exactly how we all feel. I hope if anyone connected to the club has read it they feel thoroughly ashamed of themselves. But I doubt it.

  34. Rochford Mag says:

    Another excellent editorial, the shame of it is that it had to be written in the first place; we are rapidly becoming ‘The Club that Died of Shame’.

    How the management and players can look at themselves in the mirror after the last three performances is beyond me but then again I am not as rich as Croesus; with great wealth comes a lack of shame apparently.

    I would be much happier if they decided to formally write off the season and drop the dead wood and bring some kids in (bringing Ameobi on and leaving Armstrong on the bench shows just how bankrupt Pardew has become) . At least they would get some experience (albeit perhaps bad) and the crowd might have something to get behind.

    If it is true that they are on a performance bonus for finishing in the top then they had better pull their fingers out because I can see both Stoke and Wet Spam overhauling us soon.

  35. Lucky Les says:

    Great article.Can bloggers remember “Supporters for Change” which helped Sir John Hall take over the club and bring in Kevin Keegan and the best football ever seen at St James.I joined and had to stop going which broke my heart at the time but it was the right thing to do even when Mick Quinn scored 4 goals on debut!

  36. Tom says:

    Another great article that sums up the mood perfectly. I have to admit to being essentially part of the problem of the Premiership era in that, as an 8 year old, St James’ Park was the first football ground I was ever taken to. So, despite living in Peterborough, I’ve found myself supporting NUFC for 21 years. The stadium amazed me and KK’s title challenge was a joy to watch. I idolised the likes of Shearer, made it up to matches when I could and saw the lads whenever there was an away game nearby. Just lately though I can’t be bothered at all. I don’t care if we win or lose. There’s no ambition on that pitch of behind the scenes, merely a desire to tread-water. Meanwhile the Posh, who are clinging on to a League One play-off place by the skin of their teeth, are infinitely more exciting to watch. There’s passion, a drive for progress and a chairman who, despite the club’s lowly status and attendances, is out to win anything possible. How is the man that owns a club with 50,000 fans turning out on a regular basis not thinking the same way?

  37. Charles Scott says:

    Left out Messiah King Kevin Keegan, if Ben Arfa got it the Messiah will get it. Of course MFA would then be rubbing his hands with glee to sell on for a profit. See Peter Beardsley singing the praises to MFA. Ok for who’s benefit ? Develop youngsters to sell on for a profit to line MFA pocket instead of reinvesting back in to the club ? Or is sadly Beardsley one of MFA puppets ? Rumours of Toon players getting a bonus for top 10 finish would not surprise either.

  38. Fab article , could not agree more with all the comments .At 58 feel very disillusioned.
    Seem to have more joy with the demise of the unwashed then my own team playing.

  39. WhoArYa says:

    Heart felt insights which I agree with until the administration/relegation self harming rant.

    Ashley has got us to the position we are in which is “dressed up for sale like a turkey at Christmas” so let’s hope it’s to another sovereign oil rich state or ogliark?

    Until that merry day let’s drink beer and cheer to attract a real messiah living in hope?

  40. David Rutherford says:

    I’d much rather everyone stopped putting money in his pockets and gave him an empty stadium every week until ‘that merry day comes’.

  41. David Rutherford says:

    Oh and the position he’s got us to is that of a club that doesn’t buy players who’ll be dead certs for relegation in a year from now. If that makes you want to drink beer and cheer then good luck.

  42. Nick Pearson says:

    Couldn’t agree more, not even angry with the situation anymore. I’ve been feeling more disillusioned and more disinterested for the last 2 seasons now. I get sucked back in every weekend it seems but less each time. Haven’t been to a game in the last 2 years and used to go semi-regularly. Honestly just didn’t care when we lost at the weekend, it’s a huge shame feeling this way about your team. I just can’t feel any passion for them anymore.

  43. Don Pearson says:

    Totally spot on article Ashley’s Dictatorship (cos that’s what it is) is not only destroying Newcastle United but its destroying my hope and my love of a football club that I’ve been obsessed with for over 30 years!

  44. acpatto says:

    Utterly brilliant article. I do not posses the talent to verbalise the way I think about nufc but if I did that is exactly how I would do it. Michael Martin that is inspired. Rip It Up ..and start again… as the song went back when the club had a soul if not a competent board. As a fan base, collectively we don’t have the energy to wipe our ars*s never mind have a whip round to buy a caser and put our jumpers down for posts on the Moor to start the charge upwards. We get what we deserve. I for one am desperate to go backwards to go forwards as that is the only way out of this but sadly it will not happen.