true faith : DISCUSSION DAY #1

by • January 19, 2015 • NewsComments (43)1996

Is Newcastle United simply beyond salvage? Is it time to give up on whatever it is Mike citycrest1Ashley presides over on Barrack Road and go our own way? Is it time to leave Newcastle United to Sports Direct, Wonga, the TV deals and the NUFC.Direct merchandising? Let Ashley have his pointless zombie club!

Have you had enough of the team never really even trying in the FA Cup and the patter of Lee Charnley and the dead-eyed, spirit-crushing corporate defeatism he trots out on behalf of his boss?

But do you still want to support a club that identifiably has something of our Geordie identity, that is completely of Newcastle and connected into the communities that once identified with the football club formerly known as Newcastle United?

Do you want to support a club which respects its traditions, its community, its support and represents what we value? A club which has integrity and which is something better than anything we have ever known before in terms of its morality? More than a club?

Would you be prepared to fall behind a non-league club, a new club which contains all of the vital ingredients you love about Newcastle United? A club which has all of the identity of the club you fell in love with and none of the stuff that conflicts us? A club that wants to be the best it can be, which is honest and with integrity? A club that is owned by the people who click through the turnstiles.

This might be, as disaffected fans of Manchester United have shown with the creation of FC United of Manchester that has to start from the bottom and grow. A club beyond the glamour and facilities of the Premiership. It could be a completely new club or it could be an existing club, content to join in a new supporters project, to come on a new journey.

Is this realistic? Is it desirable? Is it a pipe-dream? Are things not that bad?

Use the comments boxes as below to tell us what you think. 

Thank you.

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43 Responses to true faith : DISCUSSION DAY #1

  1. Daniel Gordon says:

    I’d be all for it. Union Newcastle Football Club.

  2. billmolyneux says:

    I know things are piss-poor at the moment and with nothing left but safety to play for,ask yourselves what would it be like with the owner gone? Newcastle fans have suffered a horrendous time with this greedy cretin,I after 30 years gave it all up and it hurts but I will be back when he moves on,KEEP THE FAITH and thank John and his son Douglas for this unholy mess,they sewed the seeds to our misery.

  3. Stuart79 says:

    Only way we can move the club forward is by the owner leaving. We must force him out and the ONLY way to do this is by boycotting the home games. The PL don’t want to see empty seats, it’s tarnishes their brand, Ashley won’t want to see it as SD won’t be reflected very well and he will see the revenue of the club reduce both on match day and TV revenue as the club wouldn’t be on TV as much. It’s the ONLY way in my opinion and I think it should start now by season ticket holders refusing to go and not renew for next season.

    Ashley is stubborn but not stupid, he will actively try to sell if it’s damaging his own brand.

    • Bob says:

      It goes wider than Ashley, or Newcastle in my opinion. Football is rotten to the core. Teams like Newcastle, Everton, Villa, maybe even Spurs and Liverpool exist only to provide opposition to the real challengers for the trophy – Man Utd, Chelsea and Man City and (maybe) Arsenal. If things continue as they are, we will not see another team outside of these clubs win the PL in our lifetimes. Financial Fair Play has pulled up the drawbridge. What has happened to City will never be allowed to happen to Newcastle. The cups serve to create an illusion of sporting competition but in reality teams outside of the big 4 only win when they have had a lucky run or the bigger teams have put out weakened teams. Every now and then a team like Everton, or Southampton this season or Newcastle when we finished 5th will have a brief rise up but then they will be picked apart by the bigger clubs with the massive financial doping they enjoy.

      I’m not fan of Ashley, but there is no owner out there to save us from this business model. The only reason an owner will get into football is to run a club along the lines that Ashley does – cheap as possible and make as much profit as possible. Ensure PL survival at the lowest cost possible. The route to glory has been shut off so an owner isn’t able to come in and spend the money required to breach the gap between us and the bigger clubs.

      Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

  4. Alan says:

    Newcastle United was a football club steeped in tradition amongst the working class people of the North East of England.
    The men I went to the match with were Factory Workers, Miners, Shipbuilders or sweated their bollocks off next to a blast furnace at a foundary.
    Proud people who were fiercely loyal to their club and their heritage.
    Now on the odd occasion I even bother to watch Sports Direct on the television I see passionless apathy by seated statues advertising Wonga.
    Is it really any wonder we are where we are now?
    When perhaps we’re looking for some prominent voices or publications to step up to the plate and actually promote some meaniingul action against the utter cunt running what was NUFC is repetitive dialogues stating the fucking obvious wbilst perversely refusing to stop lining the protagonists pockets and labeling those who have done so as whingers and bullies.
    I find it incredible that a publication whose editorials and twitter feeds are littered with wholly justifiable anti tory propaganda are doing what’s akin to moaning about pit closures whilst for voting for Thatcher.
    STOP giving the fat piece of scum your money.

    • We’ve previously ran public meetings that have been poorly attended, supported marches that attracted less than 1000 people, advocated a walk-out which led to less than 5K leaving the match 20 mins early.

  5. Andy says:

    Following the Leicester debacle I have been asking myself ‘What is the point?’. We are not going to win the league and we are in relative security in mid-table so our weak performances at Spurs in the League cup and Leicester in the FA Cup really grate. The more I think about it the more I think the Man City result was a fluke as we played a weaker side. I work in China and seeing the obvious joy of the thousands of away followers in Manchester that night was great to see. What being a football fan is all about. The ambitions of the hierarchy and the fans are totally different and without change the continued conflict will just carry on.

  6. David Chapman says:

    I would be incredibly in favour of a new club in Newcastle, lets face it we have nothing in common with what NUFC is now. I’m sick of hearing people whining on and still attending in there fucking horrible Wonga tops, I’m sick of Ashley’s constant taking the fucking piss out of us but most of all I’m sick of doing nothing about it, so anything I can do to help I will.
    How the hell do you even go about doing something like creating a new football team?!

  7. Kevin says:

    Two things in response. Firstly if folk are that fed up and wish to get into non league football, don’t create a new one, go and support an existing local team. Secondly, I am a mid 50’s refusenik who gave up on my season ticket 5 years (after 26 years) ago after seeing the disrespect that the current owners showed towards our traditions, loyalty and hopes and dreams. I have not regretted it once. I am afraid the game we grew up with like so many things today are for the pages of history. Life has moved on, everything is sanitized and the PC brigade has taken over in every aspect of our lives. I enjoy the memories, get emotional watching old games and am fiercely proud of once being part of what was the greatest non military army the planet has ever seen, the Old Toon Army.

    • lilo_g says:

      Yeah, I mentioned the Heed, but there are plenty of other local options to go and watch where the quality may not be as good, but at least there is passion and pride involved.

    • mammyslittlesoldier says:


      What does “the PC brigade” have to do with owt?

      • Mark says:

        @mammyslittlesoldier – it has bot all to do with it. I can’t remember those of us who find using misogynist or racist language disgusting asking for ticket prices to be put up, agreeing to all seater stadiums or advocating red-in-tooth-and-claw capitalist scumbags like Hall, Shepherd or Ashley to wrench the club away from its traditional fanbase. Perhaps after watching black and white footage of the black and whites, he watches the Black and White Minstrel Show and complains how crap telly is since shows like it were stopped by ‘the PC brigade’. Funnily enough I found myself agreeing with the OP until this red herring was mentioned.

      • Mark says:

        P.S. Funnily enough, the great bastion of ‘the PC brigade’ in this country, the Greens, advocate abolishing the private ownership of football clubs, and replacing it with fans co-operatives, who would then run the club’s affairs. Bloody PC brigade, eh!

        • Peter says:

          The PC brigade is basically the big people forcing the little people to behave nicely – forcing them to make grovelling apologies when they use ‘inappropriate’ language for instance. I don’t like that language myself, but I’d rather people were free to spout whatever crap they like, than be told by self-righteous bureaucrat what they can and can’t say.
          ‘Je suis Charlie’ anyone?
          The PC brigade have squashed the life out of the working class, and are just as contemptuous of us as Charnley is. We are now the little people, told how to behave, devoid of any fight. PC isn’t left wing folks, it’s the opposite.

  8. lilo_g says:

    As Bill Molyneux says, Ashley won’t be here forever – by the clubs stated timeline he could be gone anytime after 2016. If indeed fans went down the route of forming a new club, would they stay behind it if someone comes in and restores pride to this ailing institution? An owner who restores values held dearly by many in the North East. What then happens to the new club, the ‘fans club’. Does it get put to one side, or left to fend for itself as loyalties inevitably swing back to the club that has been close to each fans hearts for years?

    I’d be happy to get behind a new side, but if pride was restored to Newcastle United by a new owner I couldn’t guarantee, in fact I am certain it wouldn’t, be my first club. The depth of feeling for Newcastle will be prohibitive for the new club and any development of said club in this scenario. I can’t imagine that I am the only one who would love to see NUFC restored to what it should be, and therefore can’t see the idea of a new club gathering sufficient momentum. For now, give support to the Heed if you need your fix and don’t want to give Ashley your cash.

  9. frank says:

    To me in all this, i thank we the fans of NUFC we have the power to change the situation at our club e.g we can boycott games etc and in way we can force this man to sell or change his behavior the way he treats us fans. it is as simple as that.

    • Rob says:

      Fans have no power. It’s Ashley’s club. He bought it with his dirty, sweatshop money. But it’s his property, and having fans not attending will not alter his ownership (and indeed, an empty stadium would make the club less attractive to potential buyers). While the TV money remains this massive (and getting bigger next season) the live attendance is just pocket money.

      • Graeme says:

        I disagree in part Rob.
        Sky won’t want to broadcast from an empty stadium and they’ll apply pressure on the club. After all, it’s Sky who run football nowadays.

        • Bob says:

          Sky don’t care about attendances at St James’ Park. As long as we turn up to be spanked by one of the big boys on Super Sunday they will be happy with an empty stadium. People around the globe aren’t tuning in to see Williamson and Dummett.

          • Graeme says:

            I disagree. Sky only broadcast Newcastle matches as often as they do because of their support. It’s not due to the quality of the product on offer.

            An empty hollow stadium doesn’t fit with the image that Sky wish to portray worldwide.

  10. Rowla says:

    I don’t go to SJP anymore so yeah, why not? Would be nice to feel my admission money and support was helping to build something “pure”

  11. Ian Summers says:

    We’ve just been beaten by an injury weakened Southampton side where a kid dominated the midfield (Reed) and a Leicester side who rested 7 of their usual first team? As Pardew mentioned recently we no longer compete with the likes of West Ham, Southampton, Stoke etc.. We even struggle to achieve the stated ambition of 10th! The 10 year deal is renewed or cancelled at the end of this month. In February we begin to pay for next season, he already has our money for this season. The man is laughing at us, it has become a game to him?

  12. Dennis Brown says:

    Well things must be bad for you to come out with this after years of pooh poohing people who suggested that Nufc under Ashley was long past the point at which it was worth the effort. Having said that I am happy (if you’ll forgive the mixed metaphores) that the scales have fallen from your eyes on your road to Damascus. I am far too old to start again with another club and anyway I want to be a Newcastle supporter again not just a customer of some commercial enterprise which is run solely for the enrichment of one man. I would suggest that trying to get rid of Ashley should be our first priority and only if that cannot be done should we then consider starting all over again. I am sure that you know the people behind so why not enlist their help as they have shown that they know about publicity and can launch a campaign.I am very happy to contribute to this by donating the cost of a ticket for two home games. Who knows it might be better value than actually attending.

  13. Ross Jones says:

    I am a season ticket holder and society member of the fan owned club Merthyr Town FC. It has proven to be a far more rewarding expirience than lining the pockets of the rotund bell end currently masquerading as our owner. I would urge any boycotting members of our support to devote some time to the likes of Gateshead / Blyth spartans etc . Better still join the NUST as from where i’m sitting it is the only way we will edge closer to the ejection of the parasite currently eating the soul of our club.

  14. chris steel says:

    Shepherd In!

  15. Peter Shearer says:

    Carrying on a theme from recent posts-we should do all we can and see where it gets us. We have to build momentum and persuade others to join the protests.I currently follow Penrith until I can return to Newcastle,but I am willing to do all I can to help rid us of this man. We need to be bold and fight. Hopefully many of the older Toon Army soldiers are out there and waiting for a lead.If we choose the right protest methods-we will get more support.But we have to accept that some will not join us.It appears that there are more voices now than ever before against Ashley-we just need to properly co-ordinate our actions.

  16. Tom Pitt says:

    AFC Wimbledon and FC United of Manchester are excellent examples of what we are going to need to do.
    I personally dont believe for a second that Ashley has any intention of selling the club in the forseeable future.
    As long as there are 50,000 turning up regularly and the Sky money keeps rolling in he will go nowhere.
    Sub 30,000 crowds preferably in the Championship may make him think about getting out but nothing less,I fear.
    The idea of supporting Gateshead or Blyth or whoever is fine but I would prefer to have a Newcastle team to support andd this would also highlight the farce that is NUFC these days.
    I would help in any way possible to makes this happen.

  17. Mark says:

    The biggest, and I’d suggest insurmountable, problem with organized supporter protests is that ultimately most who rock up to St James’ don’t really give a s**t who owns the club or how it is run – going to the match is a chance to meet up with mates, have a few drinks and forget the troubles of the working week. Football is an escape from life’s troubles – people don’t want to be further wound up by worrying too much about the d***head in charge. They might whinge a bit, but ultimately there is up here what David Conn described as a ‘cap-doffing mentality’ – and a total lack of desire to get too worked up about. NUFC win – great, NUFC lose – spoiled weekend, but that’s about it. Those that care will rant online, in fanzines or to their mates (myself included) but ultimately know it’s futile. We are owned by a billionaire; nothing we say or do can force his hand. Blokes like that don’t get told what to do; if anything, they are more likely to kick against it. 25 years ago, when the club could be bought c.£3m, was the last real chance an organised supporter’s trust would have had of buying the club. What amount would make Ashley shift? £200m? £300m? We’re about to post a profit of c.£50m – he could argue that based on a 5% yield he wants £1bn for the club! Staying away is an option (I gave my ST up) but surely this must be down to the conscience of the individual – whilst my grandfathers would turn in their graves if I crossed a picket line, I’m not sure abusing people like they were scabs for still going to what is ultimately a leisure/entertainment is helpful in the least – and I’ve seen many do this also. Many see it as their birthright, and the club is just in the hands of yet another unworthy custodian, one who can be added to a long list of unworthy men before him. The idea of staying away forcing him to sell – i.e. sub-20k crowds in a lower division – just makes him more likely to stay IMHO (I can’t see Ashley readily selling at a loss). I’d readily turn up for marches about human rights, or workers rights, and I have done in the past – but as much as I loathe how the club is run, football is a side issue for most people lives – there are simply more important things in the world to protest about. Effectively it is Sophie’s Choice – keep going, knowing how the club is being run, hoping for a sale, or stay away and lose the pleasures of match day. Ranting online or in the pub is merely a personal catharsis, not the act of revolution – and again, I’m as guilty of this as anyone. Whichever you choose will only make a difference to you, not to the FCB.

    • Mark says:

      PS This is not a sneer at those who wish to protest or organize – all the best of luck to those that do, I really do hope you’re successful in creating a mass movement and achieving your aims.

  18. Peter Shearer says:

    Some truth in that Mark,and I agree that we should not be insulting to those that have a different view. Hopefully they will return the favour and not abuse the efforts of those who see it differently (ie the booing of those that walked out!). I think this is more about what we do, than what Ashley does. We need to make a stand and believe in what we are doing.Just the publicity of a concerted protest will give him a problem and the protests after Keegan left had him tell us that the club was up for sale.We can always talk ourselves out of doing anything,but the protest itself will make us fell good.Eventually, a millionaire will decide it is too much hassle, and there are easier pickings elsewhere.

    • Mark says:

      I see where you’re coming from Peter, but to me what the protests achieved last time was simply Ashley ‘hoying a strop’. I genuinely (and granted I’ll happily concede I may have this wrong – just a guess) think that Ashley bought the club as a way of having a bit of fun and making a bit of money – his appearances in away ends and in bars around the city in his first year suggest that he lapped the adulation up, and wanted this – he wouldn’t be the first rich man to get into football for these reasons. The appointment of Keegan was a populist one, and one that on the day of Keegan’s appointment actually made me and the dozen or so lads I was out with that night suspicious of Ashley’s motives (we didn’t feel Keegan was the right choice at the time, and wondered why Ashley was pandering so much). When it backfired, and his newly-bought 50,000 mates turned on him, he reacted like a petulant child. I think now, as I did then, his plan was to buy the club, have a laugh and some adulation, streamline it then sell up at a profit. It’s just now we have an owner in a state of permanent huff, like a kid being told he can’t have the toy he’s seen advertised on the telly. Billionaires don’t usually surround themselves with thousands telling them they’re wrong, nor indeed telling them that they are a ‘fat cockney bastard’. In the past, supporter protests could be more effective – ‘sack the board’ meant something, and most on the board were moderately wealthy local businessmen who did it for the status (and some because they may have genuinely believed in the civic duty element). A man who lives is an affluent suburb or commuter village of Tyneside, or a pile in Northumberland, is going to be more anxious about what the locals think. The club is owned by him lock stock – and I personally think he’d just as soon wind the club up than give in to the people who hurt his precious feelings. After all, he could flog it off piecemeal and there’d be little we could do. And if he does sell, there’s nothing stopping him selling to anyone he wishes – after all, John ‘Geordie Nation’ Hall flogged the club to him without blinking or checking his plans. Knowing our luck, we’re just as likely to be bought out by some dastardly Carsen Yeung type as some benevolent billionaire who just wants to shower us in gifts/Brazilian internationals! It’s bloody grim, is it not?

  19. Peter Shearer says:

    I think eventually a man who has become a millionaire will decide this is all too much hassle-once we cause enough hassle! His time is money-and he will be wasting time dealing with us.Believe!

  20. Tony Higgins says:

    Purely personal opinion and people are obviously entitled to do anything they want. My view is that the EPL and all top football is finished for people who like a laugh and the comradeship of what following clubs like NUFC used to have. All of that has been sucked out of the game at top level, its now all about TV money, sponsors and business. Obviously money is important but all of this has gone way too far. The only soul left in football is in the lower leagues (they are not perfect either BTW). Getting involved in clubs at lower levels feel much more of a community and you actually make a difference if you get involved too. I totally respect what the people at FCUM and other smaller fan owned clubs have done…people who walk the walk and don’t sit in the pub or on a keyboard moaning about stuff.

  21. This excellent article in last Sundays Guardian puts into chronological order and context the travails that Glasgow Rangers have been through and outlines how disenfranchised their fans are feeling. As a Newcastle fan of 40 odd years I’ve never felt such a disconnect between myself and how I feel for the club at the moment. I thought there was a resonance between our,position and how Graham Spears in his article outlines a growing number of Rangers fans are feeling. I’m not sure what the value ios in following the leas of FC Manchester, it’s a brave thing to do and requires folks to make a big disconnect with something that has been such a strong and important part of our lives. The current regime of Ashley and co has however completely removed the hope that we once all held, the hope that one day we may see our team actually win something. Now there seems to be absolutely no point in supporting Newcastle, when the declared intention is to not bother with the cups, not qualify for Europe and avoid relegation at all cost,. That feeling of optimism that we once all shared at the start of a season has been extinguished. There is no reason to follow the team ,little excitement to be had apart form the occasional unexpected (yet ultimately) meaningless win against ‘the big boys’. Despite how low we’ve sunk people,still turn up. If we can’t manage to show our disgust by withdrawing our support what hope is there for a new team? Perhaps the time will come when we reach the depths that Rangers fans have already reached. Please go Mike Ashley, please give us back some hope (however small). You are not deserving of our support, we do not deserve you.

  22. Bob says:

    It would be great if something could be organised that would be well supported, but it has not even been possible to stop people buying the wonga shirts, or pies/beers in the ground. Even Shearers and the other one are always full. Maybe starting with the “small stuff” and then build on that once support swells.

  23. Jon says:

    Good idea.

    Newcastle FC?
    Newcastle City FC?
    Gallowgate FC?

    Playing in West End’s maroon and blue hoops?

  24. John says:

    If Ashley can take back up to 50M£ this year with the TV money added to any player sale profits. Why would he stop when the debt is paid? Let’s keep buying and selling players like assets, stay in PL pocket the TV money and draw a tidy profit out of NUFC. He could do a Hall & Shepherd, but with free advertising thrown in.

  25. Psmith says:

    Newcastle reunited I’m in. I’ll help ill be involved. Anyone want to have an exploratory meeting ?

    • Matt Cameron says:

      Same here. It needs some publicity and an area where all like-minded people can potentially get together and discuss it to see if it can ever work, but having read up on the history of FCUM, anything is possible with a core of people behind it.

  26. Adam Marshall says:

    I am a Newcastle United supporter. I would not advocate any breakaway club, nor would I support it. I have been at SJP for bad times as well as good across my 30 years of going (I am 36 now). I live in hope that one day, no mater how far in the future I will see one cup won by my club. It is that hope which keeps me going season after season. Nobody is going to take that away from me or extinguish it. The history I have with NUFC runs far too deep to give it up.

    If some fans want to form a breakaway club then by all means feel free to d so but attaching to an exisitng club will effectively make that club into a new MK Dons.

  27. Ed Bell says:

    Not sure we need to be that drastic, I’ve gone down the Gateshead route…

    Having another club to focus some of my attention on helps to keep me distracted from goings on at St. James’ (sometimes) and I’ve been able to visit some new grounds too; although Gateshead’s recent form (prior to Saturday) has been just as much of a worry…

    The Premier League changed everything, not just for us but for everyone else too; and as long as the money’s rolling in, then it won’t be changing back anytime soon…