true faith – RELEGATION – DISCUSSION DAYS

by • May 11, 2016 • NewsComments (102)4254

In the nine years Mike Ashley has owned Newcastle United this is now our second relegation. We have spent several of the other years variously fighting relegation or in the The Championship. We had one decent season with a fifth place finish which now looks like a fluke.

We want you to contribute to a discussion using the comment boxes below to express your views on Ashley’s stewardship CharnleyAshleyof Newcastle United, the people he has employed to run the club, his strategy and where United goes from here. Is this relegation too far now and is it time for sustained action to remove him from the club by all means at our disposal? Does the support have the will to make that happen? Do we have the unity and determination to stick together to effect a real change? Is it possible for a completely disenfranchised set of fans to make the change we want or are we just pissing in the wind?

Who could lead a campaign against Ashley and who would want to given our support can’t agree on the most minute of issue? Who would want to step forward to take that task on given the abuse and vilification that comes with it

Is Newcastle United finally on the point of crashing and burning? Is the club set for an extended stay outside of the top division? Or can it bounce back and what needs to be done to make that happen?

Is the whole Rafa to stay line just a Keith Bishop PR ruse to draw a sting from what might be a poisonous atmosphere on Sunday at SJP?

You may wish to comment upon Lee Charnley’s frankly incredible e-mail to us which dropped into our in-boxes when relegation was confirmed. Click here to get it.

Express yourself below but please remain polite and respectful of each-other. We are all hurting now but remember we all support the same football club and are bound by that for better or worse.

 

 

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102 Responses to true faith – RELEGATION – DISCUSSION DAYS

  1. Scott says:

    Let’s be honest, this has been coming for about three years. No great shock but still gutted. If Rafa stays and is allowed to rebuild then this isn’t the end of the world. If he goes, I fear for the club now. Rafa is too good for the championship and the club right now but I hope he feels the connection and warmth from the fans and sticks with it. Fingers crossed

  2. mikey says:

    Just sitting here feeling sick , clicking here there and everywhere reading the analysis, the obituaries about how our great club fucked up….Lets get it out there now, the blame is at the top , we have been staggering like a wasted drunk for the last couple of years with no ambition , no passion , going through groundhog day .
    all I hope is Ashley …either sell…or if not get rid of the yes men , give the keys to Rafa , root and cause all the way through , fucking build a team to be proud of , Toon till I die, keep the faith .

  3. Martin burley says:

    The only way things can change is if mike ashley sells up,but sadly i think he enjoys inflicting pain on us. He still makes his money from sports directs free advertising around the ground. Hate this man with a passion.

  4. Alan says:

    Fuck Mike Ashley and sports direct fc.
    It shouldn’t even need a boycott organising.
    It needs normal, seemingly intelligent people to apply some common sense and stop giving the repulsive fat cunt their money for effectively taking the piss out of them.
    That has been the simplicity of it for getting a decade.
    The sports direct arena, wonga and the nauseating sycophants he surrounds himself with are worthless without us.

  5. Vin1892 says:

    Those of us who think that relegation would be the start of Ashley’s demise will now start to find out.

  6. Paul says:

    Hopefully this will spark a clear out of the dead wood. We are short on leaders on the pitch. Hopefully if Townsend stays he should be a focal point to galvanise the players. Feeling number right now though.

  7. Chris B says:

    The fat bastard in charge has appointed incompetent morons to key positions and relied too heavily on the judgment of a man who makes a good cup of tea, another man who has wasted literally hundreds of millions of pounds on absolute rubbish and a third man who was last part of a successful NUFC setup in 1969. These three men then appointed a buffoon to try and coax performances out of the most gutless, cowardly bunch of mercenaries you could possibly imagine. Money has been saved at the expense of quality on the pitch and the players have turned in so many shameful non-performances that you would struggle to list them all in one sitting.

    Sound familiar? It certainly should – it’s basically a retread of 2009. Absolutely no fucking lessons whatsoever have been learned by anyone.

    That 2009 team should never have been relegated. The players were better than their performances suggested and they went down because, at least in part, of the circus around them. This lot have gone down because they are shit. They were shit last season and very nearly went, they were shit the year before and nearly went and this time there weren’t three worse teams around to save them from their shitness.

    It might get even worse before it gets better. I simply cannot see us doing what we did last time. There is no Nolan, Barton, Carroll, Harper, Jonas, Smith et al this time around, though. That squad was full of scumbag wasters but also had a core of under-performing but decent characters who knew they had been let down by their supposed teammates and wanted to right a wrong. This shower will be stampeding towards their agents as I type. Who except the goalies and Lascelles have shown anything like the same sort of character as the roof has fallen in this time? There will be an absolute exodus and it is impossible to say who will still be around come August (though some of the obvious departees are welcome to fuck off and never return. We all know who they are).

    The manager almost certainly won’t be, though I’m sure we all hope he will be. He basically came here with a free shot – save us and he’s a hero, go down and absolutely no-one can sensibly blame him for it. He’ll not hang around this madhouse now.

    A disgrace. Again.

  8. Les Johnstone says:

    Not in least surprised or gutted. Expected this after the idiots in charge failed to get rid of Mcclown after the Chelski hammering. If we can hold on to Benetiz there’s a chance we can bounce straight back. provided he has total control of the sale and purchase of players. Penfold needs sacking but fat Mike won’t do it.

  9. Vas says:

    Time to seriously consider, develop and pursue a ‘collective ownership’ proposal. Get rid of Ashley and cronies, invest on academies and capitalise on the vast support and potential membership base. If there is one UK club that make this happen then this is NUFC.

  10. Nick says:

    No need to worry – Charnley has promised a full review of what has gone wrong. Sorted.

  11. Pat Hughes says:

    Haven’t watched any of the games this evening and I’ll be avoiding the local & national news for a few days – just couldn’t bear the gloating and smug comments. We probably knew this was coming months (if not years) ago but the final reality still hurts, a lot. As for our future I just don’t know – so much depends on FMA and if he’s bothered or not. He’ll miss the TV millions but he does have the parachute money to stuff in his greedy piggy bank and an advertising facility. My fear is that he keeps going with his fingers stuffed in his ears and learns nothing which could well leave us longer in the championship or Division 1. He might also have his piggy eyes on a quick return to the league of plenty – who knows how his brain works. Personally I’d prefer him to sod off and leave us free to rebuild our club, regain our dignity and respect. I read the rumours about Rafa possibly staying but it does seem like a Bishop PR stunt sadly. As for a campaign leader to fight for our club, we remain a divided bunch of supporters and I’m not a leader, more of a back room asset. FMA is undoubtedly the main figure of doom but his board back his ideals and as for the players, bar a few they’ve also let me down badly. Still cannot accept how professionals can put in a good performance occasionally and then fail so badly during other performances. Bastards

    • mick says:

      Yea agree..if Rafa cant motivate these players to at least give it all then get rid of the lot of em. No excuses

      • Pat Hughes says:

        Couldn’t sleep last night – horrific visions of current sponsor quitting to be replaced with hideous blue & red stripes.

    • SteveP says:

      There was an article somewhere a couple of months ago that quoted Football League Rules, I can’t find the damned thing anywhere, but apparently, they don’t allow ownership/ stakes in two clubs (in the same FIFA confederation), that he owns us and has a 9% stake in The Rangers, that is seen as breaking the FL rules. This is why Watford were scrutinised as to who their owners are last season before they were promoted.
      A small glimmer of hope here, but if this is correct, then he will have to discharge his share in either club, I know it would probably be easier to sell his stake in The Rangers, but they are now in the SPL and could theoretically push for Europe, so that may sway his decision to sell up at NUFC.

      As I say, small hope and this rule has to be clarified, but strangers things have happened.

  12. mikey says:

    Just saw the statement put out by Charnley…WTF , He should do the honourable thing and resign now, start the clear out .

  13. Chris says:

    I hope Ashley finally shows some humility, admits he is not capable of owning NUFC which means so much to so many and sells to someone who gives us hope for the future. We are the soul of the club. He cannot stay. This is devastating but I hope it ends with the club re-connecting with the fans. Rafa is a fine man who represents our club in the manner and style we expect, he connected with us and the Newcastle pride and passion came back. He will be off but with Ashley gone, we could enjoy next season with an owner and manager who understands football and what football means to Newcastle. We need something to cling to, some hope for the future. With Ashley, our only hope is that we don’t fall down the leagues. So sad.

  14. chris says:

    The fat bastard in charge has appointed incompetent morons to key positions and relied too heavily on the judgment of a man who makes a good cup of tea, another man who has wasted literally hundreds of millions of pounds on absolute rubbish and a third man who was last part of a successful NUFC setup in 1969. These three men then appointed a buffoon to try and coax performances out of the most gutless, cowardly bunch of mercenaries you could possibly imagine. Money has been saved at the expense of quality on the pitch and the players have turned in so many shameful non-performances that you would struggle to list them all in one sitting.

    Sound familiar? It certainly should – it’s basically a retread of 2009. Absolutely no fucking lessons whatsoever have been learned by anyone.

    That 2009 team should never have been relegated. The players were better than their performances suggested and they went down because, at least in part, of the circus around them. This lot have gone down because they are shit. They were shit last season and very nearly went, they were shit the year before and nearly went and this time there weren’t three worse teams around to save them from their shitness.

    It might get even worse before it gets better. I simply cannot see us doing what we did last time. There is no Nolan, Barton, Carroll, Harper, Jonas, Smith et al this time around, though. That squad was full of scumbag wasters but also had a core of under-performing but decent characters who knew they had been let down by their supposed teammates and wanted to right a wrong. This shower will be stampeding towards their agents as I type. Who except the goalies and Lascelles have shown anything like the same sort of character as the roof has fallen in this time? There will be an absolute exodus and it is impossible to say who will still be around come August (though some of the obvious departees are welcome to fuck off and never return. We all know who they are).

    The manager almost certainly won’t be, though I’m sure we all hope he will be. He basically came here with a free shot – save us and he’s a hero, go down and absolutely no-one can sensibly blame him for it. He’ll not hang around this madhouse now.

    A disgrace. Again.

  15. Adam says:

    I have no anger anymore. This is what the club gets. If anything, I feel some satisfaction knowing Mike Ashley has just lost millions of pounds.

    I refuse to believe that Mike Ashley will bring any sort of real change to NUFC now that he has relegated them twice in 8 years. Such is the curse of being a self-made, successful man – you often cannot deviate from your methods of success, even if they do not translate to different industries. So I refuse to believe that Ashley will do the only thing he can do – sack Lee Charnley and Graham Carr with immediate effect. They are loyal to him and thus will be rewarded, despite their epic failures. Because Charnley and Carr will be in charge of the club next season, I refuse to believe that a competent manager will be selected, or that the right players to make NUFC successful will be recruited. I refuse to believe NUFC will be promoted next season.

    I do believe that the club will become a regular member of the Championship so long as Mike Ashley is owner. He has never, nor will he ever, do right by the club and its supporters to make it the successful club it can be. If you make it a goal to not be successful, you will always successfully attain your goal.

    So I am left with no faith in NUFC. Never again. May the club prove me wrong.

  16. Phil B says:

    The saddest thing for me is that thousands upon thousands of Geordies will continue to hand their cash over to a man singlehandedly responsible for transforming the club from a competitive Premier league side to perennial strugglers who have been twice relegated. What will it take to unite us to drive him out?

    I am incredibly jealous of the Scousers and their sense of solidarity, driving off rank owners and fighting for justice over Hillsborough. We have very little solidarity. Instead anyone trying to organise anything gets called a gobshite. And that I find even more depressing than the knowledge that this club is about to lose a genuinely world class manager after over a decade of con-men, liars, reserve team coaches and desperate punts on club legends.

    Newcastle UNITED can get rid of this parasite, but it won’t come through giving him our money.

    • mick says:

      If you’re referring to Kevin Keegan in your description of ” desperate punts on club legends” then I don’t know what you’re looking for in the N.U.F.C. You seem a sensible man, your points, overall, are irrefutable.

  17. Matt says:

    This will be the same discussion we’ve been having for eight years. There’s no debate to be had anymore. Everyone knows what the problem is and that collectively we are incapable of rousing ourselves to even try to do anything about it. Numerous efforts have been made to get the wider ‘support’ to rally behind a cause and the wider support has stuck two fingers up every time.

    Ashley has exposed the truth at the heart of the football myth. There is no collective, no real sense of belonging. Once perhaps. Not anymore. There are always exceptions, but as a rule the modern football fan is all take and no give. Like the team they wear the shirt but have no heart. No pride. No respect.

  18. Old git says:

    NUFC fans should be on their knees begging Ashley to stay. Why?? Because he has £3,500 million pounds that’s why. Unlike last time they were relegated, NUFC now have a very toxic mix of poor players on big wages who don’t want to be there and who will be equally happy to sit out their big money contracts on the side lines.
    These current players are no Kevin Nolan or Joey Barton etc, they are don’t give a toss mercenaries who won’t have the spirit to fight. Just because they came straight back up last time is absolutely no reason why it should happen again this time.
    Mike Ashley is one of the very few people in the UK maybe even the world, who could pay the wage bill himself if he wanted to.
    Let’s imagine Mike Ashley does go. And promotion doesn’t happen in year 1, or years 2 or 3.
    They will still have rubbish players on big money contracts but less and less income.
    Wake up NUFC fans. Remember Leeds, Notts Forrest, Sheff Weds, Portsmouth?
    Be careful what you wish for.

    • scotty63 says:

      are you off your meds?

      • Old git says:

        You have to forget about how this happened and focus on what comes next.
        This is NOT the same as relegation last time. Seems to me most NUFC supporters think, just like last time, it will only be 1 season in the championship. Personally I doubt it because the current squad are poor players who signed for the glory of being in the Premiership/Champions League (promise). They are on massive money with no penalty for relegation so what do they care?
        Ashley could bail the club if he wants to.
        Who would buy it if he sold? Alan Shearer? Freddie Shepherd?
        They simply wouldn’t have enough cash to save the club if the worst happens.
        It’s easy to slag off Mike Ashley but you have to have a creditable alternative.
        Please tell me – what’s yours?

    • Tom says:

      If that is the price we have to pay to be rid of Ashley,its a price worth paying.
      He is solely to blame for this situation.
      The only hope we have for a brighter future is when he has gone. It will be painful but worthwhile in the long run. #Ashleyout

    • Lofty says:

      Ashley’s money means nowt fella. He’s not put a penny in since 2010, and can’t just hoyk money in now because of financial fair play. Only thing he could put money into is the infrastructure ie; training facilities and academy, but he’s had that on the back burner as well. The man is not interested…

  19. Mick Moran says:

    Only difference between them down the road is that they knew they were in trouble and did something about it (like they have for 5 seasons or so). Unfortunately the clown giving the responsibility of making the decisions at wor fantastic club convinced himself that his original decision to convince another clown to become head coach (after originally knocking us back) would come good.

    Ultimately all Charnley had to do was listen to supporters. How many times in the booza before the match over past few seasons would we talk aloud to our mates and say, need a proven centre forward, experienced centre half and maybe a left back. Look this probably would not get me far on Championship Manager but seriously apart from sacking both clowns then this is all what was needed to survive and build for next year.

    I do not expect Rafa to stay, my heart says yes and I think of the dream of a new start, but my heart also thought Everton would at least try tonight.

    Moving forward, well I think if Rafa was to stay then you can presume he has been given safeguards and promises and maybe just maybe they have learned there lessons and the club just might come back stronger and better.

    On the otherhand if Rafa leaves, then the club has the chance to implode and I think each and everyone of us who love and support the club so dearly do every single thing possible to get rid of the disease which has infected NUFC at every level.

    To finish, since Rafa has been appointed it has given me back that feeling of how great it is to support this club. My 9 year old now knows that (sorry Son) and my 6 year old walks round the house singing ‘Rafa Benitez’. I promise you that was not the case a few months ago.

    NUFC you have the choice to make this club again. Your move next…..

  20. Ali says:

    The litmus test is Rafa staying or going. If Rafa decides to stay, he will know that there is still the opportunity to rebuild the club, even in this darkest time. He will only stay if he has confidence in the club coming back up, that there is backing with sufficient funds, a competent management team and coaches in place that can help him achieve this. If he goes, then either he does not feel the opportunity is still there, or Ashley does not want him there. If Rafa goes then the supporters absolutely must do everything they can to get Ashley out of the club. Its the last chance for Ashley to change how he runs the club.

  21. Steve Hanley says:

    The club was holed beneath the waterline a long time ago and the inevitable has happened. If Rafa goes then we’re up shit creek and no mistake. The trouble is he’s going to be asking a hell of a lot from Ashley and his board of muppets to make this viable and that’s the real sticking point IMO. There are other things to consider too. What knowledge if any does Rafa have of what that division is like. There aren’t many of any of the current shambles of a playing squad I’d trust to get us back up. and no good looking to the reserves and youth set up to get us back up cos they’re as bad if not worse than the first team. Yeah good luck with Rafa mate. Can’t see there been mega bucks to spend on players either. The board of Moncur and the boys well and truly spunked that up the wall

  22. Colin says:

    Nufc have been going backwards for years. Look at the clubs that have come in to the premiere league and have progressed without being silly with money but have actually moved forwards, the likes of Swansea, Stoke and Bournemouth it must be great to support a team that wants to make real progress without having unwarranted ego. The trouble is Mike Ashley is in it for one reason and that’s to make money from as little spend, he wants to make enough from player sales to cover the wages bill and advertise his jumble sale for free (or at least via his “interest free loan”) there is no push to get in to Europe, our last foray proved that and nearly got us relegated cos that’s what going in to Europe does….
    There are no kids coming through, what exactly is going on In training the youth squad is a mystery, it’s failing everywhere.
    With the current state of nufc with the debt and bad feeling along with the crop of absolute failures who have shown no backbone fight or desire to warrant taking a wage it would take a brave buyer to be interested but without premiere league advertising what use is it to Ashley.
    I’ve supported nufc all my life and I’ve known them be rubbish but don’t think I’ve ever felt that there’s less hope at the minute, I don’t know if it was the “what if” factor of Benitez joining and now the not knowing if he will stay but i can’t help feeling that he’ll be the one that got away and should charnley et al still be in charge see the likes of carver back in the dugout and that would just sum this club up.

  23. Graeme says:

    The only tool that Charnley will need to carry out his review, is a mirror.
    A joke of a man put in charge of a £120m annual turnover business by a custodian with a penchant for gambling, who has now taken one risk too many. Charnley needs to go and take with him Moncur and Beardsley, both of whom have sold their souls to the regime.
    The worrying fact is that few clubs will want to sign the likes of Shelvey, who is reportedly paid £80k per week. We’ll have to supplement their wages to get rid, along with Carr’s many other failures and bottlers.

  24. Michael says:

    I don’t think any team in the championship will be worried about playing us .Look what Sheffield Wednesday did to us. Could easily do a Sunderland with this generally gutless team and get relegated again !

  25. Neil K says:

    To think of the utter morons that Ashley has placed his faith in is unbelievable (Wise, Jiminez, Charnley, McLaren, Carver, Vitere etc.) and then given them money to spend (eventually) makes me question his business brain. Read a comment that he prays on distressed companies but he has turned NUFC into one and that sums it up. On the rare occasions he has invested it has been poorly and we have a lop sided squad not fit for purpose with an over promoted clown for an MD. So depressing

  26. Phil says:

    First things first – I firmly believe we’re stuck with Ashley for the foreseeable future. There aren’t any super-rich Geordie’s that are capable of paying what he wants and the Russian Oligarch’s and Saudi State-owners of this world are few and far between (and do we really want one of them anyway?!). Sadly the position we are in with regards to Ashley is a problem across a lot of big football clubs – billionaires investing in playthings only to quickly disregard them when the going gets tough or the fans turn on them (see Leeds, Portsmouth, Villa etc).

    Therefore we have to hope that Ashley sees what is glaringly obvious and sacks Charnley and Carr who have both been responsible for the following:
    – Wasting £80m on players that aren’t good enough or ready yet
    – Hiring a recently sacked manager with a poor pedigree to coach these players
    – Through these and other decisions, costing the club £100m in TV money next year (plus whatever other commercial losses relegation will incur)

    Ineptitude doesn’t even begin to cover it!

    As for the playing squad, ultimately they’re the ones who have to perform and they just haven’t this season. The usual mercenaries not contributing enough: Coloccini, Sissoko, Cisse, Tiote
    Players not up to scratch: Thauvin, Doumbia, Saivet
    Expecting far too much from young players: Mitrovic, Perez
    Players knackered from being overplayed: Wijnaldum (this is a problem I see far too often with imports as they usually get a winter break).

    Townsend looks a good signing but doubtful he will stay. Shelvey the jury is out but at least he’s being considered for games.

    What is the deal with Saivet and Doumbia? I’ve heard rumours Carr has connections with one particular agent? Isn’t this dodgy Harry Redknapp/Sam Allardyce brown envelope territory?

  27. Davey says:

    ‘Nee ones telling me what to dee!!’

    And there is the rub.

    I’d take 4th div football if it meant 50%+ ownership of our club by Newcastle United’s actual supporters. Unfortunately solidarity has been eradicated from too many. Sad times.

  28. Nick says:

    Don’t renew a season ticket until Ashley announces a 3 year deal for Rafa. If it’s automatically renewed, cancel the DD. The bluffing has already started with the ‘communication’ from Charnley this evening, so let’s not do this. All people need to do is not sign up. It’s not like season tickets aren’t going to be easily obtainable if things do work out. Just don’t buy one until they do what we want.

  29. Mark says:

    It’s painful, and I’m not one of the people that thinks relegation is a good thing; it doesn’t always lead to rejuvenation and renewed focused, look at Leeds or Blackburn. But there’s a weird sense of relief, like Mike Ashley can finally see what he’s done, that flirting with relegation usually ends up with experiencing it. We’re no different from Wolves or Wigan in that sense. But of course I’m totally heartbroken. The fact that Rafa joined and might have done earlier makes it all the more painful, when you think what could have been. You shouldn’t look at the club you love and say to the owner ‘there you go, you’re missing out on all that money now, serves you right.’ But that’s what I’m doing. Mad situation.

  30. Chris B says:

    I hope I’m wrong but those of you who think Ashley is for the off are basing it on hope, not any kind of evidence. The place was a lot more toxic last time we went down and he made no serious attempt to sell up. Why would he? His fortune, and that of the minty tat shop he has used our club as a billboard for since h bought us, have skyrocketed thanks to the advertising he gets gratis from NUFC. You think £150m of TV money is a lot of money to Mike Ashley? It’s pocket-change compared to the actual billions he is worth.

    He’ll still get plenty of advert time in the second division. He knows NUFC are the biggest draw in that division by miles and will get loads of televised game time. Plenty of advertising opportunities for him still to come.

  31. Chris Hall says:

    Everyone needs to buy exactly one share of Sports Direct so supporters can go en masse to Mike Ashley’s shareholder meeting and humiliate him.

  32. Derek Batey says:

    Rafa will not stay and work under Ashley, its impossible for this to happen. He is a man of honour and intelligence who will probably already realise he cannot operate within Ashleys clueless and poisonous regime for any length of time. Rafa may make some indications of his demands for staying knowing full well that they will not be met and he will leave.
    I feel there is a long road ahead but relegation could be the first step towards one day winning back our club. We could not carry on any longer dying a slow death and now big big changes for the better must happen. It may take a bit of time but it has to be worth it.

  33. tomb says:

    There has to be some form of protest against Ashley whether it’s active or simply cancelling season tickets otherwise he is here for another ten years and imagine what damage will be done to the club in that time. We’ll be so far behind the other clubs that the next generation of fans will be watching the same crap we are watching now. I don’t understand why fans are accepting Ashley is it because our traditional support have jacked it in and the matches are attended by day trippers and happy clappers? If there had been no protest in the 80s against McKeag then we might never have seen the Keegan / Hall revolution which some of the happy clappers probably aren’t aware of. As a previous post said Liverpool supporters wouldn’t have allowed someone to take the piss out of their club like Ashley has they take great pride in their club and I only wish we could do the same. They even had a successful protest against ticket prices yet we fill the stadium after Ashley renamed it Sports Direct arena. Rangers fans also had too much pride to accept Ashley. After having people laugh at me at the start of the season for giving up my ticket and missing out on seeing our great new signings I wonder if they will reconsider this time? If Rafa stays then maybe maybe things will change but how long before Ashley pulls the plug on signings again and we are no further forward

  34. tink says:

    Good bye Michael you fucking bitter Sunderland obsessed prick, your an absolute bellend enjoy Burton albion away Newcastle are a massive club always in your shadow

  35. tomb says:

    Why aren’t you celebrating staying up rather than abusing NUFC fans?

  36. Ian Summers says:

    Benitez was the last throw of the dice for Ashley. If Benitez were to leave then the club, it’s owner and those he put in charge have absolutely no credibility left at all no matter the comical words of their PR guru Keith Bishop. Statements put out by the club are surely some kind of Dadaist performance art worthy of The Baltic Gallery?
    Benitez has such authority and credibility as a manager if he were to stay there is good chance of a bright future despite the relegation. If Ashley and his puppets treat Rafa like the club did Shearer and Keegan before him then his departure would confirm what we probably already know, to paraphrase Johnny Rotten, No Future.

  37. Andy says:

    Don’t think Ashley will sell unless Sports Direct hit some rocky waters.

    I would be very disappointed even with losing a fair few first teamers and adding some sound Championship signings that we would not finish in the top 6 of the Championship. You can make comparisons with the ‘characters’ that got us out of the Championship that season. Harper = Elliot or ideally Krul as he is a better keeper. Barton didn’t really play very much that season. Nolan and Carroll were great together. I expect Armstrong to play next season. 20 goals in League 1 is a good effort and if he continues to develop he should do ok in The Championship. If Shelvey can be arsed he is the equal of Nolan granted with less goals. Collocini and Jonas were Argentine Internationals and were clearly far too good for that level of competition. Mbemeba and Lascelles have looked good together and would cope with the physical style of The Championship.

    But the key is keeping Rafa or appointing a decent manager. We shall see.

  38. Eamonn says:

    I think this line from Pavel’s book says it all ….”this guy appreciated my hospitality so much he betrayed my trust. He was a man with the morals of a sewer rat”.

  39. The Marauder says:

    Remember the Spurs boycott? Remember Mike Ashley coming to talk to you on Sky telling you that things would be better that we’d be going for the Champions League and cups. Whether you believe him or not, 50-odd thousand of you renewed your season tickets. Mike Ashley and Lee Charnley have taken the piss out of you. You get the club you deserve and that’s exactly what we’ve got. You are all complicit in the mess that the club now is.

  40. James says:

    Everything is gonna be just alright because…from this day forward, we’ll definitely be making our own luck.

    FFS.

  41. mick says:

    50k next game fans wearing Wonga shirts drinking ale in the ground. cheering on players who don’t care and just there for money going thro the motions all season………
    And you ask why Cashley keeps the club?

    • Alan says:

      You honestly couldn’t make it up mate.
      The angst pours out but they continue to line the fat man’s pockets.
      It’s a tragic and painful truth that our own support shares the burden of culpability.

    • SteveP says:

      Only money Ashley gets from me Is my season ticket money. Club shop in the Metro Centre is closing due to lack of demand, so those in wonga shirts are in a minority. Catering is outsourced so beyond the payment Sodexho make for the concession Ashley makes nothing from them

      • Ivan. Malley says:

        Sodexo is owned by Mike Ashley.

        • SteveP says:

          They’re a French multinational company, so it’s doubtful Ashley has anything more than a token presence as a shareholder.
          No internet search I’ve done has revealed any link between Ashley and Sodexo

  42. Paddy says:

    My natural positivity tells me that a lot of the knackas associated with this club will be gone, and soon, and good riddance.

    My natural negativity is that we need to find a manager who knows the club and can get us back as it won’t be Rafa. Bless the fella for trying but don’t forget he gets a big fat cheque however his heart takes him. A sombre outlook today, and for some time I feel, until we actually start beating teams, whether they are Blackburn or Leeds or whoever.

    I love to see my team win, and that’s something I’ve missed.

    Think on this, would next season in the PL have been any better?

  43. MiloSlim79 says:

    If anybody thinks we’re keeping hold of Rafa, I think they are sorely deluded. It ain’t going to happen. He will leave – with a heavy heart, I’m sure – and so will begin the usual period of inactivity and procrastination that has left us so hopelessly unprepared every season. We will drift, managerless, for probably six weeks. Then we’ll appoint god knows who, flog our most saleable assets, and probably start the season with Steven fucking Taylor still on the books. Rock bottom is still some way off, I fear.

  44. Micky says:

    Newcastle to win the Championship and Ashley take that as “winning something before he leaves.”

    Micky the optimist.

  45. Boomtown says:

    NUFC is a far more saleable asset with Rafa at the helm… depending whether Ashley wants to sell… depending if he can find anyone else to pay the wage bill.

    this article http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/36266059 sums up the feelings… check the picture of the 4 NUFC fans in the WE WANT ASHLEY OUT Tshirts…. worn over the top of their Wonga replica kits.

    Go away Ashley… but here is my money!

    • Nic says:

      To be fair – if you take a good look at the picture, the first bloke is wearing the Northern Rock black/blue 09/10 kit, the second looks like generic black and white strips with no advertising and the others you can’t tell.

      I take your point, though, as I’ve seen plenty of others out there wearing the Wonga top and protesting, which I don’t undertstand at all. Supporting Sports Direct (not NUFC) by buying that kit is bad enough but having Wonga on it as well? Dear me …

  46. Peter Shearer says:

    The first step is to agree the problem and I think we now have a clear majority that it is Ashley! That is progress as many on here over the years have defended him. I often wonder where those people vanish to? The next step is to accept that we are in a battle for the soul of OUR club. We need to be determined and not be put off by the likes of Ashley’s PR team, the media or the many so called experts on our club. Every time we are threatened with a Leeds or a Portsmouth etc we should re-double our efforts and not retreat. There is nothing that could be worse than the present state and soul of our club. We cannot be distracted by others and need to show some real courage and determination.

    I have said it before and repeat it now, if we can co-ordinate all the groups and fansites together then this is a fight that we can win. There will be dissenters, there always are. But it is up to those of us who are about what this club should mean that need to take up the fight. That may well mean involving those that have left/boycotted as well as those who still go but care enough to join the fight. Just consider how Ashley has reacted to small protests before and we can see that a large scale protest may well make him consider if it is really all worthwhile. Any bad publicity for Sports Direct will mean he comes under pressure from their shareholders.

    A fight for the soul of our club-the only question being whether we are capable of organising ourselves to do it. If not, we too are partly culpable. Perhaps saturday will show if there are enough people ready to take up the fight or simply to allow our club to die.

  47. Rob Brown says:

    NUFC is our thing , it’s in our DNA. We are more than addicted, it is beyond that.
    And the amoral, tat pedalling incompetent arseholes nominally ‘in charge’ know that .
    With a few notable exceptions , there is no mirroring of our love , commitment or sincerity from owner ,management or players.
    We are supporting a carcass. I’m not criticising others , I still go myself ,from Bedfordshire- so not every game – and like some pathetic addict , I give it one more go . Home and away . Over and over and over . Emotion over rationale.
    When is enough . I think now. No more Wonga , no more patronising , no more tat, no more gutless cowards.
    We are told to be careful what we wish for , but truly , the only way now, is to STAY AWAY and STOP giving him your money . That’s an individual thing and requires no organisation . It’s a straight choice. Doing nothing or the same will only get the same . He has the cards . Staying away is the only way to force his hand . Otherwise the thing that passed from my Grandfather to Father to me , to my Sons is empty soulless pish. Months without NUFC is no sacrifice if it means he goes. Ask yourself ,what actually could be worse.

    • rich says:

      Rob, i also live in Bedfordshire. For me though that has really helped me stay away! For those who feel they can’t give it up, it’s like any addiction, once you get past the cold turkey stage it’s not so bad.

  48. desree says:

    Actually lads not all of us are hurting, most of us are apathetic, especially those of us who have given up going to the games.

    I don’t care if we keep Rafa, I don’t care if we go into oblivion. If Ashley sells the club I will likely rekindle my interest.

    In any thing in life without belief it is pointless. This last 4 seasons as an NUFC have been as surreal as 2008/2009. The club is a madhouse owned and ran by people I would never ever want to associate with and I’d never want my kids to associate with. No way will Raffa change this with the present regime.

  49. kenny says:

    1st the venom. Ashley bishop & charnley (in that order as I suspect bishop bashes charnley). I hope you all suffer long lingering agonising deaths.
    Now, you mention who should organise against said bastards. To me it is obvious, step forward NUST, ive been on the mailing list for a few years now & have wanted to become a member but have stopped short as, asI see it, its been all show with no action. Ive filled in the forms expressing I would be more than willing to plough money in to gain fan ownership but im still waiting for action. NOW is your time to step forward NUST ! On an individual basis we all have a responsibility to make life hell for Ashley & co., remember last years Ashley out campaign ? (much respect to those people). Well it was working, they hated the negative publicity, it got to them, it forced Ashley to actually speak, it forced them to set up the charade board which was an invention to divert bad publicity from Ashley & sports direct. To all the moaners who wont stand & come out with “Its just the idiots shouting again, it wont do any good, I support the team & I wont rock the boat bla bla” YOU lot deserve this relegation for sitting passively with spunk running of your chins.
    For fuck sake Mags, fight back!!!
    Kenny Henderson from South Shields

  50. Andy says:

    We aren’t even the balance sheet champions now, with the largest TV deal in the history of football down the drain. Ashley, Charnley, McClaren, Carr etc etc. Just tired off the whole sorry charade that is NUFC. It’s like water off a ducks back this time.

    Also, what does Bob Moncur offer Newcastle United in the boardroom? Answers on a postcard please….

  51. Rob says:

    I can’t see many of our squad going anywhere next season, who would want them on the wages they are on and why would they want to take a pay cut?. Can’t figure Ashley out, he’s a successful businessman who has appointed a total fool to run the club and after this season he is well out of pocket in terms of his dealings with the club yet doesn’t seem to want to change things. It can’t be a case of wanting to stick one up the fans or he would just have sold the entire squad a few years ago and watched as we ended up in league 2 and it can’t be total stupidity or he wouldn’t have made all that money in the first place, perhaps Charnley is his long lost son.

  52. Phil says:

    Creating the football board was a master stroke by Ashley – built in deniability that any of this is his fault. Coupled this with his recent statements of “I provide a bank account and once it’s empty that’s it” and this entire mess falls on Charnley’s shoulders – a man either too thick to realise he’s being played or happy to take all blame and criticism for a small fee – which £150k is for a few years service – he’s hardly employable now is he?!

    Charnley may be sacked, but Ashley will simply replace him with another thicko happy to take a £150k salary for a few years abuse.

    I don’t care for the “better the devil you know” argument with Ashley. We know this brand of cancer has no interest in properly developing our club. I’d rather take a chance on another owner.

  53. Boomtown says:

    as a random aside… can anyone tell me why we are above Norwich in the table?
    Same points, same goal difference, same goals for/against… what does it come down to next?

    Just curious!

    • James says:

      It will be head to head meetings I think (?). We beat each other this season but our 6-2 win over them at home means more than the 2-3 loss.

      * looks around to check if anyone can confirm *

    • SteveP says:

      Alphabetical

      • Rob says:

        Time to change our name to Aardvark Athletic, be top of the league for one minute every season.

  54. Toonmac says:

    Lets get serious.
    The teams relegated, back to a division full of decent teams with ambition and supporters who love their clubs.
    The championship is competitive, perhaps more so than the premiership. If we do well we can bounce back but if not, so what, its football.
    My prediction for next season which could be a good price? Newcastle to go up Sunderland to go down.

  55. Onmeedsun says:

    This has been on the cards for 4 years since we finished 4th and failed to invest. That was the missed opportunity to cement our place in the top 6 at the time. Ashley would also have had increased opportunities to sell the club at a price that would have left him without losses. Football has and always will be about establishing momentum, and NUFC is a club that typifies this more than most. It’s either a meteoric rise (Keegan/Robson) or a rapid slump (Ashley years). The only person who should suffer is Ashley as it was his flawed strategy of no net investment, appointment of incompetents and no ambition. Most of the players that have arrived during Ashley’s reign have one eye on the exit door as soon as they put on the B&W shirt. They have never expected to achieve anything as a group of men, so no collective team spirit. I would happily go down to the conference if we could get rid of Ashley and the supporters take the club on. But that will never happen as he would lose £250m, and he can’t be seen as a financial failure. If we could provide him with a truly empty SJP then we might persuade him to cut his losses. However, I would give him one last throw of the dice if he can retain Benitez, but he must give him full control of all football matters. If Ashley were to go back on such a deal, we all know that Rafa would walk, unlike the lick spittle Pardew. Plan B would then need to be executed – abandon the club on mass. We need to take a leaf out of the ‘Spirit of Shankley’ and be a collective with power. Why can they do it and not us? Have the Thatcher years sucked all the fight out of the Geordies? We are too divided and Ashley continues to rule. And too many of our support are more interested in meeting their mates in the pub than expressing their collective power. Cardiff at home 2 years ago as an example. I’ve paid for my ticket so I’m staying put to the end. So short sighted. We will have to make sacrifices to get what we want, but before then let’s see if Benitez stays.

  56. Bob says:

    I hope Charnley is shitting his pants now in fear of losing his job, which should happen soon. The atmosphere should be high in an effort to persuade Rafa to stay. However I have no problem with side issues of Sack the Board. I have differing views on the players, for the wasters I move from getting rid and then insisting they stay to tell them if they want to play in the premier they will have to gain promotion.

  57. Davey says:

    We had him by the balls at the end of last season, he was on the ropes, that’s what his outburst on Sky was about . What happened? couple of signings you all went back. I gave up the year before, however if it’s not clear now that a huge boycott of games is needed then we get what we deserve. Yes it’s painful, but it’s a boil that needs to be lanced. By going back your feeding his passion for cash.

  58. Shinton says:

    Couple for Sunday,
    Hello Hello, Charnley must go Charnley must go.
    Charnley Charnley clear your desk, Charnley clear your desk

  59. Nic says:

    I think the club is backed into a corner over Rafa. The strength of feeling from the fans is that they want him to stay. So much so I’d expect that will be the focus of the support on Sunday rather than protests.

    Imagine if Ashley and his idiots let Rafa go (or get rid of him) and install another cheap option ‘head coach’ then persist with the current failed strategies. Something like that would potentially galvanise protests against them, maybe even see an exodus of fans.

    If there’s been a toxic atmosphere at some matches before, I wouldn’t like to think what awaits should we be starting the Championship season with the same old nonsense and stupid decision making going on.

    That said, I’ve got a nagging feeling we’re likely to end up with Ian Cathro in the role of ‘head coach’, and everything else remains as you were with some Keith Bishop spin, trying to dress it all up as a new dawn with lessons learned etc.

    • Phil says:

      I agree with all of this but remember Rafa could choose to leave at which point Ashley/Bishop can spin it to say “he wanted to leave”…thus almost keeping the fans on side.

      Sadly I think this will be the case and we’ll get what you suggested – a clear out with Cathro as head coach. Supporting NUFC these past few years has turned me into a pessimist of the highest order!

  60. Shinton says:

    Songs for Sunday,
    Charnley Charnley clear your desk, Charnley clear your desk.

    Hello Hello Charnley must go, Charnley must go.

  61. Pat Hughes says:

    There’s no doubt the incompetents at our club prepared the path to relegation as only they could but it still irritates me that the mackems aren’t joining us thanks to the services of a nasty little pervert. Apart from Byrne resigning (not too bad a sacrifice when you’re on £726k pa), nothing else has happened – complete silence. The luxury carpets at the FA & PL must be getting quite full and worn out at the edges with all the sweeping. It wasn’t until the trial that you realised justly how badly the victim was treated and I’m still really cross.

  62. Peter Ward says:

    It isn’t about Charnley, Carr or any of the others brought in during Ashley’s tenure. It’s about Ashley. He appointed them all . Personally I’ve always believed he bought the club on a whim. Ashley was pretty much unknown as Sports Direct was a private company which went public and made him a billionaire overnight, once public the rules change but he didn’t and alienated everybody who did or said anything he didn’t like. I’m pretty sure he soon regretted buying the club but being Ashley he never admits to being wrong – at least not genuinely.
    I don’t think Benitez will stay and am not convinced he would necessarily be the right choice in the Championship. He might be but it isn’t odds on by any means.
    That statement by Charnley is a joke and it is just bewildering that someone with such a tiny brain has been running the club.
    The saga of Ashley’s actions since buying the club Are all you need to know that the only solution is for him to go – the question is where and who the hell do we get to replace him?

  63. mikey says:

    Well, according to the statement passed to him by his PR, Ashley is not going anywhere, if that is the case, I would rather they put their hands up and admit yeah we fucked up and start afresh with Rafa, not looking at him as a saviour of all things, but he is the best signing since Keven/Bobby and will if given carte blanche carry out a roots and all sweep through, which is what we need and put some love back in st james park

  64. Bobby G says:

    I know this’ll be an unpopular post, but anyway,
    Ashley appointed the guys to lead the club, Lee Charnley, Moncur and Carr. He gave them a whole load of money last season and in the transfer window (many will argue too little too late). They failed absolutely at their job. The transfers were mostly failures- whatever happened to the French fella we got for £12million who we sent right back to France? McClaren was a mistake, but as an ex-England manager and the last English manager to win a trophy he had *some* pedigree (however laughable), still the greatest mistake was not axing him when we had that 20 days without a game and everyone went to Spain. He was obviously a lame duck by that time and hadn’t got results all season. Imagine if we got Rafa in at that time?!

    The three clowns in the boardroom need to go and Rafa needs to stay. If Ashely can do that, then appoint a decent chairman with football experience, then perhaps he doesn’t need to sell (cos as everyone says here, wonga shirts keep being bought from Sports Direct and 50,000 turn up every week to eat the pies at St James’, so he’s probably happy to keep that income coming in).

    Ashley is the probably only man who can convince Rafa to stay. if we can keep Rafa and get in a board worthy of the club, then we’ll be back up and win the league in 2018.

  65. David says:

    What’s Big Mike to do?

    He can’t turn back the clock so to me there’s no use or value in listing his misdemeanours. We all know what they are.

    To avoid this constant merry-go-round of underachievement, he needs to finally set the place up professionally. I doubt that Rafa Benitez will stay anyway, much as I’d love him to, but regardless of this, Mike Ashley has to get the structure right and the right people in. Will he though?

    Then, in order to get us back up, in the short term he has to suspend the club wiping its own nose business, and invest to get us back up as soon as possible. By all means live within our means in the long term, but get the setup right to support it.

    Apologies and expressions of sorrow are meaningless. Only through action will the situation be recovered.

  66. Nick says:

    He’ll produce a full performance report with a set of KPIs. What more do you want?

  67. Jayne says:

    Before Ashley came to NUFC, I would never have believed one man could bring NUFC to its knees, pit supporter against supporter, again and again. One man could ripped the soul and heart out of the club I loved with all my heart. One man has forced long time Nufc supporters to turn away from the club they love & cherish. My pride has gone for the club I’ve loved all my life. I cant be arsed to fight anymore.

    Newcastle United is broken

  68. Sue Ellis says:

    My reply to Mike Ashley’s letter to Newcastle fans…

    Dear Mr Ashley,

    Thank you for your letter! What a surprise it was to hear from you, especially as it’s almost a year since you last got in touch (apart from that time when you told us the money was all gone, but we know that isn’t true, so we’ll not count that!)

    It’s so good to know that after the club’s inevitable relegation, you are ‘sharing our pain.’ It’s always good to share, although I somehow doubt that your pain can reach the bottomless depths of ours, but I suppose it actually might do when you consider the millions of TV money that would have come our way next season and which you have now missed out on. (Mind you, I guess you’ll already have teams of underpaid workers out in China frantically churning out replica tops for the championship clubs that you can stock in the club shop, so that might boost the coffers a little? Every cloud and all that eh?)

    I loved the bit where you said that “When I take on a challenge I am prepared to go through both good times and bad,” That’s fantastic news. Let’s hope we actually have some good times soon, because we’ve certainly had nine years of bad ones, and the law of averages would surely indicate that we’re due for a change in fortunes fairly soon. Won’t that be fun? There used to be good times at Newcastle I seem to recall, but that was before we met you. At least nine years ago! Wow! Doesn’t time fly?

    Mind you, I’ve just remembered something! You know when you first came here you said you bought a football club because you just wanted to have some fun? Do you remember that? In the days when you used to go to the Bigg Market and would buy everyone a drink to make them like you? Well, not being funny but a few of us were wondering if you really meant that you wanted to have some fun at our expense? I bet you had a right old chortle when you got Dennis Wise up here to upset Wor Kev, and old Joe Kinnear (twice!) and ripped down the St James’s Park sign. Ha ha! Such jolly japes. I hope you enjoyed those good times because there haven’t been many other ones.

    Anyway that aside, I think it’s lovely that you’ve always “tried to achieve the very best for Newcastle United.” It’s great that you mentioned that because, to be frank, it hasn’t always been obvious to us. I’m sure you will be thinking about the people who work at the club and who are probably desperately longing for the good times to come so that they know they still have a job and can pay their bills. Wouldn’t it be nice not to have to worry about all of that? Oh, wait a minute… That might be a concept you’re not familiar with.

    So, moving on…I like the bit where you say “Many of you have expressed strong views about what we could have done differently” and that you respect those views. Now you’re just being silly aren’t you? You tease! I bet you never really listen to those views at all do you? I might be wrong, but I’m guessing that you’ve got it all worked out from a profit and loss perspective and you just won’t be budged from that model, will you? Fair enough. What do we know? We’re just simple souls who want to see a team of players who work well together, who understand and respect each other, who are skilled at their jobs and who care passionately for our club and our city… Oh and who can actually play football in the position we put them in.

    Some of us would even have gone as far as employing players with some experience in the Premier League and even managers with a good track record. A radical suggestion I know and one that might mess up the balance sheets, but it could have made the standard of play a bit better, and, who knows, we might even have had some good times by now?

    I don’t want to be accused of teaching Grandma to suck eggs but here’s a thought. Have you ever considered employing people who actually know a bit about football? You know the sort of person I mean? Someone who is respected in the footballing community. Someone who can negotiate a deal for a player who will fit into the team and whose skills we need, rather than a cheap foreign import with good sell-on potential? Just a thought.

    Now then. I know what a busy man you are and how you really just want Mr Charnley to run things smoothly at the club for you, but if you think he needs a bit of a hand I’m more than willing to help. I’m quite good at Performance Management processes and would happily take some of the pressure off your senior staff by reviewing their progress towards targets and setting new SMART ones while they put their feet up for a while and get over the shock of being relegated. I can’t imagine it would take too long!

    You mentioned in your letter that “the club will now be doing everything it can at all levels to try to ensure a swift return to its rightful place in the Premier League.” I don’t want to be presumptuous, but I don’t think we have a God given right to be in that league. I think we have to earn it and, once there, to continue to improve so that we can compete with the best.

    And talking of the best reminds me that although Mr Charnley left it far too late to get him in, now that we have Rafa we need to do everything possible to persuade him to stay. He could be the difference between the good times and those all too familiar bad ones. But he would need to use his expertise to its fullest extent, without interference from the people you’ve put in charge but who clearly haven’t got a footballing brain between them.

    And on that note, I shall bring my reply to a close, but just before I do I need to say one final thing. Never underestimate how important this club is to the fans, or indeed how important the fans are to the club. Newcastle United is the heartbeat of our city and right now it’s in need of a transplant.

    Hope it’s not too long before we hear from you again.

    Best wishes

    A Sad Toon Fan

  69. SueToon says:

    My reply to Mike Ashley’s letter to Newcastle fans…

    Dear Mr Ashley,

    Thank you for your letter! What a surprise it was to hear from you, especially as it’s almost a year since you last got in touch (apart from that time when you told us the money was all gone, but we know that isn’t true, so we’ll not count that!)

    It’s so good to know that after the club’s inevitable relegation, you are ‘sharing our pain.’ It’s always good to share, although I somehow doubt that your pain can reach the bottomless depths of ours, but I suppose it actually might do when you consider the millions of TV money that would have come our way next season and which you have now missed out on. (Mind you, I guess you’ll already have teams of underpaid workers out in China frantically churning out replica tops for the championship clubs that you can stock in the club shop, so that might boost the coffers a little? Every cloud and all that eh?)

    I loved the bit where you said that “When I take on a challenge I am prepared to go through both good times and bad,” That’s fantastic news. Let’s hope we actually have some good times soon, because we’ve certainly had nine years of bad ones, and the law of averages would surely indicate that we’re due for a change in fortunes fairly soon. Won’t that be fun? There used to be good times at Newcastle I seem to recall, but that was before we met you. At least nine years ago! Wow! Doesn’t time fly?

    Mind you, I’ve just remembered something! You know when you first came here you said you bought a football club because you just wanted to have some fun? Do you remember that? In the days when you used to go to the Bigg Market and would buy everyone a drink to make them like you? Well, not being funny but a few of us were wondering if you really meant that you wanted to have some fun at our expense? I bet you had a right old chortle when you got Dennis Wise up here to upset Wor Kev, and old Joe Kinnear (twice!) and ripped down the St James’s Park sign. Ha ha! Such jolly japes. I hope you enjoyed those good times because there haven’t been many other ones.

    Anyway that aside, I think it’s lovely that you’ve always “tried to achieve the very best for Newcastle United.” It’s great that you mentioned that because, to be frank, it hasn’t always been obvious to us. I’m sure you will be thinking about the people who work at the club and who are probably desperately longing for the good times to come so that they know they still have a job and can pay their bills. Wouldn’t it be nice not to have to worry about all of that? Oh, wait a minute… That might be a concept you’re not familiar with.

    So, moving on…I like the bit where you say “Many of you have expressed strong views about what we could have done differently” and that you respect those views. Now you’re just being silly aren’t you? You tease! I bet you never really listen to those views at all do you? I might be wrong, but I’m guessing that you’ve got it all worked out from a profit and loss perspective and you just won’t be budged from that model, will you? Fair enough. What do we know? We’re just simple souls who want to see a team of players who work well together, who understand and respect each other, who are skilled at their jobs and who care passionately for our club and our city… Oh and who can actually play football in the position we put them in.

    Some of us would even have gone as far as employing players with some experience in the Premier League and even managers with a good track record. A radical suggestion I know and one that might mess up the balance sheets, but it could have made the standard of play a bit better, and, who knows, we might even have had some good times by now?

    I don’t want to be accused of teaching Grandma to suck eggs but here’s a thought. Have you ever considered employing people who actually know a bit about football? You know the sort of person I mean? Someone who is respected in the footballing community. Someone who can negotiate a deal for a player who will fit into the team and whose skills we need, rather than a cheap foreign import with good sell-on potential? Just a thought.

    Now then. I know what a busy man you are and how you really just want Mr Charnley to run things smoothly at the club for you, but if you think he needs a bit of a hand I’m more than willing to help. I’m quite good at Performance Management processes and would happily take some of the pressure off your senior staff by reviewing their progress towards targets and setting new SMART ones while they put their feet up for a while and get over the shock of being relegated. I can’t imagine it would take too long!

    You mentioned in your letter that “the club will now be doing everything it can at all levels to try to ensure a swift return to its rightful place in the Premier League.” I don’t want to be presumptuous, but I don’t think we have a God given right to be in that league. I think we have to earn it and, once there, to continue to improve so that we can compete with the best.

    And talking of the best reminds me that although Mr Charnley left it far too late to get him in, now that we have Rafa we need to do everything possible to persuade him to stay. He could be the difference between the good times and those all too familiar bad ones. But he would need to use his expertise to its fullest extent, without interference from the people you’ve put in charge but who clearly haven’t got a footballing brain between them.

    And on that note, I shall bring my reply to a close, but just before I do I need to say one final thing. Never underestimate how important this club is to the fans, or indeed how important the fans are to the club. Newcastle United is the heartbeat of our city and right now it’s in need of a transplant.

    Hope it’s not too long before we hear from you again.

    Best wishes

    A Sad Toon Fan