What does Mike Ashley do for you?

Does he represent your best interests?

Does he represent your best interests?

What does Mike Ashley do for you? Seems a simple enough question on the face of it but what really is the impact of his ownership for Newcastle United fans?

When Mike Ashley bought the club in 2007 the fans, by and large, were united in their delight at having Freddy Shepherd out of the club. Ashley made an attempt to endear himself to the fans; sitting in the away end with our fans, wearing replica shirts, downing a pint like he is one of the lads etc but ever since he humiliated club legend Kevin Keegan, I don’t think he has ever roundly been accepted by the fans.

So what does Mike Ashley do for you? Is he the provider of Premier League football? The saviour of the club, that was destined for administration and the footballing scrap heap until he bought us over? The man who bankrolled the club when we got relegated and ensured we secured promotion?

Is he the shrewd, sharp businessman who will always ensure Newcastle United do not get mugged in the transfer market and will always squeeze every deal, both in and out, for every penny’s worth?

Is he the poison ivy that is killing the very foundation that this club is built on? Attempts at eroding our heritage such as renaming St James’ Park, embarrassing us by associating our club with charlatans like Pardew and Kinnear, not to mention Wonga et al.

Like him or loathe him. we are currently stuck with him. Personally, I think that while he is in charge of the club, there is only one direction that we are headed, and that is closer and closer to the drop zone. We finished 16th last season, there isn’t much more room for manoeuvre.

If you think Ashley is good for the club then that’s your problem. There may be nothing mentally wrong with you per se, but your judgement would be more than a little off. If you think Ashley is bad for the club then you need to ask yourself the question, “what am I going to do about it?”

If you are sitting back and thinking that all you need to do is to stop going to matches, or even worse, going to matches and not buying your half time pie, then you are, quite simply, not doing enough. You are taking the path of least resistance because you want an easy life. Doing nothing is easier than doing something and when it comes to the football club that you profess to love so much, surely you should be willing to do something for it in its hour of need.

There will be a peaceful demonstration on the morning of 19th October, a few hours before the Liverpool game. The demonstration will be your chance to put your feelings into action. Your chance to do something rather than nothing. Do not waste this chance.

What do you think? Does Ashley represent this club and its fans? Is it time to show him that he is no longer wanted? I’d love to hear your views.

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10 comments

  1. I think there needs to be a more objective view point. Do I think he is a dynamic individual driving the club forward ? no. Has he turned Newcastle into a sound business on a safer footing? yes.
    The team have shown they can play when they want to, no more was that shown clearly in two halves than the performance this week against Everton.First half, half hearted and second half could have been a very close game, who know is that performance was turned in during the first half. The performance on the pitch was not down to Ashley, the team have to take ownership for their part as does the manager. We have tried buying big and many of those players were a waste of time, we all know who they are. Changing the stadium name, not a great move but many big, even bigger clubs have done this. Ours has reverted back.
    The money has to come from somewhere. We are not a Man City but personally I like the fact we are not foreign owned. Whether we like it or not Ashley is the owner but its not about supporting the owner its about supporting the team and if they don’t perform then the players and the manager should shoulder a big part of that blame not the owner.
    You ask the question does Ashley represent the club and its fans ? Since when did the Toon Army need someone to represent them ? He is effectively the bank or accountant for the club. The performance on the pitch is what counts additionally the actions of the fans. Frankly I am proud when I hear the minor contingent of the stadium out-singing the home fans during our away games. Its everyone’s right to grumble and its even a little cathartic but lets continue to focus on supporting the team and showing everyone what we all know, We are the best fans in the country. I don’t want to give anyone especially the neighbours (Sunderland) a reason to laugh at us nor do i want to fuel the rubbish often spouted b the media.
    A demonstration, quiet while it may be is just divisive and will not help anyone.

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    1. First and foremost, I am not a journalist therefore I have absolutely no obligation to be objective. If anything, the purpose of this blog is to be anything but objective. I have opinions, strong ones at that, and I intend to make those opinions known.

      The team, under the management of Pardew, are to blame for Monday, yes. Pardew is an average manager at best, and a mediocre one at worst, and he should be nowhere near a PL club with top 7 ambitions, yet who appointed him as manager? Who game him an 8 year contract?

      Our squad is always 3/4 players short of where we need to be in terms of squad depth, yet we never sign these players. Whose fault is that?

      As for other bigger clubs changing the name of their stadiums, I think you are incredibly sadly mistaken. The only stadiums in the PL that have been renamed in recent years has been the Eithad (formerly City of Manchester Stadium) and the Emirates (always the Emirates) – you’re forgetting that these stadiums are new builds and have absolutely no heritage attached to them.

      If the owners of both of those clubs tried to rename Maine Road or Highbury, do you think they would be as accepting? Would Liverpool fans accept Anfield being renamed? Same goes for Old Trafford, Stamford Bridge and White Hart Lane?

      St James’ Park is an iconic ground of that ilk and there is no defence for renaming what is a cornerstone of our club’s heritage.

      As for our away fans out singing home fans, yes it is wonderful. But you’re forgetting that Hull City fans came up to SJP and drowned us out when they visited, and that was even when we were winning.

      It’s your right to not participate in a demonstration, but to claim that it is divisive is preposterous. There is only one person in Newcastle United who is divisive right now, and his name is Mike Ashley.

      Some of your fellow fans have had enough of him, and instead of even vocally supporting them in trying to affect change, you are, in essence, taking the owner’s side, which is sad to see.

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  2. Ashley isn’t really that bothered about a few fans standing around saying he is an illegitmate from the London area who should give weight watchers membership some serious thought, The fans groups aren’t really organised, knowledgable or perseverant enough to make Ashley lose any sleep there. As they are, his PR people can make them look silly and marginalise them easily enough.

    Money and a large scale ‘boycoutt’ is what would make Ashley sit up and take notice – Matches, shirts and other merchandise, beer, pies, the lot. You make it seem as if it’s the easy, lazy option yet the fans seem to find it incredibly difficult to do and of course, alot of fans have already invested alot of their hard earned in season tickets. This is Ashley’s greatest leverage and he knows that.

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    1. I’m not telling people to stop going to games, I don’t think it would be in the best interests of the fans, or the team. While we are in the stadium we need to be as positive an influence as possible but lately St James’ Park has been like a graveyard, the atmosphere is dead.

      Going to games and not buying a pie at half time is a lazy form of “protest”. I’m sorry, there is no other way of describing it. Fans are more than welcome to go to the games and be a positive influence on the team during the 90 minutes. From what I’ve read the march takes place a few hours before the game, so there is plenty of time for people to go to the protest march and then go to the game and have their real protest of not buying a pie when they get inside.

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  3. What do you think will be achieved by the protest? Nowt I’m guessing! Ashley has got some balls,( judging by what he’s done in the past) and I can only see him and Kinnear laughing at the fuss it might create.
    We are slowly crawling to oblivion and it’s very painful to be a Newcastle supporter at the moment, week after week we are lurching to the next disaster and it will only come to an end when he decides,not us.
    He will no doubt sack Pardew after more shocking,clueless,gutless first half performances like Everton,but we suffer the meantime! (Is it the players, are they fed up with his outdated methods?) all I know is something is not right!
    Then the real twist of the knife, Kinnear will become manager and nothing will change on the performance front, but his health will suffer, he will oversee more shit performances from his hospital bed all the while maintaining its only a blip as he’s the fittest 67 year old in the country.
    We appoint a caretaker or new fella but it’s to late to pull out of the nosedive and we tip over the edge and into the championship…..
    Now, if he decides he’s had enough and let’s his toy be repaired by a new caring owner or owners then we may look forward to brighter times again, but if, as I expect, he wants to keep playing with his toy and sells off anything sellable, then that’s when the oblivion kicks in and we tread the dreaded Leeds,and many countless others path down the divisions.
    I can see this as plain as day and it frightens the life out of me but at this moment in time I can’t see anything we attempt to do will shift this bloke…..

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    1. It’s better to try and fail than to sit back do nothing and say “told you it wouldn’t work” perhaps if more people pro-actively tried to do something positive then we could affect change.

      If we all sit and do nothing then we certainly won’t achieve anything.

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      1. Sorry but it won’t achieve anything either way. Do you think for one minute it will upset him? Make him feel any sympathy toward our plight? Sit up and think, my god these are genuine hard working people with a great passion for everything Newcastle,so I must be more understanding toward there feelings- I think not!! A’m not against anyone’s protest but I’m gone! I’m the bloke on the ropes who just wants it to end and I know, unfortunately that it isn’t anytime soon!

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  4. I am not taking the side of the owner, I am choosing to support the team in the way I feel is fitting. With regard to being divisive if there are fans with different opinions then clearly there is division, some feeling that demonstrations are correct and others not therefore its divisive so I dont think its a preposterous comment . but we live in a democracy and I am not saying anyone is wrong to do what they feel they need to do to express their feelings about the current time. I dont want to say current situation because in many ways its a situation which is common at Newcastle. Owners who dont respect the fans, wanting to have a new owner, wanting the club to bring players in. We have seen it all before with the Shepherds, thats how Ashley ended up here. The ground name I have and always will call it St James Park. Isnt it called that now ?

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