Note to fans – Back the March!

Support your fellow fans!

Support your fellow fans!

With the international break clogging the football calendar with its pointlessness, the NUFC Daily has had a few days off to reflect about issues that pertain to the club and certain events that are coming up that could shape the course of our season, nay, our very future. I am talking of course, about the Time4Change protest march that is due to take place next Saturday 19th October in Newcastle City Centre at 10.30am.

I personally wish to make it abundantly clear that I am in total support of the protest march, and true to form, I will outline exactly why this is the case.

I once thought that Newcastle United fans were the best fans in the country because win, lose or draw, we always roared on our troops. We would accept all manner of ills to show our support for Newcastle United. However, instead of seeing this as a strength, this has now become our greatest weakness as we are now willing to accept the mindless mediocrity and stifling lack of ambition of our rather rotund owner, Mike Ashley.

We have seemed to have forgotten what Newcastle United once meant to this city, to football fans in general, and what the brand Newcastle United had done in the past to reach vast swathes of supporters up and down the country, and even further afield. Had it not been for the grace, poise, and excellence of Kevin Keegan’s Entertainers, I may never have become a Newcastle United fan, having grown up in Ireland.

Is it a strength for 52,000 fans to continue going in to St James’ Park to watch Hull City walk all over us? Is it strength to try to justify the embarrassing performance against Everton? Is it strength to use balance sheets and financial reports to claim that Mike Ashley is a good owner? Is it strength to overlook the desecration of 2 club legends? Is it strength to forget about the renaming of our famous stadium? Is it strength to accept our sponsorship deal with Wonga? Is it strength to allow the likes of Alan Pardew and Joe Kinnear to be in capacities of responsibility of such a historic institution like Newcastle United?

No, it is not strength. It is weakness. It is worse than weakness, it is an insidious apathy that has gripped this club that has allowed such disgraceful treatment to go unpunished. Mike Ashley is making a mockery of this club and its fans and some fans are sitting back, taking it on the chin, and going back for seconds.

I am not slating the unwavering loyalty of season ticket holders who have paid hundreds, if not thousands of pounds, to demonstrate their support for this football club. However, there comes a point where the greater good is more important than your own personal wants and desires. The greater good is the health and long-term future of Newcastle United, and we need to make sacrifices, however great or small in order to protect our football club.

Now we’ve been faced with an opportunity of saying “no more! Enough is enough!” Fans group Time4Change have organised a protest march in the city centre next Saturday on the morning of the Liverpool game in an attempt to do just that. This is an opportunity for fans to make their voice heard, to stand side by side with their fellow Newcastle United fans and claim back some of the dignity that Mike Ashley has tried to take from us in the last 6 years.

Remember the treatment of Keegan. Remember the relegation. Remember the sacking of Hughton. Remember the lies that were told about Andy Carroll’s transfer. Remember the lack of investment. Remember the decision to hire Kinnear. Remember the renaming of St James’ Park and take your place in a movement that will be our chance to, legally and peacefully, show the football world that we are not the people of the bleak north of England, we’re not deluded fools with overly high expectations, we are passionate football fans who want to reclaim our football club for ourselves.

Mike Ashley may not listen to us, he may not care, he may not even clock what is going on. But who cares? This is about uniting what has become an increasingly divided fan base.

We fans may not agree about how we need to change. But surely we can agree that change is necessary, and just like the fans group who have organised the march, I too, believe it is Time4Change at Newcastle United. If you do too, then there is only one thing for you to do. Show up on Saturday in support of your football club, in support of your fans, in support of the football institution that we all hold dear, and march for its future.

 

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42 comments

  1. Don’t be so bloody stupid!

    Marching against someone who paid good money to buy the club, who can do what they want with it. If you want to change that – find the money to buy him out. If you can’t do that – wind your necks in. By carrying out mindless exercises in mob behaviour we’re only feeding a popular misconception that all Geordies are knuckle draggers!

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    1. How is a peaceful protest march an exercise in mob behaviour? This march has the approval of both the council and local police.

      Also, over the years many fans of many different clubs have marched and protested against owners who have also paid “good money to buy the club” – just because an owner has bought a club does not make them immune from protests from the fans who are the paying customers of it.

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  2. I wouldn’t say this article is a completely balanced view and I don’t have time to redress this. March if you want, but don’t brand those that don’t with apathy. Lets just hope all supporters come together in the stadium and create one hell of an atmosphere and hope that the tv audience remember that rather than the march. The worst thing that could happen is for those outside of Newcastle to think we are deluded for some other reason than our expectation of our team. Time will tell

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    1. I’m not a journalist, I don’t have to be balanced and it is not your place to redress another person’s point of view. Disagree if you want though, I welcome differing points of view. I too hope that we create an electric atmosphere and positively roar on the team, however, why can’t fans do both? March before the game to show your angst at Ashley and go inside the ground and positively effect the team and roar them on to victory.

      Why is it an either/or?

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      1. Ciaran, just look at the picture and the caption which implies that you are not a fan unless you march. I do apologise for the redress comment, I too like differing opinions but there is nothing worse than having them forced upon you without balance to the argument / point of view. Appreciate I didn’t have to read the article or comment just you and like minded supporters need to know that there are other supporters out there that have a different viewpoint. Plus points for me are that my 6 year old son and I can get a season ticket for a very reasonable price and see some great players ( hopefully great football and results too) live. The Keegan thing, in my opinion, is the biggest waste of energy ever – an owner bringing back an ex legend to appease disgruntled punters then effectively peddling him when it went tits up. Guess what, punters hated him before, punters hated him afterwards – no wonder he does what he wants

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        1. I support the protest march, so I do not feel the need to have a balanced point of view with regards the march.

          I know there are other points of view, I wrote the article as an attempt to advise fans to go and support the march. One cannot disagree that there is a large amount of apathy surrounding the club a present.

          It’s sad that you see the sacking of Keegan as a waste of energy, I disagree. As for playing great football, that will not happen any time soon in my opinion but that is secondary to the wider issue, which is Mike Ashley.

          If you won’t protest, that is fine. Offering criticisms of those who are taking affirmative steps is a little bit unfair I think.

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  3. Please read my comments again and point out exactly where I am criticising those that will be marching or taking different action. I offer a different opinion but no criticism of anyone, like Ashley, you can do what you want, just don’t criticise those that do not accept your opinion / thoughts / recommendations as the fundamental basis for the direction of their life as a Newcastle United supporter. Its not that I won’t protest, it’s that I choose not too.

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    1. I didn’t criticise anyone who chooses not to march, I am commenting as to why they are of that mindset. You cannot claim the club is in a good position, it’s in a terrible position, and this needs to be addressed.

      If you choose not to, then that is disappointing.

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      1. I go to the match with my son, so I wouldn’t force him into a march that he has no understanding of and one that I choose not to participate in anyway. I have never and will never criticise those that are but for some reason it’s disappointing to you that I won’t be marching – I guess I am not a true fan then. Why can I not claim the club is in a good position? If that’s my opinion then I can, whether I believe that or not I won’t be swayed by your attempt to force your opinion on me. My opinion, we play in the premier league, we have some great players, a great stadium to watch it in, I feel so proud to see my son cheering on the team like I used to when I was younger. I like going to the match, if I didn’t I wouldn’t go. Sure there are things that I may not disagree with, some things that I may even dis-like, but again the pros and cons are within my opinion, therefore I am no less of a fan if I rock up to SJP just before kick off rather than meeting early in town to participate in march.

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        1. Didn’t say it makes you less of a fan, it is disappointing though.

          I am allowed to be disappointed by your opinion. I am disappointed by all fans who accept Mike Ashley’s tenure at the club. It isn’t a criticism, it is just how I feel.

          It’s not enough for Newcastle United to simply be in the Premier League. It’s not enough to merely survive.

          We are a club with huge untapped potential, and some fans think we should be grateful. Some fans think we should even thank Mike Ashley and that for me is not only disappointing, but disgraceful – that is a criticism.

          No one is forcing an opinion on you, you cannot/will not be swayed, so I would be p***ing in the wind anyway.

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  4. So long as you recognise and acknowledge that, we can move on. I agree we have untapped potential both on and off the field. One of my bug bears is that for a successful business man, Ashley has overseen a poor uptake is commercial and sponsorship opportunities. Putting the debate on Wonga and Sports Direct to one side, we really should have some big hitting commercial partners that at least put us in the same ball park as the Tottenhams of this world with regards to commercial revenue. We don’t, I blame Ashley. However, with regards to ticket prices I mentioned earlier, that is something that I believe he is to be commended for, the price freeze, the cheap tickets for kids who can become the next generation of life long fans, the work they are doing in the £20 away tickets. There are positives that cancel out the negatives, in my opinion.

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    1. What work have they done for £20 away tickets? They will only do this if other clubs sign up to it. Also, in order to buy an away ticket you need to spend £30 to become a member of the club as well, which makes it impossible for non-members to get to away games.

      There is much more negative about his ownership than positive, in my opinion this is indisputable.

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  5. We have set the bar, none of this subsiding buses to Hull or knocking £3 off a £50 away ticket at the Emirates, we will charge £20 for fans of clubs that do the same for our fans. Is this not the regime showing some leadership in supporting a campaign which benefits not only ours but supporters around the country? I think it is.

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    1. Also, like it or lump it, I believe the regime introduced the membership rule off the back of the horrendous scenes of those supposedly representing NUFC at Darlington. A reaction to an event that brought shame on our club, albeit caused by a minority.

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    2. We’ve done nothing of substantial note, the club makes £30 membership for anyone who even wants to purchase an away game. Think of a NUFC fan living in Southampton who want to buy 1 ticket to watch NUFC vs Southampton – he has to pay the £30 membership to go to the game on top of the ticket price – taking the amount of money NUFC are making from that one fan, for one game to £50.

      Nothing is what it seems at NUFC

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      1. Wow, while we are on to conspiracy theories, lets just imagine the plan was to introduce the membership all along and that dirty Derek had planted all those knuckle draggers in the away end at Darlington – a master stroke by the regime, smoke, mirrors and all in all a superb result for team Ashley. Using Southampton as an example is extreme, it would cost them 100’s of pounds to get anywhere near another ground to watch NUFC anyway so while a membership due to the actions of some cave men is hard to swallow I admit, a £20 ticket to watch the team you support in your own back yard would be a leveller to the geographical extreme – a £20 ticket brought on by the actions of those in power at Newcastle perhaps?

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        1. The club rolled out the excuse that it was due to the invasion at Darlington, but that doesn’t warrant the incremental increase in membership prices in the last few years. What was that on account of?

          The club are dividing and conquering and people are not even aware that it is even happening.

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  6. Why the march? who are these people who say the speak for the fans? no one has ballotted me, nor any of the folk I sit with at the match. Why do folk think they have a right to say they speak for the fans? when clearly thet dont. Back the march NO WAY JOSE’ . Until those who say they speak for the fans actualy speak to the fans and ask what they think then this is not a democratic march, it has no moral cause nor does it represent the voice of the majority who pay thier money and support the team.

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    1. They don’t claim to represent all fans. This is a group of fans who wish to march in protest of the running of the club and call for some changes in direction. These fans have taken it upon themselves, and they represent fans who feel the same way.

      If you disagree that is your right, but to claim these people do not have a right to air their views because they haven’t personally discussed the issue with thousands of NUFC fans in the city or the millions of Newcastle fans worldwide is a bit of a stretch.

      Did Mike Ashley consult you when he decided to change the name of the stadium? Or when he decided to make Keegan’s job impossible? Or when he decided to sack Hughton? Or sell Carroll? He supposedly represents the fans as the owner of our football club.

      Some fans are quicker to lament the actions of fellow fans than the actions of the owner, which is strange.

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      1. Ciaran, I don’t remember any publicity or mootings of this being introduced before that night – like I said earlier, I believe it was a reaction. As for incremental increases, maybe it’s become a money spinner to make up for our poor commercial performance as i alluded to earlier, I don’t know but I don’t think the membership would have even been there had the Darlo fiasco not happened. And as for dividing the fans, which group do you think are the deluded ones that don’t know this might be happening? The pacifists or the demonstrators?

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        1. I’m not calling anyone deluded, I’m saying that in order to think Ashley is running this club in the right way, you need to close your eyes to the evidence in front of you.

          I do not want to pigeonhole Newcastle United fans, because we should be united. Surely most fans can agree that, to some degree, things need to change at the club. Even if that means we should sign 2 players instead of 1, we should show more ambition, target a trophy etc. Is there anyone who is 100% happy with the way the club is operating?

          Instead of labelling each other, let’s work together to effect positive change, in whatever form that comes in.

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        2. Also, the club don’t consult the fans over any decision made pertaining to the club, so there is nothing strange about there being no publicity for the introduction of the membership necessity.

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  7. Why do you think the fans have a right to say what they feel about the club? Like it or Lump it Ashely owns the club, he hasnt set up a collective and so can do what he likes to the club. If he hadnt bought it and paid off the debts we wouldnt have a club at all. I dont think everything is perfect but I think some fans need to wake up, they have no say what so ever in the club. If you dont like the club stay away, dont make a silly protest that the press will lap up.
    I will be very surprised if the numbers on the march reach over 500, or even if those on the march actualy go to the games, and those who do will be less than 25% of those on the march most will be young kids who want to get on tv.

    I remember the facebook page before the leeds game 5000+ signed up to say that on the 11th minute they will get up and walk out. What happened? nothing except those of us who were there stood and appauled our team. This march will go the same way as that protest.

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    1. Of course we have a right to air our opinions on the club. Interesting how you are so 100% sure of a) who the fans in the march are b) whether they go to games or not c) that they are little kids looking to get on TV and d) that the march will have poor numbers and will go nowhere yet you have no evidence to back up any of these claims.

      I respect your right to an opinion, but not when you’re slating your fellow fans, and their right to voice their opinion in the form of a peaceful protest.

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  8. My concerns with the march are a) it will be hijacked by knackers with a less peaceful agenda, b) it will be a damp squib and Newcastle fans will be ridiculed collectively for it, c) people will be on it who have no idea how to articulate why they are marching – with the march being on the day of the game going out live, you can bet there will be media interest and who do they target? Yes, correct, the weak minded who have no idea what the aims and objectives of the march are. These people will be representing Newcastle on Tv broadcast to millions and what will they say? ‘Er me mate Dave was coming so I said I would, Keegan, Keegan!. Could this not be seen as a bigger stick to poke us with rather than the usual rhetoric of 50,000 bar coded sheep turning up regardless of what Ashley does to them? I think it will and will for maximum affect the unofficial Geordie spokesman will be recruited following the strict sky sports guidelines – must be smoking a tab, illiterate and gave an accent so strong that it can only be documented in symbols, but hey, let’s hope it’s a success because fans gave the right to do it.

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  9. I understand you wish to support the March and if that’s what you want to do then fine, do that. But I am 100% sure that whoever goes on as the spokesman will say something like ” we are here to protest against the Ashley regime at our club, the fans want him out”. When in fact it is his club not ours, and you/they do not have a mandate to represent the fans. Some of us object to the rubbish being thrown around in our name, and I for one am sick and tired of the whinging, all because the club isn’t doing what you want. Do you want a return of the Shepard era? Because I certainly don’t. I want a stable club that will grow year on year until we can once more play in Europe, but it takes baby steps not marches to get that.

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    1. Jimmy

      If you believe that this regime is interested in seeing us challenge for Europe year on year then I am afraid the evidence would not support that.

      If that was the case why did Ashley not invest when we finished 5th? Why was our target 8th after we finished 5th the year before? Why, when we finished 16th, only sign one player on loan and then tell us our target is 10th this season? Why are we being told that we cannot financially compete with the likes of Southampton and Swansea if our aim is to be challenging to get into Europe?

      I am afraid your beliefs of where we are headed, and the direction in which we are actually headed are two different things.

      Why must NUFC fans employ scare tactics to make their point? Do I want a return to ridiculous overspending that had us in a financial pickle? No. But nor do I want an overly frugal owner who is choking the ambition of the club. In 6 years Ashley has overseen 1 relegation, 1 relegation dogfight, and 2 mediocre 12th place finishes, yet people point to the fact that we finished 5th and say we are “stable”.

      Nothing about Newcastle United indicates stability. Just because we have a better looking balance sheet and a mediocre manager on a 8 year contract does not mean we are stable. Even if we were, this ‘stability’ isn’t exactly improving results is it?

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  10. You do tend to get some very strange comments on these kind of blogs from strange users who come out of nowhere and never seem to comment on anything else, Then, they vanish.

    I’ve had it on my own blog many times when I’ve written similar posts. It’s usually the same cliches too such as the fans are inarticulate fools who will make a laughing stock of themselves, do we really want a return to the Shepherd era and risk liquidation when Mike Ashley is leading the club to financial stability? It’s Ashley’s club, he can do what he wants and stupid, impotent fans will never change his mind, we should all stop whinging and get behind the team, blah blah…

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    1. I’ve noticed it on your blog time and time again so I am happy to see it doesn’t just happen to me! Haha

      The best thing that can happen is for a sizeable turnout at the march, conducted in as sensible a way as possible, with forward thinking articulate fans speaking to the media, and a general sense of forward movement among the fans.

      It is a starting point, and the more positive the starting point can be, the more likely others, who are generally fearful of what this may entail, will come on board.

      Out of interest, are you backing the march? Or will you be attending?

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      1. I have just read the piece on the mag website about the March, and you know I can understand what that piece wants and hopes for. I won’t support the March, as I still think it isn’t the way forward. I think it will generate more negative publicity than positive.
        As for folk appearing on sites then disappearing well I thought the whole idea was for views to be aired. Not everyone agrees with the March nor what others think about the club, but the views are still valid. No one has to like what others say, but if you open a blog and allow comments as long as the comments are reasoned and do not attack or run anyone down why do folk think we are apologists for the system. I do not agree with the protest, I do not think it can achieve anything but bad publicity and I do think it unsettled the team. I say again don’t like what’s happening at the club stay away. Myself I go to see football not politics.

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        1. Jimmy

          You are more than welcome to air your views, I enjoy reading comments from everyone even if I totally disagree. You have taken time out of your day to comment and I would be remiss to not respect that.

          All I would say is that I would hope to see you comment on the vast array of articles I write on all things NUFC.

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      2. “Out of interest, are you backing the march? Or will you be attending?”

        Alas, I’m in London and having to keep all my hospital appointments so I doubt it.

        I hope it’s well organised and doesn’t give Ashley’s PR machine the opportunity to stereotype and dismiss the protestors as a knuckle dragging, horse punching fringe of maniacs (which they will). I also hope that the message is positive rather than negative and that you have the right spokespeople who will not put their foot in their mouths, and that the movement has good legal representation and knows how to use the law.

        Aye, I back the march, but personally (and I know you disagree) I still think that boycotting is the thing that will work most effectively with Ashley, a “disciplined, long-term, non-violent disruption of business as usual” to quote Naomi Wolf.

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        1. I am unsure as to what could be planned in the long term but as it stands, I think a peaceful, legal, demonstration is the best foot forward to begin with.

          I back the ideas that have motivated people to march, and hope that these ideas grow to fruition and gather momentum and unite the fans.

          I hope to see an article or two urging your readers to attend 😉 haha

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  11. Workyticket – why should fans who read an article, immediately respond then provide their point of view over numerous hours with the author of the blog be considered, in your words, ‘strange’. Is this because they don’t share your point of view? The reason that they disappear is if you check the timelines, people need to sleep. I know you and ciaran run / contribute to blogs for Newcastle fans which is to be commended. However you can’t put this medium out there then take the huff when 50% of those you are trying to force your own ideals on fundamentally disagree with your opinions. If I was ever to try and force an opinion in you’s (which I don’t really want to try and do) it’s that you must regognise the huge volume of Newcastle fans that do not share your vision.

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    1. Also, can you please confirm the last Newcastle fan who supposedly spoke for the masses, that made a brilliant tv / radio appearance? That’s right, no. Every time it’s either someone from Milton Keynes / Ireland they interview or someone from Newcastle that are unable to spell their name. If the march had an agenda, aims, something that the unsure majority could latch onto then maybe we could get somewhere. Alas, my fear is that this will turn into cannon fodder for the Southern based press. Can you confirm if the non protestors will get a public apology if this goes tits up?

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    2. BCD, I have no problems whatsover with people displaying different viewpoints. However, on my own site I can look at things very closely, especially so as I’m a bit of a geek and I’ve noticed quite alot of suspicious activity from posters in blogs on subjects like this. By this I mean stuff like people making a big effort to mask their online identties using proxies and so on, or posts allegedly from several different users looking remarkably similar. As I suggested before, these posters only stick to very paritcular ‘hot’ subjects, then they vanish

      I’m not saying you are at all, I can’t trace the address you are posting from on this site for a start, but it is a phenomenon I have noticed on quite a few occaisions on my own site. The Internet terminolgy for such practices is “Astroturfing” and “Sock Puppetry,”

      Here’s a bit on Astroturfing from the Wikipedia:

      “On the Internet, astroturfers use software to mask their identity. Sometimes one individual operates over many personas to give the impression of widespread support for their client’s agenda. Some studies suggest astroturfing can alter public viewpoints and create enough doubt to inhibit action.”

      The software they mean was originally developed by the Israeli secret service so pro Zionists could react swiftly to criticism on blogs and other sites all over the world in an effort to shift opinion. It has now come to be used far more widely by controversial companies and PR people using dishonest ‘black hat’ methods.

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      1. Worky – to be fair, what I have seen over the years from you is that you are generally level headed in your articles, arguments and opinions. While we are being honest I don’t post under multiple personas, I did used to post on ed’s blog a few years ago under another name but I forgot my password and for some reason I could not refresh it no matter how many requests I made. Anyway, my request is that you guys don’t discount polar opposite opinions as fly by night posters, there are many like me with different views

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        1. Not to be pedantic, but I fail to see what is so awful about an Irish NUFC fan or a NUFC fan from Milton Keynes being interviewed? Did I miss the memo where you had to be from Newcastle to support the club?

          Also, define “going tits up”? I can categorically state that you will get no apology from me as I will never apologise for doing something that I believe is right.

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