Ashley bans free speech!

One of Big Brother's Victims

One of Big Brother’s Victims

One of the first things to go by the way side in a dictatorship is the free press. We don’t have a free thinking democracy at Newcastle United, what we have is an authoritarian figure who wants to run things exactly his way, and damn anyone who gets in his way. Mike Ashley has reportedly been agitated about the way local newspapers, namely the Chronicle and the Journal, have reported upon the recent Time4Change march last Saturday, and has responded by banning both newspapers from St James’ Park. This is a bold move, and is clearly the actions of a man who is feeling the pressure from Newcastle United fans, and is trying desperately to quell the fires of insurrection.

Mike Ashley, where Newcastle United is concerned, has been so used to getting everything his own way. Other than taking to the streets to protest the removal of Kevin Keegan as manager of the club in 2008, Newcastle United fans have taken nearly everything the fat controller has aimed at us in the last number of years. Ashley in that time has sacked popular coach Chris Hughton, sold stalwarts Kevin Nolan, Joey Barton and Andy Carroll, renamed the iconic stadium, associated our great club with Wonga as well as admitting that we have next to no interest in European football our silverware any time soon. So needless to say, Ashley quite obviously thinks he can remove freedom of information from the equation and Newcastle United fans will take this lying down too.

I won’t focus on the act of banning newspapers too much. Quite clearly Ashley is feeling the pressure and is reacting in the only way he knows how to – badly. However, I want to focus on why exactly Ashley has taken such drastic action. Is it a coincidence that Ashley has banned the newspapers only 1 week after the fans marched against him? Some claimed that Ashley would take next to no notice of the fans march. If this was the case then why has he taken such childish measures to prevent the newspapers from reporting negatively about him? The truth is, Ashley is rattled. His ivory tower has been shaken and he doesn’t like it. What needs to be done is a systematic approach that shows Ashley that no matter what drastic measures he takes, Newcastle United fans will remain resolute and stand against him. His bully boy tactics have no place any more at this club.

Will you stand up for the free press? Will you stand up for your right to express your opinion? Will you stand up for your club?

If you do not like what Ashley is doing, then empower yourself to do something about it. One simple march has rattled Ashley to such a degree that he is banning newspapers. Can you imagine what we may achieve if we consistently and deliberately target him and his tacky Sports Direct shops? Us Newcastle United fans are nowhere near as insignificant as we portray ourselves to be. Stand up and be counted.

What do you think? Is this a panic move from an increasingly under-fire owner? Do you agree with his policy of banning newspapers? Why has he taken such drastic action? I’d love to hear your views.

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  1. It’s a joke to be honest, and not a funny one. To me Lee Ryder has always been somewhat of an Ashley apologist so it seems strange that Ashley has burnt what I would consider to be his last bridge to positive reporting on our club just because they mentioned the fact a number of fans marched against him. Petty behaviour not just from Ashley but from Pardew also if reports are accurate and he had a hand in that decision. Even more worrying is, if Pardew DID have a say then he is less likely to be sacked for yet another atrocious derby day performance.


    1. Pardew would have had absolutely no say in whether or not to ban journalists. That decision, along with every other decision that comes from Newcastle United is made by one man and one man only – Mike Ashley.

      As for the derby performance, it was a disgrace. When will Newcastle United fans demand more from their players and more from their manager? As for the owner? I no longer demand more from him, I demand that he leaves.


      1. The toys are out of the pram certainly, but like I previously stated I am a little surprised with the whole banning of the chronicle. Ryder was so far up Ashley’s backside he could clean the back of his teeth. Ryder mentioning Pardew’s name could have been because he refused to talk to him today, and a very childish attempt at an eye for an eye.

        It’s not just the performance today from the players, but the performance of the manager all last week and his excuses and ‘sore loser’ attitude in his interview afterwards. Why could he not be a man and admit that Sunderland’s gameplan was ridiculously effective and made us out to be the pathetic, spineless mess we truely are when put under pressure by a hungry side. This is why I have no faith in him as a manager, he is too busy disrepecting other managers with his excuses when we get beat, he doesn’t have the heart, pride or respect to manage this club. Same goes for the plonky above him, and Donkey Kong at the top chucking his barrels down the building onto the heads of the fans.


  2. You utter buffoon.
    A basic right is , to say to some twat from the press, “no comment”.
    The way you portray it , the coaching staff at NUFC have broken into Thomson House and smashed up the printing presses….
    Drastic action me arse.
    Now , if we could hire a hit man to take out a few bloggers …………………….?


    1. Jeff, the situation is not a case of someone saying “no comment” to the press, but banning the journalists of local newspapers from the ground. This is based on the fact that said newspapers reported on the march last week. The evidence is there to suggest that the club are trying to ban negative press regarding the owner and leadership of the club, if the club had simply refused to talk to the press regarding the issue I don’t think that would have been regarded as quite so severe.


  3. Mike Ashley should sell the club he isnt
    interested in football all he wants is to take
    the money and run time to run Mike nobody wants the like of you here.


  4. Ciaran – You demand that he leaves?!!!
    What nonsense is that?
    He won’t go before he gets a return on his investment – the initial part of which is having his £100million loan repaid.
    Let’s face it – the fans of ANY club either get lucky have a megamega rich owner (Chelsea, Man.C.) or have a plan like Man.U.(run up huge debts – ok if you’ve got the global support to finance it), or the rest (like us).
    We know that Ashley is in it for the money in the long run – so it’s going to be a mediocre long haul unless some Sheikh or multi-billionaire comes along and makes him an offer he can’t refuse.


    1. You think so small. He won’t leave until he has a return in his investment. Who says fans won’t be able to organise themselves to put themselves in the running. We almost done it once before, why can’t we do it again?

      Think outside the box, it is much more fun being abstract.


  5. “If you do not like what Ashley is doing, then empower yourself to do something about it. One simple march has rattled Ashley to such a degree that he is banning newspapers. Can you imagine what we may achieve if we consistently and deliberately target him and his tacky Sports Direct shops?”

    The idea of targeting Sports Direct is an excellent one. They are already being targeted over the issue of zero hour contracts.


    1. Worky

      There are plans afoot to do just that. If he thinks he has seen the last of Time4Change, or protests, then he is even more arrogant and foolish than I thought.

      His “divide and conquer” tactics are coming back to haunt him. There are few things that many people united behind, and attacking the free press in a country such as this where free press is lauded (no matter how tabloid it’s content is) then he may actually have managed to unite rather than divide.

      With more pressure, we could see him really implode.


      1. Ciaran, you should speak to Unite who have run a campaign against Sports Direct amongst others over their use of zero hour contracts.

        An ex Sports Direct employee called Zahera Gabriel-Abraham is also taking legal action against Sports Direct over the same thing. You need to network because that’s how campaigns are successful. People think they are omnipotent, then find out one day that they have just hacked off too many people, and some of them are more intellligent and well connected than they were given credit for.

        One final thought, Sports Direct’s other shareholders are very pleased with all the free publicity they receive from Newcastle United, but they would certainly start to think if he also brought a very well co-ordinated campaign of Newcastle United supporters down on them in numbers.


        1. Appreciate the advice worky, I will pass it on to those much higher in the chain than me. Hopefully many who were against Time4Change last weekend, citing such things as “Ashley won’t take notice” or “he doesn’t care what fans think” have looked at his decision to ban the newspapers and see that he has already been rattled by this march and sustained pressure could make a difference, especially if we targeted his tacky sports shop.

          Hopefully we can get talking further on this issue and I will keep you informed of any progress.


  6. Plus they were on watchdog for sneakily adding a sports direct mug to all online orders without asking, everyone gets charged an extra quid for their orders without their knowledge. My only concern with this is Sports Direct is a rather large company, we would have to convince a rather large demographic to not shop at the store to really hit him hard. In principle I think it’s a good idea, but in reality I’m interested to see how this would be worked out and would be open to involving myself in it, given how I myself was a victim to a zero hour sports direct contract for around 3 years!! 😦


    1. Daryll

      Something as simple as a sit in protest every now and again by a small bunch of people could spark a huge reaction. If Ashley is temperamental enough to ban journos after one march due to his 2nd business (NUFC) imagine how he would react to a sustained campaign of action against the business he loves more than life itself (Sports Direct)?


      1. I would love to see this in action, how close to completion are the plans? I think there is now also a snowball effect in place, considering the press would be all over it given his latest stance regarding the march.


        1. The powers that be are getting this in place, can’t give you a time frame but you will hear about it when it happens. It won’t be a one off either. Sustained campaign against his toxic brand. Ashley alienating the journalists works in our favour.


  7. This isn’t the first time this has happened. Nufc took away live football coverage from Century radio because they wouldn’t sack Malcolm Macdonald for negative comments made on the 3 legends program. Century refused and the rest is history. Thank god Ashley is only in charge of a football club and not in government. The outcome could be a lot more sinister.


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