No preludes. No flowery nonsense. Just straight to the point. I’ve not been writing about Newcastle United’s pre-season because I don’t give a shit about it. I don’t give a shit how the new signings are playing. I don’t give a shit who looks fit and who looks fat (though I heard something, somewhere about Fatem being a little bit overweight) nor do I give a shit about seeing some of our younger players getting some minutes under their belts to be ready for the first team this season.
Why such flagrant disregard for our pre-season thus far? I’ll tell you why. It has gotten to such a self-evident point already that Mike Ashley doesn’t give a hoot about the success of Newcastle United – the past 7 years have told us that much already. It’s already self-evident that he doesn’t really attempt to hide his disdain and disinterest in us as fans/customers, though he’ll spin some lies and weasel his way out of tricky situations by surrounding himself with willing idiots who will gladly take some of the flak for him. However, what has me so incensed is that now Mike Ashley isn’t even attempting to hide the fact that Newcastle United are nothing but a defenceless concubine of Mike Ashley’s lecherous S***** D***** Empire as is evidenced by our debacle of a pre-season. Hence why I don’t give a shit about watching a solitary minute of it.
If it wasn’t blatantly apparent with our first pre-season outing pitting us against Oldham Athletic at the stadium formerly known as Boundary Park (now renamed S*****D*****.com Arena…) who took to the field with shirts emblazoned with the putrid S***** D***** logo, Mike Ashley must have been rubbing his hands with glee seeing his advertising hoardings running around like the puppets they are, unwittingly giving his tacky sweatshop goods even more advertising. Of which he can never have enough. At least he paid for the privilege this time, and it only cost 30 pieces of silver…
One game was bad enough, but it would have been somewhat bearable had it been stopped at that. Following the disasters of previous years where pre-season tours were cancelled, it was announced that we would indeed be able to showcase our talents on foreign soil. So where was wor Mike taking us? The obvious choice would be the emerging football markets right? Like USA (where Arsenal, Spurs, Liverpool and Manchester United were) or Asia (where Everton and Chelsea have elected to go), so where was Mike Ashley sending his roving advertisements?
New Zealand. Really? Why?
Football is not the dominant sport in New Zealand, nor is it even close to becoming an emerging sport in the country. It is, and will be for the foreseeable future, a distant passing interest in comparison to the likes of cricket, rugby union and rugby league. If that is the case, what on earth would possess us to travel all the way to the Southern Hemisphere, as well as travelling all around New Zealand if we’re not looking to tap into a potential new wave of Newcastle United supporters?
Could it be a coincidence that Newcastle United pre-season tour to New Zealand has occurred at exactly the same time as Mike Ashley has announced a partnership with the company MySale Group, who have agreed to operate S***** D***** websites in Australia and New Zealand, as well as the fact that Mike Ashley has announced that he is expanding his brand of sweatshop tackery Down Under with 3 flagship stores in the land of Oz and another in New Zealand?
There will be many of you out there who doubt these allegations and lambaste me as being negative and cynical. To you I say this. If Newcastle United were down there trying to promote Newcastle United Football Club in an attempt to lure a new market of potential supporters, then how come we have played every single pre-season friendly so far without lining out in our famous black and white stripes? Surely it would make more sense, from a purely brand recognition point of view to play in our famous kit so that these new supporters can instantly recognise our team?
It is absolutely galling, to me at least, that any pre-season tour, especially in a foreign country where we are supposed to be trying to capture a new audience for our club, that we play in a repugnant grey kit when we could be showcasing the one thing that makes Newcastle United one of the most instantly recognisable football teams in the English Premier League.
So, to return to the original question – which I hope you have gathered by now, was rhetorical – are we Newcastle United Football Club or merely an advertising offshoot of Mike Ashley’s ever expanding sickening Empire.
You’re smart enough to know the answer.