Looking at the scoreline after the Manchester united game, I was really in shock…but what shocked me even more was the attendance figure of 51,000+.
I was expecting a bump to something close to the Arsenal game but this number really surprised me.
We can no longer claim (at least from official figures) that the days of having 50,000 Geordies screaming for the team and scaring opposition teams is long gone, in a direct boycott and defiance act to Mike Ashley.
I know all the counter arguments that are being made and some might be relevant:
1- The real number is lower – there were some empty seats in stadium.
2- Discounted tickets and offers from Ashley, give aways in some cases maybe.
3- It is Man Utd and neutral spectators, tourists and opposition fans also contributed massively to the crowd.
All of these points cannot really hide the fact that Ashley succeeded in almost filling the stadium again, after getting rid of Rafa and getting Bruce (basically having his way over the fans), and the boycotting fans – individuals and organised groups – failed to gather more momentum.
So where do we go from here collectively?
We have two very different options:
(1) Continue boycotting all things Ashley and everything putting money in his pockets.
(2) Not caring anymore about boycotts and going back to financially supporting the team.
It is very hard not to feel joy and optimism when your team has won.
It is very hard to let go of something precious you have been doing for tens of years.
I know this for a fact – but do we really want relegation battle or relegation every year?
We have the potential to do better!
Do we really want being lied to by Ashley and used mainly as a vehicle for another business? We certainly can be bigger than that!
Do we want Mike Ashley having his way every time without any consequences? I think our fans can do better than that!
As any fan that is really concerned about the future of our club, I think we need to continue trying to totally boycott and call for others to.
It is imperative to take a stand once you face adversity and a bully – because this is exactly what Ashley is.
Maybe there are just too many fans that will not do it and you think your boycott won’t matter but everyone can start with himself. At least it will not be you helping Mike Ashley out.
On the contrary, I would say it was DEFINITELY working before Man Utd which pushed Mike Ashley frantically into action.
Regardless of any takeover talks and our current results, we need everyone to know that MA is destroying our club and smashed our hope and potential for growth as a major football organisation in Newcastle, the UK, Europe and worldwide.
Our team won on Sunday and that’s good for the lads but boycotting fans clearly lost a battle.
So brace yourselves for long-term war with Mike Ashley because we can’t accept losing easily.
We can’t accept losing our club to him.