So the first match of the new season came and went, with Arsenal taking advantage of a mistake by a new lad who had just gone on. Arsenal scored the only goal of the match and disappeared back down to that there London with all three points.

The organised boycott also came and went.

We predicted in an earlier article that there would be 47,000-ish at the game. It turns out 47,635 turned up. Although rumour has it that season tickets were included in that figure, whether or not the folks that owned them were physically present.

There’s lots of reasons people go to watch Newcastle United. Circumstances and expectations are personal to them. In the same earlier article I set out my own thought on why people continue to go to the match after everything that has happened under the present owner – and I’m sure my list is not exhaustive, there will be more I haven’t thought of!

At the end of the day, it’s a personal choice. Whether you go to the match, choose to give it up or even get into the politics and support organised fan action is up to each individual.

Discussion & debate about this or any other toon-related topic is fine of course. But the one thing I personally don’t like seeing is NUFC fans of whatever persuasion starting to hurl abuse at each other. That’s sad and will just get us nowhere.

In the past I’ve personally supported the “best balance sheet in the EPL” protest, the MAOC march from the City Hall down Percy Street up Gallowgate past the ground with the speeches at the end, the walkouts – even the one that confused what time to do it, the walkins etc.

All of these actions,just like yesterday’s boycott, have had absolutely ZERO affect on Mikeyboy’s ownership. Apart from the alleged takeover bids which appear with monotonous regularity each transfer window, there is no sign of the current owner giving up and moving on.

It’s clear the majority of fans just want to go to the match. And if a world class manager like Rafa leaving and being replaced by a “Head Coach” with a bit of a mixed track record doesn’t persuade people to take a stand, well to be honest nothing will.

The numerous “fans groups” who organised the latest action yesterday have issued a statement today. It is reproduced below.

The groups clearly intend to carry on and organise future events. I guess the question is what possible action can be effective without the support of the majority of fans?

Don’t ask me!!

STATEMENT

‘We would like to say thank you to everyone that backed the boycott of today’s match and all of those fans who have expressed support and contributed to the demonstrations, organised by our collective of 10 Newcastle United supporter groups.

The action taken by the groups in our collective today was the first demonstration in a new supporter-led campaign with the objective of forcing Mike Ashley to find a genuine and ambitious buyer for Newcastle United Football Club.

The official attendance at St James’s Park today was reportedly 47,635 – this figure includes current season ticket holders, who may or may not have been at the game.

This represents an attendance of over 4,000 down on the first home league match at St James’s Park in the last two seasons.

A Newcastle United Supporters Trust (NUST) survey last week found that 67 per cent of season ticket holders surveyed supported today’s boycott. We believe that thousands of season ticket holders chose to boycott today’s match, meaning the attendance was probably closer to 45,000, including travelling Arsenal fans.

In addition, around 10,000 former season ticket holders chose to cancel their season tickets ahead of the new season.

Despite the wet weather, around 300 supporters joined us in marching from Newcastle city centre to St James’s Park stadium and we are extremely grateful for these fans’ support.

Naturally, given our stance, we were hopeful of further numbers and are aware of the pull of a new season but we are steadfast in our belief that any form of protest needs to be ambitious and assertive – should Steve Bruce and the players produce this season, will they be sold quickly or ambition quelled? Given the past 12 years it seems certain.

Our fight against Mike Ashley isn’t going to be short and it isn’t going to be easy. Between the groups in our collective, we are committed to a long-term campaign which will not solely rely on fans boycotting games. As a group, we will be reviewing key successes from today and the challenges we are likely to face in the future, before announcing a course of action for the immediate future.

In the meantime, we are inviting other fan groups to join our collective and likeminded individual supporters who would like to get involved in our campaigning, to get in touch.

Our message to Mike Ashley remains the same: We are not going away. This will not blow over.’

@EmptyForAshley / @NUFC360 / @MagpieGroupNUFC / @NWestMagpies /
@LondonMagpies / @NUFCBlogcouk / @Ashleyoutdotcom / @IfRafaGoesWeGo /
@Mike_Ashley_Out / @MaintainSJP

What do you think? As ever, we would welcome your comments, opinions and views below (We use Disqus).

You can also join the discussion at the UTD111 Forum!

Join The UTD111 Forum
The Best NUFC Forum On The Interwebby
…..Probably
Click Here To View

Facebook

UTD111 On Facebook

Twitter

UTD111 On Twitter

Tags