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Falling Crowds Prove Losing Rafa Still Hurts
#1
Rafa was a manager with a glittering track record of success, a total professional who in spite of being provided with relatively paltry resources at the club, managed to organise and inspire our team to punch above its weight.

And we loved him for it.

He was loyal to the club, players and fans throughout his contract and, although totally disillusioned by the owner’s lack of ambition, was able to leave with his head held high.

The club tried to point to his eye-watering salary in China as the reason he did not sign a new contract. But we all know the real reason, because we shared his frustration at the lack of vision from those who own and run our club.

As fans organised group protests, the club hoped that bringing in Steve Bruce as an experienced replacement would steady the ship, get a few results, and everything would settle down and be tickety-boo so that they could once again just sit in a corner and count the gate receipts.

To be fair to Bruce, he knows he’s not in the same league as Rafa, and the result at Tottenham was an achievement few people expected.

Against that however are the disappointing defeat at newly-promoted Norwich as well as home draws against Watford and Brighton, who are the sort of teams we should be expecting to beat if we are going to avoid another nail-biting fight in the relegation zone.

Yesterday against Brighton, a crowd of 43,316 attended St James’ Park – the lowest crowd since 2010. On Sky, some of the empty seats in the East Stand and Leazes End were there for the world to see.

Unusual to say the least at the cathedral on the hill.

There was no organised protest yesterday. No boycott demands from fans groups. Unless I’ve missed it, we haven’t actually heard anything from those groups lately?

It’s clear that an organised boycott or any other organised action isn’t needed at the moment as fans are clearly voting with their feet.

Yesterday’s crowd followed the 44,157 who turned up to watch Bruce’s team huff and puff against Watford without blowing their house down. A Watford team who were taken apart 8-0 by Manchester City yesterday.

Yes, many EPL teams would love crowds of 43 or 44 thousand. But this is Newcastle United we are discussing here.

It’s clear that approximately 10,000 disillusioned fans have followed a disillusioned Rafa out of the door. And before anyone starts pointing fingers about “fair weather fans” can I just say it was a lovely sunny day yesterday!

And remember, many of these fans have been suffering as loyal fans for 30, 40, 50 years and have finally had enough.

The falling gates are the biggest and strongest message that fans can send to the current owner. And the club finally needs to realise that the sacred cash cow is drying up. And it could get a lot worse.

Time for the owner to leave off buying washed-up high street brands and sort things out at NUFC.

Or maybe just leave totally and sell the club to someone who actually cares?  huh?

Mick
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#2
(22-09-2019, 12:02 PM)Mick Wrote: Rafa was a manager with a glittering track record of success, a total professional who in spite of being provided with relatively paltry resources at the club, managed to organise and inspire our team to punch above its weight.

And we loved him for it.

He was loyal to the club, players and fans throughout his contract and, although totally disillusioned by the owner’s lack of ambition, was able to leave with his head held high.

The club tried to point to his eye-watering salary in China as the reason he did not sign a new contract. But we all know the real reason, because we shared his frustration at the lack of vision from those who own and run our club.

As fans organised group protests, the club hoped that bringing in Steve Bruce as an experienced replacement would steady the ship, get a few results, and everything would settle down and be tickety-boo so that they could once again just sit in a corner and count the gate receipts.

To be fair to Bruce, he knows he’s not in the same league as Rafa, and the result at Tottenham was an achievement few people expected.

Against that however are the disappointing defeat at newly-promoted Norwich as well as home draws against Watford and Brighton, who are the sort of teams we should be expecting to beat if we are going to avoid another nail-biting fight in the relegation zone.

Yesterday against Brighton, a crowd of 43,316 attended St James’ Park – the lowest crowd since 2010. On Sky, some of the empty seats in the East Stand and Leazes End were there for the world to see.

Unusual to say the least at the cathedral on the hill.

There was no organised protest yesterday. No boycott demands from fans groups. Unless I’ve missed it, we haven’t actually heard anything from those groups lately?

It’s clear that an organised boycott or any other organised action isn’t needed at the moment as fans are clearly voting with their feet.

Yesterday’s crowd followed the 44,157 who turned up to watch Bruce’s team huff and puff against Watford without blowing their house down. A Watford team who were taken apart 8-0 by Manchester City yesterday.

Yes, many EPL teams would love crowds of 43 or 44 thousand. But this is Newcastle United we are discussing here.

It’s clear that approximately 10,000 disillusioned fans have followed a disillusioned Rafa out of the door. And before anyone starts pointing fingers about “fair weather fans” can I just say it was a lovely sunny day yesterday!

And remember, many of these fans have been suffering as loyal fans for 30, 40, 50 years and have finally had enough.

The falling gates are the biggest and strongest message that fans can send to the current owner. And the club finally needs to realise that the sacred cash cow is drying up. And it could get a lot worse.

Time for the owner to leave off buying washed-up high street brands and sort things out at NUFC.

Or maybe just leave totally and sell the club to someone who actually cares?  huh?

Mick
Great post-Mick think it is definitely Blogworthy. I think now there is an appetite for more people to walk away as most of the Fan groups are now more organised and singing from the same song sheet, I know I am. @boycottsjp



ASHLEY OUT!!!!
"Everyones Got To Believe In Something. I Believe Ill Have Another Beer" W C Fields.
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#3
It's the usual cycle Mick.
  • Ashley stays for the money
  • A section of our fans believe staying away will help force a sale
  • A section of our fans don't believe staying away will change anything
The only consistents here are Ashley still owning the club and the same fans turning up to watch the same sh*t every week. The apppintment of Bruce should have been followed by an emptying of the ground, but you still had plenty of supporters pedalling the usual garbage of support the team and not the regime... well so far this season, the fans who have turned up to watch have been party to some of the worst atmospheres I have heard at the club, so just exactly what are they supporting? All you hear is moans and groans (and rightly so based on what they are watching), so naturally you ask yourself, what exactly are they supporting here apart from their inability to find something better to do on a Saturday? There are ways and means to watch the games as I am sure we all do one way or another, so it's not like you don't get to watch the garbage served up, you just get to make the biggest statement possible by refusing to put money into a club that is a sinking ship.

Make no mistake 10,000 will soon turn to 15,000. Speak to any number of Sunderland, Villa or Birmingham supporters about Bruce and they will all tell you the same thing. The teams he sets up looks out of ideas, the players look like they haven't trained together, the teams lack any pattern of play, defenders spend anytime in possession lumping the ball forward and Bruce also makes bizarre substitutions at bizarre times. So far in his time managing us, all of these things are true. The fans turning up will soon turn off when it gets a bit colder and when it becomes clearer (not sure how thick you need to be to need it any clearer, but clearly we have some very stupid fans) that the current form won't change under Bruce, and the gates will drop even further.

Despite Rafa not setting the team up to play entertaining football, as we have all mentioned and acknowledged previously, the identity the team had under Rafa made us proud to support the team again. We were prepared to sacrifice free flowing attacking football, as the large majority of supporters realised it was the best way to do with the players at our disposal. Those who banged the drum for an expansive brand of football were too stupid to see we had Championship standard players and the best hope we had was to stay organised and compact. Well they got their wish, they got Steve Bruce, and beyond Steve Bruce, it's frightening to think who else would come and work for Ashley. The summer just gone was the biggest indication yet that any manager worth his salt won't touch this club with a bargepole whilst ever Ashley remains the owner.

The only thing that looks certain now is that relegation beckons, the crowds will drop further, and yet despite this, the 3 points I made at the top of the page will remain the 3 sticking points as to why nothing at the club will really change. It's scary to think that circa 44k (minus away fans), are still prepared to turn up, pay their money, and watch the absolute sh*te on show.

Until fan attitude changes on mass, we will continue to get the same things we are seeing every single week.
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#4
2 fantastic posts that truly express my feelings right now. The club has became rotten to the core and until it changes hands we will never see anything worth watching.
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#5
Great post Ghostie!

I'll blog it today in your name, if that's OK

Mick
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#6
That's fine Mick, tag it onto yours if you just want to make it a single blog post.
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#7
A lot of people who were at the Brighton match were saying that the crowd looked a lot less than 43,000

I see the Newcastle Chronicle has confirmed with the club that they count all season ticket holders in their crowd numbers EVEN IF THEY DON'T ATTEND THE GAME.

That might just explain it!!

Mick
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