A few years ago, as Hatem Ben Arfa was frozen out and Alan Pardew was beginning his usual run of games without a victory, a supporters group called “Pardew Out” was created. For months they protested outside the ground, at matches, and online. For months they were supported and criticized. One of the main criticisms was that Mike Ashley was the real cancer at Newcastle United. Pardew Out agreed with that, but their main goal was to get the symptom out before moving onto the disease.
After Pardew left for Crystal Palace, Ashley Out was created. They continued to protest on match days until the moment Rafa Benitez was hired. While Ashley would continue to be unfit to run the club, it seemed for a moment he was handing off the reigns to a Champions League winning manager. The fans, Ashley Out included, could live with that. Protests were put on hold until the moment they would become required again. That moment is now.
Yesterday’s farcical end to an awful transfer window meant Ashley Out’s social media was busy again.
It’s hard to comprehend how and why Mike Ashley makes his decisions. Besides the countless transfer window failures, he’s brought in Joe Kinnear into a high level role twice, the second time seemingly under the influence of alcohol. He’s currently installed his right-hand man Justin Barnes at the club simply to nix any transfer he feels like. It harkens back to the days of haggling over 2 million on principle on a deal to bring Mathieu Debuchy to the club. Thus leaving us short at right-back, and eventually having to buy him in January as were heading towards relegation.
The final straw should’ve been when the club willfully admitted in court it had lied to the fans. It’s been almost a decade and nothing has changed.
Steve McClaren, the only manager under Ashley who can claim he was backed fully in the window. For whatever reason Ashley decided to stop being miserly and actively destructive, and invested. It didn’t work out, and now we’re here with the best manager we could dream of having, and Ashley is back to square one.
There is no hope under this owner, he will always make regressive decisions, whether it’s Joe Kinnear or Justin Barnes. His outrageous value of the club means the only way he sells is if one of the world’s richest people decides they’re fine with paying 200 million over the club’s value. Or, perhaps we can make this is as unaffordable as possible for him. It’s unlikely, Ashley has never been swayed by public opinion, in fact we have no idea what Ashley is swayed by besides alcohol. What we can do is get behind Ashley Out upon their return. It’s time to get rid of the disease, once and for all.
You can find out more about Ashley Out on their website, including his various crass decisions that weren’t covered here.