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Newcastle United fans are part of the Ashley problem

You can complain about him all you want. But face it: we enable him.

West Ham United v Newcastle United - Premier League Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images

Sold out season tickets, year after year. Matches continue to sell out at home, and our away matches are full of Newcastle United fans. Merchandise sells at an astounding rate, and the love for Newcastle United never fails. Let’s face it, we’re passionate.

But we’re also enabling Newcastle’s public enemy number one.

That’s right. Fans are always talking about boycotting matches, and refusing to buy gear to attempt to hurt Mike Ashley’s bottom line. This is the reality: we’re part of the problem. A couple fans here and there not going to matches and not buying merchandise is pointless if it’s not on a massive scale.

Oh but wait...someone had the brilliant idea of bringing signs to a match that say #AshleyOut, because maybe that will get his attention. You can’t see me right now but I’m facepalming hard. Signs don’t to diddly squat. A protest doesn’t hurt the man’s profits.

Soccer - Pre Season Friendly - Newcastle United v Leeds United - St James Park
Yes my friend, I’m sure he cares about your sign.
Photo by Steve Drew - EMPICS/PA Images via Getty Images

Whether or not the deal with Staveley is truly off, and we’ve been getting conflicting reports, Mike Ashley may or may not have had a valid reason for turning down her offer. He’s under no real pressure to sell. The value of Newcastle United will only decrease if we get relegated which is a real possibility right now.

You think Mike Ashley gives a fudge (except I didn’t say fudge) about the fans of this club? NO! He’s a billionaire retailer/investor who is worried about profit margins and revenue. How he gets that is of no real concern to him. He wasn’t a Newcastle United fan before purchasing the club, and I’m sure he’s not going to leave the club as a fan either.

An owner needs to be dedicated and willing to listen to the fans. They need to be prepared to invest and spend the time and money needed for the club to perform at a level that is competitive and profitable. We’re not arguing that football isn’t a business. But every businessman needs to be passionate about the business that he’s in, or else the business fails.

But Newcastle fans are giving Mike Ashley all fuss and no action. Our words mean nothing to him. Protests don’t do anything when tens of thousands of fans show up each week to support a football club that is struggling. And while I used to call that beautiful passion, I now consider it blind passion.

You want to make a difference? Stop buying the tickets. Stop buying the shirts and gear and the novelty items. Watch the match from home and continue to give the players your support in other ways, I’m sure they understand.

But this whole #AshleyOut thing is just white noise. It means nothing to the man, and frankly, it’s completely useless. Have teeth in your fight. Newcastle fans are part of the problem. It’s time they become part of the solution.