After what some may call a failed attempt at dethroning Mike Ashley from the Magpie Group, another protest group has recently formed and vows to also take back the club. The group has been named “United Against Ashley” and claims that they will be taking a more direct approach with their protests against Mike Ashley.
The group was apparently founded out of the “Leazes Flags” group who has had issues dealing with the cub as of late. The Flags group has been claiming over the past couple of weeks that the cub has treated them with a lot of disrespect, which the group believes is rooted in Mike Ashley.
The root of the group’s disdain in the club seems to have begun when members of the Leazes Flag group were cleaning up a display from the home match against Manchester united on January. The group claims to have been kicked out of the stadium after briefly speaking to ESPN analyst, and former player John Beresford.
The full thread on the January incident is below, and makes the claim that 3 volunteers associated with the group have been banned from speaking to players or getting autographs after matches.
Yesterday was a very proud day for us all that ended on such a sour note.— Leazes Flags (@FlagsLeazes) January 3, 2019
Whilst tidying up the flags, I briefly spoke to John Beresford and was asked to leave the stadium - kicked out despite what we achieved. The 3 kids that help out with the flags have previously been banned
from talking to the players or getting an autograph when the stewards do far much worse.— Leazes Flags (@FlagsLeazes) January 3, 2019
I have never in all my life been spoken to in such a way. I have cancelled my season ticket after 38 yrs of going. I will not step foot inside that ground again.
I will be handing over the flags to the volunteers that want to continue to display them, but for me - I’m done. The club is rotten to its core— Leazes Flags (@FlagsLeazes) January 3, 2019
Thank you to everyone that has supported me but I’m sure, until storage is sorted , the flags will be left in good hands
Additionally, the account claims that thousands of pounds of damage was done to the flags by the club. This prompted a response from Lee Marshall, who is the clubs main point of contact for fans, who claimed that this was an exaggeration but still gave his support for the group as a whole.
Despite @NUFC informing us that we had until Saturday to collect the flags from stadium, £4500 worth of flags have been destroyed and binned.— Leazes Flags (@FlagsLeazes) January 3, 2019
This is what #NUFC think to the efforts of our team and fans. @LeeMarshall9 @rafabenitezweb @Lascelles16 @PeteGravesSky
Nobody would knowingly damage flags but they would of course clear any that are damaged or have been discarded. Last night looked great and the group should rightly be proud of their efforts. Hopefully there are many more displays backing the team in future at both ends.— Lee Marshall (@LeeMarshall9) January 3, 2019
The whole display cost around £4,500. @FlagsLeazes estimate around half of the plastic flags are still there now. And that’s not accounting for the flags that were taken home by fans or damaged in use (and therefore discarded).— Lee Marshall (@LeeMarshall9) January 3, 2019
The Leazes Flag Group went on to make claims about the club being responsible for the destruction of the flags, and claiming that the status of the club being so rotten is due to one man.
We know for a fact that members inside the stadium were destroying our flags.— Leazes Flags (@FlagsLeazes) January 3, 2019
Continue to be told.— Leazes Flags (@FlagsLeazes) January 4, 2019
The life and soul of the club has been sucked out.
Children can’t get an autograph and left in tears.
Adults kicked out of the stadium for talking to both current and ex players.
Stewards obtaining signed memorabilia when kids can’t.
Damage is already done - the DAMAGE was done when that man took over.— Leazes Flags (@FlagsLeazes) January 4, 2019
We all need to make a stance and that stance has to be now, not the end of January when it’s too late — NOW
The club continue to insult probably the loyalist fans in the country
#Update#— Leazes Flags (@FlagsLeazes) January 5, 2019
We estimate that with the flags that we have salvaged, we have approximately half left. There is no way that 4000 flags were “stolen” by fans. This is a horrible allegation for the club to make. We know there were thousands of flags left inside the stadium ,THOUSANDS ...
We were kicked out of the stadium for saying hello to John Beresford. As grown adults, we have been advised that we are not allowed to talk to current or even ex players. Kids not allowed to ask for an autograph but stewards do.— Leazes Flags (@FlagsLeazes) January 5, 2019
We were given permission to collect .....
The remaining flags before today’s game. By Thursday lunch time - the remaining flags were destroyed. The club have also destroyed the box that they were to be stored in.— Leazes Flags (@FlagsLeazes) January 5, 2019
We will not accept the club blaming ourselves or the fans for their inept behaviour. .......
The attitude of certain members of club staff is absolutely appalling.— Leazes Flags (@FlagsLeazes) January 5, 2019
To see messages on twitter that flags were left damaged or stolen is untrue. If the value was £1 or the full £4500 - this simply should not have happened.
The group however was quick to shift the blame from Lee Marshall, who had been taking the majority of the abuse from angry fans regarding the incident.
We are working with the club to resolve the outstanding issues. Anyone lying the blame with @LeeMarshall9 is so far from the truth and that is honestly speaking. I have been witness to some of the vile abuse that him and his team are suffering and surely these people— Leazes Flags (@FlagsLeazes) January 4, 2019
can not call themselves true fans. United in our name should stand for something. United as a fan base to try and drive change at our club.— Leazes Flags (@FlagsLeazes) January 4, 2019
Please, please stop the ill hatred towards the media team. These issues have nothing to do with them. @NUFC #NUFC
Another incident involving the group was apparently the final straw as tthey then announced that members of their group were going to begin protesting the club shortly thereafter. This time the group was slated to appear on the Newcastle BBC radio station to discuss the current state of the club, and shortly before the interview was slated to happen, the interview was cancelled. The cancellation in the eyes of certain members of the Leazes Flags group was a product of the “Newcastle PR Machine”.
Please tune in to @bbcnewcastle with @MichaelOnSport , @stevehowey624 and @FlagsLeazes tomorrow night from 5-7.— Leazes Flags (@FlagsLeazes) January 10, 2019
We will be discussing the current state of the club and what the club have done to us. @NUFC #NUFC
Mmmmm, when you receive a phone call stating that the interview on the radio has had to be cancelled!!— Leazes Flags (@FlagsLeazes) January 10, 2019
Is this the PR machine working overtime again and won’t allow the TRUTH to come out.
It stinks @NUFC #NUFC
Whether you agree with Leazes Flags’ claims of disrespect towards them from the club, destruction of personal property by the club, or being subject to the Mike Ashley/Newcastle PR Machine, or you disagree with said claims; members of the group have decided to take action against Ashley and the club.
The group formed is named “United Against Ashley”, and looks to be a break off protest group from the Leazes Flag group. It is important to recognize that United Against Ashley does not represent the opinions of all involved with Leazes Flags and was in fact formed in order to separate the good work of the flags group with these upcoming acts of protest.
The group already has the support of two other groups, the London Magpie Group, and Toon Polls. Toon Polls in particular is known for constant criticism of the actions of The Magpie Group, often claiming what the group has done is either “not enough” or “divisive”.
Toon Polls has been very active in drumming up publicity for the group, which began when Toon Polls ran a series of polls to pick the name for the new protest group. The London Magpie Group seems to have just given a general endorsement of the efforts surrounding the protests, but are being tagged in nearly every tweet put out by the United Against Ashley Account.
Given @FlagsLeazes recent change in direction to being a more radical protest group, the intention is to create a new identity that better reflects the new focus.— Toon Polls (@ToonPolls) January 13, 2019
I’ll be running a series of Polls to help find a new name, but first of all suggestions are needed from #NUFC fans.
We’ve spoken to the people behind Leazes Flags who sound like reasonable,honest fans who are just as fed up as we are & we're excited to see how plans develop and provide opportunity to collaborate -we hope #NUFC fans will get behind ideas as we ramp up the action. @FlagsLeazes— London Magpie Group (@LondonMagpies) January 15, 2019
This new group has been slated to be a “radical” protest group, even though they have not once made that claim. The group itself claims that they will be taking a direct approach when protesting Mike Ashley, but has yet to deny any claims from other groups and people that claim this group will be a “radical” group.
The United Against Ashley group has been pretty secretive about their planned actions possibly in fear of their actions being shut down by the club, which does feed into the narrative that they are going to be a “radical” protest group. The group is planning to meet with fans and announce their plans shortly before the match against Cardiff, a match in which I am assuming they will have their first planned protest.
We are hoping that everyone will meet at the cenotaph at 2pm on Saturday.— ️UNITED Against Ashley ️ (@UtdAgainstAsh) January 15, 2019
If we release plans to early, the club will have time to prepare and plan against us. All we are asking is for time before and after the game.
For this to work, we need EVERYONES support #NUFC
As it stands, the group has 8 members (2 founding members) and under 1000 followers of their Twitter account, but those numbers are quickly growing as more and more people are learning about the newly created Twitter account. You can follow the group on Twitter with their username being @UtdAgainstAsh for all for the latest details surrounding their planned actions against Mike Ashley.