Newcastle United fans' 'mass demonstration' is more about neglect and lack of passion from club's current leaders
The London Evening Standard ran with a story ahead of the weekend about a “mass demonstration” at St James’ Park for Tottenham Hotspur’s visit to Tyneside.
I can almost hear a southern voice saying: “I see the Geordies are kicking off again.”
As far as some Londoners are concerned, Newcastle fans drove Alan Pardew out of the club and dislike Mike Ashley with a passion because he’s from “darn sarf”.
In actual fact, Pardew sealed his own fate at St James’ by trying to go along with some of the club’s crazy politics and justify losing derbies, being knocked out of cups at the early stages and promoting the club’s ideology of simply being in the Premier League.
Did I also mention awful tactics, a host of excuses and leading the club to the brink of relegation in 2013?
It was this time last year that Newcastle lost six games in a row in the Premier League – the worst run of defeats in their modern history.
Pardew felt it wasn’t his fault, he believed the local media had made life difficult for him.
Tottenham fans on Tyneside for the weekend might wonder what all the fuss is about.
But, contary to the notion of our friends from the south, Newcastle fans aren’t upset because the club aren’t winning cups or playing in the Champions League.
It is more that the club is being neglected as far as the most important area of Newcastle United is concerned – on the pitch.
Even Sunday League teams manage to have two centre-backs and a left-back available, but that has been beyond Newcastle this season.
The £30million-plus cash pot sitting in the bank and generating interest is evidence of that.
At this moment in time the club lack vision, direction and leadership.
The team on the field are a pale shadow of a team that once stuck SEVEN past Spurs in this same fixture back in 1996.
At Sunderland the current crop of United players were met with a chant of “You’re not fit to wear the shirt.”
But the truth is, the club has been nothing but an empty shell for some time now.
The fans who have been turning up are doing so out of loyalty, but have been stunned into suffering in silence.
Newcastle’s current regime have not failed in a financial sense, yet they have failed in a major way in grasping what the club is about.
Sadly, the man who understands the club the probably more than most – who isn’t a Geordie – Kevin Keegan, was pushed out of the door by the Ashley regime.
I will never forget the day he sat in the Press room at St James’ and said: “It’s like the people down South going to a theatre.
“Newcastle fans want to come to this ground and see something worth seeing.
“What they don’t want is for us to go out, play drably, win 1-0 and maybe finish halfway up the table.
Unfortunately it fell on deaf ears as far as the Ashley regime were concerned.
Against Tottenham we will reach another page in the history books under Ashley.
Ashley has been here before and while some will argue that the club would still make money without fans coming through the turnstiles, it makes the product less attractive to see empty seats.
As I have stated right from the start, the boycott is a personal choice for fans to show how they feel.
It’s difficult to determine what is the most powerful method of protest.
And if another 90 minutes of pain of the field unfolds at St James’ Park – even our friends from the south might just get it.