Newcastle fans to stage stadium walkout
If their planned protest goes off without a hitch on Saturday, you might want to get home a bit earlier from your shopping trip to Newcastle tomorrow, as fans are set to stage an early walkout at St. James Park during their match against Cardiff.
May 2nd, 2014
Not since 1987 have the Magpies experienced a worse loss of form – with six straight Premier League defeats, Newcastle United Supporters Trust have planned to protest the current management structure by walking out in the 69th minute.
But is it symbolic? According to the NUST website, it is.
1969 was the year that Newcastle United last won a trophy – and while it could be argued that the likes of Alan Pardew and Mike Ashley isn’t responsible for every one of the 45 years in between, the Supporters Trust has chosen this – the final home match of a season which has seen Newcastle United slide down the table since the New Year – to make their stand by announcing a mass walkout during the final 21 minutes.
As major an announcement as this, coming at the end of a season in which Ashley sold off the services of Yohan Cabaye to PSG, is indeed the kind of statement that would loudly condemn the actions of their club’s masters.
I do, however, need to gently approach my reply.
Why even bother going?
Assuming that the scene will be a shocking one as fans up and leave at about 4.20pm in the middle of the match may well be a disconcerting one, but if the same amount of people simply didn’t turn up at all, wouldn’t that send an even firmer message?
If the fans don’t like the way Mike Ashley is lining his pockets with their money instead of investing it into the club, why should they continue to give him it?
An unused seat tomorrow would surely be a more jarring sight than one which is used for 7/9ths of a game – and if the attendances are already in decline off the back of six straight losses then what good is turning up to watch a formless team who has nothing left to play for, against a team battling relegation with a steely manager and a capable squad?
These factors are why I’m tipping Cardiff for three points at St. James’ Park tomorrow – if I’m right then Magpies fans will wish they’d never gone anyway, let alone for the first 69 minutes.