Mike Ashley seems to regard Newcastle United as just a business much like any other. His intent is to make it financially viable and he wants to make a profit on his investment. Like many successful businessmen he is autocratic and doesn’t seem to mind who he tramples over to get what he wants. Apart from the questionable business ethic of being ruthless and of having scant regard for one’s customers, in this case the fans, I suppose that is all fair enough but the problem is that a football club is not just any old business. It is more than that. It is the heart and soul of a community. It is an integral part of the local culture and the success or otherwise of the team has a knock on effect on the whole business and social community.

I think that anyone who buys a club, especially a great club like ours, should want to buy into not just the financial aspect but the whole meaning, tradition and ethos of the club. It should be a marriage of love and not just about the money. At present, I feel that the marriage which promised so much has gone sour. The love, if ever it was there, has gone. I feel like singing the Engelbert Humperdinck song. “Please Release Me Let Me Go” and believe me, things must be bad for me to be singing his songs. Mind you, some of our squad have been singing much the same thing this year, Yohan Cabaye being a prime example.

Like any good marriage or, indeed, any partnership there has to be trust, honesty and good communication in order to make it succeed. Alas, we have none of those things. We don’t trust him, he communicates with us only on rare occasions and when he does, he lacks honesty. He treats us like mugs who will put up with anything and, in truth, he doesn’t even regard it as a marriage or a partnership. It is his toy to do with as he pleases irrespective of the sensitivities of the Geordie Nation. We are the kids who have kicked our ball into his garden and he won’t give it back!

Mike Ashley, you have taken part of our hearts and part of our souls and are slowly crushing them. On behalf of our Newcastle United and Northumberland as a whole I say “Please release us, let us go”. If you must own a football club, go and buy one in a part of the world that means something to you. One where you can give and feel the love. Oh, and please take your Cockney Mafia with you!

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