Mike Ashley ain't too popular on Tyneside. Many Magpies are extremely critical of his regime and its treatment of the club as an "accountancy exercise" rather than a sporting institution. To highlight this, a group of fans have organised a tongue-in-cheek open top bus parade.
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On Saturday April 5th, prior to the Newcastle United v Manchester United fixture, a cross section of Newcastle fans will hold an open top bus parade through the city centre to 'celebrate' the achievements of the Mike Ashley tenure.
The date is significant not because this fixture used to be a high profile game between two top clubs but because April 5th is the end of the financial year and we want to highlight how Newcastle United appears to be more of an accountancy exercise these days than a football club and sporting institution.
The ironic 'celebration' will show that the club has achieved exactly what it set out to do in its hopelessly limited aim of Premiership survival whilst not taking Cup competitions or European qualification seriously. Amongst a general feeling that Mr Ashley has nothing to contribute to the progression and growth of Newcastle United, fans also want to highlight concerns over the following issues:
- The continued feeling of alienation and exploitation fans feel from the club they love and support.
- Asset stripping; the latest proposed land sale at the Gallowgate End appearing to permanently end any chance of future ground expansion.
- Lack of ambition, direction and investment. Cashing in on our best players, whilst being bottom of the league in team investment over the last 5 years.
- The free advertising enjoyed by Mr Ashley's companies inside St James's Park, which the club have now admitted is seen as an offset to Mr Ashley not charging interest on his non decreasing interest free loan!
- The continued contraction of NUFC Commercial Revenues making the club appear hamstrung at a time when Financial Fair Play rules show that revenues will be crucial for growth under the new regulations.
- The financial 'blackhole' created by MASH Holdings and the questions which arise as to whether fans' money goes towards the benefit of the football club.
- The continued diminishing of the Newcastle United brand and identity.
- The association of the club with morally dubious sponsors.
This 'event' is meant to highlight in a humorous way some very serious points about the running of the club. If you're out and about Newcastle city centre please give us a toot or a wave to show your support. NUFC needs new direction, new leadership and accountability.
On behalf of the invited bus guests - MAOC Committee
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