Newcastle is truly united and the owners are showing one thing that Mike Ashley never understood
The stadium’s previous owner, Mike Ashley, had revealed three months previously plans to rename the stadium in order to increase money; this, as well as calling the stadium The Sports Direct Arena in order to highlight his pitch, were not well received by the supporters.
However, the outrage reached new heights as St James’ Park began to fall off the wall into Barrack Road, letter by letter.
Some supporters even staged a mock funeral to demonstrate what they saw to be the club’s grieving.
The branding stayed off the wall for eight months until sponsors Wonga purchased the naming rights and restored the stadium to its original identity in a clever move.
But, like with a lot of what Ashley did at United, renaming the stadium was a bad idea, and pulling down the writing in such a way was insulting to the club’s heritage, which he was ostensibly in charge of.
After ten years, Ashley has left United, and the club is now controlled by a consortium dedicated to bringing the team back to the top of the Premier League table.
Amanda Staveley, Mehrdad Ghodoussi, Jamie Reuben, and the rest of the Public Investment Fund team are still getting their bearings, but in only a few months, they’ve done more to improve the relationship between supporters and the club than Ashley ever could.
The group has clearly recognized the impact a positive fandom can have, whether it’s bringing back club heroes like Warren Barton or Micky Quinn, accelerating plans to place Alan Shearer’s monument onto club grounds, or just cleaning up the stadium.
The supporters have backed their team wholeheartedly in the previous two sold-out home games, as they have throughout the season, but in recent weeks, St James’ Park has reverted to the ferocious environment it once was under Kevin Keegan or Sir Bobby Robson.
Newcastle fanzine’s Alex Hurst After the win against Aston Villa, True Faith tweeted: “For atmosphere, there is no finer location to watch football in England right now than St James’ Park.”
“I don’t think there’s a more popular collection of owners, coaching staff, or players in England right now than the Newcastle United owners, coaching staff, and players.”
And it’s difficult to disagree with that assertion; every tackle is praised, and every pass is applauded, thanks in large part to the owners’ ability to tap into the fandom.
Yes, they’ve lavished the cash on transfers and hired a well-liked manager, but any team can do that, and not necessarily effectively.
They’ve truly made their mark and rectified the damage created by the previous owner away from the football field – they’ve showed the love and care for the club that the fans only wished to see from Ashley.
Many people have expressed their dissatisfaction with Ashley’s failure to capitalize on such a fervently committed group of followers, who go home and away, come rain or shine, and always support their team.
That is exactly what the new owners are doing.
From social media posts to removing Sports Direct signage to complete support for the women’s team, attending charity events, washing the windows, and reaching out to fan organizations like as Wor Flags.
Fans now feel a part of the club – they believe there are owners with a strategy and a desire to accomplish more than merely survive in the Premier League, and they want to bring fans along for the ride. More than that, they appear to appreciate and respect the club’s history and culture.
Ashley shown a complete lack of knowledge of what matters most to the club a decade ago, and this persisted for another nine years – but in only four months, the new ownership has demonstrated that they understand, and Newcastle is now experiencing the advantages of a really unified team.
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