Ashley Boycott Called Off!

Thursday (yesterday) saw the Newcastle v Wolves boycott called off by The Magpie Group.

Image result for Newcastle Ashley

In their official statement/press release (see below), they said that with this week’s speculation regarding a potential takeover of the club, they were calling off Sundays boycott, as well as all other matchday protests at St James Park.

The press release stating: ‘Our decision is also intended to preclude Keith Bishop Associates from laying the blame at the door of supporters if a sale does not come to pass.’

Regardless of the Newcastle v Wolves boycott being called off, this will be yet another home match where it won’t be sold out, none of the eight games so far have been full.

Friday morning sees the official Newcastle United ticketing site showing over two thousand ticket still unsold.

Maybe more surprisingly, Wolves are also struggling to sell out their allocation.

On Friday morning they still have a small number of tickets unsold and whilst bringing over 3,000 fans is a decent show regardless, especially with it being Sunday and live on TV, it is still a surprise with them just getting back into the Premier League. Two seasons ago in the Championship they easily sold out when coming to St James Park and watching their team win 2-0, in the game that eventually led to Jonjo Shelvey being banned.

Despite the recent excellent form (NUFC fifth best recent form in Premier League over last six games), Newcastle fans are still unhappy with the deep (or not so deep!) underlying problems at the club and until Mike Ashley goes, I doubt we will see many more sold out matches at St James Park.

This image from the official NUFC ticketing site shows where tickets are still unsold and as you can see, you can still buy tickets in pretty much every part of St James Park (green areas).

Whilst The Magpie Group have called off the boycott from their perspective, it will be interesting to see if many/any season ticket holders still give the game a miss.

Thursday 6 December 2018:

The Magpie Group statement:

In light of recent developments concerning a potential takeover of the club in the very near future, members of The Magpie Group have taken the opportunity to re-evaluate its proposed boycott of Newcastle United’s home game against Wolverhampton Wanderers this Sunday.

After careful consideration, and following consultation with a number of Newcastle fans across the divide, we have decided to postpone the boycott to a later date; a provisional date has been set for United’s home game against Huddersfield Town in February.

This decision has not been taken lightly and was made in response to Mike Ashley’s appearance on Sky News on Monday night and further revelations in the media since.

Although we continue to have very deep reservations about Mike Ashley’s resolve to sell Newcastle United Football Club, we understand that any protest activity which could have a negative implication on Sunday’s result could jeopardise the potential sale of the Club.

Alongside this, we will be suspending all protest activity at Newcastle United games until after the closure of the January transfer window.

This suspension period is designed to allow Mike Ashley and any potential investors a clear run at reaching a deal, an outcome which, needless to say, provided the stimulus for the inception of The Magpie Group in the first place.

If a takeover has not been completed by the end of this period, then protest activity will resume at the away game against Tottenham Hotspur in early February.

Whilst this is the official position of The Magpie Group, we fully recognise and support the right of individuals and groups to protest on Sunday if they wish to do so. Indeed, individual members of the Group are proceeding with their own plans to boycott the game.

Further to this, protest activity aimed at Mike Ashley and his retail interests will continue, and will not cease until the sale of the club has been agreed. To this end, we will continue to work with members of the London Magpie Group, who have done excellent work in trooping the colours and preserving the integrity of Newcastle United fans in the capital recently.

As the Newcastle fanbase keenly observes developments over the next few days and weeks, we truly hope that this is not another false dawn and that, this time, Mike Ashley genuinely wants to sell.

We also hope that any potential sale will be a true “clean break”, and that all ties between the Club and Mike Ashley’s retail outlets will be severed upon its completion.

If Newcastle United Football Club is subjected to similar circumstances to Rangers Football Club, then The Magpie Group and the London Magpie Group will be left with no choice but to continue targeting Mike Ashley, his retail interests, and his known associates.