We will all be able to look back and laugh at this, won’t we…?

The eleven and a half year reign of Mike Ashley coming to an end.

Mike Ashley says he is close to selling up, Newcastle fans halt their protests so the sale isn’t interfered with, what could possibly go wrong?

Some people have claimed that if this is just yet another case of Mike Ashley having a laugh at the supporters’ expense, there will be a never seen before anger unleashed.

Would that really be the case though?

Far more likely is that there would simply be the most severe kind of protest, the silent type, where thousands more Newcastle fans would simply walk away. With many of them likely to not come back, whatever happens in the future.

If Mike Ashley’s only motivation for the Sky News interview was to try and get through another transfer window, it will be a short-lived feeling of success.

The NUFC owner has had a very good run at it, got a lot of benefits and extra money thanks to his ownership of the club, as it has helped his retail empire expand time after time.

However, Newcastle fans are sick of poor football and zero ambition.

Tens of thousands are still clinging on because they want to support Rafa Benitez and this team, as well as the club, but this is increasingly fragile and primed for collapse if anything changes. Such as Mike Ashley staying and/or Rafa Benitez going.

There won’t be riots in the streets if Mike Ashley is messing us all around once more, instead it will be the St James Park crowd fading away.

Even with Rafa Benitez still here, not a single home match has sold out so far, you don’t need a season ticket if you want to go to the match anymore, just turn up on the day and you’ll get in.

The sense of occasion is rapidly fading and having a season (or more…) where battling simply to stay up is the only goal, only really means something when it is a kickstarter towards better things.

If Mike Ashley doesn’t sell up, you are looking at a club where fans will simply be saying, in ever-increasing numbers, ‘what is the point’?

St James Park won’t empty in one stroke but once the decline picks up speed, not much will be able to turn it around.

Imagining life still WITH Mike Ashley at Newcastle in 2019 and beyond is becoming even more difficult to imagine or accept.

Mike Ashley has ensured that this is even more the case with his raising expectations Sky News interview, claiming a sale of the club is set to go ahead shortly, or indeed very shortly.

Surely this has to be it, hasn’t it?



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Jim Robertson