One of the first things to go by the way side in a dictatorship is the free press. We don't have a free thinking democracy at Newcastle United, what we have is an authoritarian figure who wants to run things exactly his way, and damn anyone who gets in his way. Mike Ashley has reportedly been agitated about the way local newspapers, namely the Chronicle and the Journal, have reported upon the recent Time4Change march last Saturday, and has responded by banning both newspapers from St James' Park. This is a bold move, and is clearly the actions of a man who is feeling the pressure from Newcastle United fans, and is trying desperately to quell the fires of insurrection.
Mike Ashley, where Newcastle United is concerned, has been so used to getting everything his own way. Other than taking to the streets to protest the removal of Kevin Keegan as manager of the club in 2008, Newcastle United fans have taken nearly everything the Fat Controller has aimed at us in the last number of years. Ashley in that time has sacked popular coach Chris Hughton, sold stalwarts Kevin Nolan, Joey Barton and Andy Carroll, renamed the iconic stadium, associated our great club with Wonga as well as admitting that we have next to no interest in European football our silverware any time soon. So needless to say, Ashley quite obviously thinks he can remove freedom of information from the equation and Newcastle United fans will take this lying down too.
I won't focus on the act of banning newspapers too much. Quite clearly Ashley is feeling the pressure and is reacting in the only way he knows how to - badly. However, I want to focus on why exactly Ashley has taken such drastic action. Is it a coincidence that Ashley has banned the newspapers only one week after the fans marched against him? Some claimed that Ashley would take next to no notice of the fans march. If this was the case then why has he taken such childish measures to prevent the newspapers from reporting negatively about him? The truth is, Ashley is rattled. His ivory tower has been shaken and he doesn't like it. What needs to be done is a systematic approach that shows Ashley that no matter what drastic measures he takes, Newcastle United fans will remain resolute and stand against him. His bully boy tactics have no place any more at this club.
Will you stand up for the free press? Will you stand up for your right to express your opinion? Will you stand up for your club?
If you do not like what Ashley is doing, then empower yourself to do something about it. One simple march has rattled Ashley to such a degree that he is banning newspapers. Can you imagine what we may achieve if we consistently and deliberately target him and his tacky Sports Direct shops? Us Newcastle United fans are nowhere near as insignificant as we portray ourselves to be. Stand up and be counted.
What do you think? Is this a panic move from an increasingly under-fire owner? Do you agree with his policy of banning newspapers? Why has he taken such drastic action? I'd love to hear your views.