A Personal Note – It’s Only A Game After All

A caution before you read this – I am going to talk about the Sunderland defeat again – so if you have managed to recover from the awful pain of that game, the 5th win in a row by the red and whites – you may not even want to read this – because  it could bring that pain  all flooding back again and you could have a relapse.


sunderland fc emblem

Hopefully some of the pain of our readers has been abated by now – so please try to see the funny side of this.

And for those readers of a serious disposition – this is not meant to be taken seriously.

The game on Sunday was at 11:00 am eastern time over here in the US, and my wife Madeline was at home after she had hand surgery last week, and was still recovering so she was in the house.

Madeline – a Geordie girl who knows nothing at all about football – usually makes sure she is out shopping when the Newcastle games are on – which has proved to be a good strategy over the years.

So after I had watched the game and went through a lot of pain on having to report on how hopeless we were and watching John Carver’s reaction after the game where he looked bewildered, ashamed and unbelieving at the pathetic performance – I ventured downstairs from my study.

It must have been well over an hour since the end of the game.

So here’s how a (very) brief conversation went:

“I suppose they lost again.”

“Yes, they were absolutely hopeless, embarrassing, useless and  terrible.”

“But it’s only a game.”

“You just don’t understand dear.”

Armed with another cup of high caffeine coffee I returned to my study in an attempt to recover and be more upbeat – yes – an almost impossible task.

After all, it was our 4th defeat in a row and the fifth defeat against Sunderland in a row.


My wife Madeline,  as long time readers will know, doesn’t know much about football – in fact that’s a huge overstatement – she knows absolutely nothing about football.

And whenever Newcastle are playing on TV and I’m showing her a great Newcastle goal – she always asks – which team is Newcastle?

The ones in the black and white stripes dear.

And having gone this far – I’m sorry – I should have taken my own advice in that first paragraph – I have to end it now – I’m having a relapse.

Comments welcome.

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75 comments so far

  • Rotonda heights

    Apr 9, 2015 at 5:11 PM

    Comment #1


    You seriously need to get with the programme. I do get a bit tired of the ”royal we” from you at times. You don’t speak for everyone.

    A boycott is the only thing that hasn’t been tried, so what have we got to lose exactly?

    Another 90+ mins of gutless, containing football with a group of demotivated players, half of who have a get me out of here attitude.

    This guy is so right

    roblee7 // Apr 9, 2015 at 4:52 PM

    Ed you seriously need to change your tone one the Ashley Out campaign and the boycott


    NUST and True Faith are supporting it and from the poll, 90% of fans agree with it. Why exactly are you so against it? What else do you think should be done instead? An article on your reasoning here would be much appreciated as I for one am a bit baffled clear negativity towards it without seeing the bigger picture

  • hibbit

    Apr 9, 2015 at 5:19 PM

    Comment #2

    ED i like your blog and like what you do to keep the fans around the world connected but your way off the pulse here ………you need to stop quoting london stories,,,,,,,you need to get back in touch with tyneside and get the true feeling of the fans not some keyboard warrior 5000 miles away

  • SuperShearer

    Apr 9, 2015 at 5:22 PM

    Comment #3

    Be angry at Ashley, be angry at the club, be angry at John Carver…. but don’t take your anger and frustration out on Ed! Seriously the guy provides a free forum for us to talk about something we all love. He’s entitled to his opinion just as much as you are and shouldn’t be reprimanded by you just because his way of expressing himself differs from you. If you don’t like what he has to say no one is forcing you to come here.

  • PennStateToon

    Apr 9, 2015 at 5:26 PM

    Comment #4

    GeordieTwo sorry it’s taken me so long to respond…..As a fan I can clearly see the holes in this team. But as a businessman, I understand Ashley’s rationale behind the way he does things (most of the time). Just because there isn’t a reduction of the loan showing on the books, doesn’t mean he hasn’t viewed these recent profits as chipping away at it. And all the while, by leaving the loan untouched on the books, he drives the selling price of the club up by demanding the value of the club in addition to the 129 mil loan. That’s a smart way to protect his investment. No one can say for sure that when he breaks even, he wont invest to make Newcastle a top club. Would I rather see an owner who would dump tons of money into the club and allow cup runs? Absolutely.Is my patience running thin? Of course, but I don’t see him leaving until he breaks even…no one can say with any certainty what his intentions are. And just want to add there is no right or wrong way to view the situation, just different viewpoints. Not trying to make any enemies on here just nice to talk with other fans. There aren’t many in my area.

  • Belfast

    Apr 9, 2015 at 5:27 PM

    Comment #5

    Well said SuperShearer.

  • lesh

    Apr 9, 2015 at 5:30 PM

    Comment #6


    How long you been visiting this site?

    How many times does Ed have to explain the the ‘we’ he uses refers to him and his son, who tend to co-write the blogs!

  • roblee7

    Apr 9, 2015 at 5:36 PM

    Comment #7

    SuperShearer – I love Ed to bits for creating this blog, its the best blog we could wish for. However, he just seems to be dodging the main news on NUFC at the moment which is ‘how to remove Ashley from the club’. And after all the negative things he says about the way the clubs run, I just find it strange that he doesn’t at least acknowledge that the protest is not about fans not supporting the team, it is about trying to make a start at forcing the parasite out of our club. Something I thought Ed would be in favour of given his continued annoyance at MA. I am not meaning to have a go at Ed,I just think why critisize MA for what seems like years and then when the fans try to do something about it, go against true fans who are trying something to improve our club. And I know everyone has an opinion and all that, but its not like its a minority who want this boycott…see the chronicle poll. Like you say everyone entitled to an opinion and this is my opinion on Ed’s opinion if I am allowed that!

  • MadisonToon

    Apr 9, 2015 at 5:36 PM

    Comment #8

    Lesh –

    I’ve been reading for a while now and this was the first time I’ve seen that explanation – so I greatly appreciate it. I’ve been getting mighty frustrated with that as he is (or rather, they are) certainly in the minority who are against the boycott.

    Easy to bury that frustration when I know that he isn’t trying to speak for ‘we the fans’ and is just speaking as ‘we the writers of the blog’. Thanks for the clarification.

  • roblee7

    Apr 9, 2015 at 5:39 PM

    Comment #9

    SuperShearer…and I wouldn’t stop reading the blog like you suggest just because he has a different opinion

  • Rotonda heights

    Apr 9, 2015 at 5:42 PM

    Comment #10


    don’t get me wrong I have a lot of time for Ed and I agree with a lot of what he says, but he does seem to be having a lot of digs at some genuine people who are trying to do something positive about our current dire situation.

    I don’t get why people like ed knock them for this. It’s not like others are coming up with any alternatives worth listening to and considering. Ashley out has a good ring to it.

  • roblee7

    Apr 9, 2015 at 5:47 PM

    Comment #11

    Exactly rotonda. Fans been moaning for years about Ashley n then when people are trying to do something about it, shoot it down in flames. Doesn’t make sense is all I’m saying. Again, that is my opinion and each to their own

  • SuperShearer

    Apr 9, 2015 at 5:47 PM

    Comment #12

    RobLee & Rotonda – I see both your points and in many ways agree with them but at the end of the day it’s Ed’s blog and he can write whatever he likes.

    The reality is that Ed’s background is in business and it might be he’s looking at the situation and thinking “You know what, protest, boycott, it won’t make a difference, Ashley is the legal owner of NUFC, he can do with it as he pleases and there’s not a lot we can do about it” – he wouldn’t be wrong. It also might be that Ed doesn’t agree with the manner of the protests, so rather than say as much he simply doesn’t cover them, which again is his prerogative.

  • roblee7

    Apr 9, 2015 at 5:49 PM

    Comment #13

    I’d personally support ANY active form of protest against MA. He has made supporting NUFC an absolute misery

  • p

    Apr 9, 2015 at 5:50 PM

    Comment #14

    Yes, all of this is rather divisive which actually suits the club.

    I think a well organized boycott is going to get a significant number of empty seats but no more than say 10-15K. You can call those 35K idiots or whatever you want but they will still go.

    Then what?

    There is no significant reduction in revenue, there is a fair amount of bad publicity (but as they sometimes say in marketing circles any publicity is good publicity) so it won’t hurt SD, so what has been achieved?

    Fans have aired their frustration, club will publicly “sympathize” with them whilst behind the scenes actually be riled by it.

    Then we likely limp to PL survival (though boycotts can’t help that) and they spend the money they were going to spend anyway and this will appease a chunk of the fans that participated in a boycott.

    Even if those players are not world beaters, there will be optimism.

    Then my heart tells me Charver will get the job but, logic tells me that even Mash and LC are that stupid to jeopardize their PL future after next season.

    So, like a new, decent’ish coach comes in and creates more optimism – rightly or wrongly so.

    That is my prediction.

    That said I don’t know why this is so complicated. If you don’t want go and watch the tosh that is being served up, then don’t. But let other people make up their own minds about it.

  • nufconceandfuturekings

    Apr 9, 2015 at 5:51 PM

    Comment #15

    Ah, Ed, the vissitudes of raising one’s head over the parapet! Well said, SuperShearer, and other similar commenters. Thanks, Ed, for you and your son’s work with this blog. I rather like the royal ‘we’. Duh.
    By the way, Madeleine being a Geordie lass…and she has no idea that the Toon is black and white? Stand in the corner, Mrs H!!

  • roblee7

    Apr 9, 2015 at 5:52 PM

    Comment #16

    SuperShearer – Yes he can write what he likes. Doesn’t mean you can’t disagree with what he says or what would be the point in a comments section? If Ed said zero hour contracts are great am I supposed to leave a comment saying ‘yes Ed, totally agree with that, wish I was on one!’?

  • swemag

    Apr 9, 2015 at 5:54 PM

    Comment #17

    Hello Graham Carr,

    Did you ever consider the Mexican league?

    24 year old Argentine striker Dario Benedetto, right age and strong enough for the Premier League. Please also check his Colombian striking partner Darwin Quintero. Together tey would not come cheap, but they would hit the ground running and score goals for sure.


    That is from yesterday when they scored 5 goals together.

    Please buy. Now. You have the money.

  • optimistic prime

    Apr 9, 2015 at 5:55 PM

    Comment #18


    Some of the excuses peddled are laughable. There’s nothing he can do that he already hasn’t.

    He wouldn’t fold the club and even if he did the fans would rebuild it, except those with excuses.

    Winners go out and make things happen losers drown in a sea of excuses, probably made from their own tears.

  • SuperShearer

    Apr 9, 2015 at 5:57 PM

    Comment #19

    @RobLee – you’re not criticising what Ed says, you’re criticising what he doesn’t say. That seems presumptuous to me.

  • roblee7

    Apr 9, 2015 at 5:58 PM

    Comment #20

    SuperShearer – Take it you didn’t read yesterdays articles then?

  • Belfast

    Apr 9, 2015 at 5:59 PM

    Comment #21

    There’s absolutely no chance of 10 ~ 15 thousand empty seats. It’s already been proven in the past that these social media driven things don’t really amount to much.

    Heard the same last season thousands weren’t renewing their season tickets crowds below 40k etc etc

    I wish them well like but I can’t help thinking they’ll be disappointed when they see the crowd for the Spurs game.

  • SuperShearer

    Apr 9, 2015 at 5:59 PM

    Comment #22

    @RobLee – You’ll have to be a little more specific mate.

  • croftus5678

    Apr 9, 2015 at 6:00 PM

    Comment #23

    hmm lets see what we have learnt shall we !

    pards was an avg manager with an avg team who had a lot of injuries and performed avg

    carver is the same but slightly poorer.

    before that was an avg manager and avg players !

    its all been the same under ashley and nothing has changed ! sell our best once decent offers come in but buy young untested in the hope they will be good in 4 years time.

    we will never have a decent squad as every one of our players is for sale and to be replaced with hope rather than established players.

    if we had a top quality 15 players the rest could be filled with these young lads imo even though we have injuries ect as they are just as good as our under avg pro players atm but we have no hope of getting this with ashley in charge imo.

  • roblee7

    Apr 9, 2015 at 6:01 PM

    Comment #24

    He basically said he wont be supporting the protests because the fans need to get behind the team. Nothing to do with Ed being a businessman. And I repeat, I love Ed eternally for this blog! Just don’t get his take on the protests, thats all. Off out now, apologies if no reply

  • Mag52

    Apr 9, 2015 at 6:05 PM

    Comment #25

    I’ve no problems with whatever Ed says. I suspect he sometimes puts out an opinion, tongue in cheek, simply to get a reaction and a discussion going. Good on him. Long may he continue.

  • BandB

    Apr 9, 2015 at 6:06 PM

    Comment #26


    And if there aren’t, you’ll have been right won’t you?

    And you can think “well done me for being right”

    And we can all think, “eeeh, Belfast was right, y’know!”

  • p

    Apr 9, 2015 at 6:09 PM

    Comment #27

    belfast, I understand where you are coming from.

    they reckon only 10% of the fan base is engaged in social media

    that would imply 5K might boycott but I do think this will get broader support.

    no one knows for sure but I think 10-15K is the max and that is not enough.

  • BandB

    Apr 9, 2015 at 6:11 PM

    Comment #28

    There you go Belfast.

    You and p.

    Working hand in hand.

    eeeh! Lovely.

  • optimistic prime

    Apr 9, 2015 at 6:14 PM

    Comment #29

    Only 10% of the fan base is on social media? I don’t buy that for one minute.

    Either way good job it’s on tv radio and all over the papers.

  • nearly

    Apr 9, 2015 at 6:18 PM

    Comment #30

    O P

    you think he wouldn,t fold the club , and if he did the fans would rebuild it ,are you going crazy think about man,people with excuses of support the team first are right as you will find out with the amount who boycott the spurs game ,wont be many,but watch how many will once the team is safe

  • p

    Apr 9, 2015 at 6:22 PM

    Comment #31

    BandB, just giving my opinion. I live too far away to be part of the equation.

    Personally though, if I did live back in Newcastle and had a season ticket I would have stopped it in January.

    You have to get real though, the PL is no long a division of clubs representing their community. It’s a global business that just happens to have fans at the games as a useful component to create atmosphere (well that is the intention).

    That said, I think this is why many people think a boycott is pointless.

    You can call those 40+K defeatists and all that but you know, it’s their money, their life.

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Apr 9, 2015 at 6:24 PM

    Comment #32

    lesh…hasn’t been a while since Ed’s son has co-written anything on here?

    …I seem to remember his name was always mentioned at the articles he wrote/co-wrote!

  • optimistic prime

    Apr 9, 2015 at 6:29 PM

    Comment #33


    What makes you think fans in the ground make any difference to the team?

    What makes you think we’ll get safe? And then why would people only come protest after there safe?

    If people get off there arses now maybe the fat clown will get someone in who knows what there doing with the team.

    Saying get behind the team or they could be relegated is the biggest BS excuse I’ve heard in a long time, jam tomorrow?

    If NUFC go down it will be down to Ashley’s mismanagement of the club, anyone who thinks it’s because the fans didn’t turn up or support them needs their head examined!

  • hibbit

    Apr 9, 2015 at 6:29 PM

    Comment #34

    super shearer take it you have not been out and about in newcastle this week or you would know that feelings are running high……..ed does a great job with the blog and i for one love it but because he lives so far away he dosn’t always have his finger on the pulse he also gets very well payed for all the ads

  • p

    Apr 9, 2015 at 6:32 PM

    Comment #35

    OP- for sure mismanagement of the club has given rise to this situation but you have to concede fans turning against the club, boycotting and all that is very likely to make a bad situation worse?

  • optimistic prime

    Apr 9, 2015 at 6:32 PM

    Comment #36


    What have the people who’ve supported the team for the last 8 years got out of it?
    And what difference has it made to the teams performances?

    Oh ye the teams been brilliant and performed out of it’s skin week after week, oh hang on…..

  • Jail for Ashley

    Apr 9, 2015 at 6:32 PM

    Comment #37

    I’ll echo BandB’s thoughts, it’s like you’re willing this thing to fail, will you be sitting satisfied on Sunday if Jeffrey is on gloating and we hear from bills and his ilk about real fans. Have you donated a small sum to help pay for the banners or council applications or is that somebody elses job.

  • hibbit

    Apr 9, 2015 at 6:33 PM

    Comment #38

    if newcastle get well beaten by liverpool that will have a big impact on any boycott

  • BandB

    Apr 9, 2015 at 6:33 PM

    Comment #39


    I have no problem with your opinion. Stick to your guns.

    The protest could be at best a qualified success, though one never knows what the eventual fall-out from these things will be. Everything that happens changes everything that follows. History changes direction.

    You have been of the view that the answer to the question “what has Ashley ever done for us?” is “quite a lot actually!”

    So it is right that you give him his due, his coin, his tribute. Give unto Caesar. It would be wrong for you to buy into the benefits, as you see them, and complain.

    But others do. Others do nothing but complain. Except when there is a chance to act. Then they complain about that.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Apr 9, 2015 at 6:35 PM

    Comment #40

    With everything there is a breaking point, what has the club done or said to difuse the situation. Nothing, they’ve sent their latest chimp out to blame the Tea lady.


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