Fan Letter Hits The Nail On The Head – Ashley Must Take Immediate Action

Mike Ashley is in severe danger of making his biggest mistake he has ever made at Newcastle United – and that’s saying something.

He has got a world-class manager in place at the club yet he still refuses to live up the promises he made to Rafa this summer, and we ended up spending just £12M net on six new players in this summer’s transfer window.

Where has all the money gone at Newcastle?

If Rafa does leave the club, as has been forecast by many pundits for this coming summer, the fans will never forgive the owner, who inevitably will then be forced to sell the club.

The relationship between Ashley and the fans has never been good, mainly because the fans want a top team and Mike only wants good financial records.

Rafa was an immediate hit with the fans, not only because he is a world-class manager, but he wants the same as the fans – success as a football club on the field.

Here is a letter that’s rightly getting a lot of attention today, and it’s been written by fan website NUFC Index by Newcastle fan and freelance journalist Paul Nicholson.

Paul has shown a lot of initiative in getting this letter out – it hits the nail on the head about how fans feel about the current situation between Mike Ashley and Rafa.

Early May – when things looked a lot better at Newcastle

We’ll do anything to try to keep Rafa at Newcastle past next summer.

It’s going to be a somber day indeed if and when Mr. Benitez does leave the club – especially if it’s as soon as next summer.

To get it out to all Newcastle fans everywhere, here is Paul Nicholson’s letter in full.

Dear Mr. Ashley,

I, like many others, am a life-long Newcastle United fan. I have had my season ticket for 40 of my 47 years. When I started going to games, we were a struggling team with no superstars and were a club going nowhere.

We were drifting along in the lower to middle echelons of – what was then – the second division, with an aging stadium and a board of local businessmen who were happy to let the club simply exist.

When Sir John Hall bought the club, we finally thought our time had come. Not our time to win trophies, but our time to finally support a club we could be proud of. He transformed us into a side that everyone up and down the country – if not throughout the footballing world – wanted to watch.

In the end, we won nothing, but during that time every fan looked forward to a weekend. We were excited to go to the games – whether at home, or hundreds of miles away on a cold, wet February Tuesday night.

I have told Sam, my 10-year-old son, all of the stories about our 5-0 win over Manchester United, and Asprilla’s hat-trick in our 3-2 win over Barcelona.

After much coaxing and persuasion, my stories finally wore off on him, and like me, my dad and my grandad before that he became a Newcastle fan.

He got his first season ticket midway through last season’s successful Championship campaign and he loved it. He was excited about this Premier League season, particularly as I had told him that with Rafael Benitez at the helm and promises that had been made, finally, we may return to the days of having a team to be proud of.

Not a trophy-winning, perennial Champions League qualifying team, but one that will win as many games as we don’t and nestle into the Premier League without the constant worry of relegation every year.

I should, of course, have known better.

In Rafa, we have one of the master tacticians in world football. He is a manager that most clubs would beg for. When it comes to the game we all love, he, above all others at our club, should be listened to.

So it mystifies and bemuses me why when he – ”the right man” to lead Newcastle United as you called him during your recent interview – advises you that we need particular players to make us a team able to compete in the Premier League (on the back of promises and assurances that were made to him), he was ignored.

The time to be bold was now. The time to listen to those that know was now. The time to make a footballing statement was now. The time to maintain the growing momentum and feel-good factor was now.

Unfortunately, Mr Ashley, you failed on all levels.

Whether you are wanting to own a club that has a possibility of a good cup run or a European spot in the table or whether you are – as you claimed – actively trying to sell the club, then surely the best way to achieve either would be to have a moderately successful product that would either perform to the best of its ability or look like an attractive proposal for a potential buyer?

My bet, as a fan with a vested interest, is that your interest lies in neither of the above statements.

My personal opinion, for what it’s worth, is that you are happy to see the club plodding along with a minimum of ambition and continue to use the club and particularly the stadium, as a platform to continually promote your Sports Direct brand as an unofficial sponsor, with little to no money being paid to the club for doing so.

You claimed that you will not put a penny more into the club from your own fortune yet if your Sports Direct company were an official sponsor, considering all of the advertising in and around the ground, the sponsorship deal would likely be worth a lot more than the amounts of money you have put into the club already.

For us – the fans – it is heartbreaking.

We have a love for our club which many would say is unrivaled. It is blind loyalty. If we go into one of your sports stores and we don’t like the items you are selling we can just shop elsewhere. With Newcastle United, we do not have that luxury. You know that, and you exploit that.

We all watched your interview on Sky. We all hoped we would finally get a chance to hear you answer questions that fans have long been asking. Unfortunately, all we got was a stage-managed monologue of Mike Ashley.

We didn’t want to watch a performance that told us nothing a friendly chat with a friend and stablemate, who was never going to ask a hard-hitting question that might be difficult for you to answer or put you on the spot.

I have gone full circle in my time as a fan. We have had our fleeting moment, our flirtation with success. We are now back to the ambitionless, struggling side, just ticking over, without ever making an effort to better themselves.

Rather than pleading you case through Sky and playing to a national media that, on the whole, enjoys nothing more than reporting on and ridiculing the soap opera that is Newcastle United – particularly when things are inevitably going wrong – make yourself available to speak to me, or fans like me, or the local journalists at the Chronicle, who will ask the questions that need answering.

Speak to someone who will at least try to hold you to account on your broken promises and admitted mistakes – the biggest of which you may have just made this summer.

I would gladly speak to you, listen to you, and have an open mind about anything you, Mr Charnley, Mr Barnes et al, had to say.

Failing that local journalists, who by representing the fans, the club actually means something – would also relish the opportunity to sit down and put our concerns to you. I suspect you will not, but you would – if not get everyone on your side – instantly gain a modicum of respect from the 52,000 fans that pay to see the team you own every week, and the hundreds of thousands that support it from afar.

Failure to do something could result in the anarchy that arose a few years ago, except if Rafa were to leave, it would be ten-fold.

The fans are the lifeblood of this football club. We don’t own it. We don’t buy players. We don’t seek sponsorship deals. But we do keep it alive.

Without the fans, this club would be nothing. It would not exist. We have been taken for granted for too long. Your lack of communication with the regional press, and failure to acknowledge our concerns is a dismissal of our importance to the club in your eyes.

But you should remember:

WE are the reason Rafa decided to stay at the club.

WE are the reason the ground was full week after week in the Championship.

WE are the reason that the club makes so much money from shirt and other merchandise sales.

WE are the reason that you can rely on high season ticket sales year upon year.

WE are the reason there is a Newcastle United at all.

But be aware: WE are also the reason that the whole club could fall apart.

I realise that you are not likely to read this – or even know that this letter exists – but if, by chance, you do, I urge you to put things right.

Put in writing to Rafa that you will back him unconditionally in January. Speak to people that matter to the fans.

Comments welcome.

79 comments so far

  • Bambams

    Sep 4, 2017 at 1:24 PM

    Comment #1

    Only problem is Ash is so thick skinned and won’t give a jot !

    He apologises for his wrongdoings but we all know he did not sincerely mean it. Just scripted words with no intent to make amends.

    He runs the show and wants us all to know it….

  • cyprus

    Sep 4, 2017 at 1:25 PM

    Comment #2

    Window shut, stock taking time:

    Keepers, we’re OK.

    FBs, yedlin and the new guy, we’re OK. On the left, Dummett and Mbemba, we’re OK.

    CBs, three very good ones and Mbemba too. You guessed: we’re OK.

    MF, vulnerable but we now have two well coordinated up and coming players. Shelvey a decent sub.

    Wingers: 4 good ones, one vulnerable to injuries. We’re OK.

    CFs: one crazy but talented international. A new very committed one, seems good. One who probably won’t make it in this league but who saved us last year. Logically need one, but we play them like keepers: one at a time.

    You know something? We may be OK.

  • cyprus

    Sep 4, 2017 at 1:27 PM

    Comment #3

    I was hoping for more from that fan’s letter to Ashley.

    No persuasion techniques, full of clichés about the owner.

    It was written for us to read, not the guy it’s addressed to.

  • Ibizatoon

    Sep 4, 2017 at 1:28 PM

    Comment #4

    Cyprus…A limited, but probably fair assessment.

    At what point did the club set the target of “may be ok” though? For me that’s the problem.

    Lessons learned. It’s laughable. The only lesson they have learned is the one Ashley knew from day one. It doesn’t matter, the fans will likely make the excuses for them.

  • Geordie-john

    Sep 4, 2017 at 1:28 PM

    Comment #5


  • Ibizatoon

    Sep 4, 2017 at 1:30 PM

    Comment #6

    Cyrpus…For instance…

    “I would gladly speak to you, listen to you, and have an open mind about anything you, Mr Charnley, Mr Barnes et al, had to say”, I’ll even put on a buffet for you.

  • posada

    Sep 4, 2017 at 1:42 PM

    Comment #7

    Nothing new in the letter.
    Won’t change a thing.

  • kimbo

    Sep 4, 2017 at 1:44 PM

    Comment #8

    Mike Ashley, as the owner of our great club, have the balls to walk onto the pitch with a microphone at the next home game and answer the questions.

    If you do this you have my respect and you have the right to tells us how you will run the club and it will be your way only and no other.

    If the fans don`t like what they hear they then can walk out of the ground and you will know our feelings towards you. It will also give you an idea what an empty stadium will be like due to your actions.

    If Newcastle get relegated it is all down to you, come on Mike show us you are man enough.

  • kimbo

    Sep 4, 2017 at 1:51 PM

    Comment #9

    Mike Ashley if you are really clever bring Rafa on the pitch with you and show us you are both united in the way the club is to be run and let Rafa tell us and the world that he is staying for the next 5 years.

  • firebug666

    Sep 4, 2017 at 1:51 PM

    Comment #10

    It’s a well-written letter, though a tentative step. Maybe he should have included some of the harder questions he want’s answers to and maybe some journalist would have found a way to ask Ashley those questions.

    At the end of the day, we all as fans will be on tender hooks wondering what Ashley will do next, but more importantly what Rafa will do.

    A lot of rubbish in the press is there just to keep the fans on edge, or to try and manipulate them into action that will give them another story.

    We need to hear from Ashley, Charnley and most of all from Rafa, we need to know where we stand, and what the future prospects for the club are, at the moment we have hysteria born out of speculation and fabrication by the press, someone at the club need to come out with the truth and put us in the picture so we can put this to bed and get back to supporting the lads.

    Will we get a statement from the club?

  • kimbo

    Sep 4, 2017 at 1:54 PM

    Comment #11

    NEWCASTLE UNITED WILL NEVER BE DEFEATED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Hail Wor Ashley

    Sep 4, 2017 at 1:57 PM

    Comment #12

    Frankly an embarrassing letter, little based in reality and thus a complete overreaction.

    Only point of note is the SD advertising.

  • bladeuser

    Sep 4, 2017 at 1:58 PM

    Comment #13

    Good points but nothing new but you are dead right on one point fat man will never read your letter

  • magspuggy

    Sep 4, 2017 at 1:58 PM

    Comment #14

    One letter wont make a change and its doubtfull it will even get though to the owner at all. If everyone who supports the club took the time to post one to ashley that would get through to him he could not fail to see that not just season ticket holders either everyone. There has to be hundreds of thousands of us nufc fans across the world if you are unhappy with things at the club write one and post it yourself. Food for thought.

  • Ciaran

    Sep 4, 2017 at 1:59 PM

    Comment #15

    Appealing to Mike Ashley’s sentimental side is like trying to teach a zebra quantum physics, he’s confused at what you’re trying to do and couldn’t apply it even if he wanted to.

    Newcastle fans seem to love the sentimentality that comes with supporting the club, and naturally so. There’s a stoic pride in supporting a club that has won nothing yet they come back time and time again. Which is what makes the phrase “But be aware: WE are also the reason that the whole club could fall apart.” slightly laughable – not because it isn’t theoretically true, but because Newcastle United fans would never, ever do that to the club.

    Mike Ashley could stroll out onto SJP stark naked and take a giant dump in the centre circle whilst giving the 52,000 fans the fingers and he could bet his bottom dollar there’d be 52,000 the very next weekend.

    All of this sounds like a criticism of our fans but it’s not. It is a comment on how the sentimental nature of Newcastle United fans manifests itself in this rather pathetic, pleading, sentimental letter to Mike Ashley – of which a) he won’t bother reading and b) wouldn’t give a f**k even if he did.

    Hitting Mike Ashley financially or convincing him that a successful team will make him more money is the only way we’ll see him get rid or invest, not through this well-intentioned but misguided sentimental drivel.

    As Tsung Tzu once said, if you know your enemy as thyself you need not fear defeat – I’m paraphrasing but you get the gist. What I mean is we need to stop thinking Mike Ashley will ever run the club the way we want to out of his desire to own a successful football club – he doesn’t want that. Rather, we need to convince him that by so doing he will increase his chances of selling the club by increasing sponsorship deals, attracting better players thus making the club a more attractive proposition to investors.

    Until we wrap our heads around this very basic concept we will be stuck in this endless cycle of hope and despair. I know I’ll probably attract a diatribe for daring to say other than “”What a wonderful letter, that’s bound to get Mike Ashley’s attention” but I don’t really give a shit. I’d much rather call it how I see it.

  • ilovetoon8788

    Sep 4, 2017 at 1:59 PM

    Comment #16

    how many such letters had been written the last 5 years?

    it won’t change a thing. move on peeps.

  • Ciaran

    Sep 4, 2017 at 2:04 PM

    Comment #17

    BTW reverting back to Ruddy just because I miss using that name 😉

  • lesh

    Sep 4, 2017 at 2:05 PM

    Comment #18

    We can only hope that the media take the letter seriously and focus on the questions its asking. It may then be a bit big for bullshit Bishop.

    And…..Where has all the money gone at Newcastle? Isn’t it reasonable to assume that any surplus from last summer’s window and the parachute payment will have been used to offset the drastic reduction in income after relegation. That would leave Championship prize and TV money plus player sales revenue to fund this year’s transfer kitty – not a lot.

  • Ibizatoon

    Sep 4, 2017 at 2:06 PM

    Comment #19

    Always be cautious of a Ciaran…

    Long time Ruddy. How’s things?

    Do you not think the business case would have been made to Ashley over the years? I’ve always presumed it’s as simple as the risk doesn’t justify the reward as far as he’s concerned (on purely business reasoning, he may be right).

  • Ruddy Marveaux-lous

    Sep 4, 2017 at 2:06 PM

    Comment #20


    I must agree with you that no statement from the club is perhaps one of the more worrying things about the close of the window. Yes, there have been few statements from any clubs re their respective transfer dealings due to the International Break but some form of statement was necessary I think given the expectations that Rafa clearly had that we’d strengthen.

    His presser later on this week before the weekend’s game will make for interesting viewing/reading though.

  • kimbo

    Sep 4, 2017 at 2:12 PM

    Comment #21

    Newcastle United is a business that has a loyal customer base, shaft the customer base and see what happens, after all the season ticket revenue hardly pays for the running of the club, it is the TV money that keeps it going so why do you think we are on SKY so much? Well we attract large number of viewers, the fans can hurt Ashley in many ways not just boycotting ST James` Park.

  • Ruddy Marveaux-lous

    Sep 4, 2017 at 2:13 PM

    Comment #22


    Long-time no speak mate, things are good, how are the Balearic’s treating you?

    I’d have thought that the business case was likely made to him over the years, but as we can see, the football economy is an ever moving and fluid marketplace. I’ve looked at the likes of Everton, Crystal Palace and more recently Southampton receive their own forms of foreign investment and I would have thought that this would be a more appealing proposition to Mike Ashley – if we believe he has the desire to sell the club (which I doubt). If we concede that he doesn’t want to sell the club then I absolutely see the point of not putting down any further investment, but rather simply let the club exist so he can continue using it as an advertising vehicle.

    I’ve made my peace with the fact that he is unlikely to invest in the club in order to drive forward a possible sale, but my overall point stands in that we need to stop trying to have emotional conversations with Mike Ashley or appealing to his emotional side. Let’s simply argue the business side of things. If he doesn’t budge on that then we need to look at over means which can hurt him financially – and that’s where we get into murky waters of how best to do that due to our fans’ stoic sentimental nature.

  • magspuggy

    Sep 4, 2017 at 2:13 PM

    Comment #23

    Mr M Ashley
    Unit A, Brook Park East, Shirebrook, NG20 8RY, UK.

    Send your letters to the above address i doubt it will make him change his ways but it has to be worth a shot and i would love to see the posties face if he had a couple of hundred thousand to drop off 🙂

  • Ruddy Marveaux-lous

    Sep 4, 2017 at 2:17 PM

    Comment #24


    All PL clubs have an allocated number of games that they must be shown on TV – that’s why you often see dead rubber games like West Brom v Stoke littered in every now and then. All PL clubs get the same amount of TV money regardless of where they finish in the league or how full their stadiums are.

    Cancelling Sky TV is a drop in the ocean. Cancelling your ST is an option not to be taken lightly by many due to the a number of highly emotive factors associated with it.

    At this stage I’d settle for good old fashioned activism though I’m doubtful it would ever take off in Newcastle.

  • Ibizatoon

    Sep 4, 2017 at 2:20 PM

    Comment #25

    Ciaran…It’s the latter part of your comment where I find myself stuck.

    I don’t believe in Ashley or the future under him, nor do I believe that we’re simply stuck with him.

    Do I think it’s right to call on fans to do something is the issue. I believe that’s where the answer lies though, if the fans actually do want to do something.

    You are right though, sentiment is wasted on Ashley.

    Balearics are all good, thank you. Still in London? Hope all’s going well for you.

  • Hooded Claw

    Sep 4, 2017 at 2:21 PM

    Comment #26

    With out the fans he has nowt

  • magspuggy

    Sep 4, 2017 at 2:27 PM

    Comment #27

    Sending a letter has to be a better way to do things than standing in the rain handing out a couple of hundred flyers instead of watching a team you love as fifty thousand walk past you to watch the game that would be soul destroying imho. Fair play for trying but it didnt work then and would not work now. It will take the club to fail and rafa to walk to get the reaction some folk want imho.

  • firebug666

    Sep 4, 2017 at 2:28 PM

    Comment #28


    That fans have a voice in the stadium and can make it work if they become a collective. I fear the murky waters may lie in the direction of Sports Direct. This is the only avenue open to us that will get Mikey’s attention.

    Screaming fans or empty stadium and Ashley won’t even bat an eyelid, but if his Sports Direct baby starts receiving negative press, and shares start to plummet, then Ashley will sit up and take notice. Oh and the fans could always cover up his free advertising in the ground, using their coats bags etc. Not a great statement I know but it’s a start.

  • Ibizatoon

    Sep 4, 2017 at 2:32 PM

    Comment #29

    The other issue with giving up your ST is that there are still people happy to buy them at reduced prices.

    What you end up with is a lot of easier going fans, or fans that will just keep taking anything thrown at them, because that’s what they do. There is a strong argument to be made for the more vocal and upset fans at the ground would let themselves be heard.

    Mind, then all problems on the pitch would be down to those fans, no doubt.

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Sep 4, 2017 at 2:36 PM

    Comment #30

    If anyone intends to write to Ashley, keep your message short and to the point, no one wants to read or will bother to read a long screed. It will probably go straight into the bin, in fact he wouldn’t read it himself but get a minion to do so.

    It will probably be just as effective sending an single sheet in an envelope saying something like ‘support your manager,’ it will be the volume of letters that will have an effect rather than the content.

    I’ll compose mine now.

  • Ruddy Marveaux-lous

    Sep 4, 2017 at 2:36 PM

    Comment #31


    I have never been a fan of simply pointing out a problem. If you recognise a problem, come at it with a solution. For those who recognise Ashley as a problem, my simple question remains: “Ok, so what are we going to do about this problem?” If the response is “Nothing” then I’m afraid you have lost your right to even complain about that problem.

    Otherwise you’re simply playing a waiting game, and after 10 years I find myself tired with waiting. I don’t think our fan base possesses the revolutionary spirit that is required to oust Ashley which is ultimately me admitting that we’re fighting a losing battle. Personally, I wouldn’t trust Ashley to engage with him so the only option I find myself faced with is to wait for him to leave which is frustrating.

    Nope, I am back in Ireland now for the next few years, but had a blast in London. All is well mate, did you have a busy summer season?

  • nufconceandfuturekings

    Sep 4, 2017 at 2:41 PM

    Comment #32

    Wow, heartfelt, full of fury, passion and frustration. Anyone else would give Paul the decency of a response. Unfortunately, we’re talking Ashley here and the, by all accounts, deeply lovable Barnes.

  • kimbo

    Sep 4, 2017 at 2:41 PM

    Comment #33

    Singing Rafa`s name throughout the game was picked by many TV commentators so if we can sing about JD Sports continuously then that will hurt Ashley.

  • Ibizatoon

    Sep 4, 2017 at 2:43 PM

    Comment #34

    Ruddy…Fairly depressing reading, but can’t argue with it. It’s a big part of my problem with blogging these days. You know where the discussion is going and that ultimately people just want to wait it out for the main part.

    More depressing to me is that not many are even willing to discuss options, let alone act on them. Still, I’m much younger than Ashley so we’re winning the waiting battle I suppose.

    Summer has definitely been busy. Looking forward to some down time tbh.

  • Ruddy Marveaux-lous

    Sep 4, 2017 at 2:44 PM

    Comment #35


    The problem with that disdainful approach is that rather than look down on those who are trying with scorn, it would be better to look at how much more can be achieved with a collective movement. The amount of times that I was met by NUFC fans saying “I agree with you but it will make no difference…” – the irony is that if everyone who had said that to me had joined us, we’d have had a movement numbering in the hundreds, if not thousands, yet it is easier to sit on the sidelines and mock those who tried. That’s why I say that I don’t think our fan base has the revolutionary spirit required to achieve results through activism, which as a lifelong activist is disappointing to me.

    But if you think sending a letter will have more of an impact than by all means do so. I’m encouraging of any and all methods being employed so long as they are directed to Ashley to either run the club better or f**k off.


    There’s a huge case to be made for a more vocal and vociferous approach inside the stadium, but then you’d be faced with untruths and myths about how anything other than blind devotion to the team for 90 minutes will cause a defeat. A guy the other day tried to argue that the protest inside the stadium against Hull (Sept 2008) was the reason we got relegated in May 2009!

    That’s the kind of idiocy you’re faced with – yes it’s idiocy for anyone who is in two minds on that point.

  • magspuggy

    Sep 4, 2017 at 2:48 PM

    Comment #36

    Most people in the ground love the club and support the team in spite of ashley i dont know any that support the club because of him. There will always be an owner and there will always be fans who want a ticket to the game. I dont go to every home game but never have a problem gifting my seat to someone who wants to go. Unless at least half the season ticket holder stayed away and did not gift the seat to someone i doubt the owner would even notice. Hes not in newcastle on matchdays so it would take the press to highlight it to him. Very hard to get the numbers if not impossible atm.
    Another way must be found if any chance of a protest to get him take notice is what your after.

  • Pardews Priceless Bulls#*t

    Sep 4, 2017 at 2:48 PM

    Comment #37

    I can’t be the only one to think this could be Mitros breakout season.
    If he can keep his temper in check and stop being silly whilst keeping a good portion of his combative style I see big things for him. He is capable of scoring, we know this, he also holds up play well and gives a decent amount of assists.
    Please tell me I’m not alone here.

  • Ibizatoon

    Sep 4, 2017 at 2:48 PM

    Comment #38


    I seem to remember being told how anti-Ashley posters (a4 sized I believe) would have a negative impact on the players inside the ground.

    Maybe the concern was that we needed bigger posters, to make it easier for the players to read and not distract them too much?

    Personally I’ve always thought that fan unrest towards the owner, finally boiling over into frustration to what we see on the pitch (as nothing constructive is done with the bad feeling towards the owner) would have more of a negative impact on the players.

  • Ruddy Marveaux-lous

    Sep 4, 2017 at 2:51 PM

    Comment #39


    Not sure people feel the same emotional attachment to JD Sports as they do to Rafa but by all means give it a go!


    I’ve grown into a hardened cynic so whilst I find myself frustrated and downbeat about things at times, it is no more than what I’ve expected so it doesn’t impact upon me as much. I fully expect Rafa to leave within the next 12 months, I fully expect an initial reaction from the fans and for that initial reaction to quickly die down followed by stoic acceptance of the continuing status quo when a bog standard patsy is installed in Rafa’s place.

    Makes it all seem a little futile doesn’t it?

  • Slank

    Sep 4, 2017 at 2:52 PM

    Comment #40

    It’s good that a letter has been written, whether it reaches its intended target I have my doubts.

    To the jaundiced this looks like deja vu all over again with perhaps the same outcome as before, sadly.

    It was always said in the old days (I know I was there) that a washing line of eleven black and white stripey shirts would attract a crowd in Newcastle. If Ashley has been told this he need not worry as the stadium will always be full.

    The other thing that was said and it’s still true today that winning games soon wipes away any, if not all, discontent.


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