Having been a season ticket holder since the age of 15 and for almost 22 years now I find myself at a crossroads for the first time and debating whether or not I continue to attend St James Park to support my team or to vote with my feet and stay away.
Undoubtedly many of the thousands who regularly attend, and who have done so for many a year, will find themselves with a similar quandary as the love of supporting and watching their team wanes due to thoughts of lack of ambition, investment and they don’t care (Mike Ashley et al) so why should I?
Many of us have had to endure poor seasons and relegation battles, terrible expensive signings who cared nothing for the shirt and the hope of winning a trophy dashed before we could even begin to get excited. However, at the beginning of each season I could at least cling to the hope of winning something due to the fact that those in charge at least made the right noises whether it be through the investment in players, a statement of intent or a plan to at least ensure we gave it a go.
Yes, Football is a business and non-more so than at Newcastle United. This I do not have a problem with and appreciate a well-run club means we do not fall from grace such as the likes of Leeds and Portsmouth in recent years. If football is a business then surely my money for a season ticket is an investment in that business! I do not expect any money in return for my investment nor do I see it as ensuring the business is a success. What I do expect is for my investment to be taken seriously and for the product I am investing in (i.e. the team) to do its utmost to achieve and progress.
How then can we be told, in a roundabout way, that the product we are investing in does not want to win anything (Cups), does not want to qualify for Europe due to the added expense and strain on resources and is happy to achieve mediocrity (Mid-table finish).
Surely in any other business you would withdraw your financial support or perhaps even ask for your money back due to under performance, false advertising or that your money was accepted under false pretences.
There is no winning formula, no guarantees with my investment but am I mad for just wanting my investment to fill me with hope? It that really too much to ask for?
No doubt we will be fed with press releases of a squad overall, significant investment or even a change in manager before ticket renewals are due to ensure our loyalty and positive outlook remain intact.
I may well renew, I love supporting my team, but I, like many others, will be thinking long and hard in the coming month that’s for sure.