25-04 Swansea (h) protest review statement

Once again Ashleyout.com would like to thank all fans who took part in yesterday’s protests, whether by boycotting the Swansea match, taking part in #StandUpToAshley by showing him the red card in the 34th minute or by protesting at Sports Direct stores.

 

SDNSprotest


It was never truly our intention to protest at all Sports Direct stores listed in our protest announcement. This was a tactic to inconvenience Mike Ashley by forcing him to arrange for extra security measures at all named stores and, evidently, it was successful based on sightings of additional security staff at several of the named shops. Although we would not have stood in the way of protests at other stores, our intention was to have a demonstration outside the Northumberland Street store only. Those that braved the adverse weather conditions succeeded by increasing press coverage of the Ashley Out movement and by showing Mike Ashley that our protests will not be limited to matches in what was only the start of our #AshleyEmbargo campaign, targeting all Mike Ashley’s business interests.

 

The #StandUpToAshley protest also gained extensive press coverage and once again demonstrated to Mike Ashley and the watching world that we will not sit on our hands while he destroys our club. Tens of thousands of fans joined this protest to show their dissatisfaction in the 34th minute of the game by showing Ashley the red card, voicing their frustrations or by simply standing up in defiance.

 

SJP_redcard

 

Our plans to distribute the red cards were not advertised in advance to prevent the club from arranging the additional security that has been put in place at the stadium for previous protests. It is clear that those within Ashley’s regime will not tolerate any criticism, even from the fans who have supported the club long before their arrival and who will support it long after their departure. There were eyewitness accounts of stewards removing cards from fans in the ground and attempts to prevent fans from taking them into the stadium. This is despite the fact that the material was both factual and inoffensive and there being absolutely no legal basis to confiscate these protest materials.

 

Notwithstanding the club’s totalitarian approach, the aim of further highlighting the club’s distinct lack of ambition was achieved. Even with £34m in the bank, the club refused to invest in a competent manager and to strengthen a squad low on numbers and quality to make it fit for purpose. This adds even more weight to the argument that its sole objective is now to exist as a Sports Direct billboard.

 

JC_fanabuse2

 

Furthermore, during the game a remarkable incident took place when John Carver reportedly saw fit to abuse a “fellow fan” once again for questioning his players’ passion. This type of indiscipline and contempt for the club’s supporters has unfortunately been all too common from those representing the club since Ashley’s takeover.

 

Finally it was very heartening to see a large number of empty seats once again, as more and more fans make a clear statement that their support cannot be taken for granted by an owner who doesn’t appear to have the slightest interest in the club’s on-field performance. The ‘official’ attendance given by the club (46,884) was the lowest of the season, although as with the Spurs game the actual number of those who attended was clearly lower.

 

boycottswansea

 

Again, we reiterate that this is just the start. Our plans for future protests will be released in due course, including full details of the #AshleyEmbargo, and we hope that fans will continue to support the campaign by uniting together to achieve one common goal. United we stand, divided we fall.

 

Ashley Out!

 

  • Everything NUFC

    No way should they be allowed to take the flyers, I had one pulled out my hand. I also got the threat of being kicked out because I swore.
    The thing that upsets me about it the most is that I am a wheelchair user
    and they had no right to physically touch me to remove it.
    I wished said steward good luck in draging me nd my wheelchair out of the ground.

    • Paul Wright

      Shocking that mate. White hankies next home game?

      • Nick

        10 for £5 at sports direct

  • Rich Nesbitt

    Is there any contingency to try and find a buyer for the club? He isn’t exactly going to give it away!

    Most important thing at the moment is staying in the prem, then in the summer we need to strengthen, worryingly will Ashley use the protests as an excuse

    We/you may need to create a written statement to be read out at the fans forum meeting, in an ideal world, Ashley would fall in love with the club and make things right with ambition and a squad we could be proud off, but it has to come from him. But we need to make it clear that this is not a personal attack at the man, it is an attack against his actions, and we certainly aren’t threatening him physically. Ideally invite him for a pint!

    Worryingly he could liquidate the club and its assets and we’d be starting again in the northern league division 2

    • Gavlincs

      Pleading to Ashley won’t work. He and his regime are a large part of the problem in their relentless pursuit of profit, they are not a part of any solution. The other problem is that of an alternative which you rightly make reference to. Ashley is a product of the ownership problem in the premier league. The PL is a product designed to make billions in advertising and TV money and exploit fans in the process. In the big scheme of things “liquidation” won’t be as bad as at first glance. It would rid the club of the money men who are not interested in the proud history of the club. a “rebirth” has been achieved at other clubs, AFC Wimbledon and FC United of Manchester (FCUM) but these are maybe issues for further down the line. The objective now is getting rid of Ashley and his regime. I fully support the campaign but I think it confuses fans at times and should seek to unite fans around a single activity instead of letting fans choose, which most choose the soft option. I feel the campaign should have given a clear lead and turned the 34th min protest into a walk out after the showing the red card. Its too easy for fans to keep on turning up and to chose the easy option. Whatever is organised next please give a clear lead around UNITED action.

      • Gary Linney

        Bang on there mate… fastboy mike just grins at us EVERY week (from a safe distance now, I’ve noticed!)… ‘cos he’s getting the munneh, lavly jabbly!! ASHLEY OUT!

    • afos

      He’s been here 8 years so he’s never going to fall in love with the club, and he’s not going to strengthen beyond the point of survival. On the contrary he has stripped the club of its quantitative assets and more worryingly lost its qualitative assets such as fan base like a pissed-up prat loses his wallet.
      I’m ambivalent whether we stay up or not. Staying up is merely prolonging the agony. In match actions are a token gesture but action needs to be taken against SD and its apologists such as NCJ media.

      • Rich Nesbitt

        For me, he may try and sell the club if we go down, but who will buy us? Surely best option is too stay up, hopefully strengthen and then a reputable buyer will come in

        It will take minimum id say off 260m including debt, however is he going to add the money in the bank? Player value? It could be 400m when they can get a less stressful club such as Villa or Everton for half of that, even in the championship it will be a similar amount, certainly more than Villa

        Sorry to be the pessimist and i support @ashleyout 100% however this would be much easier if a buyer was in hand, personally think we need some representatives down in London when the bling boys turn up with there gold plated Bugattis, put the word out, get them to chip in and we can all go home happy

  • mickey667

    I thought the call out was for groups of lads to go to there nearest store? I think certain groups of lads did do that as well.

    Anyway, good to see the protests diversifying. It seems that about 10,000 to 15,000 of us have chosen to permanently boycott the game until he is gone and i thin that is a very good thing, which must translate into season ticket cancelations.

    The way we get him out is to make him understand how serious we are, how determined and how we will not stop until he is gone. As such we need to massively escalate this towards th end of the season. Look forward to new announcements

    • deanzy1

      yep boycott the lot

  • If we survive in the prem, we must not cave in if a couple of new players come in. Ashley has no long term future at this club, he must be made aware that all bridges are burned. He ignored the fans when it suited him and treated us with contempt, it’s now our turn to return the favour.