Newcastle fans urged to protest
Published 20/05/2015 | 11:31
Newcastle fans are being urged to occupy St James' Park after Sunday's final-day clash with West Ham to protest against owner Mike Ashley.
The Magpies head into the final game of the season with their Barclays Premier League future in serious jeopardy after a run of 10 games without a victory.
Supporters, many of whom have answered calls to boycott games in recent weeks, have been asked by the AshleyOut campaign to back head coach John Carver and his players on the pitch for what could prove to be a vital 90 minutes in the club's history - and then make their feelings known after the final whistle.
A statement said: "Whatever the result of the game and the outcome of the 'battle' against relegation, during and following any lap of 'honour' that might or might not take place, we will continue to occupy the ground after the final whistle and we urge all Newcastle United supporters to join us in this form of protest, which has been cleared with Northumbria Police.
"Bring your flags, bring your banners and most importantly bring your voices. Together we will make it clear that enough is enough and demand - on the worldwide platform that is Sky Sports - that Mike Ashley puts the club up for sale with immediate effect to 'a worthy custodian of such a fine football club', which is how he said he judged potential takeover parties when he first took the club off the market in 2008.
"We have no specific protests planned to take place during the game so as not to disrupt the outcome in any way, shape or form. However, once again we encourage all fans to show their displeasure in any way they see fit. You need no permission or direction to protest, this is your club."
Fans have been in open revolt for months since the club failed to appoint a permanent replacement for departed manager Alan Pardew and to strengthen a squad in desperate need of reinforcement in January, and subsequently witnessed its slide down the Premier League table to within two points of the drop zone.
But more significantly, that slump came as Newcastle reported a profit of £18.7million and banked a further £34.1million.
The statement added: "Mike Ashley has made countless decisions that have resulted in a weak, unbalanced, spiritless squad and a manager woefully out of his depth.
"The club now finds itself in another late-season struggle, the third in its last six Premier League campaigns, a fight for Premier League survival which could, and should, have been easily avoided had past lessons been adequately learned."