Saturday, 31 October 2009

Grounds for divorce

As the wonderfully talented Mr Guy Garvey once intoned:-

I've been working on a cocktail called Grounds for Divorce
Polishing a compass that I hold in my sleeve
Doubt comes in on sticks but then he kicks like a horse

And that just about perfectly sums up my feelings towards the current events at NE1 4ST. The comedy club lurches from shambles to shameful, getting deeper on a daily basis into what has become lunacy. A few examples that have stopped me from blogging recently:

1. Chris Hughton. A man who has only ever been guilty of being in the right place at the right time. He must have a yoyo like piece of elastic leading too the managers chair. He's been interim manager on three occasions, and then just as he starts a four game win less streak, he gets rewarded with a permanent contract.

2. Keegan's court case. So much muck has been thrown at the current owner that I had the feeling that some of it must stick. I was wrong; it all stuck - every last fleck. From foisting a player that the manager didn't want (and advising him to watch him on YouTube), through to lying to the fans and press about Keegan having the final say in terms of the playing personnel. Its bad enough being glib enough to lie to your employees, but also admitting to lying to your 'customers' on a sustained and regular basis shows the utmost contempt.

3. The longest ever proposed sale of a business. It got to the stage that the unedifying hawking sight of the club being pushed around the markets, bazaars and auction houses was becoming as laughable as the proposed price - I was waiting for the eBay joke to become reality. The least surprising news of this week was the news that Ashley was hanging onto his shares for a while longer. I don't doubt that there is a sound business reason for this, getting promoted back to the financial nirvana of the Premiership will see Ashley recoup a lot more of his investment than selling from the second tier.

4. Renaming of St James' Park - Oh, for gawd's sake Ashley STOP IT. The idea of renaming the stadium is senseless and just further antagonises your customer base. The few extra million quid that you may get would just be counter productive... Do you really think that "The Aldi Stadium" or some such like is going to be used by the 45,000 souls who choose to sit in the seats they have purchased every couple of weeks? Its another PR disaster. I'm not usually one for signing petitions - but please have a look at this online petition from the Newcastle United Supporters Trust. I disagree with a number of things that the supporters trust are trying to do (but that's fodder for my next outpouring) but this petition is one that I've happily put my name to.

All of the above (and a whole heap more) have led me to reassess my ongoing commitment to the club that has been such a big part of my life for so long. Picking up on the song, I'm not going to look to divorce myself from NUFC, but I'm having a trial separation. Not been to a game since WBA, turned down a few tickets and didn't even watch a few of the live games (I went to see a ballet instead of watching the Forest game!) I'm still that glutton for punishment though, surreptitiously stalking the latest misdemeanours of the club via the press. It's not a healthy relationship at the moment.