As Newcastle fans plan to boycott the match against Wolves on the 9th December, I decided to look at whether boycotting games is correct. The idea is to show displeasure at Mike Ashley’s ownership in the wake of his destructive era over the last decade. As a Newcastle United season ticket holder, this is a very big decision as it will mean deserting my team when they need support the most. I looked at both views and what the boycott may or may not achieve.
Is Boycotting Matches the Right Way to Express Displeasure?
Yes: Boycott is the Way to Go
Newcastle fans have had a decade of mismanagement by the owner Mike Ashley and two relegations to compete with. This season, with no wins in ten, it looks set that we could be due our third relegation and fans want to show displeasure. They have held protests before games and at Sports Direct shops but none have affected Mike Ashley and forced him into selling the club.
The idea of the boycott was to create the spectacle for Mr Ashley and show the world their displeasure. It would also affect Newcastle taking in money in terms of food and drink. It may affect sponsors of the club who may be very upset at seeing their team playing in front of an empty St James Park. The club has communicated poorly with fans for ten years and therefore this may affect Mr Ashley financially and may hasten his exit. He has set an unrealistic price tag for the club for many years and this sort of action may see him prepare to lower it.
No: Boycotting Will Have No Impact and May Affect the Team
Some fans are of the opinion that whoever the owner of the side is, they must support the team through good times and bad. They feel that as he has already taken the money for the season tickets and so will not impact him financially. The main sponsor at Newcastle United is Sports Direct and so the sponsors’ argument is out the window. Rafa Benitez has asked for unity and support for the side during this period, stating the players need support. Playing in front of an empty stadium could affect our players and make it easier for Wolves to play with no hostility. It is also a divisive topic and has already started to divide the fanbase when we should be united.
I feel, for myself, boycotting this match may have some impact and therefore I will be seriously considering it. Desperate times mean desperate measures.