From having too few letters to run a letters page, we’ve jumped to having too many to publish. This week’s Pieces of Hate on Geordie Bashing brought a phenomenal response and we’ve printed a few of the best responses here. We’ve also got a link to a football comic on the basis that it’s charmingly done and because he asked nicely. If you’ve done something that you think warrants a wider audience, drop us a line and if it’s not brutally offensive or libellous, we might link you up.
I FEEL STUPID FOR RENEWING MY SEASON TICKET
Thank you for writing about Newcastle United fans. Something from someone who knows us instead of regurgitating pathetic stereotypes is hugely helpful. One thing I don’t think is well-understood outside Tyneside is that supporting NUFC, for many, has little to do with football
Often going to the match is an, admittedly strange, way of expressing pride in our beautiful city, enjoying being part of that celebration with other like-minded people and the possibility of something good to come.
It’s about togetherness and humour – and hope. We may not have won a cup for decades but maybe Geordie, maybe next year…
We’re mocked by swathes of the country and sneering journalists for that hope. Apparently we don’t deserve it. It’s exaggerated into inflated sense of our own worth and an ‘expectation’ of success, which is simply a myth. After decades with no success, we have no expectation but the expectation of disappointment.
We’re not unique in that, fans up and down the country know the feeling, but what is happening at St James’ Park is a football club being stripped of its purpose. It’s now a business, not a football club. Cold and unemotional, it no longer reflects the pride and hope that was once felt from stands that have remained full against all the odds. A loveless marriage.
What we’re seeing now, the fan protests about the way the club is being run, is not us being demanding, it’s more like a wounded animal desperately flailing and hitting out. I just hope the wound’s not fatal. I worry that it might be. Too many people I know have walked away.
I feel stupid for renewing my season ticket. Not angry, stupid. Like I keep going back to an ex who I know will never change and doesn’t care about me. We are utterly unappreciated.
It’s certainly nothing to do with where anybody involved in this unholy mess was born. Newbiggin Hall or New Guinea, it’s meaningless. Our heroes and cult heroes, on the pitch and in the dugout, have always been from around the country and around the world.
The Newcastle United fans portrayed by some of the media and the inevitable phone-in idiots bear no relation to me, or my family and friends. It feels like we’re being beaten when we’re already very on the floor.
PRIDE IN THE CITY
I enjoyed your piece on Geordie Haters. One other thing worth noting about Newcastle United and its fans is that Newcastle is probably the most civically proud place in the country. You will never hear a Geordie, even an expat one like me, say that they think the place is shit and they’re glad to be away from it.
NUFC is the most visible beacon for the city. There’s lots of other stuff going on in Newcastle but none of it is anywhere near as visible to the rest of the country and the world as the club. Because of this it is more important that NUFC reflects the best of the Geordie nation. It must embody our values and personality traits – hard work, fairness, and old-fashioned gentlemanly spirit (we fucking hate divers, even our own), civic pride, fight, charisma and charm. Sir Bobby Robson as a manager embodied all of this in spades and we loved him for it. So did Keegan and his team (first time around!).
Other tribes would have handled the many debacles that have befallen our club with far less anguish, and probably far more empty seats. I find it massively encouraging that our stadium is still full and that the fans still care enough to moan. It means that the Geordie flame still burns bright and there is hope for a resurrection. If Ashley ever managed to snuff that out it would have a damaging impact on the city way beyond some lads kicking a football about on a Saturday afternoon.
SWANSEA FANS ARE WITH YOU
I felt compelled to tell you that I completely agree with the anti-Geordie bashing piece. I’ve been to St James’ Park as an away fan twice this season – once for Newcastle v QPR, and once later in the season for Newcastle v Swansea – and the change in atmosphere was tangible: the advertisements that punctuate highlights on the big screen were more noticeable, the “Sports Direct” banners vastly outnumbering any club ones even more ridiculous than before.
In the 34th minute of the Swansea game, a significant majority of Newcastle fans stood up to “show Mike Ashley the red card”. Swansea fans had been jesting thus far, singing “there’s only one Mike Ashley” in the typically schadenfreude fashion you allude to. But after this moment, a common antipathy was realised – money and mismanagement had been the bane of Jacks not too long ago.
The bitter neutrals that laugh at Newcastle just haven’t thought through what aggravates their fans so much. “It’s the hope that kills you” goes the cliche; Ashley has crushed ambition and replaced it with apathetic financial pragmatism. That isn’t football. Even Abramovic, accused of using Chelsea as some sort of cathartic PR stunt, fell in love with the club.
Away fans should stand with Geordies, not chastise them. If not for empathy, in the hope that, were their hope to be taken away in the future, they’ll have neutrals standing with them too.
I’m not looking for a plug on the site (Ed’s Note: We needed to fill space, I fancy going for a pint) or anything like that but if you do read it and enjoy it then if you could pass it on to other people who might also like it then that would be fantastic.
Thanks and keep up the good work. The new site is excellent and I especially like the reader mail section, which is pretty unique amongst the more popular football sites.
This email could have been both shorter and sweeter couldn’t it?
If you’ve got something to get off your chest, then come here and let it all out. We don’t have comment boxes because we’ve never seen one yet that wasn’t throbbing with absolute weapons, gleefully covering themselves in bile and hatred like it was some kind of twisted Ibiza foam party for utter bastards. Write to us: [email protected]