By Brian Hall
Tuesday 22 Oct 2013 18:34:00
Browse all Brian Hall articles


Apologies for nicking a Leeds song – never one of my favourite clubs anyway, to say the least – but a pretty good number of NUFC did precisely that on Saturday morning. Marched on Together.

As the dust settles temporarily. And I stress  temporarily,  I just wanted to write a quick report on the peaceful and very successful March which took place in our city against Michael Ashley and all his cohorts, who have tried to demean the name of our club in so many ways.

Obviously, the event itself was the first United warning shot to indicate that We Aint Gonna Work on Ashley’s Farm no more.  Sorry for the self-indulgence there, but I love the song – used to relate to Thatcher in the 80s, though Bob Dylan’s original version is probably better than that of the Specials.

Music al analogies aside, though there were plenty hearty songs breaking out on the March on Saturday, I was extremely proud to join 700-1,000 fellow Mags who made the effort, on a rainy morning, to show their disgust and contempt for the incessant behaviour of Mike Ashley towards our club, our fans, our regional culture.

I was personally impressed by many aspects. Just to gather such a protest, arrange it, co-ordinate it, and make it happen within 5 weeks only was certainly a considerable achievement. That is just for starters. Time4Change stressed it had to be peaceful, but passionate. It was. The range of age groups involved, was quite striking. Children, teenagers, lads and lasses from early 20s well into their pension age. Clearly, all shared one thing. An intense love for a football club which means oh so much to so many people in North East England, and indeed, far beyond.

There were many other impressive elements, too. The response from those watching this impressive parade walk through the capital of our region. Many clapped, shouted words of encouragement, and some joined for a short while before popping off back into shops or the pub. Amongst those who certainly put their hands together in order to clap, included a large group of Liverpool fans arriving in toon for the game itself. After all the March co-ordinators had contactd the Spirit of Shankly group on Merseyside for a start, and had been sent messages of support.

Of course, there was some fun on the way. Baffled tourists wondered what on earth was going on, seemed to think a revolution had started, and took photos with their flash mobiles. Actually, they were witnessing the final push in the rebellion to remove this rather poisonous regime out of Newcastle for good.

One elderly lady waved, and shouted that if she were only 20 years younger, she would be in the thick of the throng!

And I am certainly not going to reveal some of the last minute behind the scenes which occur in every campaign I have ever known. Tiny hint though, something to do with printers not working!

However, on a serious note, the march was praised by many. Those many included Northumbria Police, with whom the organisers had co-ordinated with for some time, people watching in the streets, and last but certainly not least, by many fans with whom I have spoken, after the protest.

Time 4Change certainly set a ball rolling towards the Ashley net – he of Sports Direct, and also owner of a small but very lucrative section of his overall Empire, known as Newcastle United Football Club. I believe that the ball is heading towards his penalty area, and finally, at last, into the net. Lot of work to be done yet – but judging by the people I have came across in this small period of time trying to bring the fans together, I think the final goal will gan in.




Brian Hall


Ps     Obviously, I want to congratulate all in the Time 4 Change movement, from the core organisers all the way to the marchers and people who spent time behind the scenes...........signalling it is finally Time 4 Change.


Tarah again!!!

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