Former Premier League striker Stan Collymore has urged the Newcastle United supporters to execute a boycott of the club after Rafael Benitez’s dismissal as manager.
The Spaniard was given his marching orders on Monday, although he won’t officially leave until midnight on Sunday, and Collymore is advising desperate action.
“Mike Ashley has declared war on the Geordie Nation,” he wrote in his column for the Daily Mirror. “Now it’s time for the Toon Army battalions to mobilise and get shot of Newcastle United’s owner before his thirst for revenge takes the famous old club tumbling into the abyss.
“But if Newcastle’s supporters really want to kick Ashley out of St James’ Park then they have got to get organised – and they must get militant. I’m not talking about physical threats. The Geordies have to hit Ashley hard in the only place he feels pain – in the pocket. That means costing him money and forcing him to lose so much face in the world of business that he is left with no option but to sell up. They must boycott the club they love.”
Collymore obviously took this opportunity to unleash his inner poet/Che Guevara. I’m not sure what exactly he means by ‘get militant’, because simply boycotting a football team isn’t exactly militant action. Clearly he’s gotten a bit carried away with the way he’s delivered his message, but he does have a point here. Ashley isn’t interested in anything but business and making money – he certainly doesn’t care about Newcastle’s proud tradition and fanatical fanbase. So if the Magpies faithful really want to drive him out, which they obviously do, then they need to ensure that he loses money. How can they do that? By putting a stop to the 50,000+ attendances week in week out at St James’ Park. If it reaches a situation where St James’ Park is nearly empty for every single home game, then Ashley will certainly feel the brunt of that lack of income. Collymore’s right, that may be the only way to get rid of the Sports Direct tycoon.