The talkSPORT broadcaster claimed that he could imagine Ashley sat in an empty St James Park after a full boycott simply laughing his head off over being the only person in the ground.
“A boycott I don’t think will register with him whatsoever,” said Durham on talkSPORT (16:57, Wednesday, July 24th).
“I can imagine if there was a full boycott at St James Park Darren, and Mike Ashley was the only man in the whole stadium watching the game, he’d be sat there chuckling, laughing his head off.”
The Daily Mirror previously reported that nine separate Newcastle fan groups had come together to announce a boycott of the Magpies’ opening Premier League clash with Arsenal, and highlighted that a number of supporters had previously protested following Rafa Benitez’s exit.
Durham is quick to dismiss the idea that a boycott would work, but what else are Newcastle fans meant to do? If a supporter is so unhappy with the direction of their club, not attending games is the only way to make their point. After all, a drop in ticket sales would hit Ashley right in the pocket. However, you feel it would have to be a prolonged boycott and not just last for one game. This is because Durham’s view on how Ashley would handle a full boycott is quite believable. It’s easy to imagine, Ashley loving the idea of having driven Newcastle’s loyal fanbase away, just for one game, as that’s the type of person he comes across in his rare media appearances. Yet you do feel that if a full boycott happened across multiple games, then Ashley would soon have his smile wiped off his face as supporters not attending would cost him money. The only issue with this idea, is that it’s hard to imagine every Newcastle fan staying away from St James Park for several games. The Magpies’ have a very loyal base, shown by the fact they filled 97.7% of their stadium across their league outings last season, according to Transfermarkt, and not everyone will be a willing boycotter.