A number of Newcastle United fan groups have issued a passionate joint statement against owner Mike Ashley.
The departure of former manager Rafa Benitez in June - coupled with zero incoming transfers and a stalling takeover bid - has left many supporters devastated and increasingly despondent, as the club searches for what will be their seventh permanent managerial appointment during Ashley’s 12 years as owner.
With the club still (presumably) up for sale, interest from the Abu Dhabi based Bin Zayed Group has stalled in recent weeks and it now appears that beleaguered Newcastle fans are willing to up the ante in their efforts to force Ashley out of St James' Park.
The Mag has published a joint statement from a number of protest groups, outlining their intent to, not only unify under one banner, but to boycott their opening Premier League fixture against Arsenal.
Pulling no punches, the statement was loud and clear in its message to Ashley:
“Dear supporters of Newcastle United Football Club,
"If you go to the match this season you are not in the wrong; Mike Ashley is.
"If you boycott televised games you are not in the wrong; Mike Ashley is.
"If you boycott the Arsenal game and St. James Park for the rest of the season you are not in the wrong; Mike Ashley is.
"Ashley is wrong for this club and he is wrong if he thinks he has a future here. He does not give or build, he only knows how to take and throw his weight around. His bottom-line approach will see this club fail. Perhaps not this season nor the next but we will do nothing except circle the bowl and it will be slow, painful and totally needless.
"What we need is a message. Not just to Ashley but also to the Premier League and football as a whole, that this man is toxic. Your brand will be tarnished and your product degraded. The ‘best league in the world’ seeming tolerant of a club existing solely to promote one of the country’s most loathed brands. We need him gone from our club.”
It remains to be seen whether the fans will boycott matches in large numbers after this call to arms; but it is clear that many will be voting with their feet at St James' Park in a desperate bid to force their owner out.
With Ayoze Perez departing for Leicester City last week and no confirmed new signings on the horizon; Newcastle's summer plans are in tatters as they gear up for what could be a long and unhappy season of protest on Tyneside.