I don’t care if you have a dog called Shearer, two sons named Tino and Milburn and a tattoo of the Robledo brothers on each arse cheek, if you take your seat inside St.James Park on the 9th of December 2018 you are not a supporter of Newcastle United, you’re a supporter of Mike Ashley.

You will be saying “I’m with Mike.” I cast my vote for your manifesto Mr. Ashley. 11 more years of this please.

You won’t be black and white, you’ll be red and blue.

You might as well start up a chant of “There’s only one Sports Direct! One Sports Direct! Walking along, singing a song, walking in a Mike Ashley wonderland.”

The words that come out of your mouth may very well be: “I’m not boycotting. Not me pal. I support the team! I’ve been going for X (insert figure here) years and I’m not missing the match”But you will be heard by him and the watching billions around the world as saying “I endorse no investment. I enjoy just trying to survive rather than thrive. Not trying in cups year after year is ok by me. I like being lied to. I approve of Sports Direct logos being more important than the club badge. I agree to free advertising and the suppression of millions of pounds of income. I welcome no maintenance of the ground and it falling into disrepair but want new shiny Sports Direct signage installed. I don’t like playing in Europe. I think we can’t compete with smaller clubs. Yes, Brighton and Bournemouth should be massively outspending us. I advocate for the players to have inferior training facilities. I agree that growing our Academy and nurturing local youth is a waste of time and money.”

You almost certainly will have missed a game before because you were on holiday, a wedding or ill. The club is now ill. It needs our help. Newcastle United has a cancer at its heart. A dark tumour slowing killing it. How can you quite literally sit there and do nothing?

Ask yourself why Mike Ashley chooses to own Newcastle United. Ask yourself why the ground has more Sports Direct logos than one of his shops. It’s the audience of billions and the prestige of association with our club and the Premier League that people love to watch across the world.

The reach of the Premier League is now reportedly one billion homes across 189 countries. That’s who he’s interested in. That’s who we need to get our message about what we think of the owner of Sports Direct to. That’s who we want to shame Mike Ashley in front of.

The word ‘boycott’ actually comes from the Irish land war. In the autumn of 1880 people in County Mayo protested against a greedy landlord Captain Charles C. Boycott who had evicted families unfairly. The people in the area all decided to socially ostracise him and not enrich him further by refusing to work on his land.

The organised action taken against him meant that Boycott was unable to hire anyone locally to harvest his crops until he eventually bribed 50 people to do the work from out of the area. These 50 people had to be escorted to and from the land by one thousand policemen and soldiers. This protection ended up costing Boycott far more than the harvest itself was worth.

Boycott left Ireland just a few months later on 1 December 1880, and moved back to the south east of England.

They probably had people saying “It’ll never work” and “what’s the point.” It worked and you will never anything if you do nothing. Are you with Keegan or Wise? Are you with Jonas or Llambias? Are you with Shearer or Charnley. Are you with Newcastle United or Ashley?

Please do not go through the turnstiles for the Wolves game. It’s bigger than 3 points. It’s bigger than this season. It’s bigger than relegation. It’s bigger than keeping Rafa. It’s about who we are.

We’ve had enough and it has to change.

DAVID CROSIER – FOLLOW DAVID ON @CrosierDavid

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