We are not idiots. The club thinks we are. There can be no other way to explain the publication of last week’s unsigned, unattributed club statement.  To the extent any thought went into it at all, it was written with idiots in mind.

It has been comprehensively dismantled by my TF colleagues: firstly by Alex and Norman on the free podcast, and then by TF’s resident accountant, Andy Trobe, who has gone through the statement forensically, line by line, and assessed the veracity of each sentence against the available accounting and financial evidence.  Andy’s article is sober, balanced and analytical (as you would expect from an accountant) and absolutely damning.  Read it.

As my TF colleagues have already torn the statement itself apart, I don’t propose to add my voice to that.  The point I want to make is that the statement is so witless, so easy to pick apart, so lacking in coherence and substance, that the mere fact it was even published shows the contempt that we are held in by this club.  We are not stupid.  We know that black is not white.  Newcastle supporters are – among other things – accountants, engineers, architects, teachers, lawyers and business owners.  We are a diverse and intelligent collective, and we should be treated as such.

Sadly, the problem is not only with the club.  We constantly hear asinine, throwaway lines in the mainstream media about how football is all that matters “up there”, as if we are all overgrown babies with nothing else in our lives: no livelihoods, no careers, no other interests, living in a cultural wasteland with no redeeming feature other than the southbound A1(M).  It is not always said, but that patronising undercurrent is often present.  Never mind that the North East is home to some of the nation’s most venerable cultural and educational institutions.

In any case, we have never been hermetically sealed off from life south of Scotch Corner.  Some of us have even been known to live abroad and to learn other languages.  We are not, as Al Murray put it, a genetically engineered race of Orc-like people whose sole purpose is to keep the Scots out of England.  We are not all simpletons who like to expose our vast beer bellies on national television.  And we are not idiots.

Our message to the club, and to the media covering Newcastle United and its supporters, should be a straightforward one.  Please treat us with respect, as people with brains, capable of processing information and forming our own independent views on matters which affect our club.  If something is complicated or highly technical, don’t dismiss it as something that supporters could never get their head around.  Please try to simplify it and explain it – without jargon – so that it can be widely understood.  This is exactly what Andy has done in analysing the club’s financial proclamations, and it is what I have tried to do when explaining the various legal developments relating to the proposed takeover.

In this country, we have trial by jury.  Twelve people, selected at random, are trusted to decide whether a person should be deprived of their liberty.  The underlying principle is that average men and women have a degree of basic intelligence, and that, if you give them facts (even complex ones) – and a proper explanation of them – they can form their views accordingly.  This principle has underpinned decisions of life and death for over eight hundred years.  If this basic notion – that people aren’t idiots – is good enough to be a cornerstone of our constitution, it really ought to be good enough for the likes of Lee Charnley and Chris Sutton.  And, for that matter, Steve Bruce, for whom every press conference or post-match interview is an opportunity to insult the intelligence of anyone unfortunate enough to be within earshot.

Basically, we deserve a lot better than the cocktail of thin gruel and broken biscuits that is routinely served up.  Poor performance on the pitch is one thing, but respectful and constructive communication does not depend on that, and should be a bare minimum.

If – in your communication – you cater to idiots, then only idiots will ever take you seriously, and you are not doing the job that you are paid to do.  It is a shame that this obvious truism is disregarded, time and again, by the club’s hierarchy, by large parts of the media, and by the manager of our football club.

YOUSEF HATEM – @yousef_1892