I supported Newcastle under the previous owners who weren’t popular, and I supported Newcastle under Ashley who is a grade A moron. But I have supported Newcastle United all my life, and I will continue to do that until the day I die.

We all know the human rights record of the Saudis is appalling. Let’s start by saying that. Even if you’re one of those supporters with a Saudi flag in your Twitter bio and filling your fridge with 1892 cans of Stella, you know that publicly executing people is abhorrent. There’s absolutely no getting away from that at all. But can you blame Newcastle supporters for their excitement? Most of them do not care who the owner is, as long as the club is ambitious and the team is playing decent football the fans will be buzzing.

Sixty-eight-year-old Bob from Byker has supported Newcastle since he was two. He was alive when we won our last trophy in the 50s. He’s a working class bloke, he used to work in the shipyards and had to change to working in a supermarket when the they closed. He’s had a season ticket for decades and has never really liked any of the owners. What do you expect sixty-eight-year-old Bob from Byker to do about the new owners?

Expect him to file complaint to the Prince of Saudi Arabia?

Expect him to sit outside the Saudi embassy with his sister in London with a NUFC flag saying not for sale?

Expect him to give up his ticket he has had for 60 years?

It isn’t going to happen. Football is a way of life in Newcastle. Whether you like it or not, or whether you agree with it or not, the everyday supporter does not want to make football political. Hence why the ground was (just about) always full under Ashley and the vast majority of fans stood by him. All they want to see is decent football. This brings me onto seventy-four-year-old Mary from Elswick who has supported Newcastle since she was five. Loves the toon. Mary ran her family bakery for most of her life. She is “disgusted” with the “apparent” behaviour of the Saudis. She cannot believe what she has read over the last few weeks. But she says:

“What has that got to do with me? It’s not going to make me stop supporting Newcastle.”

“A lot of football owners act abysmally. There’d be ‘nen’ football fans if we stopped supporting our clubs due to their owner’s behaviour”.

“All I want to see is club trying to do well. When the Toon does well, the city does well”.

During her 69 years of supporting the club Mary has missed 9 home games. What do you expect her to do about the new owners? I really don’t know the answer, if there is one. The point I am making is this city is built on working class roots. It is built around football and supporters have been shafted for decades upon decades. It’s now looking as though there’ll be some success for our club and people are buoyed. There is absolutely room for criticism of the potential owners. But hasn’t this got to be much wider? The Saudi’s have been involved in sport a lot more of late and they aren’t going away any time soon.

Let Mary and Bob be. Let them enjoy what they’ve been dying to see for yonks and stop attacking paying football fans for having some hope.

Liam Lavery