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We are all sick and tired of you Mike we cannot wait for you to quit club; protests might not work but fans are right to voice rage.

IT is like Groundhog Day at Newcastle United. That is the best way to describe the way Mike Ashley runs the Magpies.

Everyone who loves the club is just sick and tired of Ashley being in charge. We can't wait to see him go - myself included.

That is why I sympathise with those fans who are trying to take a stand against Ashley and attempt to force some change.

In recent weeks, my social media feed has been filled with Newcastle fans who have really gotten behind the #IFRAFAGOESWEGO movement.

They realise that, in Rafa Benitez, Newcastle have a world-class manager on their hands and he needs to be backed.

Benitez sees the potential of the football club, and he knows that the Magpies could compete for silverware and European football - if the owner puts a bit of investment in.

But every transfer window United fans, and Benitez himself, are left exasperated by the lack of funds being invested.

At the moment, as much as it pains me to say it, I can't see any reason why Rafa would commit his long-term future to Newcastle while Ashley remains the owner.

Aside from the deep affection he has for the fans, which is what will running their club Mick Quinn con-vince him to see out the final year of his deal, there is little to encourage Rafa to stay.

What is the point of being at a club with so much potential if you simply are not allowed to realise it? Window after window, Rafa gets nothing to work with and has to scrape around for bargain signings.

He is targeting survival instead of trophies - and that is no way for a world-class manager to operate.

That's why I fully understand why fans are trying to force Ashley to either move on, or back Rafa.

They recognise that Newcastle risk losing the best manager they have had in a generation - and that is solely because of the owner.

Not only is the #IFRAFAGOESWEGO movement gaining momentum, the newly-formed Magpie Group led a protest outside Sports Direct on Northumberland Street on Saturday.

That shows me that Newcastle fans will not sit idly by and accept how Ashley is running their club.

They are going to take action in the hope it forces change, or possibly quickens Ashley's exit from the club.

Unfortunately I don't see it being successful. I hope I am wrong but, after being owner of Newcastle for more than a decade, I think Ashley does not care about criticism.

Newcastle is his cash cow, and he just appears happy to keep beaming Sports Direct advertisements around the world whenever St James' Park is shown on TV.

It seems his focus is on buying failing high-street shops at the moment, not Newcastle.

I hope I am wrong and that is does force change but, even if it doesn't, I am just pleased to see Newcastle fans are not just sitting on their hands.

Newcastle United is their football club, not Ashley's - and they aren't going to let him forget that.

- if the investment window to remains c v him out year Newcastle fans will not sit idly by and accept how Ashley is running their club Mick Quinn

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Newcastle fans protest against Mike Ashley outside Sports Direct in Northumberland Street on Saturday

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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Aug 15, 2018
Words:554
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