What a week for Newcastle United. The week after loads of appeals, Captain Colo breaking his silence and the supporters getting behind the team to urge them to the first point since February the players reciprocated by doing just that, going behind – at QPR. 

Carver’s response was to impose a media black out, with huge success. Immediately, we had Ryan Taylor’s insights into the feelings in the dressing room, the insights into the uncertainty over a new managerial appointment, how confidence in the camp was shot. 

Monday came and peace broke out, the players having a day off to lick their wounds. The best coach in the world gets his chance to be the best golfer in the world. Surprise surprise, at a charity event raising a quarter of a million, with stars from local sport, national TV, Newcastle’s record goal scorer and the elite of horse racing and golf, there is s media presence. 

Sometimes, the best way to ride a storm is to create another, or at least bring some good news. Carver was to get away with it. 

Monday came and went, Tuesday had a flood of news. Captain Colo, fresh from his sudden media exposure last week, was chosen to model the new shirt, you’ve seen it by now, the one that is black white and blue, yes blue, with the design of a flag of surrender on the back. 

In this, the most professional and organised clubs, with the best coach in the world, has somehow managed to get the wrong sponsor logo on the shirt! Apparently, the loan sharks have rebranded themselves. Perhaps they are going interest free, given the lack of interest on the field at St James’ Park. 

Later in the day, some more news leaks out of St James Park. John Irving, Finance Director, is set to leave the club, in the wake of the most spectacular accounts in the club’s history.
 

Irving has been a low profile figure, at least to all apart from those on the Fans’ Forum. Little is known of him and even less heard since his appointment 7 years ago. Irving is a local lad, educated at Dame Allens and a career path in accountancy. His previous role had been with Proctor and Gamble, and American conglomerate with a presence in the North East. 

His destination, apparently, is to Newcastle Airport, an employer where the club PR guru, Wendy Taylor, herself worked before coming here. 

The PR situation is confusing. More recently, at matches, Lee Charnley has been seen sitting in the Directors’ box with a certain Keith Bishop, himself a notable PR adviser. Any outsider ay put 2 and 2 together. Indeed, Wendy was the subject of some speculative tweets. Has she agreed to follow her former colleague, Alan Pardew, down to Crystal Palace? 

A certain amount of staff turnover is expected, after all Irving has been there for 7 years. Wendy has been there for a few but it is only speculation …. isn’t it? 

The statement comes from the club, they wish Irving well. Those in the know are aware that the man who would be expected to take up the reins from within is a certain Richard Gilroy. But wait, Gilroy has accepted an offer to pursue his career at Manchester City. 

It appears that Ashley and Charnley have some recruitment to do, new Finance Director (although Barry Leach may be available) , a new number 2 to them, a new manager, possibly a new head of PR, not to mention a host of players out of contract or bouncing on from the stepping stone that Newcastle United has become. How easy will that be without the finance man to sort things out?

After boycotting several games recently, perhaps Ashley will be the next to leave? 

In other news, congratulations go to Ashleyout.com for their latest protest idea. This site will not be represented, choosing to maintain the boycott. Older members remember a similar event back in 1978, our penultimate home game being against QPR which sealed our relegation. 

That defeat was also the last home game before the demolition of the old Leazes roof, the intention having been to redevelop but funds were in short supply. For years we were left with an excuse of an end. 

The protest that night was spontaneous, a lone voice starting up a chant of “if you want to keep the Leazes stay behind. The throng joined in. 

In those days, the Leazes was a standing area. There was a great atmosphere, despite relegation one of Geordie defiance. The arrival of police dogs cleared the standing areas and we went home, only to boycott the final game of the season. 

Then we were predominantly male. This time, an all seater stadium will be harder to clear. The more diverse crowd of women and children suggest that politically, the same sort of tactics can not be used. The protest will undoubtedly be peaceful. Best wishes to all those who attend and please make the most of the occasion. For every one of you who stays, you represent the feelings of many.

The referee on Sunday will be Martin Atkinson who refereed the home wins against Chelsea and Leicester. Having been in the top half of the table when we played Chelsea, the Leicester match, back in October, was the last time this season that Atkinson refereed a game where a bottom half team secured a home win.  

Finally, a huge thanks for the deluge of comments from the are we really mad to want Ashley out article, published here yesterday.