Premier League: fans protest at Newcastle unlikely to move Mike Ashley
Newcastle sat in the Premier League top six in December, but the squad was weakened by a string of injuries and the January departure of star midfielder Yohan Cabaye.
Just two wins in the final 10 games forced the North East club to settle for a 10th place finish and fans vented their frustration at Pardew and Ashley.
Roll on four months and Newcastle's form has not improved and the manner of last week's defeat at Southampton sent the Toon Army scurrying for the protest banners. So much so that fans are planning a huge protest against manager Pardew before Saturday's game against Hull City
Newcastle United supporters are planning to unveil hundreds of banners calling for the sacking of Alan Pardew, the manager, during the game against Hull City on Saturday, in what would be one of the biggest demonstrations of its kind in English football.
As well as printing 200 anti-Pardew banners, the group have also produced 15,000 A4 cards calling for Pardew to be dismissed and are confident that they will be able to take them into the stadium.
The people behind the anonymous Sack Pardew website are responsible for the planning of the demonstration and insist they have all the necessary safety certificates needed to take the banners into St James’ Park.
They have contacted Newcastle City Council and Northumbria Police to signal their intention to stage the protest and have also informed the club of their intentions, but are still waiting for a response.
Although Newcastle’s board could instruct stewards to confiscate the protest material at the turnstiles, the organisers claim that they have been designed in a way that makes them easy to smuggle inside St James’ Park.
“We have 200 banners, similar in size to the ones you saw at Southampton on Saturday, that are currently being completed at printers around the city,” a spokesman told the Newcastle Chronicle. “They are small enough to conceal so we can get them into the stadium, but we don’t want to go down that road.
“We have contacted the club to let them know our plans and are still waiting to hear back from them.
“The Hatem Ben Arfa banner [which had him dressed as Che Guevara over the word ‘hope’] at the Crystal Palace match was ours.
“The club gave us permission as long as it wasn’t offensive and that we had a fire safety certificate, which we have for all 200 banners.
“We have also let the police and council know our plans. We want this to be peaceful and well-organised.”
But previous fans protests - some aimed at Ashley himself have been like water of a ducks back to the billionaire chairman. It seems unlikely on past form that Pardew will get his marching orders after just four or five games - even if Newcastle fail to beat Hull - who are a bogey team anyway having won their last two visits to St James.