THE organsisers of the AshleyOut.com campaign believe a ‘strong message’ has been issued to Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley after a ‘very successful’ boycott of Sunday’s game against Tottenham Hotspur.
Thousands of supporters stayed away from the Premier League fixture at St James’s Park in protest at Ashley’s running of the club.
The boycott was backed by the website AshleyOut.com, which is campaigning for Ashley to sell Newcastle.
And the group says the protests surrounding the Spurs game will be just the start.
A statement released by the website said: “AshleyOut.com would like to express its gratitude to Northumbria Police, Newcastle City Council and, most importantly, each and every Newcastle United fan involved for their part in helping to create, promote and organise a very successful boycott and protest on Sunday 19th of April 2015.
“Fans of all generations took the decision to stay away from the home game vs Tottenham Hotspur and thousands also protested loudly and peacefully outside of St James’s Park, all uniting behind one simple message: ‘ASHLEY OUT’.
“The pictures beamed around the world of huge sections of empty seats sent a strong message to Mike Ashley and those watching: the fans of Newcastle United have had enough and are willing to put up a fight and make sacrifices to reclaim their club.
“Reports vary as to the true number of fans who passed through the turnstiles and we will not speculate on this.
“We simply ask everyone to judge for themselves, based on the pictures in this statement, whether the club’s ‘official’ attendance of 47,427 appears legitimate, or if this is yet another clear example of a club lying to its own fans to present itself in a better light?”
AshleyOut.com states it will release its future plans ‘shortly’ so fans can work together to ‘reclaim’ the club.
It added: “It is clear this was a very successful start to what will be a long campaign.
“It has only been two weeks since AshleyOut.com launched and in that time a lot of progress has been made.
“We’ve undoubtedly raised awareness about Mike Ashley’s disastrous ownership of Newcastle United, and this has been reflected by a vast increase in scrutiny from local, national and international media.
“We’ve made an encouraging start to a campaign that aims to empower all Newcastle United fans and to help them do whatever they can to remove Mike Ashley from his position as club owner.
“However, there is obviously much more work to be done.
“Our aim is not to divide supporters of our great club, but rather to unite them to enable us to achieve our objective of removing Mike Ashley from power.
“We are confident that a number of different forms of protests we have planned will allow every disgruntled fan to express their own discontent in ways they will feel comfortable with.”