Disgruntled Newcastle fans are planning a walkout at the Magpies' last home game of the season on the 60-minute mark.
The act of defiance will be in protest of Alan Pardew and the club's hierarchy, who have overseen a dramatic loss of form since selling Yohan Cabaye in January. Prominent supporters on fan site NUFC.com revealed the raw emotion behind an idea that could dramatically affect Saturday's tie with Cardiff, per Jason Mellor of the Daily Star:
Given the team's current rate of implosion, even sticking around for an hour might be beyond the call of duty.
The lack of unity is glaringly evident and mirrors the fractured relationship between manager and fans. There's a clear need for a figurehead at this club to restore some self-respect, organisation and belief. That man is not Alan Pardew.
Newcastle have won three of 14 Premier League matches since Cabaye was offloaded to Paris Saint-Germain for £20 million, per WhoScored.com. He scored a brace in his final appearance at West Ham, but Newcastle have only netted more than a single goal once in the fixtures since.
A run of six straight defeats ensures the Tyneside club currently sit bottom of the Premier League form guide. It's a stark loss of quality when considering the side's output before 2014 arrived. Newcastle won seven of 10 matches throughout November and December, but they are suffering now that the club have failed to replace the sorely missed Frenchman.
Rob Lee, who spent a decade patrolling Newcastle's centre, believes the well-supported club are currently regressing, as reported in Mellor's article.
"If you can see your club progressing, fine, but they can see no progress whatsoever. They can see the club going backwards," said Lee. He also labels the current crop "relegation material" and believes "no one knows what's going on," calling the club "shambolic."
Regrettably for supporters who wish to see Pardew sacked, he signed a monstrous eight-year contract in 2012, keeping him in place until 2020, per BBC Sport. A severance package at this stage is likely to be costly, especially considering the deal doesn't include a "break clause," as noted by Charles Sale of the Daily Mail.
Indeed, owner Mike Ashley would need to pay Pardew between £8.5 million-£9 million if he is dismissed at the end of the season, according to Sale's figures from 2013. Ironically, this kind of expenditure would likely affect the amount Newcastle could spend on replacing Cabaye.
Whether or not Saturday's planned walkout goes ahead, it's clear there are many problems at the club. Newcastle should be among England's elite, not continuously flitting between mid-table and the bottom half. Major changes need to be made.
Committing to a prolonged Pardew tenure is turning out to be the major mistake many predicted two years ago. Although the 52-year-old doesn't have the support of the fans, he appears to have the backing of the owner and possesses more than enough time to improve Newcastle's fortunes.
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