Most of you that have followed me on Twitter, Big Soccer, or Reddit know that I have advised time and patience with the ownership. I repeatedly stated that I was convinced that Hackworth was the issue. With a competent manager, I was convinced this team would finally find its footing.
I was wrong.
This season has been the worst to date. I understand the injuries and suspensions have piled up. We are scrapping the very bottom of this team just to name an 18 for match day. However, this is part of the problem. Why are we paying a keeper $500k instead of investing in-depth?
Ladies and gentlemen, I have had enough. I am officially on the bandwagon calling for this team to be sold.
Nick is a popular target for the frustrations of ZOLO fans. I used to defend him, but I just can’t anymore. His snarky, holier-than-thou comments have done nothing to endear him to the fans.
Look, I will openly admit I defended the Rais signing and was a major apologist of his for month. I thought it was unfair to judge a guy based off one high-profile mistake and that his international form warranted time here. However, the move has not panned out, and Nick needs to take the blame for this. With the money we have invested in Rais, we could have signed a left back, a defensive midfielder, AND a winger. We could have actual depth who could be stepping in right now.
Instead of addressing areas of need, Nick Sak has signed two keepers (Oka Nikolov and Rais MBolhi) in two successive years. Despite this, Nick will never admit he was wrong. Why does he refuse to acknowledge that he made these deals and other deals? Where is his humility and willingness to acknowledge his mistakes?
It’s bigger than Nick
Like I said, Nick is the target of our frustrations and rightfully so. However, these issues go far beyond him. If the owners buy out Nick’s stake tomorrow and let him walk, we still have deep structural issues. Where is the investment and backing the Union needs?
Hell, where is the coaching staff? I pointed out in the off-season that Curtin needed support if they wanted him to succeed. They brought in a goalkeeping coach that was already with the team and members of the youth academy. We are still one of the most understaffed teams in the league. Is it any wonder Curtin is floundering when you fail to provide him the support he needs to flourish?
More importantly, where is the plan for this team? For years now, the team has signed players willy-nilly without a plan of how they will fit into the team. Nogueira was signed as a 10, Maidana as a winger, and Edu as a box-to-box midfielder. None of them play those positions anymore. Vitoria was signed without the foresight that a backline of himself and White would be unable to cope with the speed of this league. It’s mind-boggling how this team never has a plan for how a player will fit into this side.
With that in min, why is there still no general manager for this team? Nick Sak clearly was not doing a good job. Instead, they replace him with Rene Meulensteen as a consultant and Albright in a dual-role as GM and coach. If this team is struggling both on and off the field, why are we not signing someone who can bring a clear plan of action to this team?
Even if Nick leaves tomorrow, we still have a pool of shit to wade through before this team even begins to resemble a decently run club. The owners seem to be happy to settle for cheap investments that turn a profit based off fans who will continue to attend matches whether this team wins or not.
For those of you who may not know, I have a bit of a background as a political organizer, and I aspire to be a full-time community organizer. I hate sitting and whining, and I always seek a pragmatic reaction to a problem. What can we do then?
Newcastle fans just created a new website – AshleyOut.Com – to promote a sell the team movement. The fans provide facts and quotes with sources to legitimize their complaints and to publicize their movement.
Why not do the same with the Union? There are legitimate concerns with the Union. The team once bailed on paying their taxes. The development plan that was attached to the public funding for the stadium has been all but abandoned. The on the field product has been shit for years despite the fact that this league is becoming more profitable and that this team used to lead the league in merchandise sales. A website of our own would go a long way towards legitimizing our concerns and promoting it to fans on the fence and the soccer media within this country. I know I would open my wallet for it.
Beyond that, several more ideas come to mind. We can always rent a billboard by the stadium or fly a plane banner during a match. We can cause a shit storm on social media to the point where any time the Union is mentioned, we make our discontent known. We can begin chants of “Sell the Team,” organize tifos demanding the ownership sell the team, and stage walkouts. There really is no limit to what we can do so long as people decide to take action.
We need a change. Sitting here and complaining won’t change anything. Taking action will.