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Supporters Head to St James’s Park For The First Game After Newcastle United’s Takeover

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Roker Ramble: It’s all going wrong up the road, and David Speedie is all about Women’s lib... not

This week’s roundup of football stories unrelated to Sunderland features misogyny, beer and impending implosion!

Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images

Tick Tock Toon

Popcorn sales have gone through the roof on Wearside in the last fortnight as we continue to watch the grim horror show that is everyone’s least favourite clown car club, Newcastle United.

Question is, where to begin?

Well I suppose firstly, the bad news: Steven Roger Bruce is no more. He is no longer hanging round the corridors of St James’ like the ghost of that Alan Shearer missed penalty against us in 2000.

Still, at least it was mutual consent, and he wasn’t given the chop.

However problems still abound on Tyneside; the stone cold fact everyone now hates them; the not-so-hilarious donning of Saudi headwear (alright, tea towels) by a section of support on Sunday; the continuing presence of the Sports Direct signage around the stadium; a rancid performance and defeat to Spurs; a chorus of boos at full time; Jonjo Shelvey being peak Jonjo Shelvey; a scrap between players in the tunnel afterwards and later on Monday Premier League clubs voted for a temporary ban on commercial deals struck with their owners. Ha. Ha.

Newcastle United v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League
It’s never been less yours buddy
Photo by James Gill - Danehouse/Getty Images

Meanwhile the clamour to buy the snake oil being peddled by the owners has reached fever pitch, and everyone’s heads appear to be stuck in the 2030/31 season when they think they’ll be Kings of the World.

Amanda Staveley and co. were clearly enjoying the limelight which comes with what is a minor deal for PIF – call all this publicity a free perk, perhaps. What they might not realise is that this is Newcastle. It’s never normal, and it never ends well. This already has the makings of a tinderbox atmosphere, and it’s absolutely going to go off at some point.

The curious thing of this all is the adoring Newcastle public, Sky Sports telly people and other assorted newspaper word-typers (journalists? you decide but all I’ll say it must be hard banging out copy with pom poms on) give themselves nowhere to go when in the future some actual scrutiny is required, such is the thrall they appear to be in to the new regime. Does Keith Downie realise that slobbering over the glorified bank manager “His Excellency” Al-Rumayyan is a bit... unbecoming? It’s like walking into your local Halifax and calling Sandra behind the counter the same thing.

Speedie exit

David Speedie. The ex-Chelsea and Liverpool striker who many people will know, and whom many people wish they’d never heard of.

Well, this week he’s excelled himself. Appearing on BBC CWR he said there were “too many women doing men’s football and spoiling it a little bit...” before adding, in hope rather than expectation “am I allowed to say that? I’m speaking me mind anyway”.

The answer from the reporter was “not really, no”.

David Speedie Chelsea 1983
Don’t say it... don’t say it... don’t say it. D’oh.
Photo by Trevor Jones/Allsport/Getty Images

In his statement which directly contradicted his on-air comments, Speedie said he has respect for “EVERYONE” in football “in any capacity” and that it was “not his intention at all” to cause offence. Come on pal, what planet are you on? Surely there must have been a little voice in his brain saying “David... David, no David mate you can’t say... No no, David.. ah FFS...”.

How is it that women are still treated with such outrageous disdain and disrespect in football? It will be interesting to see if he is ever invited back on the BBC again... because to do so would be validation of anyone who holds these views. If only discrimination was a lived experience for Speedie.

This isn’t the first time he has been in hot water. Back in 2004, during a sportsman’s dinner in Darlington, he was reported to have used the N-word, as well as another offensive phrase to describe a person of colour. In his reply to the allegations – which he flatly denied – he caused eyebrows to retreat into collective hairlines by saying some of his best friends were “coloured”.

Still don’t know who he is? Aha! He features in this infamous video. Alongside our very own... Gary Bennett. Any excuse to crack this one out.

He was probably a bit unlucky to be sent off, to be fair. Speedie. Not Bennett.

Man gets round in for the entire stadium

Impressive scenes over in Holland during the FC Twente v Willem II match on Sunday, where one fan was pictured carrying 48 beers back to the stands for him and his mates.

23-year old Christiaan Roetgering clearly feeling bold, eschewed help from his mates to get the drinks in. The sight of five trays stacked one on top of the other was quite glorious - if not a little foolhardy, as he was probably balancing a couple of hundred pounds worth of booze in his hands.

Fc Twente v Willem II - Dutch Eredivisie
Pint? Pint? Pint?
Photo by Rico Brouwer/Soccrates/Getty Images

The good news is, our friend made it back in one piece without spilling a drop. Hurrah!

It raises the question though, should we be allowed to drink beer in the stands in England? It’s something currently being considered in Parliament, and it would bring football into line with other sports such as cricket and rugby.

I suppose on one hand it would make the muppet behind you come across as even more annoying, but then again it would certainly help to numb the pain of defeat.


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