Since Black & White & Read All Over closed its doors a year ago, I've pretty much stuck to my resolution to confine my rantings about Newcastle Utd to Twitter - but I think circumstances justify breaking the rule and posting a link to this superb (evocative, angry) article by Times scribe George Caulkin, writing in high(ish)-brow football fanzine The Blizzard on the club's "lost soul".
It speaks volumes about the current regime that when local MP Chi Onwurah reached out to make contact with Mike Ashley, she received a terse response asking her not to bother him again. Not only has the club cut itself off from local politicians, it's also cut itself off from the local press, the city as a whole and - most significantly - the supporters.
This afternoon we face West Ham in a game that - depending on Hull's result at home to Man Utd - could see us relegated back to the Championship six years after our last demotion. Relegation would be a catastrophe from which we would seriously struggle to recover - but even if we survive (despite an absolutely appalling run of form that has meant we've been comfortably the worst team in the division for the last three months), Caulkin's article illustrates that there will be no cause for celebration and that even a sense of relief will be empty.
Things have to change.