Simon Chadwick, Professor of Sport Business Strategy at Coventry University, believes the psychological and financial damage of relegation can be significant to a football club, and he has talked about the impact of relegation to BBC Sports today.
Chadwick told BBC Sport.
“Relegation affects the psychology and culture of a club, and anybody’s psychology is fragile when they are failing,”
“The onus is on the club to try and adjust the psychology of failure to one of winning. That is a complex thing to do – it’s a major challenge.”
“It’s very easy to say a club should bounce back – if you don’t carefully and skilfully manage a club when it goes down, you can get into a vicious circle.
“Costs are high, revenues are hit, you start dipping into your parachute payments and very suddenly you get caught in a spiral that takes you down and down.”
And Chadwick seems to think that Newcastle may be in some trouble next season, as they may find life in the Championship a lot harder than we may expect. But we don’t think Alan Shearer – or whoever is in charge will have a superiority complex – anything but, as the team has to be very professional, and not like we were last season.
The players we get in will also be those who want to play for the team, and not just because they may be getting high wages on Tyneside.
Newcastle begin the new campaign with a trip to West Brom, who themselves will be looking for immediate promotion from the Championship.
According to accountants Deloitte, Newcastle’s wage bill totalled £74.6m at the end of the 2006/07 season, while the club’s debt at the end of the 2007/08 season stood at £245M, but what it was at the end of last season we don’t know.
Since St James’s Park was expanded to a capacity of 52,387, Newcastle have always been able to get an average attendances of over 50,000 for home matches, and in the good years of Bobby Robson the homes games were nearlyu all sold out.
But over the course of last season crowds dipped to 48,750, but that’s hardly surprising since the team was hopeless and won only 7 games all season but our home gates were still bigger than those of Liverpool FC. But of course Anfield has a capacity of only 45,362 compared to Newcastle’s 52,387.
Chadwick told BBC Sport:
“I think Newcastle are in serious trouble,” “When relegation takes place, revenues fall, and what is particularly significant for Newcastle this season is that their average crowd size has fallen.”
“Clearly the club has a substantial cost base, with very high profile players brought in on big fees and presumably being paid big salaries.”
“So there’s a big concern – you’ve got high costs, potentially falling revenues, debt is clearly an issue, and you’ve got an owner who isn’t particularly well liked.”
“The only salvation could be if we see what happened at Manchester City happen at Newcastle – when City were relegated, average attendances went up.”
“Unless there’s this perverse effect where the local community gets behind their team in relegation and attends games, then I think Newcastle are at the top of a very long slippery slope if they are not careful.”
We should take these comments with a large pich of salt, because in truth the media would just love it if we struggled in the Championship next season – love it.
And the next best thing to it actually happening, is reporting that it may happen.
Yes and Wigan may win the Premier League next season too – no offense to Wigan Athletic – just trying to make a point.
But it’s up to the new management and owners at Newcastle, once we know who they are, to ensure we have more than a decent team next season.
Just imagine what things would be like if we won our first 4 games of the season.
That’s what we’ll be hoping for in August.