The last time Newcastle United were relegated from the English first division coincided with the creation of the city’s most popular fanzine The Mag.
After the controversial sale of Paul Gascoigne to Spurs, Mark Jensen, a lifetime Newcastle fan, decided to give the Newcastle fans a voice long before the era of blogs and websites like this one, and he created The Mag.
And now, 20 years later Newcastle have again crashed out of the top division in England, Jensen is ready to see Newcastle’s first home game in the second division since 1993, with Reading due at St. James’ Park.
And it could be that before that first home game owner Mike Ashley could have announced he is staying on Tyneside, and he could even be at the game taking his seat in the Milburn Stand.
And Jensen does see some similarities as Newcastle try to make it a soft landing in the second tier, as they did 20 years ago.
Mark said today:
“I suppose there are similarities to then and now.”
“The Mag was born in 1988, just after we’d sold Gazza and the first game was when he actually came back with Spurs and he was pelted with Mars Bars!”
“That season we got relegated, so I suppose you can blame us for that! But looking back, there was a similar battle going on then when John Hall and his Magpies group were trying to wrestle power from Gordon McKeag and his board.”
“People could see the potential and were encouraged by Hall’s vision. There was a lot of upheaval at that time. Now with the club still not being sold, I think people can see a different vision.”
“This time, while many want the club to have a new owner, there is a call for a manager with time running out in the transfer market.” “This time it is a manager in Alan Shearer and there is a choice that the current owners can still make.
“I think many see Alan Shearer as the man to steady the ship. It would give the fans a credible manager even if the club isn’t sold.”
“And it would also put the focus back on the pitch.”
“The very fact that thousands of fans have renewed their season tickets shows how people still feel about the team.” “And as unhappy as people feel at the moment, it’s about getting behind the 11 players who are pulling on the shirt against Reading.”
“People also have their own pressures in life and going to the match is a release for them.” “So Saturday they will probably be looking to do the same again.” The first issue of the Mag this season is available from the usual vendors on Saturday.”
Mark is so right with what he says at the end of his comments.
That’s a good statement from Mark, and it is measured and mature, in that we have little choice as fans but to get behind the lads.
After all, their performance on Saturday was better than expected, and with good home support, surely the lads can get the win on Saturday against Reading. Reading drew 0-0 at home to Nottingham Forest in their first game last Saturday.
The Newcastle fans (as well as the Newcastle players that are still left) have been put through hell and high water this summer by the controversial Newcastle owner.
And even so, thousands of season tickets have already been sold, and it looks like away fixtures will have their allocations completely sold out, as they were on Saturday at the Hawthorns.
One of the big advantages Newcastle have going for them is their fantastic fan support, whihc is legendary around the world, and we expect the fans to be there in their thousands on Saturday – and all they will want to see is a good display and a win from the lads.
If the players can produce that on Saturday, the fans will be very satisfied indeed with 4 points from our first 2 games.
Then what we’ll need is another win in our next game at home, on the following Wednesday (KO 7:45 pm), against Sheffield Wednesday. 😀
Howay The Lads!!