What’s Keeping The Fans Away At Newcastle?

Most Newcastle fans would have been surprised that the crowd for game against Stoke of  41,915 was really low, considering the lads have been doing quite well so far this season.

Chris Hughton – attendances down at Newcastle – why?

With the game against Arsenal in the 4th round of the Carling Cup coming up,m we would have though that would draw a big crowd to Newcastle, but we’re not too sure about that at the moment.

What is it that is keeping fans away from St. James’ Park – the Cathedral on the Hill?

Geordie fans were hardly pleased with Mike Ashley’s antics in his first two years of his ownership, but since we were relegated the club seems to have done most things quite well, and we would have expected the fury at Mike to have subsided a little bit.

And with Chris Hughton in charge, we are now seeing headlines made by Newcastle because of their play on the field, such as the amazing win against Chelsea last week or the recent signing of 18 year-old French whiz kid Yven Moyo.

So while it may still be true there is some residual anger at Mike Ashley, it probably has gone down a little, and don’t forget the lads had just come off two amazing away wins before Sunday’s game – so what’s going on?

It’s obviously nothing to panic about, and there were reports in the papers yesterday that the Premier League could have its best attendance records ever this season, and mainly because of the return of the Newcastle United club to the league.

St. James’ Park is still bigger in capacity than the stadiums at Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City, to name but three, and therefore the average crowds at Newcastle are still huge in comparison to the vast majority other clubs.

Blackpool fans will think this article is strange indeed, since the capacity at Bloomfield Road has recently been raised to around 16,000.

And it’s not like Newcastle don’t play good football these days, and it was probably the fact Newcastle were going for the win on Sunday after Stoke drew level at 1-1, which was one big reason we ended up losing the game.

And then there’s Hatem Ben Arfa now at the club, who has to be a big draw – a wonderfully skilled player who wanted to come to Newcastle and knows all about the great history of the Tyneside club, before he even arrived.

Forget about the 4-5-1 formation the team plays, because as Chris says every team tends to play that these days, and  simply because it’s so easy to change the formation when you are attacking – so that’s not the reason – but far too much is made of it, that’s for sure.

We don’t full understand why the crowds are down this season – any ideas?

Comments welcome.

27 comments so far

  • stevt03

    Sep 30, 2010 at 11:03 AM

    Comment #1

    Let’s remeber the Stoke game was not only live on sky, but sky offered sky sports free to all non-subcribing and virgin customers for that Sunday.

  • North Atlantic Magpie

    Sep 30, 2010 at 11:06 AM

    Comment #2

    It’s simply because we lose to bad teams at home all the time. Of course we need to attack at home but we don’t.

  • sweendog

    Sep 30, 2010 at 11:09 AM

    Comment #3

    agreed .. not enough attacking against bottom of the table teams .. shame, although if we chalk up a few wins at home ,playing attacking football the fans will be back..

  • sweendog

    Sep 30, 2010 at 11:14 AM

    Comment #4

    where is lovenkrands .. him .. carrol and arfa on the wings we’ve a direct front 2 with good midfield supply and movement … why not play 4-5-1 with lovenkrands the 5th midfielder .. ie


    Perch – Collo – Willamson – Enrique

    Routledge – Barton – Tiote – Arfa


    There .. 4-5-1 but attacking..

  • Selbymag

    Sep 30, 2010 at 11:17 AM

    Comment #5

    Am i the only one not to be won over by Ben Arfa?

    Perch had not protection from him on Sunday as he comes inside everytime he receives the ball, which is pretty pointless as he has no right foot.

    He either needs to play behind Carroll or wide right so he can cut inside onto his left foot to get a shot off. It takes more than one great goal to make a greate player. Fabrice Pancreate anybody???? Obviously he is not that bad but I feel he is going to frustrate the hell out ff me.

    The free SKy was the main reason for Sundays crowd and Stoke are not a team to get people of their arse and up to Level 7.

    Us season ticket holders just have to grin an bare it I guess.

  • Selbymag

    Sep 30, 2010 at 11:21 AM

    Comment #6

    Although I must say I think Tiote is a class act, looked quality on Sunday. Good positional sense and linked well with Joey.

    Has the ability to tackle whilst standing up, a qauilty which seems to be missing from most players repitoire. You are no use on your backside if you dont win the ball!!

  • OZ2

    Sep 30, 2010 at 11:21 AM

    Comment #7

    If Im right the season ticket sales were down by 8000, that is a lot to recover from in the best of times.

  • Ericles

    Sep 30, 2010 at 11:27 AM

    Comment #8

    The team’s inconsistency is a reflection of the inconsistency of CH. Despite the faith and loyalty NUFC are not cheap to pay to see if all we get is an attittude not to change the team if needs be. I agree – we need Lovenkrands, Ben Arfa, Jonas, and Tiotte as regular stalwarts. Trouble is CH’s lack of entertaining and go for it football are keeping budgeting fans away.

  • OZ2

    Sep 30, 2010 at 11:31 AM

    Comment #9

    Right Ericles,AC was scapping for left overs against Stoke. We have to go 4 4 2 at home .

  • juliogeordio

    Sep 30, 2010 at 11:51 AM

    Comment #10

    Its because of the relegation. If you didn’t renew for last season, its very difficult to then suddenly find the cash these days to jump back in.

    Lets say you have a season ticket for 10 years. It becomes a normal, annual bill – something you find like car tax, Insurance etc. Then suddenly, that cost is saved for a year. that money is instantly absorbed by life – and you are as skint as you were when you were paying for your ticket.

    Add to the mix that your lass is used to you being around more, and perhaps now reliant on your weekend parental availability. Trying to get a new season ticket by her is doubly hard.

    I’ve got mates who’ve took a “year off” – 4-5 seasons ago – they haven’t came back.

    Luckily I get to attend most home games under a business ticket, and might only buy a few… If I couldn’t to that, would I be able to tell wor lass we needed to find £600, I’m not sure it would be possible.

  • Davies

    Sep 30, 2010 at 12:07 PM

    Comment #11

    “It’s simply because we lose to bad teams at home all the time. ”

    We’ve lost twice at home since we got relegated fifteen months ago. Don’t talk sh1te.

    Sign of the times. Tight budgets, Sky offering free days etc…

    Ericles: What do you want from Hughton? His goal this season is to keep us up, and I’m wholeheartedly in favour of that. Irrespective of the amazing job he did for us in the CCC, he’s still learning his trade. While he’s doing that, I’m happy to see less entertainment, more go for it, as long as the results are coming in for us. True, we’ve had two losses at home, but we’ve also had good results against Villa, Wolves, Everton and Chelsea.

    I’d give my right arm to be back up within travelling distance of SJP so I could go to all the home games. If you’re close enough to go*, but don’t because the football isn’t pretty enough, or because we aren’t guaranteed a win, maybe you should pack up and move to London and support Arsenal or Chelsea.

    *I’m not singling anyone out by saying this, particularly NOT Ericles (because I know that he’s been going to watch the toon since before I was born!). It just galls me that there are empty seats and I can’t get to them!!!

  • Davies

    Sep 30, 2010 at 12:09 PM

    Comment #12

    Selbymag – Ben Arfa has great skill, but I think Hughton sees potential in him more than anything else. He’ll develop to pick up those parts of his game that he is lacking at the moment.

  • BeeGuy

    Sep 30, 2010 at 12:11 PM

    Comment #13

    There are two things that improve attendance at sporting events in the USA. A new stadium and winning. Since SJP is not coming down for a suburban sporting complex, it requires putting a few more W’s behind NUFC in the standings. Wins are what make life well at the box office.

  • Sav

    Sep 30, 2010 at 12:12 PM

    Comment #14

    1.Recession and cost.

    2. Ashley’s whole regime has weakened a bond – an unspoken law that the club is ‘owned’ by the city and the fans; that the club ‘cares’. From Llambias the casino manager, odious Dennis Wise, loudmouth JFK, traipsing about the Middle East to flog us, the disrespect shown to icons Sir Bobby, Big Al and KK and to SJP(.com) itself.

    It takes time to heal these things.

    3. Chuck in free Sky TV, counter-attacking at home matches, Stoke City FC and the rapid turnover in personnel over the last 18 months all makes for disenchantment and disenfranchisement.

  • darthkir

    Sep 30, 2010 at 12:16 PM

    Comment #15

    When you aim low, youll only achieve lower. That is what happen with CH. He only aimed to survive this season. That’s why his tactic was so negative. As a result, not only he didnt manage to not to lose, he did lose the games he planned not to lose.

  • Ericles

    Sep 30, 2010 at 12:21 PM

    Comment #16

    What do I want from Hughton? Consistency that is what. It is no good coming out in the local press and stating he is putting out an unchanged team an then changes it. It is no good going and making statements that he will not stick to. I back Hughton because he is a good quality coach but, as you say, he is still learning his trade as a manager. That job has different roles than just coaching. Patience I suppose. Trouble is there is not much money about for football fans these days. I think a lot of us are a little guilty of expecting too much too soon – there is one thing though – we do bounce back well these days. We did not always do that. We can give Man City a run for their inflated pay packets and then get ready to tarnish the hopes of the brylcream boys of north London, eh? I reckon we can win the Carling if we can send arse and all home with nowt.

  • Selbymag

    Sep 30, 2010 at 12:34 PM

    Comment #17

    Beeguy – No offence to our American fans but this is Football not a USA franchised sport.

    This club is in your blood if it was aas you put “Ws” we were bothered about we would all be supporting Chelsea or ManU.

    I understand the economy is putting the bite on attendances. If you have to coose between the Stoke game and possibly Man U or Liverpool at home later in the season its a no brainer!

  • ArtyH

    Sep 30, 2010 at 12:39 PM

    Comment #18

    Sav, you beat me to the point mate. You got it in one!

  • joppadoni

    Sep 30, 2010 at 4:30 PM

    Comment #19

    selby – dunno if anyones mentioned it but id not excpect a left winger to cover a right back defender. ever. jose doesnt need cover, hes the bull after all 🙂

    ben arfa has more dribbling skill than the entire of nufcs footballers put together. think hes a had a decent start. if he hadnt been taken off against stoke for coming in to the middle too much then i think we may have had a different result.

    agreed also guys we need to play full out attacking football at home, we attacked against stoke 4 – 5 – 1 and only a real retard wouldnt have thought about moving to 4 – 4 – 2 after 25 minutes of nothing happening in the box with 90% possession, take from that what you will.


  • geoff777

    Sep 30, 2010 at 4:48 PM

    Comment #20

    Same again … well said Sav.

    I live abroad so can’t get to matches, but I used to subscribe to the NUFC radio and buy a shirt every year.

    Not since Ashley disrespected KK.

    If Ashley wants 52,000 crowds we need better players than Best, Williamson, Perch, Nolan.

    This blog seems to like the idea of spending peanuts and balancing books.

    Businesses don’t balance books … they speculate to accumulate …

    Lose too many more games against the “weaker” teams and even the season ticket holders will be leaving at half time.

    Buy us a few stars Mike or we’ll be out of the league again.

    We always rank in the top twenty of Europe’s richest clubs … do we have a team that reflects this … personally I’d rate our present team as somewhere 100-150th in Europe.

    All due to selling off our best players and buying bargain basement crap.

    Sorry I know this blog loves Ashley, Hughton and not spending money but if you buy crap players your going to end up watching them lose week after week.

    Ashley out.

  • Monument Mal

    Sep 30, 2010 at 5:07 PM

    Comment #21

    Hello, we’re in the middle of a recession

  • Monument Mal

    Sep 30, 2010 at 5:10 PM

    Comment #22

    Even the mighty Manure’s ticket sales are down probably a lot to do with the potato famine in Ireland…they’re on the bones of their arses and in a worse state than us. Airline tickets from Singapore have also shot up in price too

  • Monument Mal

    Sep 30, 2010 at 5:13 PM

    Comment #23

    Selbymag: Wasn’t Wayne Routledge playing in front of Perch down the right flank? King Arfa was in front of Jose.

  • Turkish Magpie

    Sep 30, 2010 at 7:15 PM

    Comment #24

    Vs Man City (a):



    Vs Wigan:




  • moonraker

    Sep 30, 2010 at 9:35 PM

    Comment #25

    I was very surprised by the crowd on Sunday, but it must be a combination of Sky coverage, Stoke crap to watch and the recession.

    Considering the 2 previous results it was still very low, but when Man u are struggling to fill the ground you know their are problems, cos they bus their fans in from all over the country mainly for non-football reasons!!

  • StevieB

    Oct 1, 2010 at 8:27 AM

    Comment #26

    The reason why is simple, people simply can’t afford it. When we play the Scumderland at the end of the month, the club have increased prices by £17 per ticket making the cheapest ticket £42. Its a disgraceful way for the club to repay the fans loyalty. The worlds most loyal fans are suffering more than most financially during the financial crisis yet the club do this. Nothing surprises me anymore at SJP and its about time the club has a reality check.

  • Bao Zheng

    Oct 2, 2010 at 7:28 AM

    Comment #27

    Good comments from Sav and others. Only points I would add is that the all in cost of SJP is becoming prohibitive for most people, and the performance the SJP crowd will have in mind when they decide to watch Stoke was not a win against Chelsea but the last game they watched – the dismal surrender to Blackpool. So don’t expect a big crowd against Wigan.


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