fans9Alan Pardew has stated he’ll put a strong side out on Thursday but as well as looking to see who he picks in his first eleven, I’ll be keeping an eye out on the crowd as well.

For whatever reason, I don’t think the Newcastle fanbase as a whole has really embraced European football.

Of course we get respectable crowds compared to most but for some unknown factor it isn’t really truly love.

(To feature like David, send in your letters/articles for the magazine/website to contribute@themag.co.uk)

The league takes priority for most and of course the majority are tied to Premier League matches with their season tickets but for me the Euro crowds have been disappointing down the years.

I know they are midweek matches and of course it is all extra money for fans to find but I still don’t think that tells the whole story. People talk an awful lot about qualifying for Europe and celebrate that achievement…then many stay home and watch the actual European matches on TV!

I’m not talking about just the Europa League matches, when we qualified for the Champions League the crowds puzzled me as well.

When Newcastle played the likes of Juventus (48,370) and Inter Milan (50,108) at home in 2002, neither match sold out at St.James’ Park. In fact two years before that United played Bradford in a League Cup 3rd round match in November 2000 and it attracted a crowd of 41,847, yet two years later Newcastle attracted fewer fans to Champions League home matches against Dynamo Kiev (40,185), Feyenoord (40,540) and Bayer Leverkusen (40,508). How do you work that one out?

Layout 1This season the crowd stats have been Atromitos 29, 242, Bordeaux 30,987, Brugge 33,124 and Maritimo 21,632. The Maritimo one was very disappointing but there was a bit of misplaced complacency all round that nearly backfired, from fans as well as players.

The other three attendances are decent but you would have thought that now we are moving into the knockout stages and the chance to maybe see the likes of Mapou and Hadaira for the first time, plus maybe for many possibly the first glimpse of Sissoko, you would have seen a major jump in the crowd figure for the FC Metalist match?

As it stands though, the whole of Level 7 will once again be closed, knocking around 15,000 off the capacity and meaning a maximum possible crowd of somewhere around 37,000. It isn’t as though there is much more that they could do with the ticket prices, £15 and £5 concessions is great value.

There may still be a fair number of tickets left at the moment of the 37,000 or so currently available but I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a big walk up on the night and a bit of chaos as everybody tries to get in, with the club currently advertising that there will be cash turnstiles open. How flexible the club can be with opening parts of Level 7 is open to question but I would love to think that it will be something Newcastle need to do for this match.

What I do know is that I’ll be there for another potentially great European night, will you?

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14 comments
mrkgw
mrkgw

I would love to think that Ashley is genuinely looking to invest in the club. He came across well during the interview and so credit for that at least. I reserve judgement until we see developments but, I think that his move to speak at last, was a positive move.

hettonmag
hettonmag

Believe or not fat boy has just been on sky sports and said even if we go down wont sell  and he also said he will not sell till we win something.

hettonmag
hettonmag

Perez has been the only plus in this horrible season and what does  our esteemed coach do, drops him for the most vital game of the season. HEAD CASE. 

tino o
tino o

Come on man u our only hope! Carver you halfwitted coward!

A lex
A lex

Must have picked the team a la cup draw - hand in a black bag and pull out a shirt number.

Andgeo
Andgeo

If you think playing Williamson and dropping Perez, abeid and Aaron's from the squad is bad, Just wait for the second half substitutions, goufran, Raylor and Sami ameobi.

If Hull win we are down.

Thanks for everything mike!!

Peaco
Peaco

No Abeid or Arons? Not even on the bench? Set up for a draw even though only a win guarantees survival? Has he been told that if we get relegated he'll remain in charge?

Andgeo
Andgeo

He's a total Fcuk nut and hasn't got a clue!

Andgeo
Andgeo

How the Fcuk do ameobi and goufup get in the squad ahead of abeid?

Andgeo
Andgeo

We are gonna get destroyed in midfield. He just refuses to play abeid, ridiculous.

Pulse33
Pulse33

So the championship then...