Everything at Newcastle United has been stripped down to the bone, particularly off the pitch.

After relegation in 2009, Mike Ashley slashed the number of staff working away from the playing side and when instant promotion was achieved, most of those roles weren’t reinstated.

This left Newcastle United with a skeleton staff from senior management all the way down.

To compound this, a few years later Mike Ashley saw fit to slash the media department budget, at the very time that Premier League clubs were desperately trying to promote themselves to the worldwide audience increasingly delivered by the ever expanding reach of the Premier League TV coverage.

Ambitious clubs increasing budgets and staff levels to embrace new technology and the long-term benefits it will bring, both in terms of increasing interest/fan base AND revenue.

The savage cost cutting is now showing as Newcastle are left behind off the pitch as well as on it.

Industry specialist SimilarWeb have put together the table below, showing how many visits every Premier League club has had to their official club website this season.

No surprise to see the top three (though only 18% of Manchester United’s traffic was from the UK!) but if you look down the table then you see what Mike Ashley’s lack of investment has done to Newcastle United’s ‘ambition’.

Remember this is how much traffic is driven/attracted to your club’s official website, not all the other sites (including this one!) that covers Newcastle United.

Leicester City are a bit of a freak because their outrageous success on the pitch has massively increased traffic.

However, just look at how badly Newcastle are doing compared to the likes of Everton, Sunderland, Southampton and Villa – all clubs with smaller fan bases than Newcastle’s.

Even Crystal Palace are only a fraction behind despite being a relative minnow when it comes to support.

Newcastle United need a total overhaul on and off the pitch, the club is dying under Mike Ashley but fans turning up to games and (the soon to be ended) Premier League riches have massively camouflaged the reality.

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