After the outstanding job he did at St James Park, Chris Hughton will always be admired by Newcastle fans.
The great thing is, the feeling’s mutual.
Hughton was disgracefully treated by Mike Ashley after somehow pulling together a broken club and set of players, then leading the to 102 points and the Championship title, despite seeing a host of players sold off/let go and given no money to spend.
From early the following season rumours spread that Ashley wanted rid of Chris Hughton as early as possible because he wouldn’t be a ‘yes man’.
Waiting for the first run of bad results as justification to sack him, the club owner was confounded as despite being given next to no cash for players o returning to the Premier League, Chris Hughton produced another minor miracle.
Only weeks after beating Sunderland 5-1 and Arsenal 1-0 at the Emirates, Hughton was sacked by Mike Ashley after a defeat at West Brom.
However, the relationship between Newcastle fans and Chris Hughton has never been broken.
Speaking ahead of the weekend’s matches, Hughton (pictured above is Jonjo Shelvey scoring in the 2-0 win over Brighton at SJP earlier this season) has once again spoken warmly of the supporters he was forced to leave behind, the now Brighton boss amazed at the loyalty and support the Newcastle fans are showing to Rafa and his players.
Chris Hughton talking to Talksport:
“At the moment, Newcastle United, I think it is brilliant to see them getting fifty thousand in this division.
“It is a tough division and you have to approach this division, knowing that you can lose every game.”
A total of 404,942 have attended the eight Championship home games so far at St James Park (see breakdown below), at an average of 50,617, this is almost twice the 26,179 average that second in the table Brighton currently have.
That is still decent for the Championship and puts them sixth highest in terms of crowds.
However, when it comes to season ticket holders, the EFL recently revealed (see Top 10 below) that only two clubs had sold more season tickets than Brighton.
In second was Derby County and Newcastle United top, with over 37,000 sold according to NUFC.
This season so far, the eight home Championship matches at St James Park:
52,079 Newcastle v Huddersfield
48,209 Newcastle v Reading
49,196 Newcastle v Brighton
52,117 Newcastle v Wolves
48,236 Newcastle v Norwich
51,885 Newcastle v Brentford
51,963 Newcastle v Ipswich
51,257 Newcastle v Cardiff
EFL CLUB TOP SEASON TICKET SALES – SEASON 2016/17
- Newcastle United
- Derby County
- Brighton & Hove Albion
- Norwich City
- Sheffield Wednesday
- Aston Villa
- Huddersfield Town
- Wolverhampton Wanderers
- Leeds United
- Bristol City