The loyalty of Newcastle United fans is unbelievable.

Whatever happens on the pitch in these remaining matches, the end of season stats will show some incredible numbers where Newcastle United fans are concerned.

The Fulham match was the 18th home league game this season and 920,032 have paid to watch those games.

An average at the moment of 51,113. Amazing.

Just as amazing though is the level of actual ‘support’ at these games.

Away from home, just like at pretty much every other club, the support is excellent.

The difference being of course that Newcastle take many more than most clubs, with the sold out away sections at Brighton, Huddersfield and Reading within the space of a week being quite extraordinary.

Back to these home matches though.

The Newcastle United fans who turn up at St James Park – what happens?

Before the match the pubs are still buzzing and in the streets leading up to the game the atmosphere is excellent.

Then people pass through the turnstiles and it is almost as if all enthusiasm has been sucked out of the vast majority when actually entering the stadium.

Most sit in silence and unless the team are really up for it, that is how it pretty much stays. Fans didn’t turn on the team when Fulham went ahead but there wasn’t exactly a mood of defiance emanating from the terraces.

Quite why people boo is another thing altogether, the players and Manager have done more than enough this season to deserve better and it doesn’t exactly help.

Having said that, Rafa’s style of play doesn’t exactly help, with most matches seeing Newcastle start painfully slowly with tactics of keeping the ball first and foremost.

The exception tends to be when Shelvey gets further up the pitch and works with Yedlin and Ritchie to create openings, the rest of the time we see mostly ponderous build-up play and predictable long passing spells amongst defenders – hardly what is likely to get fans off their seats.

Only the contribution of sub Daryl Murphy threatened to change anything both on and off the pitch, his excellent goal and impressive link-up play briefly getting the crowd vocally behind the team.

When we play Wigan in the next game at St James Park, it must surely be worth a try of dispensing with the disappointing Diame and Perez, instead giving Murphy a chance up front with Dwight Gayle. Not a case of hit and hope football, more one of getting the ball up to/into the strikers and supporting them quickly, take a few more chances instead of trying to slowly prise open the visiting defence.

As for the supporters, most need to have a good look in the mirror and consider what they want to get out of the matches at St James Park – most definitely a case of what you put into it, will dictate what you get out of it, when it comes to atmosphere and supporting the team.

Championship matches at St James Park 2016/17 so far:

A total of 920,032 for the first 18 Championship games at St James Park at an average of  exactly 51,113;

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

52,092 Newcastle v Blackburn

52,145 Newcastle v Birmingham

52,179 Newcastle v Sheffield Wednesday

52,228 Newcastle v Nottingham Forest

52,208 Newcastle v Rotherham

47,909 Newcastle v QPR

52,271 Newcastle v Derby

50,024 Newcastle v Aston Villa

52,131 Newcastle v Bristol City

51,903 Newcastle v Fulham

(All contributions from Newcastle fans welcome, send articles (as well as ideas/suggestions) to [email protected])

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  • Rich Lawson

    Surely we’ve put this to bed before ? Away the people who want to sing and be vocal in their support of the team are all together in one section of the opposition’s ground. At home there spread all over the stadium with phone watchers and kiddies.Standing area then ? Not happening because of the disruption to seating and lower cash flow into Ashley’s large pockets.

    • Aberdeen chisel

      I sat in leazers end for 1st time in years. Middle tier and the atmosphere was terrible. Even when we scored there was men not even clapping. No signing, no banter, not like gallowgate/east corner.

      • Leazesl Ender

        ‘Leazes End’ it comes from the local spelling of ‘Lease’ being land let in strips outside of the Castle walls…. I was in the posh seats its just as bad… at half time a group of lads turned the rugby on and stayed in the lounge to watch it…

        • Rich Lawson

          What are they doing there in the first place ? Bstds.

          • Leazesl Ender

            God knows, the tickets aint cheap….

          • Aberdeen chisel

            I’ve been going to games(4 or 5 a season) since 91/92 season and it’s the 1st time that I don’t feel welcome in stadium!! People look at you as a stranger cos you don’t own a season ticket and think you don’t support team. 8 hour round trip on train to support the team I love but not enjoying atmosphere just now but I will be back. There was even a bloke starting a fight with a fellow fan behind for not supporting team! Not great to see. TOON TOON

          • Salty

            Eh, surely you’ve just made that up? I’ve certainly never looked at a non season ticket holder as a stranger!!

        • It’s bobbi fleckman

          When did it become Leazesl? is the “l” for people who never go?

    • Taz

      I for 1 would pay the same to stand,so would a lot of people I know. You stand all the time at away matches and the atmosphere is mint. Maybe they could send out a ballot just to see the reaction. They wud also get more people standing so maybe the club could reduce the price for that ( but I doubt it) just a thought….. standing at matches is awesome, bring it on

      • It’s bobbi fleckman

        The club can’t do anything until legislation changes in relation to standing areas in England, no matter what ballot was put in place. Until legislation changes, the club could not do anything and politically, only the LIb Dems have showed any appetite for it.

    • It’s bobbi fleckman

      Whilst you are right about the reason for a poor atmosphere and that free standing MAY be an answer, you rather ruined it with the comment ” lower cash flow into Ashley’s large pocket”. That’s obviously untrue, standing allows more people in so capacity is increased, it’s unlikely that the club would need to reduce prices so if the club used the Gallowgate Corner they would get perhaps 3,500 places instead of 1,500 meaning more revenue, not less in return for comparatively [to construction work] a very little outlay.

      Take a look at the fan forum minutes, “a delegation from Newcastle United had recently attended a fixture at Celtic Park to assess the 3,000-capacity rail seating area in place at the ground, which has been permitted by the SPFL and Glasgow City Council.However, SS explained that until legislation changes in relation to standing areas in England, the club could not make any commitments on the issue.”

      • 1957

        It’s far too simplistic to say capacity would be reduced or increased, it could be either depending on the configuration of the existing ground. I’ve seen 2 technical seminars on this and one rail seating system claimed to have a neutral effect and one up to a maximum 12% increase.

        Both companies agreed on two things when pushed, if it ever happened one of the German models that can substantially increase capacity (open terracing that converts back to seating with clip in seats for European games) won’t happen here and in some existing grounds the work needed might be costly and/or slightly reduce capacity.

        There for me is the real reason it will be resisted by clubs, money. Why change when you might take years to claw back your installation costs.

        • It’s bobbi fleckman

          I’m aware the European requirement but I’m surprised at the maximum 12% increase, I suspect it was the one of the FSA articles that claimed a much higher capacity increase. That said, 12% is OK if it’s cost effective but as you say, if not, it’s never going to be attractive as the installation costs will exceed the future revenue increases (basically, that’s the case for any ground improvement at SJP).

          I could see (like Celtic) the corners being the obvious place to start and the club have already indicated they have looked at the Celtic example.

          The elephant in the room is of course the current legislation.

      • 1957

        Just to clarify the info below, with rail seating you can potentially increase the overall ground capacity by up to 12% by converting 10% of your existing capacity. That increase disappears in European games.

      • Rich Lawson

        I didn’t ruin it,I took the perspective of buisness,which I’m sure Ashley does to ? Do the maths ! If he can get away with charging people almost as much to stand as sit down he will be a happy man,but how would that work ? Do you charge people on the basis they might have a couple of feet to stand in all season or hit them for the guarantied seat ?

        • It’s bobbi fleckman

          As 1957 says, the rail system in German and Celtic offers a potential increase in capacity. I actually think there are plenty people who will pay the same to stand as sit and if (big IF) you can get more in, the cash-flows will be positive and any business owner would consider it. The club have considered it, the fans forum states they have looked at Celtic but until legislation changes, there is nothing doing.

          Certainly, if it costs money to install and it can’t increase income, there is no point in going ahead.

  • gallowgate26

    Surely it’s peoples choice to behave how they want (within reason) if they’ve bought a ticket? I thought the atmosphere was good with the flags and then the noise from the South East corner, considering how poor the team were. The only thing I don’t particularly like are the ‘groans’ when there is a misplaced pass, as I don’t think it helps and actually gives encouragement to the away team. The support at home is never going to be the same as away because you’ve got the real fanatics who travel to away games, this is the same as other clubs.

  • Mikey56

    St James’ park is full of disgruntled consumers these days, not fans. The game has been gentrified and has reached tipping point. Loyal working class fanatics no longer go

  • nevfur

    A lot of glory hunters and football tourists too. Annoyed to see so many leaving after just 60 mins. Ok we had just gone 3-0 down but where’s the support. This was family enclosure so wouldn’t expect so many “tourists” there. Dunno what it was like elsewhere in the ground.
    We will always lose some games and some badly but at least lose with grace and stick with your team.
    Have been going since 1970 and only left early once because my mate wanted to go. 5-2 Alfie Conn inspired defeat to Spurs. Even then I was annoyed that I had missed us scoring twice in the second half. Never done it since and loved it at the 4-4 with Arsenal that so many mugs left at half time.

  • fenhammag

    we pay the money to be there then surely we all have a right to show how pi$$ed off we are with the team for that game , cant be happy with every result, letting the players think it is ‘OK’ to be spanked on home soil just doesn’t sit well with me, apart from the corner where i sit then i agree the atmosphere is terrible but how many on here sit in the leazes or milburn and moan about atmosphere? why not start the singing? seen a few fulham fans in the pub and had a chat told they were the better team so wasn’t bitter in defeat, the only way to show the players the performance was unacceptable is to use your feet, or would it be preferred that we all clap and cheer at the end of a spanking so they think its okay to lose 3-1 to wigan or worse….burton? what about when we win 2-0 3-0 etc and everyone stays , claps , celebrates will we get slated for that to?

  • Gary Jackaman

    I come from Ipswich to watch the lads play and I always stay to the end and support the team. I love the atmosphere at the stadium and being part of it. When I do go I do notice some fans do not join in with chants and I think it is a real shame. The only time there is a lot of noise is when we score. It should not just come from the East Stand/Gallowgate End it should come from all the stadium. Stay with the lads until the end. The 4-4 against Arsenal is proof of that.