Gary Neville has been scaremongering about potential problems for Newcastle United.

The Sky Sports pundit pointing to two areas of ‘concern’.

Gary Neville has pointed to a ‘shift to the south’, with the North East and Yorkshire having little/no presence in the Premier League.

The doomsday scenario being Sunderland, Middlesbrough and Hull relegated and then Sheffield Wednesday and Leeds missing out in the play-offs, plus even Newcastle ‘might not come back up’.

That scenario would leave the whole of Yorkshire and the North East without a Premier League team.

As a Newcastle fan of course we are only bothered about ourselves and this is a pretty bogus debate from Gary Neville as it isn’t a new phenomenon for the other clubs.

It is 17 years since Sheffield Wednesday were in the Premier League and 13 years for Leeds.

It took Hull over 100 years to get into the top flight and them struggling to stay in the Premier League now is hardly a revelation.

Similar story with Middlesbrough and Sunderland – the Mackems are fighting relegation every season and before that were a yoyo club, whilst Boro are a small club that always struggle to attract fans and only Steve Gibson’s generosity gave them a Premier League status in the past.

It might sound arrogant but it is the truth, Newcastle are a completely different proposition to these other clubs in the North East and those from Yorkshire.

Leeds United are maybe the only one who get remotely close and these 13 years in the wilderness appear to have pretty much decimated their fanbase.

Real promotion contenders this season and after getting that uplifting undeserved point at St James Park, Garry Monk begged the Leeds fans to fill Elland Road on Monday. There were thousands of empty seats as only thirty two thousand turned up for a Bank Holiday crucial promotion match and Wolves took away the three points.

Newcastle United being the only Premier League club in the whole North East/Yorkshire region is actually great for the Magpies in terms of making them stronger, especially if getting success on the pitch.

Loads of sponsorship/corporate opportunities as the only club that can offer Premier League football across the entire region.

All of those potential supporters to be attracted because you are in the top division and get all the coverage etc, selling merchandise and of course match tickets. Season ticket prices may have stabilised but match by match tickets have continued to rise in recent seasons at Newcastle, especially in the Premier League United attract loads of punters from Scotland to watch games as well as from the continent via DFDS etc.

As for Gary Neville going on about Newcastle United and other North East/Yorkshire clubs relocating their training grounds to the South, this lame story started with a rubbish invention in The Sun newspaper. I believe that as much as I believe they are sorry about their disgusting coverage of the Hillsborough tragedy.

The Sun story earlier this year was that Sunderland were allegedly planning on moving their training ground to London to help them attract players who don’t want to live in the North East.

All a load of nonsense, Newcastle United have shown over the years that they can attract players, whether from that London or overseas.

If you pay the wages and/or present yourself as an ambitious club, players will come.

At an extreme, just look at the players prepared to go and play in the likes of China, Turkey and Russia, they aren’t doing it because they fancy a change of scenery.

Even in this country, the likes of Swansea and others go out and sign name players because they offer wages and Premier League football.

Most of the week players should be at home resting/relaxing after training anyway, not watching the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace or having a ride on the London Eye, or clubbing down the West End.

As for when they get a day or two off, players earn such fantastic money these days that they can use private planes and helicopters without a thought.

So if you are a Newcastle player earning three or four million a year living in Darras Hall, you can be at Newcastle Airport and up in the air within 15 minutes, either getting a helicopter down to visit your cockney relations, or flying to Paris to see your loved ones.

We all know the quality of life is great up here and plenty of Newcastle players in the past have appreciated that, whether born and bred Geordies or adopted ones.

All that is needed at Newcastle United to bring in the right players is to get this promotion over the line and then Mike Ashley to see common sense and back/allow Rafa Benitez to bring success to St James Park.

It really is that simple.

Gary Neville speaking on Sky Sports:

“What I will say is well done to Brighton (on promotion) but it’s a shift to the south like you would not believe.

“You think about Sunderland, Middlesbrough and maybe Hull potentially going down, that would be three more northern clubs.

“The Yorkshire clubs – Sheffield clubs, Leeds…and you think Newcastle might not come back up, although they probably will. It is all a worry for the north of England.

“The players want to live in the south and I heard a few weeks ago the ridiculous talk of northern teams – north east teams, Yorkshire teams having London training grounds.

“That would be just the most incredible thing but you can actually see it.

“Players living in London in the week, then travelling to games.”

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



  • Paul Patterson

    London? Nice for a visit, but live there? No thank you!

  • Geordiegiants

    A football team represents the area, what’s the point in someone from Newcastle supporting say Arsenal.
    It’s about your area, your heritage, not because you liked the name of a certain club when you were a kid, or them winning so I’ll support them. It’s all about pride and support for “your” local area, it’s in the blood when your born. That’s why we are called “NEWCASTLE”. Now I know we have fans from around the country and world, (Manure wouldn’t even have a club if it was about local support) but I can not get why someone would want to support another areas football team. As after all that is what it’s all about, your area “NEWCASTLE”.
    If the prime minister was handing out contracts for better education, safer streets etc, and it was only going to go to certain areas,why would anyone want any other area but there own to win?
    Why would anyone want to train and live down south and play for Sunderland, Middlesbrough, Hull etc. (Apart from the obvious sarcasm). There would be no connection with the community and area, what would be the point?

    • Malcolm Fisher

      Ask Shearer,gazza,beardsley,carrick,pop robson,waddle, etc,etc.

      • Geordiegiants

        Ask them what sorry?

  • East Durham Mag

    Ar$ehole nuff said.

  • Lord

    If he is including Leeds and Sheffield as ‘clubs in the north’ then do Liverpool and Manchester suddenly get excluded?

    • Leazes Ender

      Hull to Manchester is the North Midlands.

  • Tim

    Neville over dramatises everything and once said a couple of years ago that when playing for Man U if a team mate didn’t go down in the box when next to another player he would go in the dressing room at half time and give him a load of stick asking why he didn’t ‘go down’ and try to win a penalty and said “if you don’t like that then go and join a choir”. Yep, real mature. He’s not this all knowledgable football person hes made out to be and he’s definitely doesn’t speak for the man on the street.

  • Leazes Ender

    For football there is a shift to wealth…. the old historical industrial (footballing) towns are playing second fiddle to the wealth of the south, look at Reading, Bournemouth, Brighton and how they have elevated themselves over the last few years….

    The decline of the North in football as elsewhere, will continue with the economic and political dominance of the ‘Home Counties’ over the coming years, as our population also declines so will our clubs ability to match the the South East.

  • 1957

    It’s a bizarre idea that your only connection to the team you play for is turning up at your home ground to play once fortnight. That said at some stage someone will float the idea of a ‘premier’ tournament with franchised regional or city based teams in order to maximise income from sponsorship and tv, I never thought the day would come in cricket but that is what is proposed for T20.

  • HappyToons

    When it all heads to China, how will I thumb a lift to see the lads?

    • Damon Horner

      Big Mike would see us right.

      • HappyToons

        SDBA (Sports Direct Budget Airlines), budget travel where the flights are a bargain two for a £1 (one way). £599 if you want a seat inside the plane. Minimum wage if you want to fly it.

        • Damon Horner

          Exactly. Should be easy to spot with Red and Blue livery. By seat in the plane, it is actually your own spot on a tightly packed luggage rack.

  • Burt Humperdink

    I think he is right about Yorkshire, its the most populace county in England and should have more of a presence in the prem. But to be fair the North East has had 2 teams out of 20 in the prem in most seasons since I can remember.

    His definition of the North is somewhat skewed as well, Manchester is definitely the North, It’s almost in line with Barnsley which is Yorkshire last time I checked. Good luck getting any manc to think of themselves from the midlands. So 2 of the 4 teams to win the league in the last ten years are from the north one from the Midlands (Leicester) and one from London (Chelsea).

    It’s mostly cyclical anyway at one time Chelsea, Man City and Tottenham were mid table sides and Blackburn, Newcastle, Leicester, Leeds, Everton and Aston Villa have at different times been top 6 sides in the last 25 years.

  • Toontone100

    3 points .. thats all. … then we’ll see

  • Toonbadger

    The blokes a know nothing kind of bloke. I switch off when the tattie is talking. His drivel makes me sick. He knows of only 1 team and we all know who that is, Carragher Is exactly the same I hate them both with passion

  • gallowgate26

    Dean, we are not all just bothered about ourselves and even from a purely selfish standpoint, which you seem to have; if all of the North East and Yorkshire clubs apart from us are out of the PL, then we will have a lot further to travel for away games. We already are the furthest away travelers in the country, (being one of the most numerous in spite of that fact). I don’t share your view either that being the only club in the North East would be good. We would be more isolated and it would be bad for football in general (the North East is football territory mainly until you get to Yorkshire where Rugby League and Cricket comes in) We should have three teams in the PL and the investment is good for towns like Boro, which is on the bones of it’s a rse. Sure I will chuckle at the mackems demise but I would like to see the others in the PL. (We might not play ‘boro for over 10 years now) I think Newcastle, Sunderland, Boro, Hull, Leeds and even Huddersfield in the PL would be a great thing. Would you prefer even more trips to the South Coast ?