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.”
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