There is something not quite right (amongst many others) at Newcastle United, an all out attempt to unite against relegation hasn’t really happened in terms of communication with the Newcastle fans.
Back in the 2009 relegation fight, the Newcastle United Supporters Trust (NUST) approached the club with the idea of an ‘Altogether Now’ campaign against the drop, which led to a joint effort by club, Trust and the Chronicle to mobilise supporters.
This led to a terrific atmosphere at the third last match of the season against Middlesbrough, with the club handing out banners and flags beforehand, plus NUFC, NUST and the Chronicle publicising the joint effort as much as possible in advance.
The supporters carried the players that match and despite going behind to Boro, Newcastle ran out 3-1 winners which lifted the club out of the relegation zone.
However, typical of Mike Ashley, he felt the club had done their bit and the next match at home to Fulham there was no effort (or money spent) made to help stimulate a special push and defeat ensued. A point that day would have keep Newcastle up.
Whilst the West Brom match saw a better atmosphere of late, which wouldn’t be difficult, it wasn’t exactly great and was thousands short of a full house.
I’m not a great fan of stage-managed atmospheres but when you look at the type of atmosphere Leicester fans generated with their handing out freebies to help fuel the crowd fever, it certainly played a part and in these type of situations, needs must.
NUST are obviously blanked by the club now, whilst despite the Chronicle now being back in the fold at St. James’ Park, there was no coming together of them with the club either.
All we had was bizarre open letters from Lee Charnley and Fabricio Coloccini, plus John Carver trying to rouse the Newcastle fans….
On Saturday even Mike Ashley didn’t turn up for this crucial relegation clash, it is almost as though the club are either not taking the threat of relegation seriously or don’t really have a clue of what to do, or a bit of both.
Even when it comes to the club communicating direct with the fans in the lead up that West Brom match they couldn’t really be bothered either.
Social media isn’t all important but any credible club sees it as one valuable part of stimulating interest and the attention of fans, or when they need a ‘call to arms’.
This table below shows the number of messages sent out on Twitter by all Premier League clubs.
With it being free you can’t see Mike Ashley having any problems with it and yet in that crucial week, Newcastle United sent out less Twitter messages than any other Premier League club.
As I say, Twitter or social media in general isn’t the be all and end all of what the club should be doing but I think it is indicative of the malaise surrounding our club.
The lack of direction and motivation on the pitch is most definitely matched by similar off it.
Table above produced by Sports Perspective.