As you might have noticed, Newcastle United haven’t won many trophies recently…
So wen the old debate about which are ‘big’ clubs and which are not, putting recent trophies is a non-starter.
However, one area where Newcastle fans can take justifiable pride and enjoyment in, is the sheer number of European matches played by NUFC in the Premier League era, at least that is until Mike Ashley appeared…
Very interested to read last night on The Mag, that it was exactly 50 years since Newcastle’s first ever competitive match in Europe (see below).
I have had a look back at what has happened the last 25 years and the figures are stunning.
In the 13 seasons (1994/95 to 2006/07) before Ashley’s arrival, Newcastle played in Europe in 11 of those 13 seasons. The only exceptions being 1995/96 and 2000/01.
In the 12 seasons (2007/08 to 2018/19) under Mike Ashley, Newcastle have had no European football in 12 of those 13 seasons.
In the 13 pre-Ashley seasons, Newcastle United had 96 games in Europe (including 12 in Intertoto).
In 12 years under Mike Ashley there have been only 14.
Some people might laugh at the Intertoto Cup but at least it gave the Newcastle fans some great away trips AND proved to be a route into ‘proper’ European football at times.
The bottom line is that under Mike Ashley, there is no chance that any invitation to take part in the Intertoto would even have been accepted.
After our one European season (2012/13) under Mike Ashley, the attitude was summed up when the following season Alan Pardew said ‘Thank God Newcastle aren’t in Europe again’, referring to the extra games and impact it might have on the Premier League performances.
No doubt this is why the club also had/have a policy of getting out of the domestic cups as quick as possible.
I dream of Europe and one day we will be back there, great nights at Inter Milan (photo above), Feyenoord, Dynamo Kiev and many others still fresh in the memory.
Plus of course great home days against Juventus, Barcelona and the rest.
Under Mike Ashley this will never happen but once he is gone we will have hope again.
The Mag – 11 September 2018:
A special anniversary for Newcastle United today.
It is exactly 50 years since they played their first competitive match in European competition.
At home on 11 September 1968, Newcastle hammered Feyenoord 4-0 at St James Park in the first round of the Fairs Cup.
Joe Harvey’s team of course going on to win a European trophy at the first time of asking.
Newcastle have now played 122 European matches in total, which doesn’t include the dozen Intertoto games.
An impressive record of 67 wins, 26 draws, with only 29 defeats.
With 195 goals scored and 116 conceded, it gives a goal difference of +79.
Here is the split by competition:
UEFA Champions League
Played 24 Won 11 Drawn 3 Lost 10 Goals For 33 Goals Against 33 Goal Difference +0
UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League
Played 72 Won 42 Drawn 17 Lost 13 Goals For 123 Goals Against 60 Goal Difference +63
UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup
Played 2 Won 1 Drawn 0 Lost 1 Goals For 2 Goals Against 2 Goal Difference +0
Inter-Cities Fairs Cup
Played 24 Won 13 Drawn 6 Lost 5 Goals For 37 Goals Against 21 Goal Difference +16
Newcastle United’s full European record (not including 12 Intertoto matches):
Played 122 Won 67 Drawn 26 Lost 29 Goals For 195 Goals Against 116 Goal Difference +79
(Sunderland’s full European record: Played 4 Won 3 Drawn 0 Lost 1 Goals For 5 Goals Against 3 Goal Difference +2)
Top NUFC European Goalscorers
30 Alan Shearer
15 Shola Ameobi
11 Craig Bellamy
10 Wyn Davies
9 Pop Robson
9 Tino Asprilla