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Tyne Talk

Richard Keys and Andy Gray are at it again with agenda of Newcastle fan expectations too high

3 months ago
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On Saturday afternoon Richard Keys and Andy Gray based their beINSPORTS programme around Newcastle United.

Newcastle v Huddersfield was one of only two 3pm Premier League kick-offs.

The pair of them having former Newcastle manager and player, Alan Pardew and Andy Cole, as their special guests.

Whenever they focus on Newcastle United, you can be sure that Andy Gray and Richard Keys have an agenda.

Sure enough, a (THE!) big theme was, are the expectations of Newcastle fans too high?

Andy Gray:

“When you take over a club like Newcastle, is the expectation level from those amazing fans, that they have every week who go there, is it too much? Is it too high the expectation?”

Alan Pardew:

“No. I don’t think so, I don’t think so.

“You kind of understand it and if can’t understand it then don’t be Newcastle manager.

“It is difficult to deal with at times, you know, the emphasis of the media there is very very much on Newcastle, there is no other team in the city obviously.

“So it is constant pressure but no more than any other big club that you look at around the world.

“You just wish more for them, that is what I wanted and I still wish them to have some sort of success because their fans are unbelievable.”

Richard Keys:

“Not to labour it but that success [for Newcastle United] is only [potentially] going to be a cup, is it not?”

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Alan Pardew:

“Well when you look at the figures of what the revenue of Newcastle can bring in [compared] to other clubs, it is nowhere near it.

“If you look at a big London club with an attendance of thirty five thousand, their revenue is probably twice as much as Newcastle’s with fifty five thousand.”

After 12 years of Mike Ashley, what exactly are the expectations of Newcastle fans?

Well, I reckon the main hopes are to have somebody other than Mike Ashley as owner and preferably not have an idiot as manager.

As for expectations on the pitch, no normal Newcastle supporter has any expectation of winning something.

They simply want there to be a desire throughout their club, from top to bottom, to try and be as good as they can possibly be.

Richard Keys transparently wants to get across his (invented) claims that Newcastle fans expect to be challenging for the Premier League and Champions League, thinking  (supposedly) the domestic cups are not all that special.

Hilarious really when any Newcastle fan would love it, absolutely love it, if we won the League Cup.

This whole unrealistic expectation thing is just so far removed from the reality of how Newcastle fans think, which set of fans wouldn’t be unhappy when in 12 years under this owner, Newcastle have never reached the fifth round of the FA Cup, with one last eight of the League Cup their best in that competition. Whilst at the same time either getting relegated, fighting relegation, or being in the Championship, being the regular league experience.

It is a well trodden path but Newcastle fans don’t expect to compete at the top end of the Premier League and play in the Champions League BUT they do aspire to/dream about it happening.

Why wouldn’t/shouldn’t you?

In the 14 seasons before Mike Ashley arrived, Newcastle had two second place finishes, two thirds, a fourth, a fifth, a sixth and a seventh place.

Add to that two FA Cup finals, two other FA Cup semi-finals, a UEFA Cup semi-final…in Europe most of those 14 seasons. Why not dream of that happening again on a regular basis?

As far this regular unchallenged assertion on programmes such as those hosted by Keys and Gray and by guests such as Allan Pardew, that Newcastle United are somehow paupers, is simply untrue.

Of course the English clubs that play European football every year and have built themselves up year after year, have a massive advantage.

However, never on these type of programmes do you ever have the actual facts, they conveniently avoid having heard of the Deloitte yearly reports of clubs who make the most revenues, or football finance sites/writers who regularly compare the money clubs generate.

Here are two of those…

This is football finance writer, the Swiss Ramble showing a table of the top clubs in the world when it comes to last (2017/18) season’s matchday revenue (in euros):

matchday revenue

Then we have the most recently published (last month) Deloitte top 20 clubs in the world for overall revenue,from last (2017/18) season.

The Deloitte Football Money League 2019 – Top 20 (totals in euros):

deloitte football money league 2019As you can see, as well as only 18 clubs in the entire World generating more money, only seven Premier League clubs saw more money come in than Newcastle, these being the obvious six (Man U, Man City, Liverpool, Spurs, Arsenal and Chelsea) and the only other one is Everton with £188.6m, £10.1m more than NUFC.

In both tables, only 18 clubs in the entire world are higher than Newcastle United.

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When it comes to total revenue, only the top six English clubs and Everton are higher than Newcastle and the scousers only marginally so.

Meanwhile, on matchday revenue, only the obvious six English clubs and West Ham, very marginally, are higher than NUFC.

Alan Pardew says ‘If you look at a big London club with an attendance of thirty five thousand, their revenue is probably twice as much as Newcastle’s with fifty five thousand.’

Why can’t they use proper figures rather than making it up?

West Ham are now getting around that 55,000 mark in terms of crowds and yet Newcastle still have a higher turnover last season, whilst in terms of matchday revenue they are only marginally ahead of Newcastle. Who are these mythical London clubs getting 35,000 crowds and bringing in twice as much cash as Newcastle United?

If ran with ambition, there is no reason Newcastle can’t get stronger year by year and grow on and off the pitch, then who knows where it could take us. Maybe you get a breakthrough season and get into the Champions League and access to that kind of cash, maybe you get in the Europa League on a regular basis and maybe even win it like say Sevilla (won it in 2014, 2015, 2016) and get into the Champions League by that route. Sevilla don’t feature in these top revenue earning tables above for last season.

Newcastle don’t have the revenues of the obvious six at this moment in time but they are in the same kind of revenue level as Everton and West Ham, yet show nowhere near the same ambition as even Brighton, Bournemouth and other clubs with far lower revenues.

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