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Arguing with Newcastle’s Rob Lee, Michael Gray claims Sunderland fans could fill 80,000 stadium

3 years ago

Michael Gray and Rob Lee have been ‘debating’ the fanbases of both Newcastle United and Sunderland.

The two former players asked who has the best/biggest support.

The schoolyard discussion taking place on Talksport.

Not surprisingly, the pair had differing views.

For Rob Lee it was definitely black and white, for Michael Gray a little less so.

Michael Gray and Rob Lee on Talksport (Jim White show):

Rob Lee:

“There is no comparison (between Newcastle and Sunderland fanbases).

“None at all.

“In my opinion, yes (Newcastle’s is bigger by a ‘country mile’).

“Probably not (the same opinion) for Micky because he is a born and bred Sunderland man.”

Michael Gray:

“Which is the biggest city?

“It (Sunderland) is the biggest city, there are more people there.

“Put it this way, if you built an 80,000 seater stadium at St James Park (and Newcastle were successful), they would fill it.

“But if you built an 80,000 seater stadium at the Stadium of Light, (if Sunderland were successful) they would fill it.”

Always interesting these my dad is bigger than your dad adult discussions…

The truth is that both clubs have very good support, compared to most clubs in England, especially considering the lack of success for both.

Who could/couldn’t fill an 80,000 seater stadium is hypothetical for both.

So all we have to go on are the facts that we do have.

Sunderland’s last six years in the Premier League had average home crowds of:

41,287 – 2016/17

43,071 – 2015/16

43,157 – 2014/15

41,090 – 2013/14

40,544 – 2012/13

39,095 – 2011/12

The truth is that apart from the derby matches and very rare games against the top Premier League clubs, Sunderland never fill their 49,000 seater stadium.

Whilst in the Premier League era, Newcastle have season after season filled their 52,000 seater stadium for the vast majority of games very rarely dropping below 50,000.

Whilst even in the Championship 2016/17 season they averaged over 51,000, some 10,000 more than Sunderland who were in the Premier League.


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