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Tyne Talk

Total lie claiming TV revenues mean fans don’t give Newcastle United a massive advantage

3 years ago

Premier League TV revenues are the biggest in the World in domestic football.

They are also, compared to most other major European leagues, relatively fairly shared out, up to a point.

However, to suggest that fanbase plays no major part in a club’s financial power (as well as in many other ways) is a blatant lie.

The trouble is that when a lie is repeatedly told it becomes the accepted truth for many people.

Take Newcastle United fans.

The Mike Ashley PR line that is repeatedly put out there and slavishly repeated by sympathetic/lazy media, is that Newcastle United having a lot of supporters, doesn’t mean much, if anything, when it comes to competing in the Premier League these days.

The sad thing is that many Newcastle fans even believe this now, without question.

It is a lie.

This is a newly published table showing what every Premier League club’s revenue was last (2017/18) season, prepared by the excellent Swiss Ramble, who analyses the finances of football:

As you can see, outside of the top six, only Everton had higher total revenues, the other 12 were lower.West Ham has only £3m less but all of the others were significantly lower, many of them massively so.

Remember as well, this is at a club where Mike Ashley is running NUFC in such an unambitious way, where the role of Newcastle United is to benefit himself and his retail empire.

The reality is that due to the size of our club/fanbase, it should be all but impossible to relegate Newcastle United, unless you have a really shocking owner of the club…

Last season, Newcastle had 43% (£53m) more money coming in than Huddersfield and West Brom, 40% (£51m) more than Swansea and Stoke, 39% £50m) more than Watford, 32% (£43m) more than Bournemouth.

In my opinion, pretty much all of that extra cash advantage for Newcastle comes from the fan advantage over other clubs.

Here are a few facts to back that up from last season’s figures:

Average home crowds:

Newcastle 52k, Burnley 21k, Bournemouth 11k, Watford 20k, Huddersfield 24K

Commercial revenue:

Newcastle £28m, Burnley £12m, Bournemouth £10m, Watford £11m, Huddersfield £11m

Matchday revenue:

Newcastle £24m, Burnley £6m, Bournemouth £5m, Watford £8m, Huddersfield £5m

TV facilities fees (extra money you get based on how many times selected for live TV):

Newcastle £21m, Burnley £12m, Bournemouth £13m, Watford £12m, Huddersfield £12m

Matchday revenue is obviously the most blatant, more Newcastle fans generally paying more money to watch their team.

Commercial revenue, the more fans you have then the more customers companies have to engage with.

TV revenues from facilities fees, this portion of cash depends on how many times you are live on UK TV. Last season it was 18 times, Newcastle popular because they have a lot of fans (as well as been of interest to neutrals), when NUFC were in the Championship it was given as one of the key reasons as to why overall Premier League TV audiences had fallen.

This (2018/19) season, Newcastle have had 19 Premier League matches chosen to be shown live, more than any other club outside the top six. In addition, League Cup and FA Cup matches were also selected for live TV.

Last season, Newcastle United had a £50m or higher advantage over five clubs, £39m or more higher than another three. That is almost half the Premier League, it will be a similar story when we eventually find out this current season’s revenue figures in a year’s time.

This is just scratching the surface though because if the club was ran in a proper manner, with ambition shown, I think Newcastle could easily grow that advantage by tens of millions, that is without even making a major breakthrough into the top six.

The commercial revenue is still no higher than when Mike Ashley took over 12 years ago, he has closed all the NUFC club shops apart from the St James Park one to benefit Sports Direct, all of the free advertising/promotion given to SD at St James Park (as well as the training ground, on the giant screen, on the club website, etc etc) if it was sold instead at commercial rates, if corporate sales weren’t so low on matchdays, the extra money if we actually stayed in the cups for more than one or two rounds, the extra millions that NUFC made from booming kit sales before Ashley came along…

Newcastle fans make Newcastle United a big (and financially more powerful) club and if Mike Ashley sells NUFC, that fanbase advantage over most would only get ever bigger, both in support for the team/club and in terms of hard cash.


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