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Opinion

A reminder why Newcastle United are indeed special – Highest attendances in the World 2013-2018

3 weeks ago
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We all know why Mike Ashley bought Newcastle United.

It was because of the fans.

When buying the club, Ashley’s people told John Hall that he was buying NUFC to promote his retail empire around the world, primarily via the all-encompassing UK and Worldwide TV deals around the globe.

This only works if there are fans filling the seats, advertising¬† hoardings next to hundreds/thousands of empty seats doesn’t work, it is almost negative advertising.

Since expanding to 52,000+ in 2000, St James Park had very very rarely played host to a Premier League crowd of under 50,000, until Mike Ashley came along…

Moving  forward to 2019 and the spell is well and truly broken.

On Saturday the official crowd was 44,157 and for Arsenal on the opening day it was 47,635.

Against Watford that meant over 8,000 empty seats, though many thought there were more (seats empty).

Whilst the Arsenal game also saw around 8,000 empty seats as thousands of season ticket holders supported a one-off boycott.

When you take into account 3,200 Arsenal fans and around 1,500 from Watford, then also the corporate seats (around 4,000) at both games, when you are talking about Newcastle fans in ‘normal’ seating areas, I think we are talking around 35,000-37,000 Newcastle fans attending each of the two games

An interest report below looking at the highest average attendances in World football from 2013-2018.

The stats only showing for the seasons when clubs were in the top tier of their respective leagues.

Ironically, Newcastle’s average of 51,106 in their 2016/17 Championship season would have actually INCREASED Newcastle’s average over this five year period.

Report from the CIES Football Observatory:

‘With over 80,000 spectators per match, Borussia Dortmund is top of the rankings for attendance by club.

The Ruhr team is ahead of four football giants: Manchester United, Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid.

Five German clubs are in the top ten rankings (the two already cited, Schalke 04, Hamburg and Stuttgart).

Atlanta United is the most popular non-European club (10th in total).’

The CIES Football Observatory top 50+:

Highest Average Attendances In The World 2013-2018

As you can see, it shows Newcastle United as high as 13th in the World when it comes to support, an average of 50,721 when in the Premier League between 2013 and 2018.

Miguel Almiron’s old club in tenth spot.

You have to also bear in mind, the four seasons where the average crowd figures are taken from, Newcastle ended up 10th (2013/14), 15th (2014/15), 18th and relegated (2015/16) and 10th (2017/18).

Now that Mike Ashley has finally succeeded in pushing so many more fans over the edge, Newcastle United won’t be now competing on the terraces either.

When you see images like the one above of so many seats even in the East Stand empty against Watford, people at the club should be telling Mike Ashley that the game is now definitely up.

Rather embarrassingly, Steve Bruce claimed on Saturday that if the team win a few games then all the seats will be filled once again.

The reality is that this is a broken club and those empty seats are a very visual reminder of the state of the club.

A club that has one of the biggest fanbases in the world and yet the owner even sells land (which once belonged to NUFC) opposite the Gallowgate to make a profit for himself, which once built on will make it impossible even in the future for St James Park to have an increased capacity.

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