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Research shows Newcastle one of only 3 Premier League clubs to lose fans since Mike Ashley takeover

2 years ago

The 20 Premier League clubs are now 12 games into their season, ahead of this weekend’s matches.

The Premier League continues to have global appeal, dubbed the ‘world league’ by many, due to the interest around the glove and the diversity of players in the league.

The number of fans filling the stadiums is also a big draw for those watching on TV, both in terms of atmosphere and as a spectacle.

This season has seen many Newcastle fans staying away, now a regular thing to see thousands of empty seats at St James Park.

Doing a bit of research, I have been having a look at the attendances of the 20 current Premier League clubs so far this season, compared to the number of fans that each club had in 2006/07, the season before Mike Ashley took over at Newcastle.

Back in 2006/07, Newcastle were the third best supported club in the Premier League, averaging 50,686. Man Utd (75,826) and Arsenal (60.045) the only ones with a higher average, indeed the season before (2005/06), Newcastle were second highest as Arsenal hadn’t moved into the Emirates yet.

This season so far, Newcastle are only seventh highest as other clubs have grown their fanbase and/or stadium.

Indeed, of all 20 Premier League clubs, Newcastle are one of only three who now have less fans watching them than in 2006/07, before Ashley’s takeover.

Newcastle’s average has dropped to 46,125, meaning  a drop of 4,561 per match.

Man Utd have dropped by 2,283 and Chelsea by 951, although for the Blues I think it might be just a case of a slightly lower capacity now.

The 20 current Premier League clubs – Average attendances in 2006/07, then in brackets current average this 2019/20 season:

Man Utd 75,826 (73,543)

Arsenal 60,045 (60,322)

Newcastle United 50,686 (46,125)

Liverpool 43,561 (52,988)

Chelsea 41,542 (40,591)

Man City 39,997 (54,338)

Everton 36,739 (39,213)

Aston Villa 36,214 (41,696)

Spurs 35,739 (59,607)

West Ham 34,719 (59,909)

Sheff Utd 30,512 (30.824)

Norwich 24,524 (27,059)

Southampton 23,556 (30.395)

Leicester 23,206 (32,040)

Wolves 20,968 (31,101)

Watford 18,750 (20,714)

Palace 17,541 (25,326)

Burnley 11,956 (20,523)

Brighton 6,048 (30,259)

Bournemouth 6,028 (10.614)

(All attendance stats via World Football)

There are obviously all kinds of factors at various clubs and indeed the bottom nine clubs in 2006/07 in terms of attendances above, weren’t in the Premier League – seven in the Championship back then, Brighton and Bournemouth in League One.

However, pretty much all of these clubs are now striving to maximise crowds and the likes of Spurs and West Ham are in new stadiums and have around 25,000 extra fans watching them now. Brighton have 24,000 more now, Liverpool 10,000 more and so on.

What is more, many are still looking to grow their capacities, including Everton, Leicester and Liverpool.

At Newcastle the situation is dire with Mike Ashley, thousands and thousands of empty seats due to his ongoing presence, whilst he has also sold out our hopes of a bigger St James Park capacity under ambitious future owners, by selling previously club owned land for personal profit.


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