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Opinion

Newcastle United not that big? The only club never to have a Premier League crowd under 30,000

2 months ago
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The subject of attendances is very topical at Newcastle United.

This season has seen easily the most empty seats at St James Park in the Premier League era.

So many thousands of Newcastle fan sick of Mike Ashley and his running of the club, feeling the only protest they have left is to boycott home matches.

Thousands of empty seats at every match, with the game against Southampton seeing over 10,000 seats unsold.

That was the lowest official crowd of the season, although Brighton saw probably the fewest people inside St James Park, thousands of season ticket holders also staying away and clearly under 40,000 inside the stadium.

However, Newcastle still having crowds most clubs would kill for, such is the addiction.

Mike Ashley though forced into the desperate move of now giving away 10,000 free season tickets to fill the empty seats next to his adverts.

On the subject of crowds and fans of certain other clubs who like to have a go at Newcastle fans…I came across this on the official Crystal Palace website.

‘Newcastle are the only club in Premier League history to have never recorded a crowd lower than 30,000. Their lowest attendance of 32,067 was recorded against Southampton in January 1994.’

In this age of fake news I was thinking surely this can’t be true, somebody has intentionally/unintentionally got this wrong, surely?

Well, you don’t even have to look for individual crowds in most cases, these are some of the average crowds in the first ever Premier League season of 1992/93 (Newcastle averaged 26,511 that season in the second tier):

20,455 – Everton

18,754 – Chelsea

24,403 – Arsenal

24,698 – Man City

27,878 – Spurs

29,594 – Villa

29,228 – Leeds

If you looked deeper, you would find far lower individual crowds for all of these clubs, either that season or in others since.

What about Man Utd?

Well they got only 29,736 against Crystal Palace in the 1992/93 season, they were developing Old Trafford that season but that wasn’t a capacity crowd against Palace, most of their crowds that season were 35,000 and under.

As for Liverpool?

Sick of life under Graeme Souness (we can sympathise!) and got only 24,561 for a home game with QPR.

West Ham? They had an average of only 20,593 in 1993/94, never mind lower one-off crowds.

Sunderland? Averaged only 20,974 in 1996/97 and once again, had far lower individual PL crowds.

Maybe the most amusing is this idea from the media that Chelsea have always had decent support.

On 4 May 1994, 10 days before they played Man Utd in the FA Cup final, so not a terrible season, Chelsea played at home to Coventry and had a ‘crowd’ of only 8,923!

There are many other instances of shocking crowds for Chelsea and their fickle fans. Plus, in the 1996/97 season even Middlesbrough (29,871 average) had a better following than them (27,617).

There are a lot of things you can have a go at Newcastle United about but the support for the team is astonishing, not a domestic trophy for at least 65 years and the Fairs Cup one 51 years ago (as we can’t win anything before the new year/2020).

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