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Opinion

Newcastle fans tell us why wouldn’t go back to St James Park in December – Astonishing results

1 year ago
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On Tuesday we asked the question: ‘Would you pay to be one of the 2,000/4,000 Newcastle fans back at SJP in December?’

On Monday, Boris Johnson confirmed that after the current set of virus restrictions end on Wednesday 2 December, limited numbers can return to both football stadiums and other sporting arenas.

However, the numbers are limited and also dependent on which tier your region will be placed in, hopefully as early as this Thursday we will find out which tier Newcastle Upon Tyne and every other city / region has been placed in.

If you are tier one then you are allowed up to 4,000 fans inside your stadium but it can’t be more than 50% of capacity, in tier two it is a 2,000 maximum and not more than 50% capacity, whilst in tier three fans will still be banned.

So if Newcastle Upon Tyne is placed in Tier One or Tier Two, would you pay to be one of the 4,000 or 2,000 allowed into St James Park in December?

The first match where this could potentially happen is the West Brom home match which is scheduled for the weekend of Saturday 12 December.

Obviously you would also need Mike Ashley / Newcastle United to agree to the return of a limited number of fans (if the city is in Tiers one or two).

Plus as no doubt many of you are pointing out, if Newcastle fans are allowed in next month, then the 2,000 or 4,000 would be surely chosen from those who have paid / been paying for 2020/21 season tickets.

However, what we wanted to know was simply, if you were offered the choice, would you want to pay and attend games in December 2020 if able to do so?

After the votes were counted, we published the results on Wednesday (yesterday):

11% Yes I would go back to St James Park in December

89% No I wouldn’t go back inside St James Park in December

A quite stunning result, which is completely different to the popular perception that fans everywhere are clamouring to get back into stadiums.

However, is it simply the virus situation at play here with Newcastle fans, or are there issues specific to our club leading to a massive 89% of NUFC supporters who voted saying they wouldn’t go to matches next month if having the chance to do so?

So we felt it essential to do a quick follow up poll to try and identify why fans had voted in the split above, why almost nine in ten Newcastle fans who voted, would NOT go to St James Park next month if they were able to buy a ticket and get in.

So the question now posed was: ‘Would you pay to be one of the 2,000/4,000 Newcastle fans back in December and if not, why?’

There were eight options for Newcastle fans to choose from, to pick just the one that most matched how they felt.

Either voting yes you would go to Newcastle United December matches at St James Park if allowed to.

Or, vote no and indicate the reason/reasons why you wouldn’t.

(The possible reasons we listed were not wanting to give your money / support to Mike Ashley, the ‘style’ of football under Steve Bruce, the virus situation, these shortened to Ashley, Bruce and Virus – Percentages rounded up / down to the nearest whole number)

8% Yes I would go back to St James Park in December

37% No because of Ashley and Bruce

22% No because of Ashley, Bruce and Virus

14% No because of Bruce

8% No because of Virus

6% No because of Bruce and Virus

4% No because of Ashley

2% No because of Ashley and Virus

A lot to take in here…

The figure of those saying yes dropped slightly from 11% to 8% which maybe not a big surprise as this time the main aim was to find out why Newcastle fans didn’t want to go to matches if St James Park opened up. Though it is still spectacular I think that so few say they would want to go.

Looking at the reasons people gave above, a massive 59% (three in five fans) indicated either Mike Ashley, Steve Bruce and the virus option (22%) or Mike Ashley and Steve Bruce option (37%).

Interesting though that when it came down to those indicating only one reason, the pecking order was Bruce’s football (14%), the Virus (8%) and then Ashley’s ownership only 4%.

Taking all the figures above though and adding together the reasons people gave in their various answers, we get the following:

8% Yes (would go to games)

79% naming Steve Bruce as a (or the) reason why they wouldn’t go

65% naming Mike Ashley as a (or the) reason why they wouldn’t go

38% naming the Virus as a (or the) reason why they wouldn’t go

I would strongly assume that at other clubs, if fans don’t want to return to games in December, the Virus situation would easily be the biggest factor stopping them, indeed probably the only one in vast majority of cases.

At Newcastle United things are very different…

Very interesting though to see more Newcastle fans putting Steve Bruce’s abysmal football (79%) ahead of an unwillingness to give Mike Ashley their money (65%) though.

Trust the NUFC owner to come up with something that is even more unpopular than himself!

Today (Thursday) we are set to find out which tier Newcastle Upon Tyne (and everywhere else) has been placed into, then hopefully if not tier three we will then see Newcastle United swiftly announcing their plans for letting 2,000 or 4,000 Newcastle fans into matches. Who will then be up for going is a completely different matter.

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