The media rise and fall of Newcastle United
To the neutral supporter, or the younger generation, or the cynic, this may seem like a whinge and a moan from another unrealistic Newcastle United fan…
However, in reality it’s an observation made over many years regarding the press and TV attitude towards Newcastle United as a club.
An investigation into the subtle and gradual decline in coverage of our club and the negative shifts in attitude and the reasons around that.
After watching a thoroughly deserved win against Everton the other weekend, later on I opened the sky news app to read the reaction to the game. I was presented with a list of articles including a report on three of the four games played last Sunday, every one but the Newcastle Everton match.
I then reverted to Google to search for an article, every one of which reported solely on how badly Everton had played, with no mention of how Newcastle had performed and how deserved the win was given the second half performance.
This weekend, following the loss to Southampton, the report on the match appeared almost instantly on the same app, along with highlights. This reporting has crept in gradually since the media darling days of the 90s. So I had to wonder why…
I was fortunate enough to witness first hand the mid 90s Keegan years and then the Robson ones, when Newcastle were those media darlings and everyone’s second team. I am also old enough to remember Ossie Ardiles before that and imminent relegation to the 3rd tier, I have been up and down with the roller-coaster that is life as a Newcastle fan!
So what changed?
Was there a turning point where Newcastle suddenly fell out of favour?
The obvious one is Mike Ashley, as for years now since we realised how bad he was for our club, we’ve heard the same rhetoric from rival supporters, “Just because you nearly won the league in the 90s you expect to win everything”, “you’re just a small club with unrealistic supporters”, “you could’ve been the next Leeds” (doesn’t seem like a bad option right now!) etc etc etc ad nauseum…
All comments that are mostly untrue, spoken by people with no understanding of what the club means to the city and (mostly) by people from London where the concept of an entire city sharing a single bond, an entire community, able to settle arguments by talking about the one thing they all have in common, their love of our football club is entirely alien.
Many rival fans in the last couple of years have started to see our point with Mike Ashley, have changed their opinion and started to support us and can see just how bad this man is for not only Newcastle United, but for football in general.
Yet, despite the public perception of us changing, the press view hasn’t changed, so what else could it be?
I firmly believe that it can be pinned on one moment and one decision made pre-Ashley, that was the sacking of Sir Bobby Robson. The finest man ever to have graced the game with his presence, who bled Newcastle United and loved the club more than anything, sacked for finishing 5th and picking up two points from the first four matches the following season, to the disappointment of quite possibly every football fan in the country.
We let down a legend and one of the best managers we’ve ever had.
Newcastle United lost respect from many corners that day and, I do question whether we will ever be able to regain that respect, or whether we are forever destined in the eyes of football fans everywhere to be nothing more than the club who sacked Bobby Robson…
Thank you for reading.
Comments and debate actively encouraged.
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