It has come to my attention in recent months, due mainly to our players constantly being linked to moves to other clubs during transfer window, that Newcastle United are no longer deemed to be a big club to most people outside of the North East region and by many people they may never have been deemed to be a ‘big’ club; so I ask the question, what defines a big club?
There must be several boxes you would have to tick to class your team as a ‘big’ club, but what are the things that define a club as being a big club? Chelsea are now classed as a big club since Roman Abramovich bought the club In 2003 and since that time has spent hundreds of millions of pounds buying players; and with that money success has followed, but they were not classed as ‘big’ club during their years of yo-yoing between the old first division (Premier League now) and the old second division (Championship now), so can you spend your way to having big club status?
‘Trophies are what defines a big club’; is the most common line that you will hear when a lot of people try to explain what a big club is, but does that mean that Arsenal were a big club until six years ago but now they are no longer a big club because of lack of silverware? And did Manchester United lose their big club status during their own barren years during the seventies and eighties?
History is another great barometer that is used by people when trying to describe a ‘big’ club, but surely if that was the case then, Nottingham Forest, Ipswich Town, Derby County, Preston North End and Blackpool would all have to be classed in the ‘big’ club category in England?
In this day and age of the foreign owners in English football it seems spending power can define whether or not you are classed as big club or not, and if that is the case then surely Manchester City are the biggest club in the history of the game?
Fan base and the average attendance will always come into the debate, especially from the average supporter on the street, and surely if you have an average attendance of over 50,000 and a worldwide fan base, then you would have to be classed as a bigger club than a club getting just over 30,000 and a much smaller fan base around the world; wouldn’t you?
And the final thing which should probably be included when trying to define a ‘big’ club is income and how much money the club generates on a yearly basis. This can often be misleading though especially when some London teams can charge £2,000 for a season ticket and clubs in the north of England simply cannot charge anywhere near that level or they would be playing in empty stadiums every week.
All of the above suggestions as to what produces a ‘big’ club have valid points, but most of them also contradict themselves, and if these suggestions were stuck too clubs would often change status every few year which in turn would surely contradict being a ‘big’ club in itself?
– FA cup winners 6 times (finalists 13 times)
– League winners 4 times
– 1 major European trophy
– 12 seasons playing in European competitions
– An average attendance of 50,000 plus
The above facts are all facts on NEWCASTLE UNITED and no matter how you like to judge what makes a big club there is absolutely no getting away from the fact that Newcastle United is and always will be a big club, but as the guidelines to what makes a ‘big’ club is often a matter of opinion then confusion and arguments will always rage and not just in the North East and at Newcastle United; but with both fans and clubs from all over England.
So, just how do you define a big club?