*A statement from Joe Haliday, a spokesperson for the ‘Toon For Change’ supporter group (formerly Empty for Ashley), after Saturday’s attendance was just 44,157 – the club’s lowest Premier League attendance for 7 years.*
“Thousands of fans didn’t renew their season tickets ahead of the new season and Saturday’s attendance is further evidence that supporters are unwilling to continue filling Mike Ashley’s pockets.
“The lack of ambition shown by the current ownership is leading to fans turning their backs on a club that they once loved – it’s heartbreaking.
“Within our group – we sat down at the start of the season and asked ourselves why we should continue financially supporting Ashley’s Newcastle United, if he isn’t prepared to invest appropriately in the club’s squad and facilities.
“As you might have guessed, the conclusion we came to was that we shouldn’t.
“The numbers are clear.
“The attendance at the Arsenal match earlier this month was the lowest for an opening day Premier League match at St James since 2011.
“The attendance for Leicester in the cup was 5,000, or eighteen per cent down on the last EFL Cup second round match at St James’.
“Today’s attendance was the lowest attendance at St James’ Park since December 2012, when we were at one of our lowest points under Pardew having lost four games in a row.
“Despite last week’s fantastic result at Tottenham, the feeling around the club is rock bottom and we’re only three games into a new season.
“We’re becoming a zombie club – and that’s down to one man, Mike Ashley.”