A sign of mass unrest at St James’ Park?

Understanding attendances.
I’ve had this article planned since the weekend but I’ve just got round to writing so bear with me if anyone feels that it’s “out of date” or has passed it’s most relevant period.

I happen to think otherwise and believe that it’s a very important thing, and I hope you agree. Anyway, here goes.

In a nutshell it’s about attendances. The figures show that just 46,894 turned up at St James’ Park for the opening fixture of the Premier League season. It was still the biggest crowd in England over the weekend, but it’s some 5,400ish short of what we can achieve. Is it a sign of the times? What could cause this sudden drop in attendances?

Obviously the place where most people will point the finger is towards Mike Ashley. I’ve read a few comments now asking why people should bother going if the owner of the club can’t be bothered to invest in players. This is of course up to the person in question, although it’s worth pointing out now my belief that the only way to get rid of Ashley should you desire to do so is not give him a penny of your hard-earned cash. It will hurt, but if people really feel that strongly then perhaps actions would speak louder than words?

There is undoubtedly an element of unrest within the fanbase, but is that the only reason? In my opinion, no. We were riding on the crest of a wave last season having just earned promotion back to the Premier League, yet in the first home game of last season we only managed to get 43,546 through the gate for our 6-0 win over Aston Villa. If you look it comparatively, attendances are up.

Not that it replaces the missing 5,000 or so souls that are usually at St James’ Park of course. There has to be more reasons for it.

How about personal finances? Look at any financial newspaper or website, look at the recent decline in the stock market and the price of oil, inflation is high, unemployment figures are high, people are on pay freezes, bills are going up. The economy is not a pretty place at the moment.

Naturally when this happens people tend to look at their own scenario and think that they are alright so everybody else must be alright. Wrong. People are struggling out there and when you have bills to pay, mouths to feed, homes to heat and so on you need to re-adjust your priorities. Would you spend ยฃ40 on a match ticket? Or keep it aside in case something happens or to help with a bill? Confidence is shot at the moment and to me that is another factor behind the drop in attendances.

For those who are feeling flush it’s worth pointing out that this is peak holiday time so a proportion of the missing fans will be in various places around the globe sunning themselves. Off the top of my head I know of seven season ticket holders who are away on their jollies at the moment which will affect attendances. Yes it’s only seven, but if I know a few and you know a few and so on it soon mounts up. Thanks to those fancy card reader things on the turnstiles at St James’ Park, NUFC count actual attendances on the day and not tickets sold.

This new seating plan also has something to do with it in my opinion. We heard stories over the weekend how some of those that have been displaced from Level 7 caused problems for stewards and other fellow fans around the ground at the weekend, but there will also be fans who are so pissed off with having to move that they just haven’t bothered going back. The new extended away end is said to be 4,000 seats but not even Arsenal filled that so I reckon other clubs may struggle aswell.

In conclusion I believe that all of these reasons combined are playing a part in our drop in attendances. It’s worth remembering that crowds are down everywhere at the moment and even teams like Manchester United are struggling to shift all of their season tickets. In fact last season was the first season in something like 20 years that they had failed to sell out their season tickets.

It’s all too early to tell to be honest. I mean we still nearly hit a 50,000 average last season despite the first game having nearly 10,000 empty seats. I expect that we’ll see steady growth throughout the season in terms of attendances as that is how it’s happened over the last few years – even in the relegation season.

If that doesn’t happen then we may a problem.

About toonsy

A lifelong Newcastle fan and current webmaster of this very 'blog who has the sole aim of creating a place by Newcastle United fans, for Newcastle United fans.

198 thoughts on “A sign of mass unrest at St James’ Park?

  1. TC,

    nee need to apologise mate, just frustrating for yee if you spend time writing something profound for it to get gobbled up due to one word, if you know what I mean?


  2. Toonsy, missed nowt mate.
    Same **** as every nite re hashed by the samr folks.
    I’m losing the will to argue anymore.


  3. Sorry…

    spend time writing something (WHICH YOU BELIEVE TO BE) profound for it to get….

    ๐Ÿ™„ ๐Ÿ˜†


  4. Toon Chicken, ๐Ÿ˜† :mrgreen: ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

    …”bugger”! ….a swear word!?!?

    …I remember when it was perfectly fine to sodomise, back in the days when nee one was arsed.


  5. Jose talking to the press, he had to get out and expects joey will follow shortly. No ambition fans deserve better. If that happened and no signings in FCB is well and truly abusing us, and expect what we’ve been fed for 4 years. Seems so easy agreeing terms when we sell but it’s a nightmare to get one over the line when were spending.

    ll but can never have an easy buy


  6. …just got big red lights and honking sounds in mi cage. I think that means the nurses are coming. Bye for now, my sweaties…..


  7. It’s quite amusing though watching the comments go from

    “We’re only in the third week of the transfer window FFS”


    “Pleanty of time yet left, season hasn’t even kicked off”


    “12 days to go, Pards is confident we’ll bring someone in”

    …and I am not sure whether we will see much more, as the people coming out with these comments are slowly fading away….


  8. ‘The big thing for me is that we finished above them for the third time in a row, which hasn’t happened for a long, long time, and our aim is to finish on top of them again. As long as I am the Sunderland manager, the one thing I want to do is finish above themโ€ what a sad man collyflower face is hope we stuff them again, should pin that up in our dressing room if lamearse gives us some money for the pin


  9. I think we should go and smash sportsdirect in, in the town, Lets just all go in, like 100 people at once and trash the place. It would achieve more than the riots as far as NUFC concerned.


  10. Non of you pussies will admit it but it’s what you would love to do isn’t it. I say no to the riots but I say yes to kicking the **** out of Ashleys shops in Eldon Square and Metrocentre just to wake the ****er up.


  11. Its like what Big Dave was saying, he was right! If enough people boycotted the match and non of the ‘turn up whatever’ crowd were there Ashley would probably give up. BUT he knows people will turn up whatever and be mugs.


  12. @168

    Aye, so not only would our club be a laughing stock, our race of people would be too. great plan.

    Gan fill the sink up with hot watter and gan boil ya heed man


  13. For lawdy lawd’s big fkn Jeeziz ****’s sake. Rioting, as attractive as it may seem to the unfulfilled, will never answer the problem.

    …and before I’m reminded of the old ‘part of the solution/or part of the problem’ b0locks, I should remind you I’m actually a massive LESBIAN. And I eat ****les straight off the black middens, popping them with my hefty, pierced ****.


  14. Thats exactly what I would expect from the apoloigists. Take a deep breath and repeat after me, ‘I am not a slave to Ashley’.


  15. I don’t actually hense the ‘my flatmate is a mackem’ part but obviously you were rolling up or something. ‘Killing in the name of’ is a good track though so you obviously have some ability.


  16. DJG,

    If we are on the subject of RatM, Know your Enemy is the best track ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Is your mam a makem then? Howay mate, you must be pissed if you are serious about the last few posts ๐Ÿ˜• โ“

    Rodzilla, I tend not to have the words to respond to your posts mate. Talk a lot of sense on the footy but off it your are like a raving lunatic


  17. .just that I’m currently watching ‘The Word’ 1993 re-run episode with mi Mam. She says it’s fkin great.

    …some of those that burn crosses, ah hahaha, how we laugh….


  18. Moreno I am slightly but I am really pissed of at the minute. The board are taking us for a ride. Can’t you see that mate???


  19. DJG,

    Do you actually frequent this blog at all?!?

    Fooking hell mate, please refer to my last 5 articles ๐Ÿ˜• I have been on the warpath for weeks.


  20. “Fear is your only God, on the Radio…nah, f*ck it…turn it off”

    Anyway, day off tomorrow so I will be kicking about…ciao fer now


  21. I think for the first time we need to start putting some serious pressure on Pardue and the board tomorow. Come on guys they are taking the mick.

    I gaurentee if we lose to the makems there will be hell on and people supporting me. I will bide my time coz we’ve got no LB or strikers. YOU WILL all come round to my way of thinking!! ๐Ÿ™‚


  22. Im biding my time until Sat around 6pm. I will return come what may! have a good derby, my life will be in misery for around 4 months if the worst should happen, think about that one chumpettes!. Mwah ๐Ÿ˜›


  23. What’s all this – mass unrest at St. James? Enrique fearing for Newcastle?!

    What absolute bollo%$#!!! Honestly, most of the problems are manufactured by the media, pundits (my arse) and to some extent the fans. Just get on with supporting the team instead of quacking like ducks. Enrique included!


  24. Is the attendance on those who came in on the day or tickets sold? I was surprised as the areas around me had sold out on the NUFC website, no tickets were on sale for them, but in the ground there were a number of seats around me that were empty. Is there a question of ticket touts, or did a whole lot of people buy tickets and not turn up for whatever reason?


  25. Combination of 2 things for me, mainly the prices, i can barely afford my bills/rent etc so ยฃ40 a match is out of the question. The other is Mike Ashley, he is ruining our club, no ambition, i mean we’re not even competing with the likes of Bolton/Stoke etc, he is selling our players to make maximum profit, spending just enough to survive, then underspending the next year. Very disillusioned at the moment, actually it hurts. Coupled with all of the lies, smokescreens, hes taking the piss out of us. Got no faith at the moment.


  26. @Craig

    I’m with you on this about going down the pan bull****.
    It certainly wasn’t healthy but to suggest going down the pan was way off the mark.

    It was Ashleys incompetence who eventually increased the debt by getting us relegated.

    The debt was for stadia improvements and fortunately Shepherd had the foresight to build it before prices rocketed.

    Clubs such as Liverpool, Everton etc need a new stadium now and it’s going to cost in the region of ยฃ400m+ .

    We had a mortgage which was to be paid off in 2015.

    Bull**** propaganda by the regime.

    At least ff brought CL football, UEFA and FA cup runs as well as close title finishes.

    There’s a balance and Ashley ia at the wrong end of the scales.


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