Football fans across the North East finally have the answer they’re been waiting for – Newcastle United is a bigger club than Sunderland!
A survey of more than 3,500 supporters asked what makes a big club, with 10 different criteria established to determine the final outcome.
Match-going support, worldwide support, total Premier League seasons and stadium size were amongst the main categories included by Betway in the survey.
Every club that has played in the Premier League since its inception was included in the survey and then ranked according to the various criteria.
Rankings were determined via a sliding scale of points from 20 points down to one, with a weighting formula then used to prioritise the most important categories.
The Magpies just missed out on the top 10 by one place, with Sunderland finishing behind Southampton in 13th position.
Manchester United claimed top or joint-top in six of the 10 categories to secure first place, over 50 points ahead of big rivals Liverpool.
Arsenal and Chelsea finished third and fourth respectively, with Manchester City ending up in fifth place despite winning the title for the past two years.
Historical success, match-going support and European pedigree were determined as more important factors than recent silverware, hindering City’s hopes of a higher finish.
Newcastle and Sunderland’s solid total of Premier League seasons improved their respective totals, although the Black Cats are likely to suffer in future lists now they are a League One club.
Geordie fans will probably be frustrated to see the likes of West Ham United, Aston Villa and Leicester City ahead of them in the table, particularly given the obvious potential at St James’ Park.
If Newcastle fans got their wish to see the back of Mike Ashley as owner, the club could easily force their way into the upper echelons of the big club list in the future.