Tag: Newcastle United

Gateshead, Newcastle United & The Cost Of Football

Non-league football is often marketed as a low cost alternative to the Premier League but, as Paul Eke writes, that might not always be as accurate as we might think. Anyone who read my recent TwoHundredPerCent paean to Redheugh Park will have realised that Gateshead Football Club is something close to my heart. After all, travelling from Gateshead to (eg) Wycombe Wanderers (and losing to a last minute goal) is not something done on a whim. That doesn’t make me anything special, in fact it’s a regular experience for thousands of people and will be familiar to many or even most readers of TwoHundredPerCent, but it indicates a level of dedication those same readers will be able to identify with. So it may surprise you to know that I no longer go to watch Gateshead – it’s too expensive. What I haven’t done, however, is stop watching live football. In fact, I’m a season ticket holder – at a Premiership club. So how on earth can I justify watching Premier League football rather than Blue Square Premier on financial grounds? At a time when Premier League ticket prices are widely believed to have priced the ‘average’ fan out of the grounds, that may seem somewhat surprising, and it must be admitted that it requires a subjective assessment of the ‘worth’ of one level of football compared to another, but...

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(Enchanted) Forest Green and Vince charming

Plans for a new club crest are the latest in a series of changes for Conference survivors Forest Green Rovers. Once upon a time there was a little club on a hill which was the luckiest club around, they stayed in the Conference year after year. One day a rich eco-Prince took over. The rich prince was a clever man, who wanted to spend his money wisely – he said he had a long-term plan for the little club on the hill and bit by bit he set about making Forest Green Rovers a meaner, greener club fit for the 21st century. Yes, after once again escaping relegation by the skin of their teeth everyone’s favourite AGM Cup contenders are using the summer to revamp their club crest. But will a new club badge really change the image of the team or is it another publicity stunt? Since eco-millionaire and green guru Vince became the majority shareholder at the New Lawn there have been rumblings of change. Media savvy, Vince has never been one to shy away from a choice soundbite, so within his first few months at the club he professed to have no real knowledge of football, said he’d consider changing the first team strip to a pink shirt and said relegation wouldn’t really be the end of the world for the club. He’s not handed the...

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Newcastle Fans United For Plymouth Argyle

Just over a year ago, Plymouth Argyle played Newcastle United in the Championship at Home Park. It was an emotional night all round, as Newcastle were promoted but, at the same time, Plymouth were relegated. Newcastle’s supporters could have been forgiven a little catharsis as their team returned to the Premier League after a year in exile, while Plymouth were facing an uncertain future after dropping from the league that they had been in since 2004. A and a week on, Plymouth Argyle are in adminstration and facing next season in League Two, whilst Newcastle are comfortable in the Premier League with games to spare. The memories of that evening in Devon, however, have died hard with some Newcastle supporters, who have produced this video, urging their fellow supporters to donate money to The Argyle Fans Trust, who are desperately raising money to try and buy a stake in their club. Much has been written over the last few weeks about the nature of football support, fanaticism and some of the less salubrious aspects of the behaviour of some – perhaps many – of us. However, as a group, football supporters are more than capable of acts of kindness towards their fellow supporters. We have suggested on this site before that the rivalries and mutual loathings that have long been part of our game but have, in recent years,...

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Will This Summer Be The Time To Re-Evaluate Mike Ashley?

He has been the focus of the ire of Newcastle United supporters for much of the last three or four years, but Mark Brophy is wondering whether, with the team back in the Premier League and comfortable in mid-table, this summer might be a chance to re-evaluate the club’s owner, Mike Ashley. The recent publication of Newcastle United’s financial results for last season made humbling reading for many fans. Not because they make plain the folly of the club’s previous spending, although they do. Nor because they have highlighted how far the club has fallen since the days of Champions League qualification almost a decade ago, although they have. No, the humbling part of the results is that they show exactly how dependent the club has become on Mike Ashley, the focus of many fans’ ire. Supporters convinced of their dislike of Ashley almost from day one have pointed to his repeated transfer-window profits and his attempts to sell the club as further proof of his desire to claw back his money and ditch his failed experiment now it’s turned out to be less fun than he thought it would be. Such fans might also say that funding by Ashley only became necessary because of his chronic mismanagement, and that he therefore forfeits the credit for making up any shortfall in Newcastle’s finances. What is indisputable is that the...

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Match Of The Week: Aston Villa 1-0 Newcastle United

A feeling of nervousness hangs heavy in the air at Villa Park this afternoon. The four teams below Aston Villa have already lost this weekend, but home supporters may already point to their primary concern being that there are as few as four teams below them in the Premier League at this point of the season in the first place. Aston Villa have slid almost unnoticed into the fiercest relegation dog-fight in years and, while their draw at Goodison Park last weekend was an improvement of sorts, this is a team drained of confidence. At this point in the season, though, confidence is an asset the value of which cannot be understated. That Newcastle United should be the visitors here this afternoon is somewhat ironic, of course. It was at Villa Park two years ago that they were relegated from the Premier League, to near-universal mockery. That stinging feeling has been somewhat assuaged by their immediate return and a comparatively successful season this year but, while to have already beaten Aston Villa by six goals earlier this season may have exorcised a ghost or two, perhaps full closure may require a little more of the same this afternoon. With their Premier League survival not quite secured yet, supporters of Villa’s relegation rivals will presumably be hoping that the need for another win or two as security and a few...

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