Newcastle United fan group issues statement

A fan protest group has called for ANOTHER boycott at St James's Park.

Thousands of Newcastle United supporters boycotted the club’s season-opener against Arsenal last month in a protest against owner Mike Ashley.

And the following home game, against Watford, was watched by 44,157 fans.

Toon For Change, formerly Empty for Ashley, has called on fans to stay away from the televised home game against Brighton and Hove Albion on September 21.

Fans protest outside St James's Park.

In a statement, spokesperson Joe Moore said: “There’s genuine momentum building in the protest movement against Mike Ashley, and this has been clearly demonstrated by falling attendances at St James’s Park.

“There were mixed opinions about how successful the boycott of the home match against Arsenal was, but it was our lowest opening day Premier League attendance since 2011. (The) match against Watford saw the attendance fall to a level that we haven’t seen since at a Premier League match since December 2012.

“St James’s Park has been at 88% capacity – the lowest in the league. Mike Ashley, Lee Charnley and other senior executives will not be ignoring the pattern that is emerging. It will concern them. The supporters who are choosing to stay away, and who want Ashley to sell the club, are winning.

“We’ve been left with no choice but to try and get the club we fell in love with back, and if that means not going to St James’s for a period of time, it’s a sacrifice we as a group are willing to make.”

There are around 9,000 unsold tickets for the Brighton game.