Graeme Souness takes extraordinary swipe at Newcastle United in on-air rant
Former Newcastle United manager Graeme Souness has questioned whether the Magpies are truly a big club because of their continued lack of silverware.
The Toon Army have endured a lengthy trophy drought that stretches back as far as their Fairs Cup success in 1969.
They have come close to rectifying that dire record on numerous occasions in recent decades, but have always come up short in their bid for silverware.
Now, however, with their new Saudi owners at the helm, the general expectation is that the Magpies will slowly begin to assemble a side capable of challenging for trophies on a regular basis – but Souness has argued that they cannot truly be considered a footballing giant until they begin to amass a medal collection.
Speaking on Sky Sports’ coverage of their clash with Leicester City on Sunday afternoon, the Scot responded to a claim from another ex-Toon boss, Alan Pardew, that there was “nowhere like” Newcastle United.
He said: “There are places like it. Try going to Liverpool or Glasgow – proper football clubs.
"I don’t know how you can say that. They’re not on a level with other big football clubs.”
Host Dave Jones interrupted the pundit, arguing: “50,000 will turn up every week, though”.
An unimpressed Souness responded: “What does that mean? You never see them win anything.
"I get fed up with that, ‘Oh it’s a really big football club’.
"A big football club, for me, it depends what criteria you’re working with – is it the success, how many people you get in, the turnover? On one level, to get 50,000 every week makes them a big football club.
"But there’s lots of big football clubs who get 50,000 a week and have been winning things for a long time”.
Fellow panel member Pardew jumped to the Magpies’ defence, however, replying: “Big clubs are not always about trophies, that’s my argument.
"It’s about passion, and you cannot fault the passion. Their passion is everything.
"They haven’t really had the financial muscle to go and compete in the last period. Now they have. You’re a big club, now go and prove it.
"The support is there, the passion is there – now they have the funding to have a go”.