Newcastle United are a 'zombie club' – fan group issue strong statement on St James's Park crowd

Mike Ashley-owned Newcastle United are a “zombie club” with fans turning their backs on the club they love – that’s the view of fan group Toon for Change.

Saturday, 31st August 2019, 6:28 pm
Updated Saturday, 31st August 2019, 7:29 pm
NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - AUGUST 31: A fan waits outside the stadium prior to the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Watford FC at St. James Park on August 31, 2019 in Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

United recorded their lowest attendance in the Premier League since December 2012 today – with just 44,127 fans turning up for the 1-1 draw with Watford.

And the group believe fans are taking the “heartbreaking” decision to walk way from United because they do not want to line Ashley’s pocket.

Spokesman for the group, Joe Halliday, said: “Thousands of fans didn’t renew their season tickets ahead of the new season and today’s attendance is further evidence that supporters are unwilling to continue filling Mike Ashley’s pockets.

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“The lack of ambition shown by the current ownership is leading to fans turning their backs on a club that they once loved - it’s heartbreaking. Within our group - we sat down at the start of the season and asked ourselves why we should continue financially supporting Ashley’s Newcastle United, if he isn’t prepared to invest appropriately in the club’s squad and facilities. As you might have guessed, the conclusion we came to was that we shouldn’t.

“The numbers are clear. The attendance at the Arsenal match earlier this month was the lowest for an opening day Premier League match at St James since 2011. The attendance for Leicester in the cup was 5,000, or eighteen per cent down on the last EFL Cup second round match at St James’.

“Today’s attendance was the lowest attendance at St James’ Park since December 2012, when we were at one of our lowest points under Pardew having lost four games in a row.

“Despite last week’s fantastic result at Tottenham, the feeling around the club is rock bottom and we're only three games into a new season. We’re becoming a zombie club - and that’s down to one man, Mike Ashley.”

Earlier head coach Steve Bruce commented: “All I can do is try and get on with my job. We can never take for granted the support this great club has got. Hopefully it will be onwards and upwards with the team.

“I am sure they will come back when we win a few games.”