Newcastle United fan survey reveals extraordinary backing for new owners – and one significant concern
Newcastle United Suporters Trust (NUST), which met with co-owners Amanda Staveley and Mehrdad Ghodoussi late last season, polled its members on a number of issues this summer. And the survey, based 2,176 responses, revealed extremely high satisfaction with the club’s turnaround under Eddie Howe last season.
The club, which hadn’t won a game before Howe’s appointment last November, finished 11th last season – and 99.2% of supporters declared themselves “very satisfied” or “satisfied” with that outcome.
The survey also revealed similarly high levels of satisfaction with the start made by United new owners, Howe’s appointment – and the communication from the club’s hierarchy.
Also, 94.2% of respondents said they were confident of a top-10 finish this season. The new campaign kicks off on Saturday with a sold-out home game against Nottingham Forest.
The NUST report states: “After a sensational second half of the season, it's clear fans were happy with the turnaround.
"Further to this, the optimism shines through, with 68% responding with top 10 when asked where they believe we will finish in the upcoming season – and a further 25% of our ever-optimistic supporters believing we’ll challenge for Europe.
"The overwhelming majority clearly see the season ahead to be one of progression, and not one where we will be looking over our shoulders.”
One concern, however, is ticketing. Tens of thousands of fans attempted to buy a “limited” release of just 1,000 season-tickets this summer – and 43.5% of respondents admitted to worried about being able to get a ticket this season.
The report adds: “Following Newcastle United is once again becoming a privilege, as ticket demand massively outweighs supply.
"However, the clamour for tickets clearly has fans concerned, (and) 43.5% of supporters in this survey admit to being worried about the ability to obtain match tickets for the upcoming season.
"With 30,000 fans fighting for just 1,000 available season-tickets, and membership sales going through the roof, the battle for any available tickets for high-demand games puts fans in an unenviable position.”
The report also found that just 29.4% of respondents were “satisfied” with the club's online ticketing system. Over 50% of respondents supporter the loyalty point system used for away tickets.