'Disastrous' Mike Ashley regim...
Soccer

'Disastrous' Mike Ashley regime hitting Newcastle United's attendances | Luke Edwards

Ciaran Bradley
Ciaran Bradley

07:20 10 Dec 2019

Exhaustion at the Mike Ashley regime has brought dwindling attendances to Newcastle United, according to journalist Luke Edwards.

Edwards joined Off The Ball to discuss falling crowd numbers cast against a well-performing Magpies side that sit in tenth position heading into a busy Christmas period.

However, the legacy of a boycott of the club has meant that the club are in a worse financial position than they would have been with a full ground, and that Ashley's tenure is partly to blame.

"This is the lasting impact of Rafa Benitez leaving. He whipped people into such a frenzy in his last few months that it would always be the case that a lot of fans said that they would never set foot back into St James' Park," said Edwards.

Anger at Mike Ashley

"Rafa did leave, and we all thought that two or three thousand people would start to drift back in.

"They haven't been, and that probably tells you all you need to know about how disastrous the Mike Ashley years have been.

"You have got a generation of Newcastle fans that have given up and don't want to go to games anymore.

"We were estimating the numbers were between five and eight thousand, but there are lot of season-ticket holders that are locked into a ten-year deal that are not going either.

"The crowds are about ten thousand down, which is a huge statement of disillusionment. Not of Steve Bruce, but I don't think his appointment helped.

"The interesting thing is that they haven't come back even though results have been good and the team are doing well.

"That is the level of anger at Mike Ashley."

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