There is really isn’t any excuse for Newcastle United to be languishing in the way that they are.
The Magpies are, whisper it, probably safe from relegation for another year, but it’s all been a bit touch and go at times this season, and is avoiding the drop really good enough for a club of this size?
Even last year’s 10th placed finish papered over a fair few cracks, and didn’t tell the full story of a campaign that could have ended a whole lot worse.
When all is said and done, there really shouldn’t be any excuses on Tyneside for the consistent underwhelming performances of the Toon Army, and that fact has surely been hammered home by the latest report from CIES Observatory.
According to the Swiss-based football think tank, the Magpies are the 13th best supported side in world football based on average attendances – an exceptional statistic when you consider how far away from glory the club have been.
Between 2013-2018, only Manchester United, Arsenal, and Manchester City (barely) have registered higher crowds in the Premier League, and sitting 13th puts Rafa Benitez’s side above the likes of Ajax, Atletico Madrid, Inter Milan, PSG, and Juventus.
Esteemed company indeed, but it all matters for nothing if the support isn’t being converted into a properly ran football club.
Mike Ashley’s shambolic tenure has been well documented, of course, but this latest report really emphasises just how and things are.
Newcastle United have a captive market of adoring fans, plus the historical legacy of a side far beyond their current station, and that should, theoretically, mean a shedload of cash to spend on signings, helping them to climb the league.
It’s not rocket science, but something has gone wrong somewhere.
Whatever, or whoever, might be to blame, this report shows that their really are no excuses for failure at St. James’ Park.