Thursday, 22 August 2013

Full nameNewcastle United Football Club
Nickname(s)The MagpiesThe Toon,Geordies
Founded9 December 1892; 120 years ago
GroundSt James' Park
(capacity: 52,404)
OwnerMike Ashley
ManagerAlan Pardew
LeaguePremier League
2012–13Premier League, 16th

Players[edit source | editbeta]
As of 15 August 2013.[100]

First-team squad[edit source | editbeta]

Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
1NetherlandsGKTim Krul
2ArgentinaDFFabricio Coloccini (captain)
3ItalyDFDavide Santon
4FranceMFYohan Cabaye (vice-captain)
6EnglandDFMike Williamson
7FranceMFMoussa Sissoko
8NetherlandsMFVurnon Anita
9SenegalFWPapiss Cissé
10FranceMFHatem Ben Arfa
11FranceFWYoan Gouffran
13FranceDFMapou Yanga-Mbiwa
14FranceFWLoïc Rémy (on loan from Queens Park Rangers)
15EnglandMFDan Gosling
16EnglandDFRyan Taylor
17FranceMFRomain Amalfitano
18ArgentinaMFJonás Gutiérrez
19FranceDFMassadio Haïdara
20EnglandMFGaël Bigirimana
21Republic of IrelandGKRob Elliot
22FranceMFSylvain Marveaux
23NigeriaFWShola Ameobi
24Ivory CoastMFCheick Tioté
25FranceMFGabriel Obertan
26FranceDFMathieu Debuchy
27EnglandDFSteven Taylor
28EnglandFWSammy Ameobi
29SloveniaMFHaris Vučkić
33AustraliaDFCurtis Good
36WalesDFPaul Dummett
42EnglandGKJak Alnwick
44EnglandDFRemie Streete

Out on loan[edit source | editbeta]

Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
34EnglandDFJames Tavernier (at Shrewsbury Town until 30 August 2013)
41EnglandMFConor Newton (at St. Mirren until 1 January 2014)
49EnglandFWAdam Campbell (at Carlisle United until 14 September 2013)
Northern IrelandDFShane Ferguson (at Birmingham City until 30 June 2014)
AlgeriaMFMehdi Abeid (at Panathinaikos until 30 June 2014)
EnglandMFMichael Richardson (at Accrington Stanleyuntil 30 August 2013)

Newcastle United Football Club (often abbreviated to NUFC) is an English professional association football club based in Newcastle upon Tyne. The club was founded in 1892, by the merger of Newcastle East End and Newcastle West End, and has played at its current home ground, St James' Park, since. The ground was developed into an all-seater stadium in the mid-1990s and now has a capacity of 52,387.[1] The club has been a member of the Premier League for all but two years of the competition's history, and has never dropped below English football's second tier since joining the Football League in 1893. In 2007, long term chairman and owner Sir John Hall sold his share in the club to Mike Ashley. In 2013, after an underpar season, the club appointed Joe Kinnear as their football director after a strong connection with Mike Ashley.
They have won four League Championship titles and six FA Cups, as well as the1969 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup and the 2006 UEFA Intertoto Cup. Newcastle United has the ninth highest total of major honours won by an English club.[2] The club's most successful period was between 1904 and 1910, when they won an FA Cup and three of their First Division titles. The club is the twentieth richest club in the world in terms of annual revenue, generating €115.3m in 2012 behind BarcelonaManchester City and Bayern Munich.
They have a fierce local rivalry with Sunderland, and the two clubs have engaged in the Tyne–Wear derby since 1898. The club's traditional kit colours are black and white striped shirts, black shorts and black socks. Their traditional crest takes elements of the city coat of arms, which features two seahorses.

History[edit source | editbeta]

The first record of football being played on Tyneside dates from 3 March 1877 at Elswick Rugby Club. Later that year, Newcastle's first football club, Tyne Association, was formed. The origins of Newcastle United Football Club itself can be traced back to the formation of a football club by the Stanley Cricket Club of Byker in November 1881. This team was renamed Newcastle East End F.C. in October 1882, to avoid confusion with the cricket club in Stanley, County Durham. Rosewood F.C. of Byker merged with Newcastle East End a short time later. In 1886, Newcastle East End moved from Byker to Heaton. In August 1882, Newcastle West End F.C. formed from West End Cricket Club, and in May 1886, the club moved into St James' Park.[3] The two clubs became rivals in the Northern League. In 1889, Newcastle East End became a professional team, before becoming a limited company the following March.[4] However on the other hand, Newcastle West End were in serious financial trouble and approached East End with a view to a take over. Newcastle West End were eventually dissolved, and a number of their players and backroom staff joined Newcastle East End, effectively merging the two clubs, with Newcastle East End taking over the lease on St James' Park in May 1892.[3]
With only one senior club in the city for fans to support, development of the club was much more rapid. Despite being refused entry to the Football League's First Division at the start of the 1892–93 season, they were invited to play in their new Second Division. However with no big names playing in the Second Division, they turned down the offer and remained in the Northern League, stating "gates would not meet the heavy expenses incurred for travelling".[3][4] In a bid to start drawing larger crowds, Newcastle East End decided to adopt a new name in recognition of the merger.[3] Suggested names included Newcastle F.C., Newcastle Rangers, Newcastle City and City of Newcastle, but Newcastle United was decided upon on 9 December 1892, to signify the unification of the two teams.[3][5] The name change was accepted by the Football Association on 22 December, but the club was not legally constituted as Newcastle United Football Club Co. Ltd. until 6 September 1895.[4] At the start of the1893–94 season, Newcastle United were once again refused entry to the First Division and so joined the Second Division, along with Liverpool and Woolwich Arsenal.[3] They played their first competitive match in the division that September against Woolwich Arsenal, with a score of 2–2.[4]
Turnstile numbers were still low, and the incensed club published a statement stating, "The Newcastle public do not deserve to be catered for as far as professional football is concerned". However, eventually figures picked up by 1895–96, when 14,000 fans watched the team play Bury. That season Frank Watt became secretary of the club, and he was instrumental in promotion to the First Division for the 1898–99 season. However, they lost their first game 4–2 at home to Wolves and finished their first season in thirteenth place.[4]
Harry Hampton scores one of his two goals in the 1905 FA Cup final against Aston Villa
In 1903–04, the club built up a promising squad of players, and went on to dominate English football for almost a decade, the team known for their "artistic play, combining team-work and quick, short passing". Long after his retirement, Peter McWilliam, the team's defender at the time, said "The Newcastle team of the 1900s would give any modern side a two goal start and beat them, and further more, beat them at a trot." Newcastle United went on to win the League on three occasions during the 1900s;1904–051906–07 and 1908–09.[4][6] In 1904–05, they nearly did the double, losing toAston Villa in the 1905 FA Cup Final. They were beaten again the following year byEverton in the 1906 FA Cup Final. They reached the final again in 1908 where they lost to Wolves. In 1905 the team suffered a record 9–1 home defeat to local rivals Sunderland in the league. They finally won the FA Cup in 1910 when they beatBarnsley in the final. They lost again the following year in the final against Bradford City.[4]
The team returned to the FA Cup final in 1924, in the second final held at the then new Wembley Stadium. They defeated Aston Villa, winning the club's second FA Cup.[4] Three years later they won the First Division championship a fourth time in 1926–27, with Hughie Gallacher, one of the most prolific goal scorers in the club's history, captaining the team. Other key players in this period were Neil HarrisStan Seymour and Frank Hudspeth. In 1930, Newcastle United came close to relegation, and at the end of the season Gallacher left the club for Chelsea, and at the same time Andy Cunningham became the club's first team manager. In 1931–32, the club won the FA Cup a third time. However a couple of years later, at the end of the 1933–34 season, the team were relegated to the Second Division after 35 seasons in the top . Cunningham left as manager and Tom Mather took over.[4]
The club found it difficult to adjust to the Second Division and were nearly further relegated in the 1937–38 season, when they were spared on goal averages. However, when World War II broke in 1939, Newcastle had a chance to regroup, and in the War period, they brought in Jackie MilburnTommy Walker and Bobby Cowell. They were finally promoted back to the First Division at the end of the 1947–48 season.[4] During the 1950s, Newcastle won the FA Cup trophy on three occasions within a five-year period, beating Blackpool in 1951, Arsenal in 1952, and Manchester City in 1955. However, after this last FA Cup victory the club fell back into decline and were relegated to the Second Division once again at the end of the 1960–61 season under the management of Charlie Mitten. Mitten left after one season in the Second Division and was replaced by former player Joe Harvey. Newcastle returned to the First Division at the end of the 1964–65 season after winning the Second Division title.[4] Under Harvey, the club qualified for European competition for the first time after a good run in the 1967–68 season and the following year won the1969 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup Final, triumphing 6–2 over two legs against Hungary's Újpest in the final.[4]
Harvey bought striker Malcolm Macdonald in the summer of 1971, for a club record transfer fee of £180,000.[4][7] He was an impressive goal scorer, who led United's attack to Wembley in their 1974 FA Cup Final defeat at the hands of Liverpool.[4] The club also had back to back triumphs in the Texaco Cup in 1974 and 1975.[8] Harvey left the club in 1975, with Gordon Lee brought in to replace him. Lee took the team to the 1976 Football League Cup Final against Manchester City, but failed to bring the trophy back to Tyneside. However he sold Macdonald to Arsenal at the end of the season, a decision of which Macdonald later said "I loved Newcastle, until Gordon Lee took over". Lee left for Everton in 1977, and was replaced by Richard Dinnis.[4]
United dropped once again to the Second Division at the end of the 1977–78 season. Dinnis was replaced by Bill McGarry, and then he was replaced by Arthur Cox. Cox steered Newcastle back to the First Division at the end of the 1983–84 season, with players such as Peter BeardsleyChris Waddle, and ex-England captain Kevin Keegan the fulcrum of the team. However, with a lack of funds, Cox left for Derby County and Keegan retired. With managers such as Jack Charlton and then Willie McFaul, Newcastle remained in the top-flight, until key players such as Waddle, Beardsley and Paul Gascoigne were sold, and the team was relegated once more at in 1989. McFaul left the managerial post, and was replaced by Jim Smith. Smith left at the start of the 1991–92 season and the board appointed Osvaldo Ardiles his replacement.[4]
Sir John Hall became the club's chairman in 1992, and replaced Ardiles with Keegan, who managed to save the team from relegation to the Third Division. Keegan was given more money for players, and he brought in Rob LeePaul Bracewell and Barry Venison and the club won the then First Division Championship at the end of the 1992–93 season, earning promotion to the then new Premier League. At the end of the 1993–94 season, their first year back in the top flight they finished in third, their highest league finish since 1927.[4] The attacking philosophy of Keegan led to the team being labelled "The Entertainers" by Sky Sports.[9]

Challenge for the title[edit source | editbeta]

Keegan took Newcastle to two consecutive runners-up finishes in the league in 1995–96 and 1996–97, coming very close to winning the title in the former season. This success was in part due to the talent of players like David GinolaLes Ferdinand andAlan Shearer, who was signed on 30 July 1996 for a then world record fee of £15 million.

Troubled times[edit source | editbeta]

Keegan left Newcastle in January 1997 and was replaced by Kenny Dalglish, however the club endured a largely unsuccessful season with a thirteenth place finish in the 1997–98 FA Premier League, failure to progress beyond the group stages of the 1997–98 UEFA Champions League and defeat in the 1998 FA Cup Final. Dalglish was replaced as manager early in the following season by Ruud Gullit.[10][11]
The club once again finished thirteenth in the league and lost the 1999 FA Cup Final. Gullit fell into disagreements with the squad and chairman Freddy Shepherd, and quit the club four games into the 1999–2000 season to be replaced by Bobby Robson.[11][12]The club managed to reach an FA Cup Semi-final and to stay in the Premier League.

Success era[edit source | editbeta]

A title challenge emerged during the 2001–02 season, and Newcastle's fourth place finish saw them qualify for the Champions League. The following season, Robson guided the team to another title challenge and finished third in the League, and the second group stage of the Champions League.[13] Newcastle finished fifth in the league at the end of the 2003–04 season, and exited the Champions League in the qualifying rounds, but despite this Robson was sacked in August 2004 following a series of disagreements with the club.[14][15]
Graeme Souness was brought in to manage by the start of the 2004–05 season. In the time he managed, he broke the club's transfer record by signing Michael Owen, however he was sacked in February 2006 after a bad start to the 2005–06 season.[16]Glenn Roeder took over, initially on a temporary basis, before being appointed full-time manager at the end of the season.[17]Shearer retired at the end of the 2005–06 season as the club's all-time record goal scorer, with a total of 206 goals.

Disappointing times[edit source | editbeta]

Despite finishing the 2005–06 season in seventh, Roeder's fortunes changed in the 2006–07 season, with a terrible injury run to the senior squad, and he left the club by mutual consent on 6 May 2007.[18]
Sam Allardyce was appointed Roeder's replacement as manager on 15 May 2007.[19] On 7 June 2007 Freddy Shepherd's final shares in the club were sold to Mike Ashley and Shepherd was replaced as chairman by Chris Mort on 25 July.[20][21] Allardyce departed the club on 9 January 2008 by mutual consent after a bad start to the 2007–08 season.[22]
On 16 January 2008, Kevin Keegan was reappointed as Newcastle manager.[23] Mort stepped down as chairman in June and was replaced by Derek Llambias, a long-term associate of Ashley.[24] Newcastle finished the 2007–08 season in twelfth place, but as the season drew to a close, Keegan publicly criticised the board, claiming they were not providing the team enough financial support.[25] On 4 September Keegan resigned as manager stating "It's my opinion that a manager must have the right to manage and that clubs should not impose upon any manager any player that he does not want".[26]
Former Wimbledon manager Joe Kinnear was appointed manager on 26 September 2008.[27] But in February 2009, Kinnear was admitted to hospital following reports of heart trouble, and subsequently underwent heart surgery, withdrawing from his managerial duties while on convalescent leave. Alan Shearer was appointed interim manager in his absence.[28]

Relegation[edit source | editbeta]

Under Shearer, the club were relegated to the Football League Championship at the end of the 2008–09 season, the first time the club had left the Premier League after joining it in 1993.[29]
Following their relegation, the club was put up for sale in June 2009, with an asking price of £100 million.[30] Chris Hughton was given the manager job on a caretaker basis before taking over full-time on 27 October 2009.[31] On the same day, Ashley announced that the club was no longer for sale.[32]

The Return to the Premier League[edit source | editbeta]

Hughton led Newcastle to win the 2009–10 Football League Championship, securing automatic promotion on 5 April 2010 with five games remaining, and securing the title on 19 April 2010; Newcastle were promoted back to the Premier League after just one season away.[33][34][35] Under Hughton, Newcastle enjoyed a strong start to the 2010–11 season, recording famous wins againstAston VillaArsenal and archrivals Sunderland. Despite his high popularity among fans following these memorable wins, Hughton was sacked on 6 December 2010, following a 3–1 defeat to West Bromwich Albion. The club's board stated that they felt "an individual with more managerial experience [was] needed to take the club forward."[36] Three days later, Alan Pardew was appointed as manager with a five and a half-year contract.[37][38] Further controversy was caused on 31 January 2011, when striker Andy Carroll was sold to Liverpool for a club record of £35 million.[39] Despite this turbulence, Newcastle were able to finish twelfth at the end of the season, with one particular highlight being a 4–4 home draw against Arsenal which saw Newcastle come back from four goals down to claim a point.[40]

The Return to European Football[edit source | editbeta]

The start of the 2011–12 season saw an overhaul in the first team, with the sale of influential first team players Kevin NolanJoey Barton and José Enrique during the summer and the elevation of Tim Krul as first choice keeper and centre back Fabricio Coloccini as captain. Signings such as Yohan Cabaye, Italian international Davide Santon and Senegalese striker Demba Ba in cut-price deals saw Newcastle adopt a new transfer policy, one which would be met with success in the season. Newcastle went on to enjoy one of their strongest openings to a season, playing 11 consecutive games unbeaten before losing to Manchester City.
A string of games without a win saw Newcastle drop from 3rd to 7th in the league table, however a famous win over Manchester United and the capture of Senegal striker Papiss Cissé in the January transfer window sparked a resurgence from the Magpies. Cisse, along with the on-form Hatem Ben Arfa, inspired Newcastle to a strong second half of the season, going on a 6-game winning run and recording memorable victories against Liverpool and Chelsea to put the Magpies in contention for European football. Newcastle eventually secured a place in the 2012–13 Europa League after a 3–0 home victory over Stoke City. A bad run of three defeats in the last four league games ultimately ended lingering hopes of Champions League football, but Newcastle still managed to finish in 5th place, their highest league position since the Bobby Robson days. Further honours were to come as Newcastle manager Alan Pardew won both the Premier League Manager of the Season and the LMA Manager of the Yearawards, captain Fabricio Coloccini was named in the PFA Team of the Year, and Papiss Cisse won the Goal of the Season award for his stunning effort in a 2–0 away win against Chelsea.
The 2012–13 season saw Newcastle regain European football for the first time since 2007. Despite the extra European matches, the acquisition of midfielders Gaël Bigirimana and Vurnon Anita proved to be the only signings in a quiet summer transfer window. The failure to bolster the squad proved costly for Newcastle, as an extensive list of injuries developed, including layoffs to key midfielders Yohan Cabaye & Hatem Ben Arfa, and defenders Steven & Ryan Taylor. As a result, the first half of the season was marred by a run of 10 losses in 13 games, which saw Newcastle sink near the relegation zone. Despite this, the club were able to qualify for the knockout stages of the Europa League, finishing second in the group behind French side Bordeaux.
The disappointing first half of the season sparked great activity during the January transfer window. Demba Ba's release clause was activated by Chelsea, but the Magpies nonetheless pioneered the arrival of five French players in Moussa SissokoMathieu Debuchy,[41] Yoan GouffranMassadio Haïdara and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa. Their arrival had an immediate impact as Newcastle rediscovered their form, winning three consecutive home games, including a memorable win over European champions Chelsea. The club also reached the Europa League quarterfinals, defeating Metallist Kharkiv and Anzhi Makhachkala before bowing out toeventual finalists Benfica. However, Newcastle's exit in Europe would be followed by a stunning slump in form, which saw them perilously drop towards the relegation zone. Newcastle lost 3–0 at home in the Tyne-Wear derby before suffering their heaviest top-flight defeat to Liverpool, when they lost 6–0 at home. This was their worst home defeat since 1925, and it prompted calls for manager Alan Pardew to be sacked. Despite this, Newcastle eventually survived thanks to a 2–1 victory over already relegatedQueens Park Rangers on the penultimate game of the season, lifting them to 41 points.
On 16 June 2013, former manager Joe Kinnear announced that he was making a surprise return to the club as Director of Football.[42]

Colours and badge[edit source | editbeta]

Newcastle United's original colours, worn until 1894
The club colours are black and white striped shirt with black shorts with claret and white trim, and black socks with white trim, though white socks are sometimes worn under some managers who consider them "lucky".[43] Newcastle's colours at the outset was generally the home kit of Newcastle East End F.C., comprising plain red shirts with white shorts and red socks. In 1894 the club adopted the black and white striped shirts, which had been used as the reserve team's colours. These colours were chosen for the senior team because they weren't associated with either of the two teams United were merged from. They played in grey shorts until 1897, and between 1897 and 1921 they played in blue shorts before adopting the black shorts they play in now.[3][44]
United's away colours have changed a number of times over the years. They played in white shirts, with black shorts from 1914 until 1961, and then white shorts until 1966. They then played in yellow shirts and blue shorts for the 1967–68 season, but from 1969 to 1974 they played in all red with an all blue third kit. In 1974 they returned to a yellow shirt, which they played with various coloured shorts until 1983. They played in all grey from 1983 to 1988, before once again returning to the yellow kit until 1993. Since 1993, the away kit has changed consistently and has not been the same for more than a single season.[45][46] The club's shirt sponsor has been Newcastle based bank Northern Rock since 2003, but prior to this, they had been sponsored at different times by ntl:Telewest,Newcastle Brown Ale and Greenall's.[44] Through owner Mike Ashley, the club also has a relationship with the Sports Direct retail chain which he founded.[47]
On 4 January 2012 Virgin Money, who had just bought Northern Rock, signed a 2 year deal to sponsor Newcastle United.[48] In January 2010, Puma became the official supplier and licensee of replica merchandise for Newcastle United. The deal meant Puma supplied team kit, replica kit and training equipment for the 2010–11 and 2011–12 seasons.[49]
Newcastle United crest: 1983—1988
The current club crest was first used in the 1988–89 season. The crest includes elements from thecoat of arms of the city of Newcastle upon Tyne; the two sea horses representing Tyneside's strong connections with the sea, the castle representing the city's Norman keep.[50] The city's coat of arms were first embroidered on the team's shirts in 1969 and worn as standard until 1976.[44] A scroll at the bottom featured the city's motto in Latin; fortiter defendit triumphans which translates into English as "triumphing by brave defence".[51] From 1976 until 1983, the club wore a specific badge which was developed to wear in place of the city's coat of arms. The design was of a circular shape, which featured the club's name in full, it contained a magpie standing in front of the River Tyne with the historic Norman castle of Newcastle in the background.[52] A more simplistic design followed in 1983, featuring the initials of the club's name, NUFC with the small magpie used in the previous crest within the horizontally laid C, this logo was relatively short lived and was discontinued after 1988.[52]
On 16 May 2013, Newcastle United released the away shirt for the 2013–14 Season which for the first time features logo which has attracted criticism from many Newcastle supporters, the shirt is navy blue with light blue bands. The shirt received mixed reviews from Newcastle supporters who described the shirt as 'awesome' and 'bland' as quoted in the Newcastle Evening Chronicle.[53] In July 2013, practicing Muslim Papiss Cisse refused to wear any official kit or training wear with reference to Subsequently Cisse failed to travel to the 2013 pre-season tour of Portugal. [54] The matter has since been resolved. [55]

Kit sponsors[edit source | editbeta]

PeriodKit manufacturer
PeriodKit sponsor
1980–1986Newcastle Breweries
1986–1990Greenall's Beers
1990–2000McEwan's Lager/Newcastle Brown Ale
2003–2012Northern Rock
2012–2013Virgin Money[48][56]

Stadium[edit source | editbeta]

Throughout Newcastle United's history, their home venue has been St. James' Park —the oldest and largest football stadium in North East England, and the sixth largest football stadium in the United Kingdom.[58] It has hosted 10 international football matches at senior level, the first in 1901, and the most recent in 2005.[59][60] It was used as a venue for the 2012 Summer Olympics and will be used for the 2015 Rugby World Cup.[58][61]
Football had been played at St James' Park as early as 1880, the ground being occupied by Newcastle Rangers, before becoming the home of Newcastle West End F.C. in 1886. Its lease was then bought by Newcastle East End F.C. in 1892, before they changed their name to Newcastle United. At the turn of the 19th century the ground's capacity was given as 30,000, before being redeveloped between 1900 and 1905, increasing the capacity to 60,000, making it the biggest stadium in England for a time. For most of the 20th century, the stadium changed very little, despite various plans for development of the ground. The old West Stand was replaced with the Milburn Stand in 1987, the Sir John Hall Stand replacing the Leazes End in 1993, and the rest of the ground renovated making the ground a 37,000 capacity all-seater stadium. Between 1998 and 2000, double tiers were added to the Milburn and John Hall stands to bring the venue up to its current capacity of 52,420. There were plans to build a new 90,000 seater stadium in Leazes park, just behind St James' with Newcastle Falcons taking over St James' Park, but due to protests the plans were dropped. St James' Park currently seats 52,420 people but club owner Mike Ashley would consider taking the roof off The Gallowgate end and adding another 6,000 seats making the total capacity to 58,420, but only if the team manage to finish in the top six places of the Premier League.[3][62]
In October 2009, Mike Ashley announced that he planned to lease the name of the ground in a bid to increase revenue, and in November the stadium was temporarily renamed @ St James' Park Stadium.[32][63] This name was only supposed to be used until the end of the 2009–10 season, but lasted until November 2011.[63][64] On 10 November 2011, the club officially changed the name of the stadium to the 'Sports Direct Arena'. Although this will most likely be an interim name as it is only being used to showcase the sponsorship capabilities of the stadium. The company, owned by Ashley, are not paying anything for the deal. However, if another company purchases the naming rights they will be expected to pay between £8 million and £10 million.[65][66] Many fans voiced their anger at the renaming, but Managing Director Derek Llambias has said that it is necessary to give Newcastle extra money so that they compete with the bigger clubs in the league.[67]
Since 1982, the stadium is served by St James Metro station on the Tyne and Wear Metro. The station is decorated in a black and white colour scheme, with archive photographs of the club's players.[68]
The club's current training ground is located at Darsley Park, which is north of the city at Benton. The facility was opened in July 2003, and is also used by the Newcastle Falcons rugby team.[69]
A panorama of St James' Park from the Milburn Stand, showing from left to right the Sir John Hall Stand, the East Stand and the Gallowgate End

Ownership[edit source | editbeta]

Newcastle United was set up as a private company limited by shares on 6 September 1895.[4] The club traded in this way for much of the 20th century, until April 1997, when John Hall, who bought 72.9% of the club for £3 million in 1991, floated the club on the stock exchange as a public limited company, with less than half the shares sold to the Hall family and the majority holding going to his business partner Freddy Shepherd. Later that year Hall stepped down as chairman and was replaced by Shepherd, with the Hall family represented on the board by John's son Douglas.[70] In December 1998, after buying a 6.3% stake in the club for £10m, the media group NTL had considered a full takeover of the club. This was later dropped after the April 1999 Competition Commission, brought in due to government concerns about football clubs being owned by media companies.[71]
In 2007, businessman Mike Ashley purchased the combined stakes of both Douglas and John Hall, 41% share in the club, through a holding company St James Holdings, with a view to buy the rest.[72] Upon purchasing this share he appointed Chris Mort as chairman, while gaining more shares, owning 93.19% of the club by 29 June 2007.[73] This figure reached 95% on 11 July 2007, forcing the remaining shareholders to sell their shares.[74]
Since completing the purchase of the club, Ashley has twice announced that he planned to sell the club. The first occurred after fan protests over the resignation of Kevin Keegan on 14 September 2008, when Ashley stated "I have listened to you. You want me out. That is what I am now trying to do".[75] However, he took it off the market on 28 December 2008 after being unable to find a buyer.[76] On 31 May 2009 it was reported that Ashley was attempting to sell the club again.[77][78] On 8 June 2009, Ashley confirmed that the club was up for sale at an asking price of £100 million.[79] By the end of August 2009, the club was back off the market.[80]

Social responsibility[edit source | editbeta]

Newcastle United established the Newcastle United Foundation in summer 2008, which seeks to encourage learning and promote healthy living amongst disadvantaged children, young people and families in the North East region, as well as promoting equality and diversity.[81][82] The Foundation's manager Kate Bradley told charity news website The Third Sector, "Children look up to players as their heroes, and anything they say is instantly taken on board. If Newcastle defender Steven Taylor tells them not to eat a Mars bar for breakfast, they'll listen."[83] In 2010, the charity taught over 5,000 children about healthy living.[81]
The Foundation's commitment, along with a similar foundation run by West Bromwich Albion, the unique relationship that Aston Villa has with Acorns Children's Hospice and Tottenham Hotspur has with SOS Children's Villages UK, are some leading examples of commitment in the highest level of football to responsibility and change in the communities in which they work and who enrich them through their support and ticket sales. The work of these clubs, and others, are changing the way professional sport interacts with their communities and supporters.[84][85]
In December 2012 the club announced that it had become the world’s first carbon positive football club.[86]

Supporters and rivalries[edit source | editbeta]

Supporters at St. James' Park
Supporters of Newcastle United are drawn from all over the North East and beyond, with supporters' clubs all across the world.[87] The club's supporters are also known as the Magpies, the Geordies or the Toon Army. The name Toon originates from the Geordie pronunciation of town.[88][89] In a 2004 survey by Co-operative Financial Services, it was found that Newcastle United topped the league table for the cost incurred and distance travelled by Newcastle based fans wishing to travel to every Premier League away game. The total distance travelled for a fan to attend every away game from Newcastle was found to be equivalent to a round-the-world trip.[90]In the 2009–10 when the club were playing in English football's second tier, theFootball League Championship, the average attendance at St James Park was 43,388, the fourth best for an English club that season.[91] At the end of the 2011–12 Premier league season, Newcastle United held the third highest average attendance for the season of 49,935.[92] This figure was only supassed by Arsenal and Manchester United, the only two clubs in the premier league with larger stadiums.
The club's supporters publish a number of fanzines including True Faith and The Mag, along with, which was established in 1996. They set up Newcastle United Supporters Trust in September 2008, aiming to "represent the broad church of Newcastle United's support".[93]
In addition to the usual English football chants, Newcastle's supporters sing the traditional Tyneside song Blaydon Races.[94][95]
Traditionally, Newcastle's main rivals are Sunderland, against whom the Tyne–Wear derby is competed.

Statistics[edit source | editbeta]

To date Newcastle United have spent 82 seasons in the top-flight. They are eighth in the All-time FA Premier League table and have the eighth highest total of major honours won by an English club with 11 wins.[2] The holder of the record for the most appearances is Jimmy Lawrence, having made 496 first team appearances between 1904 and 1921.[96] The club's top goal scorer is Alan Shearer, who scored 206 goals in all competitions between 1996 and 2006.[97] Andy Cole holds the record for the most goals scored in a season: 41 in the 1993–94 season in the Premier League.[96] Shay Given was the most capped international for the club, with 80 appearances for Republic of Ireland.[96]
The club's widest victory margin in the league was in the 13–0 win against Newport County in the Second Division in 1946. Their heaviest defeat in the league was 9–0 against Burton Wanderers in the Second Division in 1895.[96] The club's longest number of consecutive seasons in the top flight of English football was 35 from 1898–99 until 1933–34.
Newcastle's record home attendance is 68,386 for a First Division match against Chelsea on 3 September 1930.[96] The club's highest attendance in the Premier League is 52,389, in a match against Manchester City on 6 May 2012.[98] The highest transfer fee received for a Newcastle player is £35 million, from Liverpool for Andy Carroll in January 2011, while the most spent by the club on a player was £16 million for striker Michael Owen from Real Madrid in August 2005.[39][96]

Honours[edit source | editbeta]

Newcastle United have won European and domestic league honours. The club's last major honour was in 1969 when they won the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup.[99]


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