Are Newcastle United A Big Club?

Andrew BarrySenior Analyst IJuly 16, 2008

If you listen to opposition fans and the British tabloids, the answer is no. However I'm going to underline reasons as to why Newcastle are not a big club at all.

Forget whatever you thought about Newcastle being one of the Premier League's big clubs. We are not. I know this because from the day Sam Allardyce and various other managers have been shown the door, we have had to endure endless nonsense from pundits and fans alike.

They can't all be wrong, can they?

Due to the lack of interest from the press and media in such a small club like Newcastle United it may have passed you that Kevin Keegan has returned to the club. This was not widely reported at the time because we are not worthy because we don't win trophies.

Therefore the press and media are not the slightest bit interested in us and the British public is ambivalent at best towards us.

I don't really like the sarcasm, I believe it's the lowest form of wit but how else can you describe the days after Allardyce's departure when everyone and everybody was lining up to have a go at us.

In the aftermath of Sam's departure I listened and watched hours and hours of coverage devoted to our club. National radio held phone-ins just to discuss our managerial merry-go-round and the level of ignorance spouted by presenters and the public alike was mind blowing.

I listened to fans of numerous clubs ring in to tell me and many other Newcastle fans that we Geordies are too big for our boots. Apparently we'll never be a big club until we win back-to-back European Cups like... Nottingham Forest!

We've not been in a Champions League semi-final so we'll never be a big club like... Leeds!

Big clubs don't reside in the old third division!

Fans of the gigantic "big four" are always worth listening to. They are not like us. They don't ever expect their team to win anything and support them only because of bloodline or local pride which is why every one of their victories is met with such magnanimous humility.

They are fortunate that their teams do win regularly because this makes them much more knowledgeable than us fans of smaller clubs.

It is difficult to work out just why so many fans of other clubs feel the need to ring national radio or television and express their opinions on our managerial changes. I don't remember this much coverage of that many opinions being expressed when similarly small clubs to us change their managers.

Derby, Fulham, and Birmingham all changed gaffers and this was met with about five minutes of coverage on every station yet for Newcastle a whole show is dedicated to the coming and goings at SJP.

Even persistent media darlings Tottenham didn't generate anything like the interest we did when they changed manager. So why this massive national interest in such a small provincial club like NUFC?

If Ferguson, Scolari, Wenger, or Benitez were to leave their clubs, I would only have a passing interest in either their leaving or replacements. God only knows what it would take for me to ring up a radio show and bad mouth a club and it's fans for sacking that said manager.

So just what does it take to measure a big club? A good chance of currently winning a trophy appears to be most people's best gauge. If that was the only criteria then Middlesbrough and Tottenham would be big clubs, even the most insane know that's rubbish.

Historical success seems not to be preferred as measure. Chelsea have only overtaken us in the "Number Of Trophies Won," since Abramovich has arrived. (Currently CFC 13, NUFC 11)

So I think I finally have it, winning in the recent past is the barometer of success. Only problem is that brings us to the Smoggies and Spurs.

Having a large number of fans could be another measure as could being 14th in the world's richest club list. But when it comes to us, apparently money and fans don't count.

Maybe it is the amount of columns of newspaper and hours of television coverage that a club gets that defines its size? For example, on the day Kevin Keegan returned to Toon, Fabio Capello was under investigation for tax fraud. 

This snippet was totally swept aside as was Havant and Waterloovile's shock win over Swansea.

All was totally overshadowed by the appointment of our manager.

All this leads me to believe that Newcastle are not a big club, we are a huge club, and that's why they all hate us! Case settled.