Newcastle United Football Club (also known as The Magpies or The Toon) is an English football club based in Newcastle upon Tyne, who currently play in the Premier League. The club was founded in 1892 after the merger of two local clubs, Newcastle East End and Newcastle West End. Since their founding year, the club have played at their home ground of St. James' Park. Training facilities are located at Darsley Park.
They have won the First Division Championship four times and the FA Cup six times, though their last league success was in 1927. In European competition the most notable honour the club has won is the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, in 1969.
They have a long-standing and fierce rivalry with local team Sunderland. The Tyne-Wear derby between Newcastle United and Sunderland has been played since 1898. The club's traditional kit colours are black and white striped shirts, with black shorts and socks. Supporters of Newcastle United refer to themselves as the Toon Army.
The team returned to the FA Cup final in 1924, in only their second ever final at Wembley Stadium. They were successful in defeating Aston Villa and therefore winning the club's second FA Cup trophy in its history.
Newcastle won the League a fourth time in 1927, the last time they have to date. Notable players during this period include the likes captain Hughie Gallacher (the most prolific goals per game scorer in the club's history), Neil Harris, Stan Seymour and Frank Hudspeth.
During the 1950s, United won the FA Cup trophy on three occasions within a five year period. In 1951 they defeated Blackpool 2–0, a year later Arsenal were beaten 1–0 and in 1955 United defeated Manchester City 3–1. Newcastle had gained a high profile, and so had their players; 'Wor Jackie' Milburn and Bobby 'Dazzler' Mitchell in particular. Other players of this time were Frank Brennan (like Mitchell a Scot), Ivor Broadis, Len White and Welshman Ivor Allchurch.
The old war horse Joe Harvey, who had captained the team to much of their post-war success, returned to revitalise Newcastle. He teamed up with Stan Seymour to rebuild Newcastle United and they won the Second Division Champions in 1965. Newcastle then became very much an unpredictable and inconsistent team, always capable of defeating the best, but never quite realising their potential.
Joe Harvey's team qualified for Europe for the first time in 1968 and surprised many the following year by winning the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, (which was the forerunner of the UEFA Cup), beating Sporting Lisbon, Feyenoord, Real Zaragoza and Rangers along the way, before triumphing over two legs against Hungary's Újpest FC in the final. United possessed a reliable team and Newcastle's tradition of fielding a popular goalscorer at number 9 continued, as Welshman Wyn Davies was prominent.
In the years that followed European success, manager Harvey brought in a string of talented entertainers who thrilled the Newcastle crowd. Players such as Jimmy Smith, Tony Green, Terry Hibbitt and in particular striker Malcolm Macdonald all became favorites among the supporters. Nicknamed 'Supermac', Malcolm Macdonald was one of United's most popular figures and is still held in high regard by supporters to this day. He was an impressive goal scorer, which led United's attack to Wembley twice, in 1974 and 1976, against Liverpool in the FA Cup and Manchester City in the League Cup. But on each occasion Newcastle failed to bring the trophy back to Tyneside. A small consolation was back to back triumphs in the Texaco Cup in 1974 and 1975.
By the start of the 1980s, United had declined dramatically and were languishing in the Second Division. Gordon Lee had replaced Harvey as boss, yet he in turn soon gave way to Richard Dinnis and then Bill McGarry. But it was Arthur Cox who steered United back again to the First Division with ex-England captain Kevin Keegan the focus of the team, having joined the club in 1982. With managers such as Jack Charlton, Willie McFaul and Jim Smith, Newcastle remained in the top-flight until the team was relegated once more in 1989.
Later, Kevin Keegan returned to Tyneside to replace Osvaldo Ardiles as manager on a short term contract in 1992, taking what he claimed to be the only job that could tempt him back into football. United were struggling at the wrong end of Division Two; Sir John Hall had all but taken control of the club and he needed a minor miracle to stop Newcastle from tumbling into the Third Division for the first time in their history. Survival was confirmed by winning both of their final two league games, at home to Portsmouth and away to Leicester City, the latter to a last minute own goal, although as it transpired, Newcastle would have survived even if they had lost at Leicester.
The 1992–93 season saw a dramatic turn around in the club's fortunes. They won their first eleven league games before a 1–0 home defeat against Grimsby Town ended the run, two games short of the English league record of 13 consecutive wins. Playing an exciting brand of attacking football Newcastle became Division One champions with a 2–0 away win, coincidentally at Grimsby, and gained promotion to the Premier League.
Under Keegan, Newcastle continued to succeed, impressing with their attacking flair and a third place finish during the 1993–94 season, this was their first season back in the top flight. The attacking philosophy of Keegan led to Newcastle becoming labelled by Sky television as "The Entertainers". The following season Newcastle sold top scorer Andy Cole to Manchester United and finished 6th that season.
With the transfer money in 1995–96, Newcastle rebuilt with the signing of David Ginola and Les Ferdinand amongst others. The club came very close to winning the Premier League that season, and were at one time 12 points ahead of nearest rivals Manchester United, but eventually lost out. One match in particular from that season stood out, the 4–3 defeat to Liverpool, which has since been described as the greatest ever Premiership match. On 30 July 1996, the disappointment of missing out on the title was lessened to an extent, as the club signed Alan Shearer for a then world record fee of £15 million. The 1996–97 season saw Newcastle once again finish in second. After short and unsuccessful spells as manager from Kenny Dalglish and Ruud Gullit, former England manager Sir Bobby Robson was appointed as manager. His first home game in charge was particularly impressive; it was an 8–0 victory over Sheffield Wednesday, which remains the club's record home win. Good performances such as these helped the club ensure survival in the Premiership in Robson's first season. A title challenge emerged during the 2001–02 season, and Newcastle achieved qualification for the Champions League after finishing in 4th place. However, Robson was fired in 2004 after failing to qualify for the Champions League. Robson is still held in high regard by Newcastle supporters.
Graeme Souness was his replacement, but he proved to be an unpopular choice being fired on 2 February 2006, despite signing Michael Owen for a record £16 million. Glenn Roeder replaced Souness; the game after his time as manager Alan Shearer overtook Jackie Milburn as the club's highest ever goal-scorer. Shearer retired at the end of the 2005–06 season, with a total of 206 goals for the club. Despite finishing the 2005-06 season well, Roeder's fortunes quickly changed in the 2006-07 season, and he left the club by mutual consent on 6 May 2007. Sam Allardyce was named as Roeder's successor on 15 May, with what proved to be Freddy Shepherd's last act as Chairman, who sold his final shares in the club on 7 June to Mike Ashley and was replaced by Chris Mort.
Despite making a promising start to the season Sam Allardyce left the club on 9 January 2008 by mutual consent after less than eight months in charge. It was confirmed on 16 January 2008 that Kevin Keegan would return to Newcastle as manager, eleven years and eight days since leaving the club on 8 January 1997. A popular choice amongst many Newcastle Fans Further appointments in January 2008 saw Dennis Wise join the club as Executive Director (Football), as well as Tony Jimenez as Vice President (Player Recruitment) and Jeff Vetere as Technical Co-ordinator. The idea was to complete a continental-style management structure working in support of Keegan. Wise and Vetere should make the initial assessment before calling in Jimenez to do the deal. In addition to this David Williamson was appointed Executive Director (Operations) in April 2008. Mort decided to step down as managing director and chairman in June and he was replaced by Derek Llambias, a long-term associate of Mike Ashley.
As the summer transfer window closed weeks into the 2008/9 season, after three days of talks between the board and manager Kevin Keegan amid press speculation on 4 September 2008 Keegan resigned after 232 days in charge, stating he was unable to continue as manager if he was not in control of who was bought by the club. Following conflicting statements released by the club over the facts of the dispute, extensive protests occurred against the board, in particular Mike Ashley and Dennis Wise, during the next home game against Hull City on 13 September 2008.
On the next day in a long official statement, Ashley announced he would be putting the club up for sale, while outlining the state of the club when he found it, the financial limitations his regime was under and the changes he had made to provide a stable future for the club. While making clear that his statement was not intended to be seen as an attack on Keegan and that he was "still a fan" of NUFC and "did not buy Newcastle to make money", in light of safety concerns over attending future matches, he was "no longer prepared to subsidise" the club.
On Wednesay 24 September 2008 the club registered their lowest ever attendance for a competitive match since the 1993 promotion to the top flight, a drop of over 4,000 from previous lows. This was for a League Cup visit of Tottenham Hotspur, which Newcastle lost 2-1. At the time, Spurs lay bottom of the Premier League with 2 points, while Newcastle themselves lay 2nd bottom on 4 points.
Conversely, United's change or away colours have been very inconsistent, there is no set in stone standard and the club changes the away colours often, but most commonly it has been a shade of blue (since the 1990s) or yellow. The yellow kit was especially common throughout the 1970s and 1980s and featured a green or blue trim, depending on the season; a yellow and green striped away kit even appeared in 1988—1990. Other common change colours have been grey, all black, all white and green. The most unusual away kit was likely the maroon and navy blue horizontal hoop colours from the 1995–96 and 2006–07 seasons, it was a tribute to West End.
The first club badge which Newcastle United wore on their shirts was the armorial bearings of the city of Newcastle upon Tyne which was worn as standard from 1969—1976, though it had been worn on previous occasions far earlier especially in FA Cup finals. A scroll at the bottom featured the city's motto in Latin; fortiter defendit triumphans which translates into English as, "triumphing by brave defence".
From 1976—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. 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.
From 1988 onwards, the club has assumed a pseudo coat of arms representing a reversion to a more traditional design and takes elements from the city arms. The current design is black with two white pallets, echoing the club's home strip. The supporters have been taken from the city arms. The crest is slightly modified from the city's with a red pennon with a red St George's cross on a blue chief.
Newcastle's home stadium is St James' Park, which has been their home since the merger of East End and West End in 1891, though football was first played there in 1880. At the turn of the 20th century the ground could hold 30,000, but this was soon expanded to 60,000. However, the ground was altered little in the next 70 years, and by the 1980s was looking dated.
The Bradford fire in 1985 prompted renovation, but progress was slow due to financial difficulties. The takeover of the club by Sir John Hall in 1992 resolved these difficulties, and the stadium was redeveloped to comply with the Taylor Report. In the mid-1990s, the club wished to build a new ground in the nearby Leazes Park, however these plans were quashed. In response to this, the club expanded St. James' Park further. Following the completion of the construction in 2000, St James' Park became the club ground with the second highest capacity in England with 52,387 seats, behind Manchester United's Old Trafford. It later became the third highest capacity after the completion of Arsenal's Emirates Stadium.
Two stands, the Sir John Hall stand and the Milburn stand, have two tiers and are of cantilever construction, whereas the East Stand and the Gallowgate End are roughly half as high, and each have a single tier. This can make the stadium look quite lopsided. The Gallowgate End is traditionally home to Newcastle's most vociferous supporters, as it was once the stand with no roof covering. In recent years, a fan based group named Toon Ultras has began to assemble in Level 7 of the Sir John Hall Stand to attempt to "Bring Back The Noise" which supporters feel was lost when the club expanded the stadium and split fans to cater for executive boxes.
Supporters of Newcastle United are often referred to as the Toon Army, the Magpies, or the Geordies. The name Toon originates from the Geordie pronunciation of town. Magpies refers to the black and white colours of the club, similar to the Magpie bird. Geordie is a regional nickname for people from Newcastle, of debated origin, which is often applied in the media to supporters of NUFC in general.
NUFC is often equated in the media and by supporters as having one of the best supported clubs in the country on account of the high average home attendance record of St James' Park, as the third (formerly second) largest Premiership football ground by capacity since expansion in 1998. This is countered by detractors who point out that the club benefits from being located in a 'one club city', implying that other clubs in the country have to compete for support with other clubs within their catchment area. This is despite Newcastle being only the 20th largest city in England by population, and being located in only the 13th largest county in England, which also comprises Sunderland A.F.C..
In a 2007 Virgin Money survey of football supporters who held season tickets or otherwise paid to attend games, it was found that Newcastle fans were the most dedicated in terms of making sacrifices in order to attend the game In a 2004 survey by Co-operative Financial Services, it was found that Newcastle 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 cost was highest whether travelling by car, train or coach. The total distance travelled was found to be equivalent to a round-the-world trip.
In addition to the city and the North East of England, the club has followers in Durham, Yorkshire, London, Isle of Man, Italy, Iceland, Finland, Scandinavia,, Denmark, Israel, North America, Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore.
Former Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair is known to be a keen supporter of Newcastle, as well as Sir Frank Williams, founder and manager of the WilliamsF1 Formula One Team, Also Auf Wiedersehen Pet Star Jimmy Nail is a big Newcastle supporter, Iron Maiden guitarist Janick Gers and AC/DC frontman Brian Johnson.
Following on from demonstrations against the board and Mike Ashley following the resignation of manager Kevin Keegan, on 16 September 2008 a new independent supporters group, the Newcastle United Supporters Club (originally styled the Newcastle United Supporters Group), was set up by fanzines True Faith and The Mag and the fan site NUFC.com, aiming to "represent the broad church of Newcastle United's support". Another group, the Newcastle United Independent Supporters Association, had existed since 2002 and was still commenting on NUFC up to the 2008 Keegan resignation.
Another rivalry is the Tyne-Tees derby between Newcastle and Middlesbrough. Although often billed as a derby by the media, many people in Newcastle dispute that this is the case. Many Newcastle fans feel that a match against a team 34 miles away does not qualify as a local derby, and believe that Newcastle's only derby is the Tyne-Wear derby with Sunderland. Sunderland fans largely feel the same with regards to the Tees-Wear derby. A poll in 2004 seems to confirm this, showing that Middlesbrough fans regard Newcastle as their biggest rivals, whilst Newcastle fans only regard Middlesbrough as their 3rd largest rivals (behind Sunderland and Manchester United).
|Football League First Division Champions||4||1904/05, 1906/07, 1908/09, 1926/27|
|Football League First Division Runners-up||2||1995/96, 1996/97|
|Football League Second Division Champions||3||1964/65, 1983/84, 1992/93|
|Football League Second Division Runners-up||2||1897/98, 1947/48|
|Northern League Champions||3||1902/03, 1903/04, 1904/05|
|FA Cup Winners||6||1910, 1924, 1932, 1951, 1952, 1955|
|FA Cup Runners-up||7||1905, 1906, 1908, 1911, 1974, 1998, 1999|
|FA Youth Cup Winners||2||1962, 1985|
|Football League Cup Runners-up||1||1976|
|FA Community Shield Winners||1||1909|
|FA Community Shield Runners-up||5||1932, 1951, 1952, 1955, 1996|
|Inter-Cities Fairs Cup Winners||1||1969|
|UEFA Intertoto Cup Winners||1||2006|
|UEFA Intertoto Cup Runners-up||1||2001|
|Anglo-Italian Cup Winners||1||1973|
|Kirin Cup Winners||1||1983|
|Texaco Cup Winners||2||1974, 1975|
|Sheriff of London Charity Shield Winners||1||1907|
|FA Premier League Asia Cup Runners-up||1||2003|
Alan Shearer is the club's top goalscorer with 206 goals in all competitions between 1996 and 2006 having surpassed Jackie Milburn's tally of 200 in February 2006. Milburn had held the record since 1957, his striking partner Len White is the third highest scorer at Newcastle with 153 goals. Albert Stubbins could be Newcastle's all time leading goal scorer but his goals are not counted as the majority were scored during World War II.
The most prolific goals per game striker in the history of the club is Hughie Gallacher - a strike-rate of over 82% with 143 goals in his 174 outings.
Newcastle's record home attendance is 68,386, against Chelsea on 3 September, 1930. To the fury of the fans Gallacher had been sold to Chelsea and the Geordie public turned up by the thousand to welcome home their hero. As well as the record crowd in the ground thousands more were locked outside. The capacity of St James' Park is currently 52,387, so it is unlikely that these records will be broken in the foreseeable future. The highest attendance in the Premier League is 52,327, in a match against Manchester United on 28 August, 2005.
|Honorary Life President||Sir John Hall|
|Managing Director & Chairman||Derek Llambias|
|Executive Director (Operations)||David Williamson|
|Executive Director (Football)||Dennis Wise|
|Technical Co-ordinator||Jeff Vetere|
|Interim Manager||Joe Kinnear|
|Reserve Team Manager||vacant|
|First Team Coach||Chris Hughton|
|Goalkeeping Coach||Paul Barron|
|Fitness Coach||Mark Hulse|
|Strength and Conditioning Coach||Robbie Elliott|
|Academy Director||Richard Money|
|Academy Manager||Joe Joyce|
|Academy Coaches||Kenny Wharton, Alan Thompson, Steve Tweddle|
|Academy Goalkeeping Coach||Simon Smith|
|Head Physiotherapist||Derek Wright|
|Academy Physiotherapist||Kevin Bell|
|Chief Scout||Lil Fuccillo|
|Scouts||Vic Halom, Pablo Longoria, Ole Nielsen|
|Academy Scout||Ray Gooding|
|Sir Bobby Robson||1999||2004|
|Joe Kinnear||2008||- Present|
Until 1997, Newcastle United had been owned and operated as a private company limited by shares (limited company) since its establishment on 6 September 1895.
In April 1997, following the emerging trend among other Premier League clubs, under the chairmanship of Sir John Hall the club was floated on the stock exchange as a public limited company (plc), with the stated aim of financing an enlarged Sporting Club Newcastle. The offer was less than successful, with most shares going to the Hall family, or his business partner Freddie Shepherd.
In 1997, Sir John Hall stepped down as chairman, remaining as a non-executive director, to be replaced as chairman by Freddy Shepherd, with the Hall family represented on the board by John's son, Douglass Hall and daughter Allison Antonopoulos. After a public scandal, Shepherd and Douglas Hall briefly resigned, returning after ten months in 1998.
At the end of 1998, after buying a 6.3% stake in the club for £10m, the media group NTL had considered a full takevoer of the club. This was later dropped after the April 1999 Competition Commission block of a proposed takeover of Manchester United by Rupert Murdoch, owner of BSkyB.
In 2007, in a surprise move, businessman Mike Ashley purchased a 41% share in the club through a holding company St James Holdings Ltd, in a deal for the combined stakes of both Douglass and Sir John Hall, apparently without knowledge of Shepherd who was ill in hospital. Under stock market rules, the purchase required the issuing of a formal takeover offer by Ashley to all other remaining shareholders, which comprised Shepherd, fans and institutional investors, at the same price or above. In the following weeks, as Ashley gained more shares, Shepherd, although publicly having stated the club was "impossible to buy" in response to previous approaches for the club from other parties, and indicating that he may launch a counter offer, Shepherd eventually agreed to sell his 28% stake before expiry of the offer, leading to a de-listing. The shares of Newcastle United plc were de-listed from the London Stock Exchange at 8 a.m. on 18 July 2007. with Shepherd and other directors leaving the club in the following months.
While Mike Ashley is sole owner of the holding company and hence the club, he has not given himself an official role on the board of directors of the club, first handing the chairmanship to Chris Mort on a sabbatical status, and then to Derek Llambias in time for the start of the 2008 season.
After fan protests over the shock resignation of Kevin Keegan, on 14 September 2008, Ashley announced he was putting the club up for sale, stating "I have listened to you. You want me out. That is what I am now trying to do". He stated he had spent £244m in purchasing the club and relieving debt. It was estimated by observers that while it remained a business that would interest many buyers, he would likely not be able to sell the club for more than a total of £300m.
It was reported shortly after the Ashley statement that NUFC had been one of two clubs along with Manchester City F.C. that the Abu Dhabi United Group had contacted with a view to a bid, before purchasing Manchester City for a reported £200m, announced on 1 September.
|Stan Seymour Junior||1981||1988|
|Sir John Hall||1992||1997|
The Northern Rock deal was announced in April 2003 to run until the end of the 2004/05 season. In April 2004 this was extended to run until the end of the 2009/10 season. The Northern Rock deal provoked criticism upon the effective nationalisation of the bank in February 2008 during a credit crisis, although to put it in perspective, the current sponsorship deal was worth £25m to the club, compared to resulting Bank of England loans to Northern Rock in the order of billions of pounds, and a 6 month loss of £585m in the first half of 2008
The club did not introduce shirt sponsorship until 1980. The club previously had a long standing relationship with the brewer Scottish & Newcastle, who owned the Tyne Brewery directly opposite the Milburn stand of St James' Park. During the 1980s and 90s the club strip featured the logo's of their beer brands McEwan's (in words on the away strip only) and Newcastle Brown Ale (the home strip, both as the full bottle logo, and as simply the blue star element of the brown ale logo). After the shirt sponsorship deal ended with the transition to NTL in 2000, and the Tyne brewery closed in 2004, the relationship effectively ended on 1 July 2007 near the end of the Ashley takeover process, when the club signed a £3m supply agreement with Carling, although Newcastle Brown Ale would still available in some parts of the ground, and as of May 2008 the Gallowgate Stand was still labeled as the Newcastle Brown Stand on the club website 'Club Factfile' page (although with changed ticketing arrangements for the 2008/9 season, a new seating plan was expected to be issued by July 2008).
|1980–1986||Umbro||Scottish & Newcastle|
|1991–1993||Scottish & Newcastle / McEwan's|
|1995–2000||Adidas||Newcastle Brown Ale (Scottish & Newcastle)|