Vital QPR takes a look at the Championship`s newest additions – finally looking at the side relegated on the final day – Newcastle United.
FACTS AND FIGURES
Nickname: The Magpies/The Toon
Ground: St James Park – 52,387
Manager: Chris Hughton (Caretaker)
First Division: Champions – 1904/05, 1906/07, 1908/09, 1926/27
Premier League: Runners Up – 1995/96, 1996/97
Second Division: Champions – 1964/65, 1992/93
Second Division: Runners Up – 1897/98, 1947/48
FA Cup: Winners – 1910, 1924, 1932, 1951, 1952, 1955
FA Cup: Runners Up – 1905, 1906, 1908, 1911, 1974, 1998, 1999
League Cup: Runners Up – 1976
Uefa Inter-toto Cup: Winners – 2006
Record Attendance: 63,386 v Chelsea (First Division, 1930)
Record league victory: 13-0 v Newport County – (Second Division, 1946)
Record league defeat 0-9 v Burton Wanderers – (Second Division, 1895)
Record Buy: £16,000,000 – Michael Owen from Real Madrid
Record Sale: £13,400,000 – Jonathan Woodgate to Real Madrid
Record Appearances: Jimmy Lawrence – 496 – 1904-1922
Record Goals: Alan Shearer – 206 – 1996-2006
Newcastle United is a club whose star has fallen since the heady days under former boss Kevin Keegan. The messiah who led them back to the top flight in his first spell before taking them inches from the title in his second stint.
Kenny Dalglish and Ruud Gullit couldn`t follow his example and didn`t fit in to the fans idea of the perfect boss. The latter getting the chop after two cardinal sins, dropping Shearer and losing at home to Sunderland.
Sir Bobby Robson finally answered the call to return to Tyneside after much persuading from chairman Freddy Shepherd. Shepherd had tried to lure Robson during his time at Barcelona, but he finally made the move and got Newcastle firing.
Despite successive finishes in European places and continued success on the field, Sir Bobby was given the axe in 2004 after a fifth placed finish, something which the club can only dream of now.
The appointment of Graeme Souness came as a surprise to many, with the Scotsman on the verge of the sack at Blackburn Rovers. It was he who helped lure Michael Owen to Tyneside in a record club transfer from Real Madrid.
After Souness` overdue departure in 2006, former West Ham United boss Glenn Roeder took temporary charge and turned the clubs fortunes in the short-term. He was subsequently offered a permanent deal in the hot-seat and helped them qualify for Europe via the Inter-toto cup – United`s first European triumph.
After Roeder`s now infamous second season syndrome, Newcastle found themselves in all manner of trouble at the wrong end of the table, and at the end of the campaign Roeder was given the axe, eventually taking over at Norwich City.
The final action of chairman Shepherd was to appoint Bolton Wanderers man Sam Allardyce weeks before the season`s end. Shepherd then sold to sports retail mogul Mike Ashley, who installed Chris Mort as chairman.
Ashley was unorthodox in his approach as chairman and initially endeared himself to the Toon Army, by joining them in crowds and was even seen drinking beer in view of the pitch. Patience was wearing thin with the outlandish owner as Allardyce`s side failed to capture the imagination of the crowd.
He quickly dispatched Allardayce at the fans` behest and performed the tried and tested task of re-appointing Kevin Keegan to the helm. This appointment was greeted with joy by the Newcastle supporters, but Ashley`s biggest mistake was waiting around the corner.
He decided to adopt a continental set-up, including Dennis Wise as director of football, something which apparently caused friction with King Kev, who in typical fashion walked out on the role, this time citing interference from above.
Ashley had performed the cardinal sin, and with Keegan leaving under his watch, the fans turned on the self-professed Newcastle United – forcing him to put the club up for sale. The sensational appointment of Joe Kinnear on a short-term deal took everyone by surprise as the former Wimbledon boss came back to top-flight football following an illness prompting him to leave Luton Town.
Kinnear`s foul mouthed rant at the media gave Newcastle a greater air of disaster in the media, as here before the world to see was a car crash in slow motion, and this was to be proven months later.
Ashley had tried Keegan, so he went for the next best thing, playing idol Alan Shearer. The striker had been approached before but this time he decided to take the post in order to stop the Magpies from dropping into the Championship.
During his tenure Newcastle didn`t pick up the points required and were relegated on the final day of last season after a defeat away at Aston Villa. Ashley is in continued talks with other parties to find a buyer, slashing the value of the club below £100m.
At present a suitable buyer cannot be found as United remain a club intent on implosion from within, as they prepare for a tough season in the Championship with high-earners and a highly-frustrated following.
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