true faith’s survey-meister, Bon Jovi’s biggest fan, Steve Farrell sorted the survey for us this season and has been
Eyes down for a full house, off we trot:
I’m sure that most of you will be in no hurry to try and relive this past season. For the benefit of those of you who enjoy dark reading, I present to you the results of the true faith End of Season Survey. Well over 1000 took the time to complete this, so thank you very much for doing so. Here goes.
Player of the season
Loic Remy – 27%
Yohan Cabaye – 21%
Mathieu Debuchy – 16%
Mike Williamson – 15%
Cheick Tiote – 6%
These results will come as no surprise to anyone. What is very alarming is the fact that one of these players left us in January and the other isn’t even our player, nor is he likely to be come August. The other three are the only others that can maybe come out of this season with any praise in the eyes of the fans.
Young Player of the Year
No one – 61.1%
Paul Dummett – 27.1%
Davide Santon – 9.6%
Sammy Ameobi – 2.2%
How depressing is this? The majority of us can’t even bring ourselves to give one of them a pity vote. In fairness, none of the younger lads have done anything to suggest that they offer a promising future. Most of Dummett’s votes must have been as a result of his goal against Liverpool as he has been dreadful otherwise.
Goal of the Season
Yohan Cabaye – Man Utd. (a) – 29.1%
Hatem Ben Arfa – Fulham (h) – 22.3%
Yohan Cabaye – Everton (a) – 14.9%
A lot of people told me that this was the question they struggled with the most as they couldn’t remember any of them. Given that we barely hit double digits in the “goals scored” column in 2014, this is no shock. Again, two of the three were scored by a player who left us six months ago and the other isn’t as good as Bournemouth bound Dan Gosling if you believe our manager.
Alan Pardew Performance (1 = awful 10 = amazing)
1 – 34.3%
2 – 19%
3 – 22.4%
4 – 11.5%
5 – 8.6%
6 – 2.3%
7 – 0.9%
8 – 0.2%
9 – 0.1%
10 – 0.7
This ought to damage the ego somewhat of the artist formerly known as Pardiola. A huge majority of us felt that he performed terribly this year. A combination of rank tactics and head butting an opposition player will have no doubt been two contributing factors. It’s interesting looking back to a survey we undertook a few months ago where the vast majority of you felt he was doing the best he could under the restrictions of the regime. A big hello to the mackem infiltrators who gave Pards 10 out of 10.
Mike Ashley Performance (1 = awful 10 = amazing)
1 – 72.2%
2 – 13.3%
3 – 8.2%
4 – 3.0%
5 – 1.7%
6 – 0.3%
7 – 0.2%
8 – 0.2%
9 – 0%
10 – 0%
“How to Damage the Ego of a Petulant Billionaire” By the readers of true-faith.
Should Pardew be sacked?
Yes – 85.1%
No – 14.9%
As much as we’d all like our current manager to be shown the door, the word from the club is that he’s going nowhere fast. A misconduct charge and terrible failings on the pitch are seemingly not enough to be shown the door under Emperor Ashley it would seem. Whether we like it or not, we can expect more of the same next season. Doesn’t that make you feel great as a customer? (!)
Would you like to see Mike Ashley leave the club?
Yes – 96.3%
No – 3.7%
I believe this is what those in the industry call a landslide. A couple of years ago, it seemed like Ashley had gone a long way to repairing the damage he caused following Keegangate. I’m in no doubt that results would have been a big factor in the sway of opinion. However, a combination of two dreadful seasons, a vocal admission of cups being a one-game-a-season exhibition, the re-appointment of Kinnear and the lack of action against Pardew have restored public opinion back to normal.
Do you have faith in Mike Ashley investing enough in the summer?
Yes – 5.9%
No – 94.1%
This will come as no surprise. Most of us believe that we’re in for another summer of false promises and zero investment. There is still that glimmer of hope amongst a small section of fans who believe that surely something will change. We should all know better though…
Do you believe that Mike Ashley will let key players leave this summer?
Yes – 95.8%
No – 4.2%
You didn’t see this result coming did you? Part of me wonders who exactly these “key players” are given that they all played like they’d never kicked a ball in their life towards the back end of the season.
What was the highlight of your season?
Man Utd (a) – 50.4%
Kinnear leaving – 17.9%
Chelsea (h) – 14.4%
No highlight – 10.9%
Spurs (a) – 2.7%
Other – 2.3%
West Ham (a) – 1.4%
Just over half of you felt that the highlight of the season was back in the winter when we turned over Man Utd in their back yard for the first time in decades. The significance of this has lessened somewhat given that everyone was winning at Old Trafford this season. It shows how highly regarded Kinnear was given that his resignation was regarded as a highlight.
What was your worst moment of the season?
Mackems (h) – 64.5%
Selling Cabaye – 14.5%
Cardiff (FA Cup) – 9.0%
I’ll still never understand how we were turned over so convincingly by Sunderland at home this season. We are a poor side, but their line up makes ours look like Brazil ’70. It won’t come as a surprise to know that particular surrender was by far the worst moment of the season. Although the Cabaye sale was hardly a shock, it was still a massive disappointment and showed the true (lack of) ambition from the club. The cup defeat gave us a real insight into what we can expect from Newcastle United under Mike Ashley.
Most loathed club other than the mackems
Liverpool – 25.8%
Man Utd. – 19.8%
Aston Villa – 17.7%
Chelsea – 15.3%
Man City – 4.9%
Spurs – 3.8%
Stoke – 3.7%
Arsenal – 1.6%
I’d imagine that most people liked Liverpool back in the 70s and 80s. However, they’ve now got to the point where their sanctimonious behavior has become too much for most of us. That and the fact they’ve got Steven Gerrard and the racist and diving cannibal Luis Suarez in their ranks. Aston Villa still riles a large section of our support after their behavior when we were relegated. I think a lot of the dislike for the above clubs is down to jealousy, the green eyed buggers that we are.
Do you believe that Newcastle United is justified in banning the local press?
Yes – 3.8%
No – 96.2%
We’ve asked this before, and it’s pleasing to see that nothing has changed the view amongst our support to suggest that the local press should be banned. It is in the best interests of fans and the club themselves to grant them access to the club once again. After all, it merely gives the likes of Lee Ryder, Mark Douglas, Neil Cameron and Stu Rayner ammo to fire at the club without fear of repercussions. The Chronicle have ran some admirable pieces on the club in the last six months, where for the first time in my memory, they are singing off the same hymn sheet as most fans. Historically, some fans have taken issue with the local press being too pally with the club.
Do you believe Newcastle United is justified in banning the Newcastle United Supporters Trust from the fans forum?
Yes – 4.8%
No – 95.2%
Again, the fans are at logger horns with the club and are questioning the decision making process. Like the ncjMedia ban, this stinks of pettiness and is completely counterproductive – no matter how they try and dress this up.
Do you believe the Fans Forum is worthwhile without a representative from the NUST?
Yes – 24.7%
No – 75.3%
Although there is a large majority who believe that the Fans Forum needs the NUST, there are elements of the support that are still wary of pressure groups/fans groups or whatever you want to call them. Some of us don’t like their tactics; some of us don’t like being spoken for whilst others find that a lot of these groups are merely fame hungry. Whilst this may not be the truth, the actions of previous incumbents still lives in the memory of some.
Do you believe that Mike Ashley should pay for advertising his business via Newcastle United?
Yes – 94%
No – 6%
I think this goes without saying, doesn’t it? The value of the space that Mike Ashley’s Wonder Emporium is astronomical. Given that this £100m+ loan is supposed to be interest free, he should not be allowed to offset this against the value of space that he is getting for his company. Sadly, it’s “his” club so he can do what he wants – and he will.
Do you believe that Wonga is an appropriate shirt sponsor for Newcastle United?
Yes – 16.1%
No – 83.9%
As you’d expect, Wonga is still held in pretty low regard amongst the masses. The rights and wrongs of the company have been discussed at length, not just in the pages of true-faith but the mainstream media. Whilst I am not over the moon with their sponsorship of the club, I still think that people seem to forget about the damage that the likes of alcohol and gambling cause to society, and they are under nothing like the kind of scrutiny that the likes of Wonga are. This is another debate entirely though!
Did you welcome the departure of Joe Kinnear from Newcastle United?
Yes – 98.6%
No – 1.4%
This result should really be “100% yes”. I don’t believe for one moment that any fans of the club wanted Kinnear involved in any shape or form. I suspect those votes were from our wearside visitors. Hi again!
Do you believe Lee Charnley has sufficient experience, qualities and credentials to have been appointed as Managing Director of Newcastle United?
Yes – 9.9%
No – 90.1%
Is this another case of “jobs for the boys”? We should all know by now that Ashley only appoints from his trusted circle of friends. Given that Charnley has been here longer than anybody else bar the tea lady, it’s not a huge surprise from a business point of view that he got this role. Whether he is qualified to do the job, however, remains to be seen. I suspect that regardless of his abilities, it will be down to Ashley as to how successful (or not) he is.
Do you believe that Mike Ashley’s plan to sell the lease on the land to the rear of the Gallowgate is in the best interests of the club?
Yes – 7.9%
No – 92.1%
To be fair, I can sympathise with both views here. Whilst selling the land will prevent us from expanding the capacity any further, the costs involved in doing this will take decades to see any kind of return on investment. Back in the late 90s when we began the latest expansion of SJP, gate receipts were still a huge percentage of our income. The latest TV deals dwarf that, making “bums on seats” less and less significant. The romantic in me would still like to see us have a bigger stadium mind you, and the vast majority of you agree.
All things considered, do you believe that Newcastle United is operating to its full potential?
Yes – 1.2%
No – 98.8%
Say no more!
Have you stopped attending games at St. James’ Park because of your dissatisfaction with how Newcastle United is being operated by Mike Ashley?
Yes – 47.8%
No – 52.2%
In hindsight, we really should have included an option for those who don’t attend home games anyway for their own reasons. It makes alarming reading, however, to discover that almost half of you have stopped attending games full stop.
Do you intend to stop attending games at St. James’ Park because of your dissatisfaction with how Newcastle United is being operated by Mike Ashley?
Yes – 47.9%
No – 29.2%
Don’t know – 22.9%
Yet more grim reading. Sadly, these seats will be filled with cheaper tickets and have minimal impact on the club due to the latest television deal.
Have you stopped buying merchandise, goods and services from NUFC because of your dissatisfaction with how NUFC is being operated by Mike Ashley?
Yes – 61.6%
No – 6.7%
I rarely, if ever, bought additional items from NUFC anyway – 31.7%
There are a huge proportion of fans that are making a conscious effort not to spend at the club shop. Again, this income is small fry compared to the TV deals in place but it all adds up once you combine it with other commercial streams dropping. I’ve no doubt that the Wonga issue is also a contributing factor.
Would you support an organized boycott of matches at St. James’ Park?
Yes – 77.8%
No – 22.2%
I think that most of us had agreed to take part in some kind of organized boycott for a while now. The trouble is, collectively – we are hopeless at organising anything like this. If we ever manage to sing off same hymn sheet, this might work.
Would you join and participate in activities protesting against Mike Ashley’s running of NUFC?
Yes – 74.3%
No – 25.7%
Once again, a large majority is all for some kind of action against Ashley. There is still a vocal minority, however, that aren’t game. Perhaps people have reached the stage of apathy, maybe they can’t be bothered, and perhaps they feel a small fish in a gigantic pond. I sympathise with both views – however, doing nothing will achieve exactly that – nothing.
Do you prefer:
Celtic – 20.7%
Rangers – 19.2%
Neither – 60.1%
Gone are the days of having a preference in the Old Firm. The majority of us have time for neither. Given their behavior in our city when we play them in friendlies/testimonials – it’s hardly a surprise.
Do you prefer:
Real Madrid – 18.1%
Barcelona – 43.7%
Neither – 38.2%
Given that we have some kind of history with Barca, it’s perhaps no surprise that they are favoured over their Madrid rivals. There are still a significant proportion of us that don’t care either way.
Do you prefer:
AC Milan – 8%
Juventus – 24.5%
Inter Milan – 5.1%
Lazio – 1.3%
Roma – 4.3%
Napoli – 2.8%
Fiorentina – 2.1%
None of the above – 51.8%
The above figures show how far the stock of Italian football has fallen in our country. If you’d asked this same question 10-15 years ago, I’d dare say that most of us would have a favourite Italian team due to the excellent Football Italia on Channel 4. Juve were the clear favourites in our poll.
With regards the England football team:
Hope they win – 48.8%
Hope they lose – 6.6%
Not bothered – 44.6%
People are quite split on this subject matter. In recent years, opinions on the national team have shifted significantly. Most of us would like to see England win, but not many more than those who aren’t particularly bothered. I would never go as far to say I hope they lose, but I wouldn’t lose any sleep when they inevitably draw against Costa Rica.
Go to match in club colours – 38.1%
Don’t wear club colours to the match – 61.9%
Again, attitudes have changed as time has moved on with regards wearing club colours to the match. I can recall seeing a huge sea of black and white as recently as ten years ago. Nowadays, people treat the match as a social occasion and head out afterwards. Given that a lot of bars hold a snobby attitude to replica tops, people don’t wear them. Plus – Wonga…
Your all time NUFC hero:
Colin Veitch – 1.2%
Hughie Gallacher – 0.5%
Jackie Milburn – 2.9%
Bobby Mitchell – 0.2%
Len White – 0.5%
Ivor Allchurch – 0.1%
Bob Moncur – 0.3%
Wyn Davies – 1.2%
Malcolm Macdonald – 3.7%
Kevin Keegan – 25.8%
Peter Beardsley – 16.5%
Sir Bobby Robson – 13.3%
Alan Shearer – 27.7%
Other – 6.8%
This was always going to be between two or three individuals wasn’t it? From the results, you can probably gauge the age demographic – especially given the lack of votes for the last captain to raise a trophy in our colours (not Scott Parker man). Given how highly regarded the likes of Shearer, Keegan and Sir Bobby are amongst fans – it makes it all that more galling how they were treated by the club upon their exit.
So there you have it. If Ashley was at all bothered about the fans and the club in general, it would make for worrying reading. As it is, he doesn’t seem to care. Will the club react to the negative opinions that this survey has delivered? Don’t count on it. All we have to look forward to is a race for tenth place and nothing more. The beautiful game eh?
Thanks again to everyone who took part.