Despite relegation this summer has been full of positives if you are a fan of Newcastle United. The Rafalution has begun and we are starting to look as if football is what the club is about.
Signing a 31 year old with little or no sell on value sealed it for me….bought on the basis that he is a good player and no other criteria. Although that seems a bit of a no brainer for the majority of fans it’s not the way the club has been ran for years.
Despite the many positives that have been happening there was one issue that caught my eye during the summer break which I think is a cause for concern.Many fans will be aware of the protracted discussions that have been taking place over the last year or so regarding the proposed development on the land at Strawberry Place behind the Gallowgate End.
During the summer the Council granted planning permission for Mike Ashley’s representatives to develop the site. There has been plenty of press about the development and after attempts to dispose of the land, it seems that Mike Ashley has decided to develop the land himself, hence his application for planning permission to the Council. As a result of any construction on the site, sadly the possibility of extending the ground any further seems to be lost. The only potential part of the ground which could be extended at present ,and indeed which it seems the club had plans to develop even within Mike Ashley’s tenure, was the Gallowgate End. Any development on the site puts an end to a Gallowgate extension.
Despite relegation last season we still managed to attract crowds of 50,000 for home games.Quite unbelievable when you consider the rubbish we’ve been served over the last few seasons,not to mention the way the club’s been run off the field, with football clearly not the priority …a bit of a problem for a football club!
Anyway ,with the recent change in philosophy at the club and with potentially better days on the way,not to mention to general trend for clubs to increase capacity it seems , odd that United ‘s game plan is to limit capacity by closing off any future expansion plans.
More worrying,it seems clear that regardless of whether we as fans are pro or anti ground expansion,of concern is that fact that the profit of any development is going into the pockets of Mike Ashley and not Newcastle United Football Club.
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