Newcastle United are a north-east based club that has endured mass success in their history, having been crowned champions four times and winning six domestic competitions. They have a huge fan base since a merger between Newcastle East End and Newcastle West End, leading to them attracting large attendances through their gates every week. They have had legends of the game play for them such as Alan Shearer, and have played mostly in the Premier League over their years. They have an experienced squad, fit to excite and under the guidance of Champions League winning manager, Rafael Benitez, are looking to re-establish themselves in the European places. It’s an exciting time to be a Newcastle supporter, as they are playing some of the best football they have for years.
Newcastle play at St. James’ Park which has a capacity of 52,354, and have played there since the merger. Newcastle have been in the Premier League for all but three years. After Newcastle West End dissolved into serious financial trouble in the 1892-93 season, East End chose to be involved in a merger between the two and eventually the two clubs adopted the name, Newcastle United. This led to masses of fans walking through the doors as the two became one, and helped the development of the club. They also chose to turn own the chance to play in the Second Division, due to no big names in the league, and stayed in the Northern League. They turned down the chance again in 1893-94 and opted to join the Second Division with the likes of Liverpool and Woolwich Arsenal.
Newcastle eventually gained promotion to the First Division in the 1898-99 season, and continued to build from there. In the 1903-04 season, they had built a squad of players that would go on to dominate English Football for the next decade. They won their first, First Division title in 1904-05 then regained the title in 1906-07 and 1908-09. They also reached the FA Cup final in 1905, 1906 and 1908, however losing on all occasions. They eventually won the FA Cup in 1910, but had a quiet 14 years ahead of them.
Newcastle then endured yo-yo years after 35 consecutive seasons in the top flight, going from FA Cup triumphs, three times in a five-year period between 1951-55, to relegations to the second division. In the 1980s, they suffered financial difficulties and were forced to sell their key players such as Kevin Keegan and Peter Beardsley, who had helped guide them back to the first division, and found themselves back in the second division in 1989. Keegan then became manager and brought a new lease of life to the club in the 1992-93 season. He guided Newcastle to their highest league finish since 1927 of third in their first year back in the top flight, but never managed to clinch the title.
Newcastle brought in a then world-record transfer, Alan Shearer from Blackburn Rovers, alongside other quality players. However, once Graeme Souness took over and Alan Shearer retiring, the club began to decline. He was sacked in 2005-06. And despite breaking their transfer record once again when signing Michael Owen from Real Madrid, the ownership of Mike Ashley seemed unhealthy and Newcastle were eventually relegated to the Football League Championship in 2008-09 for the first time since the Premier League was formed. However, they dominated the league under the management of Chris Hughton and they were promoted as champions.
After more controversial ownership from Ashley, Hughton was sacked and top players such as Andy Carroll was sold to Liverpool for £35m, Newcastle still managed a fifth placed finish and a spot in the Europa League. They had minor success reaching the quarter finals, but it was domestically shambles, even after appointing Champions League winner, Rafa Benitez as manager, they were relegated back to the Championship. However, under Benitez’s experience, they formed a team fit to challenge in the Premier League after an £45m spending spree on the likes of Dwight Gayle from Crystal Palace and Matt Ritchie from Bournemouth for £15m. They again bounced back immediately as champions. Newcastle enjoyed a strong start to the 2017-18 season, and fans are also boosted at the fact Mike Ashley put the club up for sale. It seems that they are in the top flight for the long run and with a world class manager in place, there is no reason why they can’t challenge the best in the league.