Once upon a time, Newcastle had one of the biggest stadiums in the Premier League.
Back in the day, St James’ Park’s capacity of 52,305 was only toppled by Manchester United and Old Trafford. But over time, Newcastle have slipped down the order.
Arsenal built the Emirates. Manchester City took over the City of Manchester Stadium and turned it into the 55,000 capacity ground known as the Etihad. West Ham moved into the London Stadium. Anfield was extended.
Newcastle were slipping down the pecking order, then Tottenham arrived with their fancy new stadium to further propel the Magpies down the rankings.
As it stands, Newcastle have the seventh biggest stadium in the Premier League. However, it won’t be long before they fall even further down the list.
Everton are already planning to move above Newcastle – but only just.
Their new stadium, the Bramley-Moore Dock Stadium, is set to hold 52,888 fans when it opens in 2024.
Now another Premier League club are set to move above the Magpies.
Elland Road set to move above St James’ Park
They will now boost their attendance to 55,000, meaning St James’ Park will only be the ninth biggest stadium in the top flight.
Leeds are one of multiple Premier League clubs showing ambition while we stand still.
They already had plans to improve their training facilities, and they will no doubt revisit those plans in the future.
We’ve also seen Leicester build a new state of the art training complex.
Meanwhile, Newcastle United stand still. At the minute, there’s no point in increasing St James’ Park’s capacity, considering we lost fans following Rafa Benitez’s departure.
In 2019, Newcastle gave away 10,000 season tickets.
But it’s been clear for a long time that Newcastle need to improve their training facilities. It was one of Benitez’s big points of concern during his tenure.
But as long as Mike Ashley is in charge, nothing will change. The training ground will stay the same. The stadium will continue to fall down the rankings as more ambitious clubs build bigger grounds.
Unless there’s a takeover, nothing will change.