Newcastle United’s final game of the season is potentially a mouth-watering fixture for neutrals and TV companies.
As it stands, 17th placed Newcastle will take on 18th placed Fulham.
There is every chance that it could turn into a relegation playoff, with the winner being rewarded with Premier League survival.
It’s the stuff of dreams for the likes of Sky Sports, who love to overhype every fixture possible.
And following Boris Johnson’s plans to come out of lockdown, there is another element of interest in Newcastle’s final game.
The Prime Minister confirmed that if all goes to plan, fans could return to stadiums from May 17th at a reduced capacity.
That would mean fans would be able to attend the final game of the season, giving Fulham a potentially huge advantage. Just like before, it would be unlikely that away fans would be able to attend.
Therefore, Fulham could face the prospect of going into a relegation playoff with thousands of fans cheering them on.
It would give them a huge advantage over Newcastle, and could likely see them get the result they need.
However, it is yet to be confirmed if the Premier League will allow fans back in stadiums this season. While it would be great for the final game, it would give teams an unfair advantage.
Survival must be guaranteed before final game for Newcastle
Regardless of what happens, Newcastle should not be in a position where they are relying on the final game of the season.
We can’t be sitting there on May 23rd, saying to ourselves ‘we would have stayed up if Fulham didn’t have a load of fans chanting ‘Mitro’s on fire”.
This season is already proving to be a massive failure. If we do survive, that will not represent success.
As Jermaine Jenas said after the Manchester United defeat, Newcastle fans will still moan if we finish 17th. You’re damn right we will, Jermaine, but that’s because it would represent complete regression from the club.
We were a Champions League club when Jenas was here, so the fact he thinks that survival is success is baffling.
It’s bad enough that Steve Bruce has dragged us into another relegation battle. But there is still time to get out of it.
If it comes to the final day and our safety is still not secured, then we probably deserve to go down.
If fans are allowed into Craven Cottage and it gives Fulham the boost they need, lucky them.
It would be harsh on Newcastle, but the damage will have been done in the previous 37 games.
With 13 games remaining, Bruce must ensure that it doesn’t come down to the final day. Don’t give yourself yet another excuse to fall back on.