Rio Ferdinand's got it wrong: Newcastle fans suffering most under Ashley
Every football fan feels at some point that everything is going against their club, whether that's refereeing decisions, results or they're seeing their club fall into the hands of someone who has no interest in being there.
Many clubs have fallen foul of their own ownership problems, Blackburn, Leeds, Cardiff and Portsmouth, to name a few, but most of these teams have had some sign of a light at the end of the tunnel.
And now new research has revealed that Geordies are the unhappiest fans in the Premier League.
The club’s fans have been at the centre of a social media storm after BT pundit Rio Ferdinand said that Newcastle owner Mike Ashley should be ‘thanked’ by Newcastle fans for spending “his own money” to get them promoted, but the stats suggest that Newcastle are the worst-off supporters in the league.
The study into fan satisfaction has revealed that Newcastle fans have the most reasons to be fed up with Ashley with the club suffering at hands of their owner.
Newcastle supporters scored a total of 189 points for fan satisfaction, out of a possible 400, with their fans suffering heavily for their team’s poor away results, overall win percentage and number of goals scored throughout Ashley’s ownership.
The Geordie faithful have travelled a remarkable 10,152 miles for every away defeat in the last five seasons – enough miles for a trip from Newcastle Upon Tyne to Australia - averaging 2,030 miles per season, while Bournemouth fans have travelled the second-most, nearly 2,000 miles less than Newcastle’s faithful, with 8,382 miles travelled for away defeats.
Results have continually been an issue for the club under Ashley with a win ration of 33 percent and 1.186 goals per game achieved in the last five seasons, leaving the club with the fifth-worst record for wins and goals scored since 2014.
Fans will be further irked by the expenditure that they have had to endure. Toon supporters have spent a minimum of £2,575 to follow the club at St James’ Park – 9th in the fan spending charts – with only Brighton, Southampton and Bournemouth, and five of the big six big clubs spending more.
Elsewhere, the overall fan satisfaction score sees North East club followed by newly promoted Cardiff and Fulham in the unhappiest fan stakes with the Welsh club scoring 193 points, just below the West Londoners on 189. The bottom five is completed by Southampton (201), Huddersfield (206) and Brighton (208).
So when you've seen a late goal conceded and look to the skies, you might just spare a thought for those in the north east.