Newcastle’s relegation is going to make my final year miserable

Where even is Burton?

Last night, Newcastle United were relegated from the Premier League to the Football League Championship. Football fan or not, if you live in this city you’ll know that it is utterly mad about the game, and I’m concerned that my last year in this buzzing city won’t be as buoyant as usual.

I have to admit, I am already a boyhood fan of the club which does rub salt in to the wound. I’m also not even from here, which does make me more of a Fraudie than a Geordie. Having grown up in Sussex, my five-year-old self decided to begin supporting the team furthest away from me in the country, for reasons I still don’t know.

A sad night

I obviously wasn’t aware about the absolute rollercoaster ride I was getting in to by pledging my allegiance to the Magpies. But the ability to watch my beloved side play against England’s top teams, on a frosty night at a rowdy St. James Park, was easily one of the biggest reasons why I chose to come to university here.

Once I did arrive, I noticed immediately that football really is a religion in this part of the world. You rarely get on the Metro without seeing someone sporting a replica kit, every taxi ride is spent discussing the team’s chances at the weekend with the driver, and I swear to God I even saw someone with a tattoo of the club’s badge on his face once.

Will St James’s be full for the visit of Bristol City next season?

Even when the Rugby World Cup graced the city, it felt like most locals were much less interested in some blokes chucking an egg around at St. James than a crunch game against Watford at the weekend.

This makes the relegation even harder to take, as the general mood around the place does sink and lift depending on how the team are playing. A win is glorious, particularly against a big side such as Chelsea – more people go out, town is more vibrant and everyone is just in a better mood.

But a loss does deflate the city, and there’s nothing worse than an angry Geordie – as some of the friendliest people on earth, it just doesn’t suit them. Some of the best nights I’ve had at uni have followed a match at the stadium. The atmosphere for the visit of Manchester City was so memorable and I’m sad that there may not be ones quite like it next year.

The glory days

It’s very poor timing for the club to do this as I enter my final year in this amazing place. Accepting that rather than seeing Manchester United, Liverpool or Arsenal next season, I will be attending matches against Burton Albion, Rotherham United and Huddersfield Town will be difficult.

But, on the bright side, at least I actually managed to see top flight football whilst I was here. Who knows when the club will bounce back to the top? As everyone keeps saying to me (in an annoyingly sarcastic voice), at least tickets will be cheaper. And I will make sure I’m on the Toon Army away day to Leeds if its the last thing I do next year. If they do manage to get promoted, I’m just going to have to do a Masters.