BBC pundit Danny Murphy has offered a scathing analysis on the state of Newcastle United. The former Liverpool midfielder believes that the Magpies are 'not a big club', despite the huge attendance figures at St. James' Park.
Newcastle haven't finished in the top four since 2003, but the club still attracts over 50,000 people every weekend to watch the Toon do battle.
🗣️ Danny Murphy: "Newcastle are well-supported but they are NOT a big club."— talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) September 24, 2018
🗣️ @BroadcastMoose: 'They get 52,000 fans but what else is there to do in Newcastle!?'
It's a question that has been asked over and over again... Are #NUFC a big club? 🤔
[📻 @JimWhite] pic.twitter.com/LaCLBRPXOr
Murphy, speaking on TalkSPORT, said: ''Newcastle are well supported, but they are not a top club…No, they're a team that yo-yo's between the Championship and the Premier League, how's that a big club?''
The former Fulham captain went on: ''The stadium being full or not isn't about how big a club you are.''
Murphy was then questioned over what constitutes a big club, the and pundit replied: ''Success and worldwide support.''
The most common barometer of what makes a 'top club' is how many trophies they have won in their recent history. In this category, you'd find the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United and Arsenal. The last trophy Newcastle won was the Inter-City Fairs Cup (what is now known as the Europa League) back in 1969.
However, many would describe Liverpool as a top club, but the Reds haven't won a trophy since 2012 when they secured the League Cup. Wigan, Swansea City and Leicester have all won trophies more recently than Liverpool, but one wouldn't adjudge them to be bigger clubs than Liverpool.
In summary, defining a 'big club' could just be a matter of opinion - and Murphy's will be harshly judged by the Toon Army.