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Now that the tension of the title race has dissipated.

Eyes will all shift to the bottom half.

Tough task facing Newcastle United after ill-timed relegationUnfortunately for Newcastle United, they have been a regular at the basement for some time. The Magpies have now been relegated, confirmed by rivals Sunderland’s emphatic win over Everton on Wednesday, while Norwich were also condemned to the drop. This means Newcastle’s match up with Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday is a lost cause.

Newcastle’s problems span back years: relegation battles, actually being relegated, their owner Mike Ashley, and their recent issues surrounding Jonas Gutierrez. Seats are often empty at St James’ Park (or the Sports Direct Arena if you must) which displays the lack of trust from some Newcastle supporters. Is their owner solely to blame for their years of relative misfortune?

Ashley has made a series of errors during his time at Newcastle. Although the Toon have only been out of the Premier League twice, in the 1992-93 and 2009-10 seasons, it is not an uncommon sight to see them near the bottom of the table. Over the past three seasons, the Magpies have finished 16th, 10th and 15th.

One of those mistakes was waiting so long to change the manager this campaign. Steve McClaren was sacked after winning only six of his 28 Premier League games in charge, before Rafael Benitez was brought in. The club was 19th at that point and the job looked steep for the Spaniard – a mountain even he could not climb.

Ashley splashed (well, for Newcastle anyway) the cash this season on players including Jonjo Shelvey, Andros Townsend and Georginio Wijnaldum, but they were not enough to keep Newcastle in the Premier League. Benitez was also called in to try and save the day, but much like local hero Alan Shearer in 2009, he could not keep the club in the top flight.

When in the Championship for the 2009-10 season, Newcastle won the league and subsequently moved up to where they should be. It is almost as if there needs to be a miniature league for Newcastle and a few others that are too good for the Championship, but not quite good enough for the Premier League.

There was a small saving grace for the fans last year as they watched their club reach the quarter-finals of the Capital One Cup before eventually being knocked out by Sunday’s opponents, Tottenham. Newcastle need to regroup next year, which is never an easy task after relegation. The club will lose plenty of money too, made via Premier League TV rights. This will significantly harm the club’s bottom line and will likely have a flow-on effect on playing personnel as well as club back room staff.

Almost all Newcastle fans will wish Ashley would leave, but if he did, that would not necessarily mean that life would get any easier for the club. There are deep rooted issues that need to be addressed, and dropping down a league will not help at all.

Originally published at outside90.com

Post written by Genevieve Lewis, Twitter: @GenLewisSports
for Outside 90, Blog: outside90.com, Twitter: @Outside90

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