Football finance expert Kieran Maguire has confirmed that a fan boycott will have had a ‘noticeable’ impact on sales of Newcastle United’s Puma kits.
Thousands of Newcastle fans have either refused to attend St James’ Park or buy any club merchandise until Mike Ashley departs (via The Athletic).
The deal ends a relationship with Puma stretching back to the 2010/11 season, when the likes of Kevin Nolan, Shola Ameobi and Joey Barton were in the squad.
Newcastle are currently in limbo, with Mike Ashley’s intention to sell the club to a Saudi-led consortium reportedly limiting them to a £12million transfer budget this summer.
Speaking to Football Insider, Maguire said that the boycott from a section of the fanbase had likely had an impact and explained that the club can’t simply ignore their protests.
“I don’t think it will have been significantly hit but I do think it will have been noticeable,” he said.
“Newcastle fans are starting to get more organised and fan power is working in some cases.
“The club will take notice of boycotts, cancel culture and the like,” he continued. “That can have an impact on what is ultimately a niche market. The Newcastle football kit market is very small.”
It was of course difficult to fully gauge the strength of anti-Ashley feeling among supporters last season given that we did not hear the disconnect in the stadiums every week.
But with football grounds permitted to return to full capacity from 19 July, it will be interesting to see if Newcastle have difficulty filling their stadium as some fans determinedly stick to their principles.
Of course, things could all change if the potentially transformative takeover is ultimately given the green light and a new era begins on Tyneside.
In other news, Newcastle have received a double pre-season boost.
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