The Minutes of this weeks Fan Forum have been released and the statement which has most infuriated Newcastle fans is that we can not and will not look to compete in the cup competitions.
The board outlined research into Premier League clubs in relation to domestic cup competitions in the last five years, with Swansea City the only club outside the traditional top six to win a domestic cup and not be relegated in the same season (Birmingham and Wigan Athletic were both relegated).
Given that someone at the club actually took the time to do this "research" it's only fair that it's not dismissed as the hogwash it clearly is, but that it's explained where their method has failed so miserably.
1. They only concentrated on clubs that won the cup.
Any runner up puts in as many extra games as the winner, so the sample size should include all finalists. Here are the league placings of all League and FA cup finalists outside of the traditional top six (assuming they mean Man U, Man City, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and Spurs) over the past 5 years
2010 Aston Villa (6th)
2011 Birmingham City (relegated)
2012 Cardiff City (promoted)
2013 Swansea City (9th) & Bradford City (7th)
2014 Sunderland (14th)
2010 Portsmouth (relegated)
2011 Stoke City (13th)
2013 Wigan Athletic (relegated)
2014 Hull City (16th)
70% not relegated.
2. Correlation is not causation
All the relegated clubs that reached a final play in blue, therefore it could equally be said that clubs that play in blue risk relegation. Of course only a mentally deficient person would suggest anything like that. But that's what the club are doing.
Of the three relegated teams here, two (Portsmouth and Wigan) were already in the relegation places before their fist game in the cup. Only Birmingham fell into the relegation places after the League cup started.
3. Clubs climb out of relegation while on a cup run
Just this year we have the example of Sunderland doing the exact opposite of Birmingham and reaching one Quarter Final and a Final, all the while crawling out of the relegation spaces to a healthy finish in 12th. So the one example the club could realistically point to over 10 cup competitions has an equal counter example.