After the previous season's relegation and the mass sale of players it is fair to say that expectations were not very high at the start of the season. And as United failed to seriously
challenge the promotion places at any point expectations sank further.
Not surprisingly the average League attendance took a hit - dropping from to 20,494 (some 15%).
However this does not tell the full story. In the 12 games up to and including the Tyne-Wear derby the average held up pretty well: 24,677. But in the last 9 games after that match
the average was only 14,921 and if you remove the Brighton game (attended by many thousands from the South Coast) 13,232. So almost half the fans had had enough after the Tyne-Wear debacle.
McGarry went out of his way to praise the fans at every possible opportunity. He was particularly impressed with the 7,152 brave souls who attended the abandoned home match with Wrexham: "we've got to do something for these supporters of ours, they are absolutely magic".
There were also plaudits from Luton manager David Pleat after his side were beaten on Tyneside suggesting the crowd "willed Newcastle to victory; their encouragement was tremendous".
However the poor form of the side led to increasing levels of disenchantment on the stands. As usual individual players were often targeted: Cassiddy (against Orient) and Hardwick later in the season suffered more than most.
Fans caused trouble (including 3 pitch invasions) at the pre-season friendly at Berwick. On the first day of the season at Millwall pitched battles around the stadium caused thousands of poundsí worth of damage. And the Tyne Wear derbies were both marred by violence.
Stage 1 of Phase II of the redevelopment of the Leazes End was completed. The floodlights were improved and a new tower was erected behind the West Stand. The £500,000 spent was provided by the Newcastle United Development Association.
The Newcastle Supporters Association was set up by Alec Gibson and Malcolm Dix at the end of 1977 and their avowed aim was to change the executive structure at the club.
At the beginning of July they presented a winding up petition to the High Court of Chancery with the aim of forcing the directors to answer allegations of "ill-administration" and "oppressive conduct". Four directors were named: Westwood, Rutherford, Seymour and Rush.
They also get enough support to force the club to hold an EGM later that month to discuss a vote of no-confidence in the Board. However the directors claimed that none of the resolutions could be discussed because the "whole matter is sub-judice because of impending High Court action". A vote was taken on whether the Court action did prevent discussions taking place and the result was 650 to 434 in favour of the Board.
A couple of weeks before the hearing the NSA dropped the court action but they later made it clear that they had not given up the fight and were going to press for an inquiry by the Department for Trade and Industry to investigate "certain matters" at the club.
The Newcastle United Supporters Club Chairman Alan Robinson was scathing of the group branding them "deliberately destructive, naive, sensation-seekers; seeking self-glory".