LONDON (REUTERS) - Newcastle United thanked the club's fans for their support after their relegation from the Premier League was confirmed on Wednesday.
Newcastle were demoted to the Championship after their north-east rivals Sunderland beat Everton 3-0.
"Tonight we are devastated at our relegation from the Premier League, as I know every single person connected to this football club will be," managing director Lee Charnley said in a statement on the club's website (www.nufc.co.uk).
"I want to thank all of the fans for the support you have shown for the club you love throughout the season, in spite of this massive disappointment and under-achievement."
Newcastle, four-times English champions, appointed Spaniard Rafa Benitez as manager in March but he was unable to turn around the team's fortunes and they will return to the second tier for the first time since 2010.
"We know that supporters want to know what the future holds and will want to hear more from us as soon as possible," Charnley added.
"The process of scrutinising what went wrong and planning for what is to come has already begun. Right now, of course, Rafa and the team must prepare for the final game of the season but after that, please rest assured we will communicate more fully with supporters."