Newcastle United will mark their return to the UEFA Champions League after a two-decade wait later this month and their fans just can’t wait to bang out the ‘Mackem in Milan’ tune in their trips to face some European royalty in the group stages.
The Magpies have been relatively unfortunately been placed into the ‘Group of Death’ this season, being put in the same group as French giants Paris Saint-Germain, Bundesliga heavyweights Borussia Dortmund and Sandro Tonali’s former side AC Milan.
Indeed, they have been put in the worst possible situation in their return to the Champions League for the first time since the 2002/03 season. However, the Magpies don’t seem that fearful of it and are actually embracing the challenge that the European elites will bring to them.
What did Darren Eagles say about the Mackem in Milan chant?
Newcastle’s CEO Darren Eales represented the team in the Champions League draw last week and he made a cheeky reference to the ‘Mackem In Milan’ chant that has been almost regularly sung by the faithful since they qualified for the European tournament.
He said in the aftermath of being placed in the group of death: “It’s the group of death isn’t it? Newcastle fans will be excited to play against PSG, Dortmund’s yellow wall and then AC Milan and Sandro Tonali’s link. You think of Milan and you had 10,000 Geordies over there in the wonderful city of Milan! I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Mackem in Milan either!
“So it is going to be exciting. PSG are footballing royalty, Dortmund are amazing and both fanbases will bond with each other and that first Champions League night when the music is playing will be really special”
This immediately attracted the attention of the Magpies faithful and delighted a lot of fans, who absolutely adored seeing their CEO refer to the chant and mock Sunderland.
That is because, the ‘Mackem in Milan’ chant is actually a major dig at Newcastle’s bitter city rivals and a way of mocking them for never playing AC Milan in the Champions League.
A ‘Mackem’ is actually a term for a person from Sunderland or the Wearside in the north-east side of England. The local people from Sunderland also have their own unique accent and are identified as ‘Mackems’ by that element as well.
The lyrics of the chant goes something like: “Have you ever seen a Mackem in Milan? Have you ever seen a Mackem in Milan? Have you ever seen a Mackem, ever seen a Mackem, ever seen a Mackem in Milan? Have you f*ck!”
Where does the chant originate from?
The reason why Newcastle fans are so proudly able to sing this chant is a way to mock Sunderland’s inability to reach the heights in Europe as them.
Unlike the Magpies, the Black Cats have never been able to play in Milan against any of the major sides (Inter or AC Milan) in the Champions League – which Newcastle managed to do a few decades ago.
The Magpies faced Inter Milan in the 02/03 Champions League in a ‘second group stage’ game and played in the Italian city, meaning they got to tussle against European royalty and one of Italy’s all-time greatest sides. That is why the ‘Mackem in Milan’ chant has been used so often by the Newcastle fans to annoy their rivals, who have never been able to play at the San Siro stadium under the bright European lights.
He said he’s never seen a Mackem in Milan. It’s a famous Newcastle chant from when we last played in the UCL in Milan, because our local rivals Sunderland (Mackems) haven’t been in the Champions League— Kendall Rowan (@kendallrowanx) September 1, 2023
Ironically, Newcastle will be returning to Milan again latert his season when they face off against AC Milan at the San Siro in their Champions League group stage clash – rubbing even more salt in the wounds of Sunderland fans.
All the Black Cats’ fans can probably hope is that their arch-rivals lose every single match in the Champions League and are utterly humiliated in the group stage, which might shut up their loud voices and ‘Mackem in Milan’ chant.