Newcastle United chief Derek Llambias believes they have a worldwide supporter base of 3.5 million.
Llambias nominated the figure when considering competing with Manchester United financially.
"Worldwide we have three-and-a-half million fans, Man United have 350million and sell 1.2million shirts," he told The Journal.
"That's what it is - the reality is there's massive gaps between us and them. How do we close that gap? We don't get there by throwing money at it because we can't."