Newcastle United Football Club (also known as The Magpies or The Toon, and often abbreviated to NUFC) is an English professional association football club based in Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear. The club was founded in 1892 by the merger of Newcastle East End and Newcastle West End, and has played at its current home ground, St James' Park, since the merger. The ground was developed into an all-seater stadium in the 1990s and now has a capacity 52,339. The club has been a member of the Premier League for all but two years of the competition's history, and never dropped below the English football's second tier, since joining the Football League in 1893. In 2007, long term chairman and owner Freddy Shepherd sold his share in the club to Mike Ashley.