The story of the disappearing away seat allocation – Part 2.

Posted on August 11th, 2010 | 141 Comments |

Our magnificent support.
Our magnificent support.
I wrote yesterday about how it appears that our away allocations for the first few away matches of the season have been cut.

If you missed that article, or wish to read it again, you can have a look at it here.

I’ll give a brief re-cap of what was uncovered yesterday. Basically it came to light that our away ticket allocations appear to have been cut for the forthcoming season.

Instead of over 3,000 fans at Old Trafford on Monday evening, we will now have just 1,800. The same applies to Wolves, where we again could have had around 3,000 fans, yet we are only taking around 1,100. This means that a lot of fans are going to miss out, fans that either can’t get to, or don’t want to go to, St James’ Park will now find it more of a struggle to secure a match ticket for an away game. Those £20 memberships may help, but they most definately aren’t as helpful as they once were.

This angered me a fair bit as I don’t like the fans, the heartbeat of any club, being denied the chance to see their own club in live action. It would be different if we rarely sold out away allocations, but we do, most of the time in fact, so I thought I would e-mail the club and question this decision. Here is what I wrote;

“Hi, Just wondering why the club don’t seem to be taking the full allocation of away tickets? Certainly at Man Utd and Wolves this is the case anyway.

I just wondered if there is any reason for this as we pretty much always sell out away ends, and have done for years. I managed to get a ticket for the Wolves game, but I could struggle in future if allocations remain smaller than usual. Will this be an ongoing theme for this season? It’s going to stop a lot of fans throughout the country being able to watch their team.”

Now I didn’t really expect a reply to be honest, but to the credit of the box office they did give me one. Here is what the club had to say;

“Hi there,”

“Opposition clubs offer a number of ticket options to us – some on a sale or return basis and some on a sale only basis. The Club makes a decision on a game by game basis regarding how many tickets it forecasts it can sell based on demand at that time.”

“It is a careful balance between ensuring that supporters have the opportunity to buy tickets for away matches (and having a strong vocal support for these games) and ensuring that we mitigate the risk of being left with unsold tickets that we have to pay for. If we are left with a remnant of tickets this is wasted money that cannot be spent elsewhere, for example, player investment.”

I had speculated yesterday that money could be the motivator behind the decision, and judging by that reply it certainly seems as though I wasn’t far wide of the mark. If these tickets are based on demand at the time, then questions ahould be asked as to how the club can work out that demand has dropped by two-thirds.

The last time I checked we sold out away ends up and down the country, and we have done for years. To me it sounds as though the club are only bothering to take the ‘sale or return’ tickets to negate a potential loss, and to try and justify that by saying it will take money away from player sales is laughable. I mean, would the £50,000 outlay it would have taken for the extra Man Utd tickets really stop our relentless player recruitment drive? Bear in mind that the club would get most, if not all, of that money back.

Anyway, I decided to e-mail the club back again to question why the excuse is so feeble. Here is what I said;

“Thank you for taking the time to answer my question.”

“I am however struggling to grasp the concept of the lack of demand? To the best of my knowledge, we pretty much sold out away ends up and down the country last season, and most of those had an allocation which was comparable to grounds withing the Premier League. In fact we had to go back and ask for extra at times such was the demand.”

“Am I really supposed to believe that Newcastle United has a demand from the fanbase that is comparable with the likes of Bolton and Wigan – Two of the worst supported clubs in the league, with no disrepect to them inteneded of course.”

“We have been selling out away ends pretty much week in, week out for years now, yet now the demand has apparently dropped? Something smacks of poor form here. I’m led to believe that we have only taken 1,800 tickets for Man Utd, and 1,100 for the Wolves match? The tickets would sell, in fact I know a fair amount of people who have already missed out, which is leaving them questioning just why they have shelled out £20 for a membership?”

“On a note unrelated to the box office, if the £50,000 outlay (that the club would have got back) saved by not taking tickets at Old Trafford, or the £68,000 it would have cost for the Wolves game is going to dent our player recruitment drive then I fear we may be in for a very very long season!

Now I really don’t expect a reply about that as I think perhaps I have been a bit too cutting, but the questions needs asking. It’s poor form to a fanbase that has stuck with the club yet again and I intend to not let this drop!

I eagerly await a reply!

NUFCBlog Author: toonsy toonsy has written 643 articles on this blog.

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141 Responses

  1. toonsy,we look like a bunch of convicts on a prison riot in that photo.lets hope the man from uncle llambias and co give you a reply.

  2. Man utd tickets sold out while on season ticket only period, wolves tickets sold out on the first day they were available to members. This really takes the piss, everyone should email the club with their honest opinions, we are famous for our great support and this is hitting us where it hurts.

  3. So feeble it’s laughable. I say you should get one of the newspapers involved (Not the local one’s as their so far up the clubs arse it’s pathetic).

    Hope they reply but I doubt it.

  4. jay jay

    the man u tickets were available to members (for a couple of days)… i know as I have one … and I can’t wait !!!

    bet 365 … 14-1 for a toon win on Monday …

  5. Great read. I was left disappointed about not getting tickets for Wolves as well. It didn’t even make it beyond being offered to season ticket holders did it?! As you touched upon in your article, I am one of those such fans who doesn’t go to St James’ Park any more. Being London based, it’s very far to go, and to be honest, I prefer the atmosphere that our away support generates anyway, so all the midland and London games are always on my list of games to go to…was really looking forward to going to the Wolves game. Was gutted to see it sold out, but I didn’t realize the club bought up such a small allocation! So now instead of being gutted, I’m pretty annoyed!

  6. Oh yea ice,
    that was an interesting development at villa with mo’n walking, wasn’t it? (while i was away)

  7. CLINT a strange one m8 the timeing i mean,bit of kk in there somewhere,think a few clubs are looking at incomes/out-goings except about 3/4 clubs

  8. I have a question about buying away tickets. How far in advance can you generally purchase tickets? For instance, if I knew I was going to be in England in March for instance, could I buy an away ticket for the week I was there now? Or, do I have to wait until a month or 2 weeks prior? What’s the general rule?

  9. ice,
    aye his timing is designed to have max impact like.
    Bit snide.
    Some managers aren’t gonna like the financials that are just around the corner.
    Though it couldn’t have happened to a nicer team.
    milner ain’t worth all the fuss imv.

  10. Sorry shrews, obviosly got that wrong, zogster tickets for wolves did make it on sale to members but were sold out by about 11:00 am

  11. Nor Cal – You cant generally get tickets until a couple of weeks prior to the game, and even then season ticket holders get priority, then members, then the rest with a few days in between

  12. 14 Mick G says:
    ”Toonsy perhaps you could get your mate Mick Dennis to take up the cause.”


  13. I think MO’N has every right to walk if he has been made false promises, however theres ni way Milners worth 20million let alone 30million!!

    I would be snapping man city’s hands off for that, and if Ireland is in part ex then I think Villa would have got the better deal. I dont even rate Young that highly, and if he got rid of him with Keane in part ex, thats probably two really good players without a net loss to the squad and about 30 million in the coffers to keep the bank manager happy!

    I think MO’N has been a bit daft and clearly hasnt realised the state of the football world now.

  14. Cheers, Raffo. So, it may be best to try to buy a “Home” ticket and dress casually then. Well, at least I’d get to see ’em play.

  15. Its not the guy in the box offices fault. The ronnie might not take it up though coz their really careful not to upset the powers that be. Commission Alan Oliver to do a peice on the story freelance for that national he used to write in. :)

  16. Norcal tickets go on sale six weeks before a match, first 2 weeks for season ticket holders, then 1 week for members, then 1 week processing period with no tickets available, and if by some slim chance there are any left general sale.

  17. Aye Toonsy get wor Mick :lol:
    If nowt else he at least replies to emails….he’s almost me penpal ;-)

  18. Might aswell email ‘the voice of football’. Aye Richietoon at least he will reply. Might even write about it .

  19. ”I have never written anything without researching it thoroughly. It’s my job.”

    Mick Dennis is the man for the job.

  20. DJG…………and he loves us Toon fans

    What I object to is the assumption of many — not all, of course, but many — Newcastle fans that theirs is a special devotion. That preposterously pompous self-image insults the passionate supporters of other clubs.
    Mick D

  21. Raffo,
    Didn’t think Lerner was the type to make ‘false’ promises like, though, what do we know?
    Just think he didn’t wanna sell young & milner. He took ’em there. But if they wanna leave, what can a manager do?
    It sounds like he’s just accepting defeat to me, which is a bit soft, but he always was a bit of a baby.
    No doubt he’ll get another job where he lets the fans down.
    Doesn’t seem to care about them, they can’t just walk away, some will, no doubt, but most won’t.
    i agree with your assessment of the 2 of ’em.

  22. Stoke paid £8m for Kenwyne Jones…..didnt Bruce say he was worth £20m last season?? :lol:

  23. richie,
    at least he can take his top with him.
    Is stoke any better than s*land, probably, but only slightly.

  24. Rich

    Is everything OK with the SOS accountants ??

    Its amazing what they sell at harrods these days aint it a couple of free transfers from south america, a couple of injury prone players on loan, Danny Welbeck and Titus Bramble…

    Europe better watch out… :lol:

  25. Do they?
    The height of culture compared though.
    & they play the right kind of hoof ball to suit him.
    A match made in purgatory.

  26. CC……they need to hope Bent doesn’t get any serious knocks or they’ll be struggling…..hopefully

  27. Is anyone listening to this mackem on the legends, p#### off coz they’ve got not goalkeepers or strikers. :)

  28. Norcal – if your comin all that way you need to have to full-on away game experience, I have a season ticket but don’t get to many (2 or 3) away games. I’d be more than happy to help you out if I can, I just don’t quite understand how the points system works.

  29. noir9 ya get 1 point for every away game ya go to so depending on the fixture the club decide how many if any points ya need to apply…i.e Sunderland you may need 50 points.It’s so those that regularly go to away games get first choice.

  30. Cheers richie, just think norcal needs to be in the away end, I’ve sat with the home support a few times for various reasons & its just not the same & trying to sit on your hands when we score is impossible.

  31. Ate noir9,he needs to be in with the Geordies.I’m sure one of us on here will be able to sort him out.

  32. Noir9 – Agreed. We must make it our collective quest to get NorCal an away ticket for a match ;)

    You wouldn’t get that kind of service on the rest of the web ;)

    .org – The caring choice :lol:

  33. Well, if you guys can hook me up, and I am able to get over there I will let you know. I would love the away game experience…i think

    Tentative plans for NYE in London…would be there for the Tottenham fixture. We haven’t bought plane tickets or made hotel reservations yet, so not 100%, but my wife and I are hoping to get over there this year. We’d be bringing the bairns, so chances are, it’ll only be ME going to the game…no family on this one.

    I won’t know for another month or 2 though, so, I’ll keep you all in the loop.

    Thanks for the potential help there.

  34. toons – some good digging there kidda.

    And what an utter load of bollocks eh? The policy makes no sense whatsoever. Are they that incompetent? Is nobody capable of understanding simple logic and analysis? Look at the figures people. You’ll get your money back, fans are happy and everyone’s a winner. Fcktards.

  35. Bowburn – What is worse is that they will actually make money. Remember, they take a £1 booking fee for every ticket. Sell-out the allocation and they have got there money back, plus £1 a ticket on top.

    Pricks! :mad:

    I’m e-mailing my new mate Mick Dennis ;)

  36. bbm…….it just baffles me(easily done)…….we took the same amount of fans to a weekday match in Blackpool and would have took more had the stand held more,so how could they possibly think we couldnt sell 3k+ for the first game of the season against Man Utd? beggars belief.

  37. Rich – I might need to. I’m not going to Everton. Too many bad memories of drink, drugs, hooligans, fights and brothels for me mate :(

  38. toons/rich – yeah, I missed the profit part! Morons man. Utter friggin morons.

    I fancied Everton but I’ve got the GNR on the Sunday. Not good preparation. We’re running it with a coupla Everton fans though so will be interesting as they’re staying overnight on the Saturday

  39. I’ve never been to Goodison and the last time I went to Anfield we got humped 4 nowt in the cup………what a night though 13k geordies took over the place.Fantastic atmosphere the kop were outsung all night.Happy days

  40. CLiNT FLiCK, sorry this is a bit late, but I only just came back on :D

    I just think there cannot be such a U-Turn in tickets. I don’t have a clue, but why would the club want to lose money (because they gain money for every ticket they sell) from rivals because of the potential loss of £30 from one or two unsold seats?

    I mean it’s almost a certainty that we’ll sell out at the big games and at the start of the season when a lot of people are optimistic, so it just doesn’t make sense to me.

    As I said I think I smell something fishy and it isn’t James Perch ;)

  41. been to goodison twice,rude,foul mouthed,ag gresive,all round dicks,the men are worse,and ime not jokeing :(

  42. Icedog – Is correct, although Goodison is alroght for pubs around the ground in fairness.

    Just make sure you go into the right ones ;) ;)

  43. no thank you, only went second time as i thought it was a one off the first time,i was wrong

  44. HTL,
    thanx for the reply mate.
    I get you.
    Like you say, it makes no sense.
    It’s hard to know what goes on though isn’t it?
    I think they need to set up some kinda liason committee or something.
    Cos it’s apparent that they don’t have a clue what the fans really think.
    Although, if they’re trying to judge what we think through blog sites, they’re bound to be confused like.

  45. RICHIETOON i wouldnt put you off m8,but get some training in,gan and stand in the big market for 90min at night with a s/land top on you will soon be fit,nee worries

  46. It doesn’t bother me so much ice but wor lass isn’t to keen when the locals aren’t friendly.

  47. Has anybody seen Haris Vuckic lately? he’s fell off the map recently. was he at the open day today? no sign of him in the pictures on the official site

  48. He’s probably having a medical at Man Ure. Ashley will have accepted a £1m bid. It’s a profit he’ll say.

  49. Stu – We are buddies now. Rich is practically moving in with him. Young lovers. Sweet in a weird kind of way :lol:

  50. hahaha… wouldnt be surprised. he looked good in our first 2 pre-season games, and i haven’t heard from him since.

  51. Kim Jong-hun, the manager of the North Korean football team for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, has been sentenced to 14 hours of labor on a building site. Kim is being punished for betraying the trust of Kim Jong-un, the third son of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, after the team lost all three matches in the World Cup including a 0-7 rout by Portugal.

    Immediately on returning to North Korea, the coach “faced a six-hour grilling from 400 officials of the Communist country’s hardline regime,” and “was also stripped of his membership of the Workers Party.”



  52. I can see the headline now fro Mick 2moro

    “Newcastle’s disloyal fans buy only 1800 tickets and return 1200 for big Man Utd game” :lol:

  53. The maths is pretty simple in their eyes.

    Don’t take an 1,000 extra tickets at £29 a pop because you risk losing £29,000 to make only £1,000 profit.

    Except we know that the reality is that over the course of the season, the profits we’d make would far outweigh any remaining tickets. And it doesn’t take a genius to work out that we normally always sell out for league away games. We will have evidence stretching back years to prove the patterns.

    They’re looking at it too simply. In fact, I can’t work out how they can be making that mistake.

    They reckon we can only sell 1,800 tickets for the Mancs? Do me a favour.

  54. Ben Arfa on at half time. Took him 3 minutes to score against Norway… Screamer from 25 yards

  55. Someone reassure me… I’ve been extremely optimistic about the coming season but the recent transfer activity has me now convinced that we’re right f——

  56. We aint getting Ben Arfa, that we can now put to bed.

    I have faith that there will be back up options, but the problem is that the speed with which things take I doubt we will have them in for Monday, but I hope I am proved wrong.

    Looks as though Gerrard is not content with being mr Liverpool, he is now mr England.

  57. tonights game won’t make a blind bit of difference to whether or not we were going to get Ben Arfa imo.
    No manager will buy him because of 1 goal in a friendly.
    If he doesn’t come it’s because we werent going to get him anyway.

  58. Forgot to introduce myself as I’ve never posted before. I’m a toon fan from Norway and avid reader of the blog for a while. Great work on the articles so far!

  59. Raffo – Aye. Harry Redknapp is watching the match, and Ben Arfa has caused. He’ll go to Spuds now I reckon.

  60. I agree, Richie, but I was thinking more along any price it may cost to get him. I suppose it won’t.

    At this point, I am now of the mind that I can’t wait for the transfer window to close and all we have to concentrate on is football…the drama and rumors are a bit much.

  61. I know what you mean NorCal…the sooner it closes the better.bloody sick of it.I daresay Marseille will try and up the price now tho.

  62. On an related note, does anyone think it is imperative we get players in by Monday? I don’t. I doubt one or two extra players will suddenly mean we get a result against Man Utd, so I’d rather make sure we have them in for the Villa game. The Man Utd game is a write-off in my opinion.

  63. Maybe Redknapp will get Huseklepp instead now;) Apparently ‘Arry is at the game to watch Loic Remy who played quite well in the first half.

  64. It would be a bonus Toonsy but more to give them extra time training with the team for the Villa game.

  65. Toonsy, I am not sure that would be a benefit or not…for the Monday game. I suppose a few could go straight in, but I think with so little time to work witht he team, that anyone that comes in may not actually be available for the game. I am probably way wrong on that one though.

  66. I can’t believe b@stards stole a pair of wor lasses knickers off the washing line!!!!

  67. she’s not bothered about the knickers but she wants the 12 clothes pegs back :lol:

  68. Are people really that cynical? Just because Arfa scored in a friendly, doesnt mean he wont be coming.

  69. Has anyone seen the news that Leon Best is out for possibly 3 months with ankle ligament damage?

  70. With or without Ben Arfa we will get stuffed off Man U anyway. Look at what they did to Chelsea in Charity shield ffs and their the Champions. To hope they will have a slow start 3 seasons in a row is pushing it.

  71. See we got a mention on ESPN as the Newcastle fans will be excited watching Ben Arfa as he may be on his way to St James

  72. We’ve a better chance just going to manusa & playing them, rather than trying to defend.
    We’ve got nowt to lose.
    & teams that have a proper go always get better results v the top teams.
    No fear.

  73. Yep, let’s hope, but not going to bank on it.
    As Clint says, no matter who’s in our team on Monday, let’s just go for it, not sit back and hope

  74. surely somebody got an interview with ben arfa after the french game and asked him what was going on.just want it all to be over so we can all move on.

  75. ‘just want it all to be over so we can all move on.’

    Sounds like waiting for a murderer to be sentanced or something. :)

  76. Well Simon we can enjoy watching him for the spuds

    there will be a plan b, cue all the huskelepp fans though

  77. This bunch of clowns need to learn how to run a football club, their not trying to rob a chav of their benefit money as is in Sports Direct/Sports World/Fat Boys. Cheap cost cut recession feeding rubbish.

  78. I would guess Johnno that he is upset because we arent matching Man City pound for pound. The realisation hasnt set in with a few people still I see

    Good goal from Ben there, I still think we should forget about him now

  79. I am fuming about this. People might start to think our fans aren’t the great travelling force they once were. When the truth is that Ashley’s pathetic regime is yet again embarrasing the club. I have had to get a ticket in the home end at Old Trafford and I refuse to buy a membership for NUFC because I think it is a scam.

  80. Number 138

    Is it unrealistic to want the team you have supported your entire life to be something more than a relegation candidate? Or some play toy for a billionare to play rough with? Maybe your content to have Mike Ashley rip you off and make a fool out of your club but im not.

    I have never said anything about spending silly money. Why would I? All im saying is that a football club and discount warehouse store such as sports direct are two different businesses, yet they are being run in the same manor.

  81. Gone are the days when the toon can take 5 or 6 thousand to other grounds. Clubs are petrified at losing out so they take a meager small allocation. The premier league need to step in here and sort it out. I note the mackems allocation for sjp is only 2’700. In the 90s they use to get the whole leazes end, 5000 or so. Expect this meager allocation to be returned for toon fans when we go down there patch. Quite frankly this is a disgrace! I use to go everywhere with the tonn but now I dont bother. If the club arnt gonna help me then I’m not gonna botha my arse to help them! Clubs have to wake up and realise they are in an age when they have to entice you to the match not put you off. Pubs, clubs and homes up and down the country are now installed with sky. Some genuine sky some the foreign version. Football has got to bring its prices down and its availability up otherwise a generation of match attending followers will be lost. Its lost me and its gonna lose a whole lot more if its not carefull. So all you boardroom men & women up and down the country get a grip and sort it out before its too late. All clubs must get mandated by premier league rules to supply bigger allocations to all clubs, e.g 5000 minimum. All allocations to be sale or return and a cut of away allocations given to the larger clubs. Had this already been in operation it might have demonstrated to fifa that this country is capable of hosting big events with big crowds with massive followings from some clubs. This might have secured the world cup. Sadley though short term gain and greed demonstrates we arent capable. Northumbria police can no longer handle big away followings. Dont be surprised if fifa’s aids have noticed this. Football as we once new it has I’m afraid to say… Gone!