The story of the disappearing away seat allocation.

Posted on August 10th, 2010 | 148 Comments |

Our magnificent support.
Our magnificent support.
Newcastle fans get called all sorts of things, some of them less than complimentary. Deluded, impatient, demanding, passionate, partisan, thick, stupid are just a few tags that I have read about us.

There is one word I have missed out of all that though: Loyal. I can remember scenes from last season where we took 7,000 to Barnsley, 5,500 to Nottingham Forest among others. Clubs cashed in our away following, and rightly so. Why not?

We sold out practically every away end last season, and most of them gave us roughly the same amount of tickets as teams in the Premier League do. The demand is there. Newcastle have a massive fanbase from all over the country, all over the world in fact, and quite a few of those don’t get the chance to go to St James’ Park very often, for differing reasons, which means an away trip, to perhaps a more local team, is the more viable option.

I tend to do most of my supporting away from St James’ Park. A lot of it was to do with protesting about Mike Ashley, my own little stance against the way things were/are being run, you can delete as appropriate. Because of that though, I found myself supporting the team by going to a lot more away games last year.

Getting tickets has never been a problem for me. As most of you are aware, I am currently exiled somewhere in the middle of the country which means a season ticket is not viable for me so I have to get by with my membership, which has served me well until now. However, I may need to call on some family favours for tickets in future if the forst two away games of the season are anything to go by.

I won’t be at Old Trafford as I have to be at work, but I will be at Wolves, the away game after that. Tickets sold out pretty quickly, quicker than usual, quicker than the last time we were in the Premier League in fact, which made me wonder why? Someone said something to me about us having reduced away allocations, which made no sense to me, so I have done a bit of digging on the subject.

Now I can only account for the first two away matches of the season, but it certainly does seem like we have a reduction in our ticket allocation, and it is our club who are reducing them.

The regular allocation for Old Trafford is over 3,000, yet we have only taken 1,800 tickets according to Manchester United. Wolves is a similar story as the club have decided to only take up the option of having the same amount of tickets as a Bolton or a Wigan comapred to the usual full allocation that we would normally take. Why?

As highlighted earlier, the demand is there for tickets, and the club are doing themselves out of money as they get a ‘booking fee’ for every ticket sold. So why is this being reduced? I don’t know is the answer and I can only speculate on it.

There is no police advice or history of troubles within the two fixtures in question to justify the reduction, which rules that reason out, so why is the ticket supply being strangled by our own club?

Now it may just be for these two games as the club try and work out how many of the allocation to take at away grounds for the new season, but surely they should know they we will pretty much take all tickets that are thrown at us?

I don’t want to sound down on the club, but it is poor form from them and I can only think that money is playing some part in these decisions. The extra allocation that got turned down for Manchester United consisted of tickets that would cost £50 a piece. The club would have had to buy that allocation from Manchester United and then sell them from our club which is how they get the money back. If we don’t sell however many tickets we take then the club still has to pay the home club regardless. That is how it works.

Now pardon me for being cynical, but by restricting the ticket allowance it would mean that the club outlays less money on the initial ticket purchase which has a knock on effect down the line. Season ticket holders may be ok and will get their away tickets, but what about those people who have paid £20 for their memberships in the hope of getting an away seat here and there? If the tickets aren’t there then they won’t get a ticket, and a lot of those £20 memberships become redundant.

If anyone can think of a more logical reason then I would like to hear it. There is absolutely no reason for the club, our club, to reduce our away ticket allocations. We sell them, it’s fact, proven over the last god knows how many years, and to try to reduce our away following to that of a Bolton or a Wigan is disgraceful. I can ignore many things, but denying the fans the chance to see their team is something I can’t stomach.

As you can tell, I’m really not happy about this, but only time will tell if it is a permanent thing or a temporary measure.

I, for one, hope it is the latter!

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

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148 Responses

  1. “Newcastle fans get called all sorts of things, some of them less than complimentary. Deluded, impatient, demanding, passionate, loyal, partisan, thick, stupid are just a few tags that I have read about us.

    There is one word I have missed out of all that though: Loyal.”

    Haha, sorry but what a gaffe!

  2. Man, I hope this isn’t going to be true for all games. There’s a very small chance of me getting to London over NYE and I’ve got plans to go to Tottenham away if true. I’d really like not to have to sit amongst the spur fans…ug…

  3. Toonsy, you didn’t miss loyal mate. But it’s a shite situation, our away support is a different class, the club needs to sort this out.

  4. Unfortunatley Toonsy the club is being run like one of his shops and we can like it or lump it.

  5. see now why you where venting and rightly so,but toonsy you cant be surprised by anything ashley comes up with would you ?

  6. Toonsy,is it definately NUFC and not the other clubs who have reduced the allocation ? either way its crap.

  7. Jay Jay – Eat, drink and be merry. If I can work out train times then I may get the train up meaning I can drink more :twisted:

    My last experience at New Street ended up a little sour though. Did you know that it is possible to be banned from a train station? That makes 2 now :(

  8. Rich – I would but they would probably say something condascening (sp?) in reply :roll:

    I’ll try though ;)

  9. Failed how Rich, He surely cant be on the monster wages the rest of their squad is, Is the fat man not paying the loan fee (Like Ben Arfa) or has the player turned us down there was that report about him not wanting to play with Barton or does he want to live and work in sunderland if so he has my pity…

  10. foster out of england game,has called up 2 keepers for cover fielding scott loach one hasnt even played in club first team,looks like harper not even in his thoughts,i wonder why,i dont

  11. yeah I agree with richietoon toonsy, we have a media spokeswoman now dont we? Is this not a form of media? Email her and ask what the situation is surrounding our ticket allocation, I would be interested to see what the actual reason is.

  12. Ice ive just got that out of me mouth, This Fielding guy played for Rochdale last season and has never played in the top 2 divisions!

    What has Harper done to offend this twat :x

  13. Toonsy nowt surprises me except that your now best mates with stardust :lol: . I think you might have hit the nail on the heed Fat Mike might be afraid of being left with unsold tickets as he might know that we wont have any biggish signing so he thinks we wont follow the Lads

  14. CC – Most Sunderland players live in Newcastle anyway ;)

    Rich – E-mailed the club;



    Just wondering why the club don’t seem to be taking the full allocation of away tickets?

    Certainly at Man Utd an Wolves this is the case anyway.

    I just wondered of 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 are small still. 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.

    Kind Regards


    Lets see what happens. Not a lot probably.

  15. toonsy

    Id be surprised if you got a response i requested a reminder of my customer details so i could buy tickets for the PSV friendly two days before the match, I got my reply email with customer number at about 7 oclock on the saturday about two hours atfer the match finised… :roll:

  16. CC dunno mate,maybe city didnt want to lend him too us cos we’re a bigger threat to them than the mackems ;-)

  17. Harper’s too old lads,he can’t say he’s building for the future then call up Harper.

  18. CC – I’ve had replies off them before pretty sharpish. Hopefully they will continue ;)

  19. CC…lol…..I asked myself that when the squad was named.Only thing I can think of is because some papers thought he should have gone to the WC so Fab is trying to get back in their good books other than that..pass mate.

  20. Make sure you get the train, it’s only a short journey from your neck of the woods toonsy.

  21. RICHIETOON to a point i agree but its a bit much for a kid with no first team ex to play a internationl game imo,mind ime not a harper lover thought he fell away 2nd half of season i know he has been good to club ect ect,but he was getting payed for it,and sentiment doent win you games imo

  22. ice..just saying why he didnt pick Harps,not why he picked the other one.Fraser Forster would have been a better shout for me like mate.

  23. Keep at em Toonsy, sort the b****** out!

    Try re-sending your query but addressed to Simon Esland who is head of of Customer Relations (no don’t laugh). He is supposed to be good!!!!! Didn’t help me but that is another story.

    Or you could send it to the famed Wendy ex Newcastle Airport.

  24. eds headline reads good news smith is fit.
    good news for who?not bloody me,maybe ashley means doesnt have to buy someone for his pos

  25. Jay Jay – It’s only £12.30 on the train so I might do, and I don’t have to change at New St :)

  26. aye toon surposed to have bid 2.5mil for cheick of f.c.twente does this ever-end,the plot thickins

  27. I am a season ticket holder at St. James’ Park and get to as many away games as I can. Over the last few seasons we have been told away allocations would be reduced if we continued to stand. We have contunued to stand.
    At the pre-season friendly at Carlilse I had a ticket for the stand. People at the front stood and as a consequence people behind had to follow suit.
    There was a retired lad in front of me who had got a stand ticket so he could get sat down. Was unable to stand for 90 minutes. Had to leave midway through the first half as he couldn’t see a thing.
    Don’t know what it is about large sections of the support when they go away. If they were told to stand they would probably sit.
    What made it all the harder for the old lad at Carlisle was there was a standing section behind the goal, so if people had wanted to stand they could have gone on the terracing.
    This may be part of the reason for the reduction and its really our own fault.

  28. Rich – I seen my thread is still up :lol:

    Thick feckers still don’t get the relevance of the thread title :lol:

  29. hobshobs – But surely if that was the case it would be the home team that reduces our allocation, NOT our club??

    Most away fans at most fans stand in fairness, so I don’t think that is the reason. Look at Leeds, they even stand at home!

  30. toonsy,maybe he’s limiting the ammount of people who can insult him at a game.or he’s trying to win round small groups of fans at a time buying them beers etc lol.
    on a serious note,we all know what ashley’s about,the whole thing pobably involves money and him cost cutting,like you say if he has to pay more for the allocation of tickets,he’s not going to do that.
    either way he’s a treacherous,scurrilous f**k is jabba.

  31. TROJAN not bad m8,just seen that a guy called knott has played behind closed doors at left back today at toon,after being let go from chelsea you know him ?

  32. TOONSY lol,how come you missed that one is more to the point,these hols doing your heed in ?

  33. Just seen on the NUFC website that we drew with St Mirren thanks to Ranger getting two goals for us in the 80th minute. Another interesting thing is that it said Billy Knott from Chelsea who was released also played. He is a left back so I wonder if we are making a move for him?

  34. RICHIETOON your quick as normal,toonsy must have been busy on villa site and got under his radar :)

  35. Ice – I’m back at work mate. Started back last night, and what a shite one it was aswell :(

  36. It’s called being tight as a ducks arse!

    Fckin Ashley wouldn’t give a door a bang, the sqeaky fcker!

  37. Could this mean that we’re actually going to be getting cover for Left Back?! No, I don’t believe that at all. That would take sense from the club

  38. Icedog – Divvn’t worry ;)

    I’m surprised you dodn’t notice as I haven’t been on as much today :)

  39. AndrewT, i agree with you, I found it odd that he was playing, obviously released by his club but i know nothing of him and would presume if we did get him he would go straight into the reserves.

  40. Good point ToonSundae. If we haven’t heard of this guy, there’s no way that he would be much better than Tamas Kadar or Shane Ferguson

  41. RICHIETOON after reading your link,sounds like he might be mates with big daves pal J.B.

  42. Could it be that MA is taking fewer allocations so he can then reducing allocations to visitors so as to pack SJP with as many Geordies as possible?

  43. aye,could be owt tho ice and he’s only a kid so unless it’s something really bad prob deserves a second chance maybe?

  44. Lol Toonsy.

    Can’t find much on him but the only thing that stands out is that he lost his rag against West Ham. The other thing is he fits the model of player Hughton wants to bring in mainly because he is young.

    I hope that Hughton has snapped up a couple of players as we need them.

  45. any chance of a game chris?no son i’m afraid knott……………………..tumbleweeds.

  46. i’m terrified that we are going to end up signing any tom,dick or harry because they fit some meglomaniacs agenda,this could all blow up in our faces.

  47. When we took 7,000 to Barnsley it seemed more like a cup game at a mutual ground than being in an away crowd. Their fans will have not seen travelling support like that for a long time.

  48. You make a great point Trojan, it is ashame that Gosling is out injured at the moment as he would freshen up the midfield. My concern is that we need a proven striker to play with Carroll. I don’t have anything against Lovenkrands or Ameobi but I’m not sure if they will cut it.

  49. RICHIETOON@85 just bloody like you lol,how come it took you 5min haveing a cuppa like,normally its seconds

  50. Knott was suspended from the Chelsea academy for ill discipline and still couldn’t behave and was kicked out altogether. Avoid.

  51. Having sex is like playing bridge. If you don’t have a good partner, you’d better have a good hand ;-)

  52. There is a thin line between fishing and standing on the shore looking like an idiot :-)

  53. i’m all for bringing in good young players,but look at ranger already concerns about his life style,attitude we want to give a go to another kid with the same problems,in the case of gosling we’re happy to sign him when he’s injured,because he fits a criteria that ashley wants.we sign perch,then you hear things from the forest fans,that he was a weak link at the back for them,but because he’s cheap and in a certain age group that’s okay.
    we’re now supposedly on the verge of signing a wonder kid on loan for nigh on a million quid,who by all accounts is a nightmare,and falls out with all unsundry.
    i can see ashley boxing himself into another corner with this latest wreckless folly,i mean look at some of the bother we had with the likes of dyer,bellamy,bramble,etc.
    if they were not speeding,or wrapping themselves around trees,they were peeing on the streets,fighting on the pitch,assaults on lasses in bars.
    they are supposed to be fostering a new team spirit,but we’ve already got carroll up on assault charges,taylor with a broken jaw,papillon barton,and we want to add to that with another set of heed the baals?.
    i’m finding it very difficult to go along with fatboys view of the future.

  54. What do you call a dog with no legs? Don’t matter what you call him, he ain’t gonna come!

  55. So lads do you think there might have been any other players getting a look over today ? and Toonsy you never answered me earlier about you and Stardy being best mates now on Uncle Eds I read it all ;)

  56. I asked god for a bike, but I know god doesn’t work like that so I stole a bike and asked for forgiveness.

  57. icedog,i can see us ending up with a squad full of young nutters with no one to give them a guiding hand,as ashley will sell older players,and we’re always going to be left with young players ruling the roost,it’s recipe for disaster imo.

  58. TROJAN no sod can 2nd guess ashley m8,he beats me,just look at who hes hired and fired,dick

  59. Richie he has gone all quiet now he doesn’t want Stuart to know that he is buddies with Stardy but I will tell on him anyway

  60. My wife has always proclaimed that there is nothing more painful than childbirth. Clearly never trodden on a plug in the middle of the night then!

  61. so what do you lads on here think about ashely’s view of the future?
    do you think everthing he does,is not for the benefit of the club,or just exercises in buying time for himself?
    is he really in it for the long haul?or just keeping things ticking over until he gets his money back,or someone comes in with a bid to buy the club?
    when he says his mandate is to buy young players,is this being done as a view to the future,or just an excuse to buy cheap?
    judging by what’s happened so far,would lead me to think that he has no interest in the club,but goes through the motions and keeps costs down to attract a buyer,i might be a mile wrong,but to me he doesn’t seem like an owner that wants a successful club,either that or the blokes a nutter.

  62. BIG DAVE get nowt off toon m8they will sign that knott that played today at l.b.and say nowt

  63. that one Trojan…
    or just keeping things ticking over until he gets his money back,or someone comes in with a bid to buy the club?

  64. TROJAN 69 says:
    August 10, 2010 at 9:57 pm

    I think the fact he has tried to sell the club twice speaks volumes. He’s clearly not in it for the long term and if he got an offer he’d be gone.

    That would explain why he doesn’t look like spending any money on the club anymore – He won’t get it back.

  65. TROJAN 69 says:
    August 10, 2010 at 9:57 pm

    “judging by what’s happened so far,would lead me to think that he has no interest in the club,”

    Trojan, if you’d ploughed £100s of millions into something, would you have “no interest” in it whatsoever?

  66. Trojan I would say you arn’t far wrong, I think the 1st chance Fat Mike gets he will take the ££s, TBH I dont think that was his original idea but after all his gaffs I think he wants out. So I hope someone comes along and buys us then MA can fuk off back to the hole he came from and take that tosser Lambs arse with him ;)

  67. Trojan meant to add As I said I dont that was his original plan I do think he had good intentions for us but I think the KK, Wise and then JFK blew it all apart. but I can understand why he would want out after the abuse he took, but I will grant him that he has guts turning up at the match’s will he still gets abused

  68. i know what your saying worky,but a lot of the money he’s put in from his orignal purchase,is more to do with his lack of due diligence,so he’s kinda been forced to protect his investment,rather than it being a labour of love.

  69. big dave,i think at first he probably did have the right intentions,and i think he did get stung by the halls.
    he then had to protect his investment,ploughing in more money that was probably going to be used for squad strengthening.there was even rumours around xmas time just before he sacked big sam,about him trying to flog us to an american firm for 400 mill.
    i know there is still time during this window to add to the squad,but so far he’s not giving us much of a chance to be fair,we are on a level with our rivals,rather than trying to out do them in an attempt to give us the best chance of staying up.

  70. Trojan- I can’t really guage his intentions. I think he came into the club with good intentions but that e isn’t very bright. He came in, spent money (Jonas, Collo, etc,plus attempts made for others). But then I think he realized how bad FFS ripped him off and how bad the financials really were and he began to panic (sale of Milner, especially). Then relgation hit which put the club in a nearly bankrupt state, so he had to put a bunch of his own money in to protect his investment. Now he’s back into a league where revenues aren’t as high as they used to be. My guess is now he just wants to balance the books and sell. Unfortunately, that will take a couple years of Prem football while investing little.

  71. 41 hobshobs says:

    ”At the pre-season friendly at Carlilse I had a ticket for the stand. People at the front stood and as a consequence people behind had to follow suit.
    There was a retired lad in front of me who had got a stand ticket so he could get sat down. Was unable to stand for 90 minutes. Had to leave midway through the first half as he couldn’t see a thing.”

    I was there with me dad. At away games you get put were yur put. We had two seats that were right of the gangway looking to the left. Half the time we were either standing up to let people in the row, (for everyone else if you at the end) or trying to see past people walking up the gangway (including the knackers coming in late p###ed ect). At one point some actually decided they would just stand in the gangway, and rightly got moved by stewards. There was a guy infront of me who was about 6′ 6” at least, and im not exagerating. Im 6’2”. I would not have been able to see if I didnt stand. I felt bad because there was quite a young lad behind me and he had to stand on his seat. The giant was completely in his own day dream. IF YOU PAY £3 EXTRA FOR A SEAT BLOODY SIT IN IT!!

  72. Trojan,

    I think MA’s just trying to get things attractive right now. Young players = low wages. A year of survival means potential profit for the club and paying back a bit of the MA money he’s lent. Plus, he can more realistically start offloading some of the higher wage earners next season and keep this cycle going.

    I am sure he’d jump at a good offer to sell the club, but in the meantime, he’s going to make it as efficient a club as possible…financially. I am not so sure I disagree with his approach. Sure, it’s a bigger risk, but one could argue that he’s showing faith and confidence in the team he has now to put this plan into action.

  73. Trojan- I agree but that’s what i think he’s doing. It’s an awful risk because next time we will need to sell half the team and will be very unlikely to come back up.

  74. catch you later icedog,another thing that bugs me about ashley,why has he got such a downer on paying for players in installments?now during the so called question and answer session with man from uncle llambias,they said they wanted to own players outright.
    that is all well in good,but the position the club finds it’s self in we cannot do that,so what’s wrong with coming to argeements with clubs,to pay in installments,surely this would be better for us.i know some people will say it’s debt hanging over us,but when we are selling players the clubs we are dealing with are paying in this way,as a casing point during the meeting with llambias we were still waiting on money from shay given,to which one fan asked the question,if we are trying to buy players outright,then dealing with clubs who want to stagger payments,then how the hell do we sign anyone.i’ve always found that a strange one,i just dont get the logic of it.

  75. mds,well therefore you would think he would be doing everything in his power to stop that happening,what he’s doing for me ensuring we’ll be in the dogfight.

  76. 41 hobshobs says:
    ”What made it all the harder for the old lad at Carlisle was there was a standing section behind the goal, so if people had wanted to stand they could have gone on the terracing.
    This may be part of the reason for the reduction and its really our own fault.”

    I completely agree. I don’t know what it is about the away crowd aswell but they can be cheeky to the point of total rudeness to the home fans. Some of the stuff they chant really is disgusting. Then people wonder why some other club fans have such a low opinion of us. Why can’t we just support the team without resorting to immature, disgraceful chants to the other teams fans.

  77. The real reason we are not going to get as many away tickets tickets this year ?

    Remenber our lovely chairmain last year begging for away fans to stop the mindless abuse of poor little defenseless mike ashley and asking ever so nice for it to stop.

    Well there my friends lies the reason, pure and simple.

    agree or disagree, he wont give a monkeys either way

  78. interesting problem, as a corporate member the club has said through the grape vine, they will only take tickets they can sell without loosing money, similar ticketing problem at leeds from what is said at work by a colleague.

    just like us leeds get many thousands of ticket apps. but the club only take the allocation they know they will sell. then if demand is high they will ask the home team for more tickets, which at some grounds aint a problem.

    its the strange world of football..