Ashley’s false pretence over away tickets?

Posted on August 23rd, 2011 | 39 Comments |

Mike Ashley: No shame.
Mike Ashley: No shame.
I’ve been thinking about Newcastle United’s membership policy on away matches.

Now, I’m sure you remember our first match of pre-season, where a few morons decided to invade the pitch at Darlington, inciting trouble between both sets of fans. If you can’t remember what I’m referring to, check out Thump’s piece from July, when United announced the membership policy.

There was much debate at the time, as to whether this was the right thing to do. “The minority have spoiled it for the majority” was the cry from some fans. Now I understand there is no excuse to invade a football pitch and cause trouble, but I think this membership policy has many flaws and I’ve been questioning why the club have sanctioned it.

I’ve recently returned to the UK after travelling, so obviously I’ve not been able to see any matches while I’ve been busy enjoying the wonders this planet has to offer. I’m situated in Sheffield at the moment, where some of my family now live. While I’ve been away, Newcastle spent a season in the Championship, meaning certain members of my family could catch the local Newcastle away game.

Being down in Sheffield meant they enjoyed games such as Doncaster, Sheffield Utd, Sheffield Wednesday, Leicester City and Nottingham Forest. They also made a few trips up to St James’ Park also, but getting the chance to see United close by really does help considering not everybody can afford to travel across the UK to see every away game. It’s not that they don’t want to see them all, it’s just that there is a financial crisis going on, we live in a country where every penny someone earns could well be the last and many people’s jobs are not as secure as they used to be.

I’m sure some of you reading are situated further away and coming up to Newcastle is something that you simply cannot afford. So I’m sure many of you, like my family, catch the occasional away game when you have the chance.

The reason I’m bringing this up today is because of what I’ve been told recently by my Dad, after he spoke to the Newcastle United ticket office. Newcastle are scheduled to play away to Scunthorpe in the league cup on Thursday night and my Dad has been enquiring about tickets for the match. I’m sure some of you know the score with this policy, but I’ll relay on to you what I’ve been told.

It costs £26 to have a membership for one season and you can only get one ticket per match. There are alot of tickets available for the game at the moment, probably due to it being a non-glamorous tie and on a Thursday night. My Dad had a conversation with the ticket office where they informed him he would have to buy a membership and so would anyone else who wants a ticket. The conversation between the ticket office and my father ended with him stating that this whole policy was “ridiculous” and the lady on the other end of the phone agreeing with him, stating most people will head down the pub instead and watch the game as Sky Sports are televising it.

Newcastle’s best asset has always been the loyalty of it’s fans. There are thousands who shell out for season tickets and follow the Magpies across the land. We have fantastic supporters and this whole membership policy is purely taking advantage of that. It would not surprise me if Newcastle were going to announce this policy, regardless of the Darlington trouble occurring. Some people may only have chance to catch one match this season due to location, or if they are a member of the Toon Army from abroad, they may be visiting the UK for a few weeks and can’t make it up to Newcastle so they’ll look for a game a little closer to where they’re staying.

Now I apologise for bringing up ‘old’ news and if you feel I’ve wasted your time with this article. I just happen to see this as money making exercise and nothing more. Many believe all Mr Ashley cares about is money and couldn’t care less about what the fans want, or the hardship they endure to be able to get to matches and be able to afford their tickets. He tends to ignore the fans, so I assume even if people protested against this policy it wouldn’t make much difference. I don’t think this has anything to do with the trouble at Darlington, but this is obviously my opinion and you may differ from it.

That ten year season ticket price freeze sounds a bit odd as well doesn’t it? I’m aware you can cancel the season ticket policy, but it still seems strange don’t you think? Maybe you think it’s a brilliant idea? Let me know below…

Also the club increasing the cost of season tickets for disabled fans by a whopping 30% from £207 to £287. Personally, I think targeting the disabled and increasing the prices by 30%, completely lacks class from the club and Ashley. To me, it looks like he’s trying to get in as much money as possible. I’m not even going to start writing details about the lack of spending on the playing squad, that warrants an entirely different article!

Deep down, I think Newcastle United are still very much up for sale even as we speak. Think how attractive the club will look if it has 40,000+ season ticket holders signed up for ten years and thousands of memberships from people who don’t live locally, or probably even in the country! It’s the perfect example of how loyal our fans are.

As if some figures on a piece of paper need to show anyone how loyal the Toon Army are. The only thing Ashley seems to understand is money, he doesn’t take notice of the loyalty shown when thousands turn up to a match and sing their heart out for the lads. Well actually, he probably does notice and thinks about ways he can exploit it further. I’m also sure he probably takes notice at the ‘fat’ jibes during our matches, but he doesn’t seem to do anything about it. He still possessrs a weight problem.

With all that said, What do you guys honestly think of this policy, do you think it’s justified due to the crowd trouble at Darlington, or do you think the club probably were planning on doing something like this anyway? What do you think of the disabled ticket prices and what do you think the real reason is for the ten year season ticket price freeze?

NUFCBlog Author: Jimbob Backpacker extraordinaire and current resident of sunny Sheffield. Loves Marmite, hates peanut butter. Sleeps twice a day, wrestles Polar Bears because he can and regards himself as cool as a cucumber in a bowl of hot sauce. Jimbob has written 40 articles on this blog.

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39 Responses

  1. Is this the 12th man membership? I haven’t renewed mine for this season, butthepast two seasons it’s been £15. A £10 increase is a bit tight.

  2. I’m going to the game on Thursday along with my friend who’s also a season ticket holder. There should have been four of us in the car but another two friends (also season ticket holders) were told they could not purchase tickets as the deadline for ST holders had passed and it was now a members sale. When they pointed out that as ST holders they had automatically qualified for free membership and therfore should still be able to buy a ticket, they were told no. Why? Anybody shed any light on the reason cos it’s got us non plussed!

  3. cla5hb0y68 says:
    August 23, 2011 at 9:06 pm

    “When they pointed out that as ST holders they had automatically qualified for free membership”

    That’s what I used to think Clashboy, but reading through the small print, I thought that I read something about membership cost being automatically factored into the price of a season ticket unless you were a junior member or something like that? When I went to check the Season Ticket page wasn’t available though.

  4. surely as season ticket holders we should be able to buy a ticket any time for an away game as long as tickets are not all sold

  5. Hahahaha!

    Brighton winning. Should have had a penalty earlier too.

    Serves scum right.

  6. It does stink. I go to away matches only, and that’s because I refuse to give Ashley any more of my cash whilst he is bleeding the club dry. Now I can’t even do that without paying him for the privilege- so it’s Sky or the local for me to get my fix now until he’s gone.

    As for the lack of class mentioned in your post, MA doesn’t know the meaning of the word. Our reputation is in ruins after tapping up players, offering a fraction of their value to try to buy them and offering players less than they are currently on to sign for us!

    We are being run like a knock-down cheap classless sports outlet. I wonder how that is?!?

  7. If it’s all about being able to identify fans by their ticket in case of trouble then why is it £26? When they brought out this shit idea it was to create a fan database so why not a £1 or free?? He is basically a robbing fat bastard. Luckily for me I get me mates to buy tickets for me on their season ticket so haven’t bought a membership and would prefer not to buy one to just simply keep him and rat face Derek in prostitute.

  8. Gordie, exactly mate. They didn’t have to charge anyone anything, if all they wanted was to make a data base like you have said.

    Unfortunately not everybody around the UK and the World know anyone who has a season ticket.

    I think it’s disgraceful.

  9. May get some grief for this but I read about the disabled fans tickets going up the other day and people not being happy with it but I was thinking, why are they so much cheaper than everyone elses tickets anyway??

    Surely you are paying for the priveldge of seeing the games which is surely the same for everyone whether you are in a wheelchair etc or not? Of course I suppose there may be exceptions if people are blind etc and obviously are not seeing the games but generaly im not sure they have grounds to complain about the prices when they are still paying probably at least half of what everyone else pays even with the increases.

  10. the whole thing about potential trouble being the reason for members only is an absolute bunch of rubbish. I too live in South Yorkshire and went to a lot of away games in this area as well as the recent Leeds friendly. I have a Supporter Number but no Membership. If I phone up for a ticket and quote my supporter number then they have all my details on their system already, including my former ticket numbers etc. However, without now paying the £26 I would not now be able to buy any away tickets. I probably would have gone to Scunthorpe on Thursday (as I did in the championship season) but I certainly wont be paying an extra £26 to do so as there are no other away games within reasonable distance. It now makes more sense for me to try and get the odd home match ticket and travel there instead.

  11. Bassongs Of Praise, I read about it to earlier. Some people commented as you have and got some venom sent their way for it.

    I don’t think the club targeting the disabled is right, but I understand peoples views on the matter.

  12. Bassong of Praise, are you being serious?

    Disabled people invariably have no jobs or are on very low income jobs. Not all, but the majority.

    What has the world come to when people are questioning cheaper tickets for disabled people??

  13. Memphis, spot on.

    Just because the bus journey I took earlier today was the same as the disabled lad at the front of the bus, means he should pay the same as I did?

    I Really think the club are disgusting in just about every thing they conduct these days.

  14. I think tickets for disabled supporters should be free. It’s an opportunity for a few super rich men to make a positive impact on those people who experience more hardship in their daily lives than others. Ashley wouldn’t even feel the hit.

  15. The disabled tickets are still cheaper though by a very long way so there is no argument to be had surely. In my experience a lot of disabled people have a disproportionately large disposable income. Not that I begrudge them that but I don’t feel sorry for them financially speaking.

  16. Dunno, I think raising ticket prices 30% for disabled fans is rotten. That’s got to be one of the largest hikes in prices ever.

  17. Hi,

    Totally unrelated but I thought I’d share this out courtesy…

    Earlier this evening, I was trying to get onto the footy streaming site “MYP2P.EU” site – but to no avail. Like many readers, I have often used this site to watch the toon as well as plenty of other games. Tonight, I was looking forward to seeing the mackems losing (again).

    Not being satisfied with this, I searched and came across a similar site called “MYP2P.BIZ”.

    Please be advised that MYP2P.BIZ is a VIRUS SITE and should be avoided at all costs. It took out my works laptop (corporate mcafee is sh*t and endpoint encryption means even the function keys are disabled on boot up – clever C*nts!

    Just thought it might be a good idea to spread the word.

  18. Nice one Hoolie. Download a program called ‘Malwarebytes’ and that should give your computer a decent scan. Also, if you’re streaming, I recommend downloading a program called ‘peerblock’ and running it. It basically blocks anti P2P and other nasty I.P addresses from gaining access to your computer.

    Just in case your interested.

  19. Thanks Jimbob, sound advice.

    Never been scared of viruses but these days, they are getting harder to kill. I just hope that the IT bods at work can sort it out asap.

  20. Hoolie,

    Very good site mate, check it out.

    That site should give you a crash course on ‘peerblock’ and viruses.

    I should add a disclaimer here, that I don’t advocate piracy at all and the downloading of torrents. :-)

  21. Hoolie, ‘peerblock’ and ‘malwarebytes’ are freeware as well mate and perfectly legal. So no worries about that.

  22. Cheers,

    Some nice stuff on there, got it saved in my bookmarks.

    I’ve been Hunting Iso’s and and been a Bt Junkie for quite some years now. ;)


    Sorry , may be biased towards toon , but this was a basic LOSS of control by the referee, who should have stamped control on the game early on . When Barton was stamped on , he never took control, and took both captains to one side and laid down law. So beginning of season FA looking to set example for all other teams to keep their houses in order.

    Its stands to reason that the FA are seeking early season address of bad behaviour, when actually the refereeing is becoming quite poor, and I should know I do ref occasionally in NZ !!

  24. Also Sochaux is contemplating reporting us to UEFA for approach on Maiga, and yet in the same breath is holding out for 10 million pounds…

    Sorry if this was one of top 4 teams this would not happen , but because it’s newcastle , sochaux are taking a calculated risk we will back off..

    For Pete’s sake these approaches happen in 90% of all transfer dealings Sochaux get a life COMPRENEZ !!

  25. nzedtoonman says:
    August 24, 2011 at 2:17 am

    “Also Sochaux is contemplating reporting us to UEFA for approach on Maiga, and yet in the same breath is holding out for 10 million pounds…

    Sorry if this was one of top 4 teams this would not happen , but because it’s newcastle , sochaux are taking a calculated risk we will back off..”

    I thought that it alredy had happened to a “top four team” NZed, Chelsea over Kakuta, though their transfer ban was subsequently lifted after they reached settlement with his previous club, Lens.

    Article 18: Any club interested in a player must communicate through the club with whom he is under contract before starting any personal negotiations.

    If it’s ok for Newcastle to do that with other clubs, is it ok for other clubs to do that with our players?

  26. worky T , agreed in which case you think Chelsea is a TOP 4 club ( joke ! ),
    It seems that Sochaux are putting in place a guarantee of some money from NUFC after agreement on the player ! it all sounds like MONEY or ‘L’Argent ‘ eh ??
    Noo ge

  27. Hi I’m a toon fan in Northampton and so too don’t get to many home games. Was wondering does this membership scheme also apply to kids tickets as my 8 yr old daughter is also a massive fan? Do I still need to pay £26 pound for her to join also?

  28. Cookie, I’m not sure mate. Give the ticket office a bell. I’d be surprised if they charge kids £26.

    Actually, I wouldn’t be surprised.

  29. not until fans stand up and stop buying tickets shirts and every think to do with nufc will the fat man stop doing what he is doing,singing u fat c… at games does nothing he will kill this great club,i dont care if we go down to 3rd or 4th divisions its the fans that make this club and they will always be here M A will not

  30. Done all that adam and I’m off to Sc un th orpe on Thursday but we bought tickets from the home club and not the robbing baron Fatman !

  31. Hi I’m a fan from Birmingham so like a few others i can’t make many home games. I have a membership but as a lot of the games sell out on season ticket holders i can’t go to many games. I was wondering to buy an Away Season Ticket if you need to have a Home Season Ticket first? Because if that’s the case I’ll have to somehow try find a season ticket holder who could get me tickets!

  32. Jason says:
    October 4, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    “I was wondering to buy an Away Season Ticket if you need to have a Home Season Ticket first? Because if that’s the case I’ll have to somehow try find a season ticket holder who could get me tickets!”

    Jason, I’m in London and I can’t get such a thing as an away season ticket, so yes, I think you need to have a home season ticket. Get in touch with the club’s box office but another idea might be to get in touch with your local NUFC supporters organisation. I think that there is one for the Midlands area and they may be able to help you out?

  33. As another view point Jason, I’ve been to both Villa and Wolves away this season and havent bought tickets from NUFC because I dont want Fatman getting hold of any of my hard earned !

    Bought decent tickets in Trinity Road stand for Villa and took advantage of their cut price hospitality deals. It does mean you might be in with the opposition but there’s nothing finer than standing up and celebrating a Toon goal among a bunch of sad sorry home fans :)

    Remember doing that at WHL when Beardo scored his solo special in 93 and again when Oba blasted that goal and shut the “Spuds” up for the rest of the afternoon :)