There’s been a lot of discussion and questioning recently over the apparent reluctance of Newcastle United to take the biggest available allocation for all away games this season.
Granted, we haven’t been pulling up any tree’s, but when has that ever stopped a good day/weekend away?
To be fair, we did struggle to sell out early on as our miserable form continued. Man City, with many fans expecting a hiding that never came saw 400 less attend than last season for the same kick off time.
Man Utd saw a 100 drop for the same kick off time. However, Palace saw the same numbers turn out for what is generally a poor away trip, in a poor ground and with us on a poor run.
Southampton though saw us take 750 less tickets at a ground where we generally get good support. Last season we had 3200 on a Sunday live on SKY. Every away game in the south in recent years has been well supported so why the massive reduction?
We have great support in the south and for many it’s their only opportunity to see the team play.
We sold out for St Mary’s with over a fortnight to go before the game. Poor demand or poor planning?
Fans are now looking at games coming up and asking questions of the club in terms of allocations they are taking. Surely we should judge each game on its merits and take the allocation accordingly.
Why would we take a reduced allocation on Boxing Day ANYWHERE? After the first and last games of the season, this is, imo, the most popular away day of the season. We are currently selling block by block, though the club suggest it’s Liverpool making them sell this way.
They know us well and they know we will sell out.
There are also rumours of reduced allocations at Huddersfield and Burnley though the figures have not yet been confirmed by the club. For some reason though, the loyalty points level for the Huddersfield game has stayed high. Other games seem to have dropped quickly.
The other side I guess is Everton. 1700 allocation on a Wednesday and not sold out. Maybe difficult for many at this time of year, who knows.
As a regular away attendee I feel the club should always take the maximum available allocation. Fans continually complain to me that they can’t get tickets (though that’s not really true, as I proved in a previous article) so keep giving them every opportunity to go.
Part of the criticism from fans is that the club are more concerned about having to pay for unsold tickets than they are for fans having the opportunity to get to games. Is £15,000 for an extra 750 tickets for Southampton away going to break the bank of Ashley? I don’t think so.
The other, maybe more cynical view is the “spite” theory. We took the full allocation till Palace away where our owner was abused on his return to the stands. Gutted for him really.
Does he now see a reduced allocation as some form of payback or does he think the less fans, the less abuse he gets? I love a good conspiracy theory me!
Whatever the reasons, surely the club should take the maximum available on all occasions and then do it’s best to move them on. Fans should never be denied the opportunity to follow their team because the club are afraid of getting a bill for a few grand. It’s not as if they have spent the money elsewhere now is it?
STEVE WALLWORK – FOLLOW STEVE ON @stevewallwork