What can the club do about ticket demand? Big question, but one that desperately needs to be answered. The club made the decision rightly or wrongly to only allow people with previous purchase history from July 2019 to be eligible to buy a season ticket for the upcoming season, and as controversially, only had approximately 1,000 available (the club have never confirmed that number). I think on balance they probably got it right in the way they handled it, with limited tickets available I think prioritising fans that have had a membership/season ticket/single match ticket was the fairest way. It rewarded loyalty which is important.

St James’ Park has a capacity of 52,405; we know that 30,000 (ish) people renewed their season ticket from last season. Add that to the 1,000 that just went on sale, and then add the 3,000 away fans, that leaves about 18,000 tickets to sell the ground out.

Next, memberships went on sale which entitles fans to purchase tickets on a game buy game basis a week before the general public. Again, a great scheme and I can understand why this is the case. However, at one point there was 18,000 people in the queue trying to get a membership, meaning that if 18,000 memberships are sold and the purchase a ticket to each home game, every seat will be sold out, which is obviously great for the club, and those fans that get a ticket.

What about everyone else? There needs to be a way for Joe Public to buy a ticket on a whim. I don’t like the idea of St James’ Park becoming an exclusive club where only those who can afford a membership/are lucky enough to have a season ticket can watch Newcastle United live. That’s not what Newcastle united is about, we are supposed to be a United fan base, not a closed shop.

As a suggestion, I would like the club to keep 500 tickets that are only available on a match day from the box office. This will give kids and people travelling to Tyneside as a one off, a chance to be able to come and see the team they love. As they will have no chance otherwise, unless of course it’s one of those games against relegation fodder on a Wednesday night in the winter and the game is on TV – might be 1 or 2 general admission tickets available for that….

Also, I would like us to adopt the Barcelona model, whereby season ticket holders, who can’t attend the game for whatever reason, can sell their seat back to the club and the club can then re-sell it. Yes, the club will make no extra money from this, but it means a seat is filled, someone new can go to the game and the season ticket holder doesn’t lose out if they can’t make it (if they have Covid/ away on a family holiday etc). Seems like a win-win-win to me.

Of course another way to remedy the demand will be expansion – the owners have confirmed they don’t want to move from St James’ Park. But expansion will probably take a number of years. I assume they already have plans to do this and that’s why only 31,000 season tickets have been sold so they can operate at reduced capacity while the building work is ongoing.

I hope this happens, it is vitally important next generation are able to attend the match live, to get the hooked and see the club and area thrive. I want nothing more than every supporter who wants to go, to be able to. No fan should be excluded.

I would love to hear your suggestions and hopefully I’ll see you all there next season!

John Liddell – @johnliddell1982