In the lead up to the Manchester United match I wrote an article detailing what a disgrace it was, in terms of Mike Ashley refusing to sell tickets to that game unless fans bought a £35 membership first. No tickets going on general sale.

A game that usually easily sells out, instead had an attendance of 49,801, with around two and a half thousand empty seats.

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When half season tickets went on sale earlier this season, Mike Ashley made a point of saying that the only way you could get a ticket to watch the Sunderland, Manchester United and Arsenal home matches was if you had a season ticket or paid £35 to become a member and then buy a ticket. So even if that was the only match you would/could go to, you had to pay that £35 to allow you to then pay for the ticket.

Basically, Mike Ashley made clear he would rather have empty seats than sell them to normal fans, which then led to all those empty seats v Man Utd. Solely because he is trying long-term to make non-season ticket holders all pay a £35 supplement a year if they want to see any decent matches.

In the past, tickets for all matches would go on sale to members and then after a certain date, the general public could buy what was left.

When you think of all the TV riches pouring into Mike Ashley’s pocket, it is an absolute disgrace that he is happy to preside over this situation.

Our club has poison running through it and the fact the owner is happy to see empty seats as the price of his greed and control, sums up everything that is wrong at St. James’ Park.

Moving forward to Arsenal on Saturday, guess what?

Yes, with only 24 hours to go to the game, there are seats available in all four stands and in pretty much every section, it looks like up to a couple of thousand or so when looking at the stadium plan on the official club website. Indeed the club have just this instance sent out an email to fans saying there are still tickets left for the Arsenal game – but again, these are only if you have already paid £35 to be a member.

mike ashley

I also saw Alan Oliver’s article on here this morning, an ex-pat on a trip back from the States for his mam’s funeral and the club refuse to sell him a one-off ticket unless he pays that £35 surcharge.

Absolute disgrace – so I decided to dig a little deeper…

At the same time that Mike Ashley is telling ordinary fans that they have to pay a £35 supplement before they are allowed to buy a ticket, he is actually offering tickets to individuals via various organisations for matches including Arsenal and Manchester United, without making them pay for a membership.

What is more is that he is also giving them all a discount!

So in an attempt to fill up empty seats he is happy to secretly sell discounted tickets to people who may be Newcastle, Arsenal or neutral fans, but in his attempt to force the mass of Newcastle fans to pay a £35 membership he refuses to sell the ordinary man, woman or child in the street a single ticket to see the Arsenal match. UNLESS they pay him that £35 supplement.

Some examples….

Newcastle Business School Students (info via their Facebook Page)

26 February 2015

‘We have a limited number of NUFC vs Manchester United tickets on sale on a first come, first served basis. This can be bought from the Hub (5.07) in the Business School today 10:00 – 11:00 and Tuesday 3 March 12:00 – 13:00. Tickets priced £30 each.’

CSSC Sports & Leisure (info via their website)

‘Who is entitled to Join? – Public Sector employees or pensioners, including civil servants, local government, the NHS, teachers, police, fire fighters and HM Armed Forces personnel.

CSSC TWN have negotiated another great deal for its members to see selected Newcastle United Fixtures in corporate seating (in Milburn Stand) from as little as £15!!

Newcastle United vs. Arsenal

Date: 21/03/15 CSSC price: £25′

Northumbria Police Sports & Social Club Ltd (info via their website)

Sports & Social have negotiated a fantastic deal with Newcastle United Football Club to allow members to purchase premium seat tickets at a greatly discounted rate.

The seats are located in the level 4 section of the Milburn Stand. These tickets would normally cost £50/£60.

To purchase tickets you must be a member of Sports and Social. There are no limits (within reason) as to how many tickets that can be bought and will be sold on the understanding that they CANNOT be sold on.

(The link above shows premium tickets for Tottenham at a discounted £30 and they  also previously listed tickets for the Arsenal and Manchester United matches.)

I don’t have a problem with the club selling tickets by the above routes and potentially expanding the fanbase. Especially if there are going to be empty seats, then I am all for filling them by various means.

BUT you can’t do what Mike Ashley and Newcastle United are doing AND at the same time refuse to sell tickets to the ordinary fan, UNLESS they pay a premium of £35 first.

No wonder I hate my club for so many reasons at this moment in time, Mike Ashley is simply a curse on us all.