It is coming up to fully 12 months since Newcastle United last filled St James Park.

Taking yourself back to not very long ago, it is not a phrase you could have ever dreamed (nightmared?) of hearing.

It was Everton at home on 28 December 2014 when a full house watched Newcastle win 3-2 against the Toffees, Alan Pardew’s last match…which is just so ironic.

Fans hardly rebelled at his departure but what followed did then see a large collapse in any remaining faith for thousands of supporters.

The statistics are stark.

In the first 10 matches of the 2014/15 season, only two crowds were under fifty thousand.

In the final nine games of last season, only three saw fifty thousand or more turn up, or at least have bought tickets for – the attendance based on tickets sold and not how many turn up. Even the potential relegation match on the final day against West Ham was a few hundred under capacity.

This season, despite the loosening of the transfer purse strings, the trend has continued.

Five of the eight games at St James Park have had gates of under fifty thousand, with four or five thousand empty seats at half of those eight games.

As the calendar clicks round, United once again welcome Everton to St James Park, almost a year to the day after that last full house, the blue scousers visiting St James Park on Boxing Day.

Thursday night saw an email sent to Newcastle supporters in the name of Lee Charnley, with a last desperate move by Mike Ashley to prevent thousands of more empty seats appearing behind and devaluing his Sports Direct advertising.

In a last ditch attempt to fill empty seats Mike Ashley has now offered junior half season tickets at next to nothing prices for the final 10 home games. The proof that the club/Ashley make it up as they go along is proven by the fact that it was only three weeks ago (19 November) they put half season junior tickets up for sale at a market price.

Cheap tickets for kids is something nobody can argue with (when done fairly) but when your most loyal fans pay full price before a ball is kicked, it is unbelievable that the club can then turn around halfway through the season and offer those same tickets at a fraction of the normal season ticket price per game.

UNLESS they then fully refund the difference to those who have paid full price and given blind loyalty.

The price difference:

CATEGORY 1 JUNIOR SEATS

If you bought a junior season ticket before the season started,  you paid

£345 for the season

£181.57 for the final 10 games

£18.15 per game

Club now offer:

£75 for final 10 games

£7.50 per game

CATEGORY 2 JUNIOR SEATS

If you bought a junior season ticket before the season started,  you paid

£272 for the season

£143.15 for the final 10 games

£14.31 per game

Club now offer:

£50 for final 10 games

£5 per game

CATEGORY 3 JUNIOR SEATS

If you bought a junior season ticket before the season started, you paid

£250 for the season

£131.57 for the final 10 games

£13.15 per game

Club now offer:

£50 for final 10 games

£5 per game

Long-term this is totally unsustainable as fans will just think what is the point of paying up front and having your eyes taken out, only for give away prices to fill empty seats later. It is laughable for Lee Charnley to claim that the driving force for this ticket offer is ‘our next generation of fans’, if that is the case why not make ALL junior tickets in St James Park the prices that they are offering now?

It is desperate times at Newcastle United this season both on and off the pitch but this could well prove to be the desperate last attempt to fill St James Park, ahead of a sale of the club by Mike Ashley.

The numbers no longer add up and the Newcastle United owner is now very much aware that his ‘unique’ way of running a football club is only heading in one direction.

***It doesn’t take a genius to work out that since the half season tickets went on sale three weeks they haven’t sold many…