Stoke City have released a strange official statement regarding ticket sales for Wednesday’s match against Newcastle United.

In the short release the club they use the phrases ‘strong sales reported’, ‘upsurge in ticket sales’ and ‘really strong sales reported in the last 48 hours’.

Well, seen as it is their business and they are the ones selling (or not selling…) the tickets, then surely they don’t need to rely on ‘reports’, making it sound like they are the BBC getting very distant feedback from a far flung impenetrable war zone.

Obviously this is a bit of a laboured attempt to stimulate demand and get stay away fans stampeding to the ticket office so as not to miss out on the excitement.

Which means they would have then surely have been sensible to leave out the bit where it says ‘in the last 48 hours with hundreds of supporters responding…’.

‘Hundreds’….bloody hell, talk about hot cakes, literally hundreds buying tickets for a Premier League match, well I never.

Also, any business that is trying to drive sales is guaranteed to exaggerate when putting out something like this, so I think we can almost certainly knock the plural bit off ‘hundreds’.

So a brief rewrite and we have ‘A hundred Stoke fans have bought tickets this week because they know they are guaranteed to watch their team beat Newcastle’.

The Official Stoke City Statement

‘Strong sales reported for next week’s game

STOKE CITY have had an upsurge in ticket sales for next week’s Barclays Premier League home game with Newcastle United.

The Potters host the Magpies at the Britannia Stadium on Wednesday evening (kick off 7.45pm).

Really strong sales have been reported in the last 48 hours with hundreds of supporters responding for another night under the lights.

City will be looking to earn their fourth consecutive home win over Newcastle with a cracking atmosphere only helping that cause.’

On a more serious note, for whatever reason Newcastle stopped selling tickets for the Stoke match at least a week before the game. It would then explain why Stoke are trying to whip up some excitement if Newcastle have handed back a good chunk of the 3,000 tickets they were entitled to.

With only 2 wins and 17 defeats in Newcastle’s last 20 away matches, it is little wonder that enthusiasm might be dwindling for some regular away travellers.

However, the ridiculous membership requirement just massively exasperates the whole problem further.

With Newcastle desperately fighting relegation they need every single possible fan there supporting the team on Wednesday night.

Yet you could have an expat Newcastle fan living next door to the Britannia Stadium who wants to go to support his team, but even if it is the only away match he will go to all season, he must first buy a £35 year’s membership before he can buy a single ticket.

This issue was brought up at the latest NUFC Fans Forum meeting on Monday but the official minutes saw the club dismiss the problem as usual.