On the back of the furore surrounding the published new Liverpool ticket prices, last week Newcastle United were quick to try and get some cheap PR by doing a press release stating that adult season ticket prices would be frozen for next season (2016/17).
The NUFC statement also said that junior season ticket prices at St James Park would be cut for next season but they didn’t have the prices yet.
Liverpool subsequently bowed to public pressure and reduced the prices they’d intended to charge for the most expensive, though they did keep their commitment to cut the price of many others for next season.
With all Premier League clubs receiving up to an extra £50m per year from next season via the TV deals, then it would be audacious for anybody to actually increase prices.
Elsewhere, West Ham are only charging £289 for their cheapest season tickets next season, whilst Manchester City charged £299 for them this campaign.
Meanwhile at Newcastle United, the distorted message continues to be that the season ticket prices are supposed to be in some way cheap, as opposed to being more expensive than all but a small minority of clubs in the Premier League.
When announcing the Newcastle United adult season ticket prices for next season and the price freeze on them, Lee Charnley was quoted saying:
“While the debate around Premier League ticket prices continues, we want to ensure watching football at St. James’ Park remains affordable for as many people as possible.
“There is a clear risk that clubs could lose generations of supporters with the cost being a major factor and we have considered that when setting prices for 2016/17.”
So considering Mike Ashley/Newcastle United are being handed up to an extra £50m a year as from next season (providing that we are still in the Premier League…), just how much of a bargain are these season ticket prices at St James Park?
The price categories for adult season tickets are as follows (doesn’t include more expensive Platinum Club and lounges etc):
Top Priced: £710 Middle: £578 Cheapest: £525 Family Enclosure: £365
Whilst down the road at Sunderland their season ticket prices announced today for 2016/17
Top Priced: £475 Middle: £435 Cheapest: £350 Family Enclosure: £375 (that is for one adult AND a child)
Both sets of fans obviously try and points score on various issues but in this new era of increased Premier League riches, it is clear there is one club who is trying a lot harder to make football ‘affordable’ and fill the ground….and it isn’t the club owned by Mike Ashley!
Actually, when it comes to filling the ground, next month Newcastle United will fill St James Park for the first time in 15 months.
The last time was (Pardew’s last game) 28 December 2014 when Everton were the visitors.
On 20 March 2016 Newcastle will host Sunderland and Mike Ashley is charging visiting Sunderland supporters £47 per ticket, with obviously Newcastle fans charged the same for the equivalent seats.
You have to be naive in the extreme if you ever think Mike Ashley does anything for the benefit of the supporters, he will charge as much as he can get away – which is proven by these derby ticket prices.
If he had demand exceeding supply like Liverpool have, we wouldn’t even be seeing a price freeze with Mike Ashley setting the season ticket prices.
I’m sure I won’t need to point out either that if the very worst happened this season, just how much worse these ‘price-freeze’ season tickets would look in the Championship.