Aston Villa fans have once again been conspicuous by their absence, deserting the club this season during the relegation struggle.

The crowd for the last home match at Villa Park (v Southampton) was less than thirty thousand (29,729), leaving some thirteen thousand empty seats.

Newcastle United received an away allocation of 2,900 for the match in 10 days time and these have been predictably snapped up straight away.

This penultimate game of the season has looked from a long way out to have two elements: a meaningless game for Villa as they’d already be relegated, a vital match for Newcastle as they struggle to avoid the drop.

However, despite it being obvious that home demand would be almost non-existent and away demand would be sky high, Aston Villa have refused to enlarge the away section.

On top of this, Villa are refusing to sell tickets to anybody who doesn’t have a previous history of buying tickets at Villa Park.

Which means it pretty much rules out any Newcastle fans picking up any of the anticipated 13,000 empty seats.

A ridiculous situation all round.

Whilst Newcastle’s game with Palace is reported to be only a couple of thousand short of a sell-out, the final game against Tottenham could see a similar situation for Tottenham supporters as Newcastle fans face at Villa.

Obviously everything crossed that Newcastle go into that final game with still a chance of survival but despite Spurs only drawing on Monday, there is still a scenario whereby United could be down and with nothing to play for, whilst Spurs could still be going for the title.

In response to the desperation of Tottenham fans, Newcastle also made this game tickets only available for United fans with a previous buying history, to prevent away supporters in home sections.

Whilst that is understandable to an extent, there really is no excuse for Aston Villa not making at least a couple of thousand extra seats available when they are guaranteed to have such an embarrassing low crowd as they play their last game in the Premier League.

This is the ticket info on the official Aston Villa website:

Villa v Newcastle

Date: Saturday May 7 Kick-off: 3pm

Category B game

Prices: £25 to £42 [adults], £25 to £42 [concessions], £17 to £35 [U18s], £12 to £35 [U8s]

On sale to supporters with an Aston Villa booking history

Tickets for this match are sold strictly on a one ticket per client reference number basis subject to the above sales criteria. Maximum of six tickets can be purchased per transaction.

To buy tickets, contact 0333 323 1874, visit the Ticket Offices at Villa Park and New Street or BUY ONLINE.