Away tickets have been a big topic of conversation this season amongst Newcastle fans.
In many instances there is the chance of new stadiums to visit, or at least ones not seen in a while, with demand constantly outstripping supply.
So far, all of the first 10 away matches this season, including Hull in the League Cup, have now sold out.
There have been the highs – such as Barnsley and Preston giving almost six thousands away tickets to Newcastle, plus of course the Fulham game where around 7,000 Newcastle supporters were inside Craven Cottage – dominating the ‘neutral’ section as well as filling the official away area.
On the other hand the low – in the League Cup Hull City have given only 2,474 away tickets that have now sold out, whilst the Forest away game on Friday 2 December has seen NUFC allocated just 2,002 for away fans.
So what do the rules actually saying.
Well below we have reproduced the relevant EFL rules relating to away tickets/fans.
In the Premier League Newcastle fans were entitled to at least 3,000 away tickets, unless the capacity was under 30,000, in which case visiting supporters were allocated at least 10% of the capacity.
However, in the Championship (EFL generally), visiting supporters are only guaranteed 2,000 tickets. That figure is then reduced if the capacity is under 20,000, with 10% of the capacity guaranteed.
This of course explains why Nottingham Forest can get away with giving the bare minimum of 2,002 away tickets.
With the EFL rules also applying to their EFL (League Cup), that is also why Hull can get away with allocating only 10% of their capacity – 2,474 away tickets to Newcastle supporters. If it was the FA Cup which is under the control of the FA of course, the minimum would be 15% for away supporters.
A couple of other interesting points from the EFL rules below.
Firstly, that the home club must supply the away tickets at least four weeks in advance to the away club. Not sure what this rule is in the Premier League but this season the away tickets do seem to have gone on sale a lot earlier than has happened in recent years in the top tier.
Secondly, I must admit I wasn’t aware that the away team was entitled to 5% of the cash generated from selling tickets on behalf of the other club for league matches. As indicated though in the rules below, it appears likely that pretty much all clubs will have a reciprocal arrangement – neither charging the other.
EFL Rules on away fans
34.2.1 Each Club must make provision for at least 2,000 visiting supporters at every home match or such number as represents 10% of the Club’s certified capacity, if less than 2,000. The League may, on the prior written application of a Club, suspend this Regulation or reduce the figure either for a particular League Match or for a period of time.
34.2.2 Clubs are required to sell tickets for their away matches if required to do so by the Home Club and similarly Home Clubs are required to supply tickets for their Home Matches to the Away Club for sale by the Away Club to its supporters if so requested by the Away Club. These tickets are to be made available on a sale or return basis and must be ordered by the Away Club at least five weeks before the League Match to which they relate. The Home Club must deliver those tickets to the Away Club at the latest four weeks before the League Match to which they relate. Where any match is arranged at shorter notice the above steps shall be taken as soon as is reasonably practicable. Visiting Supporters should also have the same opportunity to take advantage of pre-booking discounts that apply to home supporters.
34.2.3 For League Matches only, the Away Club shall be entitled to a commission representing 5 (five) per cent of the aggregate sales (exclusive of VAT) of tickets sold on behalf of the Home Club, unless otherwise agreed between the Clubs. The Away Club shall submit a VAT invoice, in respect of the commission due, to the Home Club within five working days of the date of the match taking place.