Preston fans were gutted when the trip to Newcastle became a Sky Victim.
Many targeting as their ‘go to’ (and stay over!) match of the season, only to get the dreaded Monday night slot for Live TV.
Preston only took 1,087 tickets for the St James Park game so the writing was on the wall already in terms of numbers likely to travel.
However, Preston fans (see below) then wondered if what had looked the most attractive away trip was going to end up being the one that was the most poorly attended.
A Monday night game, live on TV, Preston nothing to play for as the play-offs are now beyond them, so no surprise that only committed would be up for it.
As for Newcastle, this is a game where a victory would seal promotion, if Huddersfield fail to win on Saturday at home to Fulham.
So a bonus for Newcastle supporters that with Preston fans only taking just over a thousand tickets at most, it has freed up potentially over two thousand tickets that would normally be bought up by away fans.
Maybe strangely with the important of the game, home tickets are still on sale, unlike the last day one v Barnsley which sold out straight away.
Comments from top Preston fans message board PNE Online:
‘Could Newcastle away be our lowest number of traveling fans this season?’
‘If yes, only because of sky.’
‘Quite possibly, a combination of Sky shafting so many, it being a Monday night, on tele, and our season being virtually over.
Still, we took great numbers there in October for the Tuesday night Cup tie.’
‘I take my hat off to every single supporter who makes the long trek to Newcastle on a monday night for a meaningless game………
Having said that, it is the sort of thing that i used to do about 40 years ago , much to my Dad’s despair!!!!’
‘Having been in October, I wouldn’t go back even if it was a must win game and the coach and entry tickets were free.
We were that far off the action that it was impossible to see which way the ball was travelling. I suppose the other fact that we got stuffed 6-0 didn’t help!’
‘I didn’t find it hard to work out. The ball was ALWAYS travelling towards our goal in the first half, and then again in the second half.’
‘I quite enjoyed October despite it being the worst PNE performance I’ve ever seen.
No encouragement from the team in 90 minutes plus. Quite an experience that stadium at night.’
‘It’s a good job, and no surprise that there aren’t many going to watch, because, according to this forum in the last day or two, we will be fielding a goalie who can’t kick it, an overweight Irish centre back, a hopeless Belgian right back, a midfielder maestro who can no longer cross a ball, a donkey up front and a strike partner who is really a winger. Who on earth would want to go to watch that?’
‘Well I’m going with my girlfriend just to experience Newcastle before they go up , even had to change the nights accommodation which cost an extra fiver, cheers sky .
Mainly going for the vibe, don’t expect much.’
‘It’s the worse away end in the league!’
‘Because of Sky screwing us i’ll be in Newcastle Friday and Saturday night, coming back Sunday and watching it in a pub in Preston. ‘
After most of the comments above were posted, Preston North End have now revealed on Thursday that ‘just over 450 tickets’ have been bought by Preston fans for the Newcastle game.
So it won’t be quite the smallest away following Preston have taken this season (smaller ones previously for the odd game, especially midweek ones, earlier this season) but not the thousands that would have descended on Newcastle for a canny day/weekend out if the date hadn’t changed.