There have been some classic videos shown on this website recently. In particular the two which focussed on massive away followings we took in the 1980s to Old Trafford and White Hart Lane. You have to be so organised in advance these days and everything is so expensive, I really miss those days of just getting up in the morning and deciding to go to places like Hillsborough or wherever.
I remember one match against Sheffield Wednesday on a Boxing Day where Peter Beardsley played a blinder in a 4-2 defeat but the best bit was the atmosphere, I remember reports of there being thirteen or fourteen thousand on the away terraces.
I accept the days of paying on the gate in such away numbers is long gone but surely Newcastle United have gone way too far the other way. I know the club don’t like the fact that they make no money for selling away tickets but surely that works both ways? I just don’t think the likes of Ashley and Llambias get the fact that a big away support can really help the team and even more than that, why shouldn’t they want as many Newcastle fans as possible to have a great day out?
Numerous times this season Newcastle have refused to take more than the minimum of tickets and just the other week they even turned down extra offered tickets for the cup-tie at Brighton. Would that extra support have made a difference…we’ll simply never know.
Away teams are allowed a minimum 3,000 tickets for league matches or 10% if the capacity is under 30,000. For many grounds the home team supplies some tickets on a sale or return basis and the rest on a guaranteed sale basis. Otherwise meaning that if they aren’t sold then the away club coughs up the money.
I just can’t accept that unless it is the most extreme circumstances that Newcastle can’t sell at least three thousand tickets for every away match. With even the minimum of marketing (letting fans know about availability) they could easily sell them but again NUFC don’t make money so there is little interest from the club. When the kids ran on the pitch at Darlington pre-season the club used that as an excuse to make away tickets only available to season ticket holders/members thus making it even harder to get away tickets.
I’ve been to places like Reading for a friendly with 5,000+ there to see the likes of manager Ruud Gullit playing, whilst any match against Wimbledon at decent size neutral grounds in London saw up to ten thousand turning up every time because it was the only match southern based Newcastle fans knew they could get into.
I nicked my son’s match programme and it includes ho many tickets the club took for away matches, I’m sure you will agree it is an absolute disgrace when you hear how few fans NUFC have let get tickets to away matches…..
Villa 1,676, Manchester Utd. 1,844, Norwich 1,358, Manchester City 1,685, QPR 1,279 and so on.
Newcastle United were famous for the numbers they took away despite the rubbish on the pitch, that reputation is now being destroyed and that just can’t be allowed to happen. Every ticket needs to be taken for away matches and made available to fans who want to go, it is essential for the long-term health of Newcastle United.