Easily the most accessible of the three group away matches, people were booking planes, trains and automobiles as soon as the draw was made.
Nothing beats European away trips and those that have been there already are itching to relive past adventures, while European ‘virgins’ cannot wait to see if the reality can match the numerous tales from time-served regulars.
The continental trips are brilliant but not quite the same if you don’t have a ticket…
Anybody who was around at the time will remember the shameful club policy under the Halls & Shepherds where they tried to force fans to travel only on club trips to maximise profit, you couldn’t buy tickets via NUFC to travel under your own steam, so no choice of booking your own more adventurous and/or cheaper package.
That didn’t stop myself and thousands of others, fans picking up tickets through independent companies running trips and providing tickets….in the away end.
The likes of Bilbao and PSV saw hundreds/thousands of Mags going undercover and operating under a ‘Great Escape’ style mode, keeping your gob shut in case you got refused admission or were chucked out. Thankfully these fears went largely unfounded and it added to the whole experience, though I hardly think the respective police forces would be too impressed if this was revisited.
Back to the present day and there was never going to be any great problems with access to tickets for the match in Athens and this Thursday in Madeira, no organised trips and difficult/expensive to get to.
Which then brings us to our trip to Belgium, Club Brugge have a capacity just under thirty thousand and averaged over twenty five thousand in their not particularly glamorous league, I’m anticipating that it is going to be sold out.
We’re still waiting to see how Newcastle United approach the issue of selling tickets for what is obviously a trip many thousands of Newcastle fans are desperate to make. Despite being less than enthusiastic in the selling of Premier League away tickets I really hope they embrace the excitement of matches like this and help as many fans get there as possible, especially with so many booking travel already.
Last October Birmingham played away at Brugge in the group stage and were allocated a reported 5,600 (some reports say 5,400) tickets, though many more making the trip didn’t manage to get one.
It would be a real positive if Newcastle United could get the ticket details out early and take as many of them as possible, we’ll asked the club for details and are awaiting a reply.
We’ll update you as soon as we know and hopefully five thousand plus of you will be going on a Belgian adventure…with a ticket.
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