Just As Well Newcastle Are Playing Rangers Not Celtic…
Tuesday night sees Newcastle play their penultimate pre-season friendly as they travel north yet again, this time visiting Ibrox.
A number of fans have wondered what is to be gained by playing a third tier Scottish club, though the fact that Mike Ashley is one of the owners and controls the merchandising on Rangers’ behalf could have played a small part in the decision making…
The one sure positive of choosing this destination is that a lot of Newcastle fans will be looking forward to a decent away trip in terms of everything surrounding the match, with Glasgow a great place for a few drinks.
Once again though barriers are being put in front of fans travelling, with nufc.com reporting that Rangers are adamant that Newcastle fans can only buy tickets in advance, with no matchday sales or pay turnstiles for United supporters on Tuesday (Tickets are priced adults £15, concessions £10, kids £5).
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However, nufc.com also report that home fans can buy tickets on Tuesday right up until kick-off and there are no membership restrictions whatsoever.
So if you are a Newcastle fan who wants to go in the United section on Tuesday you have to buy your ticket from Newcastle United. To buy any away tickets you have to be an NUFC member which will cost you £30 for one year unless you are a season ticket holder.
So if you are a Tyneside based Newcastle fan who fancies going up for a night out at Rangers, it could set you back £46 for one ticket – £15 to Rangers, £30 to NUFC for one year’s membership, £1 to NUFC which is what the club charge our own fans for the privilege of buying an away ticket.
Newcastle have got massive support in Scotland and it is something our club should be doing its very best to try and grow. Instead, you will have a lot of people up in Scotland desperate to stand with their fellow Newcastle fans at Ibrox but who can’t…unless they pay £46 rather than £15.
So comes the biggest irony. Newcastle United claim that the insistence on a membership to buy away tickets is to try and stop trouble, yet they are forcing hundreds of our fans to go into the home sections on Tuesday night.
You would have to be pretty naive to believe that the no pay turnstiles or ticket sales on the day isn’t down to the insistence of Newcastle United/Mike Ashley. All very sad when you consider how manager/players/everybody raved about the brilliant large support at Blackpool where there you could pay on the door and there was no trouble, just a brilliant atmosphere.
As I’ve said in the title of the piece, it is just as well it is Rangers not Celtic we are playing. I have no interest either way in Scottish football but it just basic fact that in more recent years there has been trouble and antagonism when Newcastle have met Celtic, whereas when playing Rangers they’ve been pretty much completely trouble free.
I have little doubt Newcastle will still have a very healthy following on Tuesday night (kick-off 7.45pm) and it will include hundreds in the home sections. Based on recent experiences there shouldn’t be any problems but if there were, surely Newcastle United forcing their own fans in amongst the Rangers supporters would have been a major factor.
Personal callers can get tickets from St.James’ Park until noon today (Monday), if there is any change on the (non-)pay on the door policy we’ll let you know.
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