A Slap In The Face For Travelling Toon Fans
Contrary to the tag that people put on northern areas of the country having little determination or drive to see something through, our great club took the first step towards getting more fans through the turnstiles by lowering away ticket costs on a reciprocal basis with fellow premier league clubs, offering a metaphorical olive branch to them for the good of the fans.
Consequently, our legendary away following will be able to go to Swansea on December 4th and West Brom on New Year’s day for less than £20 each, in return for allowing their fans to do likewise on the return fixtures.
Yet when we offered a similar deal to Norwich City, they saw fit to refuse it.
Reports in the Eastern Daily Press suggest that Norwich are unwilling to accept such an idea as they, “would rather look after their travelling fans on their own terms.” It also suggested that a main reason that they would be unable to agree to such an offer is because of demand for casual tickets in the stand where away fans are located.
The article suggests that the seats are comparable with the home fans and therefore shouldn’t pay any less. Yet the view that visitors to St James’ Park get is miles better than we get going elsewhere – full view of the stadium, the Newcastle skyline and countryside from a single position; it is possibly the best view in the ground.
Apparently, giving Toon fans lower ticket prices to sit in the Jarrold stand would mean that they would have to lower casual ticket prices for home fans to use that stand. Why? Charge whatever you want to your own fans – we’re looking to do a deal for our respective sets of away fans! The comparable seat argument falls over itself, however, when we consider how The Hawthorns and the Liberty Stadium are laid out…they’re comparable but have agreed to our offer – why can’t Norwich?
This refusal to accept our offer is a slap in the face to not just us, but their own loyal fans that make a 500+ mile round trip up here as well. Last season, we charged Norwich fans £26 for an adult ticket, which is far from a bad price whichever way you slice it. However, for us to make the same length trip down to East Anglia, it cost us £45 a ticket.
Without the cheaper ticket offer in place, we can look forward to an extortionate figure again, which is just ridiculous considering that the game at Carrow road this season is a midweek game. Additionally, Norwich will be squeezing their own fans for at least the same figure (£26) again, potentially a few pounds more.
Of course they are entitled to say no; we live in a democracy after all. But how are we going to keep up with the Spanish and German leagues in terms of getting attendances up if clubs are going to be unnecessarily stubborn over a fraction of the overall gate?
This is no reflection on Norwich as a club; they are a family-orientated club who play decent football on the pitch, but I can’t help but think that they’ve shot themselves in the foot here, not least for themselves but as an example to other clubs who could also now refuse such an offer.
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