One of the few positives Mike Ashley and his cheerleaders put forward about his ownership of Newcastle United is cheaper tickets.  “Hey, the football might be awful, we might be doing our utmost to avoid advancing in the cup, but you only paid £17 to get in, what do you expect?” seems to be the logic.

The figures I’ve looked at don’t seem to support that though.

What I’ve done is take the average attendance for every season since the club became a 52,000 seat capacity.

I’ve also counted the number of competitive games each season and checked the accounts for the matchday income reported every year.

ticketsFrom these basic figures we can calculate the total Income per game (Income/Number of games) and then the average ticket price each fan pays (Average Income per game/average crowd).  From the numbers available I think this is the best we can do at an informed guess at the average ticket prices.

(To feature like Chris, send in your articles for our website to [email protected])

Despite attendances at St James’ Park increasing year on year for the past 5 years under Ashley (remarkably), the average attendance under Ashley remains almost 3000 less than it had been under Shepherd.  The lower attendances and lower number of games (who wants to play in the cup?) mean an average matchday income almost £5m below what it was each season.  None of this is surprising.

However, on a per game basis, Newcastle now earn MORE than they did previously, £1.2m per game on average, as opposed to £1.18m previously.  It’s a pretty similar number, but given the average crowds it means the average ticket has gone up from almost £23 to almost £25.  Not a massive hike after seven years certainly, but the opposite of the claims made by Ashley supporters (the cheaper tickets are good) and detractors (the stadium is only full because of cheaper tickets).

Of the two positions the latter is more accurate though, because Ashley has introduced match categorisations that were never implemented before he bought the club. Cheaper tickets are available, but predominantly only offered to see the dregs of the league.

ticketsPreviously your ticket for the visit of the Mackems cost no more than your ticket for the visit of Leicester.  Pricing was based on seat position.  Incentivising attendance to less attractive games wasn’t necessary when we sold out most games for the same price charged for the derby.

This season we’ve seen the same seat in the East stand go for £29, £33, £39, £47 or £50.  That cheapest game may be a little less than paid previously, but the £50 one is getting on for double the price.

For some people the new system offers a better deal, for others it prices them out of big games.  The benefits and ills of it can be argued.  What we can say categorically though is that the reduced Matchday income at the club which is restricting growth has not been the result of cheaper tickets as many claim, but more the result of lower attendances and the lack of progress in the cups meaning fewer games.

Thanks to Chris Holt for another excellent piece and you can visit his blog HERE, plus you can follow him on Twitter @MikeAshleyLies

  • LeazesEnder

    It doesn’t represent a better deal for the fans …. its a different product they’re paying for.   Chalk and cheese….I’m damned if I’m going to pay £2 for a chalk sarnie.

  • Phildene

    Also don’t forget the price of the membership keeps getting hiked up too and yet another way to extract money out of the paying fan which the Halls and Shepherd never did, at least I don’t think they did.
    ThIs membership malarkey is a load of rubbish, more so for season tickets, as duplicates the benefits season tickets give.

  • newcastle7

    Are you real have house prices gone up over the past ten years has the price of beer. I am still paying the same price now as was years ago.Ashley has done a brilliant job keeping prices down.He is th best in the Premiership.
    At Man City last week a two year old paid twenty eight pounds,a sixteen year old thirty one and wait for this one my eighteen year old daughter who is at school THIRTY NINE. I only paid FORTY FIVE.
    To Mike Ashley would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for keeping prices low and putting me and my family on a ten year deal with no price increase a legend.

  • MikeAshleyLies

    I think I said in the article that this is true for some but provided evidence that on the whole the price increases implemented mean that on average the cost of each seat in the stadium has gone up.

  • MikeAshleyLies

    “For some”
    People like Newcastle7 above disagree with you. If they’re paying the same or less, willingly, they consider it a better deal.
    On average though, we’re all paying more.

  • MikeAshleyLies

    I don’t know how the club count membership. Whether it’s a matchday income or a commercial one. So I didn’t include it. Agree 100% with your point though.

  • No Brainer

    Hey, the football might be awful, we might be doing our utmost to avoid advancing in the cup –

    if your an occasional supporter well not bother about them, as an awful lot of occasional attendees are away fans it makes me happy they are getting ripped now after years of it just being us.

  • No Brainer

    MikeAshleyLies  It seems MikeAshleylieslies

  • No Brainer

    MikeAshleyLies as for a different product this is the club that was rock bottom of the PL before bobby came, played real boring footy under dalglish, At sometimes worse product more money

  • Alexh1984

    If someone said to me if you pay the man city prices you get the man city standard of football i’d snap their hand off.

  • SGM

    You said it all !! This is basically, guess-work.

  • mentalman

    We may have gone up slightly but compare it to how much other clubs have increased ticket prices over the same period and not just in the premier league

  • MikeAshleyLies

    Everyone has assumed that tickets are cheaper without any evidence. I’ve used actual figures to say why I disagree. I’d be interested in any analysis that could show I’m wrong.

  • MikeAshleyLies

    How so?

  • Sickandtiredstill

    MikeAshleyLies Newcastle 7 (Simon) has the brains of a rocking horse though. He a simple version of the club stooge, No Brainer.
    Good article by the way.

  • Sickandtiredstill

    newcastle7 And Poundstretcher is still around too, while SD go from strength to strength. Wonder why that is?
    Big Mike couldn’t give a hoot if your [email protected]@e is on a seat,  Simon. He’ll gladly replace you with a 18 year old from Crewe if he buys the ticket.

  • Sickandtiredstill

    No Brainer MikeAshleyLies NO Brianer, how about you provide some facts to back yourself up for a change? Do you have numbers of away fans and what contribution they provided?
    As always, your here taking pot shots at people who endeavor to provide some factual insight, and you provide nothing but opinionated drivel in return.

  • No Brainer

    The article is presumptive supposition he qualifues tge words by admitting that.

  • No Brainer

    Can’t disagree with that like

  • Sickandtiredstill

    No Brainer Qualify yours for a change then.

  • Sickandtiredstill

    No Brainer MikeAshleyLies 11th, 11th, 4th, 3rd, 5th. FA Cup Semi and Quarter. Intertoto Runners Up. CL. UEFA SF. Different product indeed. Prices?

  • No Brainer

    The irony of the figures you use above is not lost and correct me if I’m wrong haven’t we only finished lower tgsn the lowest here once in the last four years?

  • No Brainer

    I can give you evidence my old ticket in the leazes end four rows from jesus was four hundred and eighty four pound.
    now still in level seven but behind the away dugout I pay four hundred and thirty eight but that includes a ticket for my son too.
    also my sister used to pay 860 in the lwazes sports bar but now it is£680.
    Is that enough evidence?
    In your presumptions you have not given any credence to foid and proramme sales the clubs double and triple buy packages do seem popular because of the perceived revenue.
    Not sure if you have a financial responsibility in work, can I ask what do you think your boss would say if you presented based on the work you have done research on to come to your findings/attack on the club in this piece.

  • No Brainer

    Abd just been in two qtr ginals

  • Sickandtiredstill

    No Brainer Cherry picking the best out of all his years I see.
    Irony is the tale the whole story tells.
    12th (07/08), 18th (08/09), Relegated (09/10), 12th (10/11), 16th (12/13).

    5th (11/12) 10th, just (13/14) 

    Great success story. [email protected]@k