With only hours to go before kick-off, there are still thousands of unsold seats for Newcastle v Man Utd.

Sadly, the biggest attraction of the season, with the exception of the derby match, will be played out in front of a crowd that is almost certain to be lower than the one (51,573) that watched United against Aston Villa on Saturday.

While TV and a starting price of £42 have undoubtedly not helped, there is another extra Mike Ashley angle which will almost guarantee these empty seats aren’t filled.

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

In the past, if you didn’t have a season ticket then the following happened.

The match by match tickets would go on sale to members a few weeks before a game, then when they’d had the chance to buy, the tickets then left would go on sale to the general public.

However, in his greed to tie people to the club and get even more money long-term, Mike Ashley has changed this.

For games where he thinks he can sell all tickets to season ticket holders and members, he is refusing to let them go on sale to the general public. This is the case for Arsenal in a few weeks time and for Manchester United tonight.

There are currently tickets unsold for tonight in all four stands and pretty much every single section of the ground. In some there are just single seats but in others there are rows of seats.

So if you want to go to the match tonight and you aren’t already a member, it would cost you a minimum of £77 to get in, £42 for a ticket and £35 for a year’s membership, even if it is the only game you want to go to or can get to, in the next 12 months.

Mike Ashley would rather have rows of empty seats tonight and try to force as few more fans to buy memberships (or buy season tickets).

When you think of all the TV riches pouring into Mike Ashley’s pocket, it is an absolute disgrace that he is happy to preside over this situation.

To think that earlier in the season Newcastle United were happy to milk the PR they got for supposedly being the cheapest Premier League club for tickets, thanks to the misleading info supplied to the BBC survey.

Our club has poison running through it and the fact the owner is happy to see empty seats as the price of his greed and control, sums up everything that is wrong at St. James’ Park.

There is no (acceptable) logic to what Ashley has done for this match, members have clearly had their fill of how many tickets they wanted, so why can’t these tickets go on general sale?


  • Seventy2

    Empty seats – good
    Sports Direct – bad

  • wor monga

    Hang on…let’s get this straight…you’ve been telling us for
    years now that if we stayed away, then the empty seats around the ground would worry
    Ashley the most…especially as the TV cameras wouldn’t be interested in any
    coverage of many empty seats.

    Now you’re telling us that he is actually creating that
    exact scenario, deliberately, for one of our biggest games of the season.

    What’s it to be Dean?…one way or the other, you can’t have
    it both ways…that’s greedy!!!

  • Demented_Man

    A fit of pique at his upcoming a**e-kicking at Rangers, perhaps?

  • jimblag

    I live in Bristol so can’t get to many games in person, I recently wanted to travel to see the Palace match in london. But I was completely priced out of it because of this membership BS, there’s just no point in being a member if you can only make it to 1 or 2 matches. As I didn’t wanna go alone I would of had to sign my girlfiend up too and it would have cost me WELL over £100 in total. I’m glad I didn’t as the match was terrible and the atmosphere wasn’t even good anyway.

  • jimblag

    wor monga A few thousand empty seats scattered around a big stadium doesn’t really seem much, but if you have below 50% capacity then it becomes embarrassing.
    I get your comment and thought it too at first though.

  • jimblag

    Seventy2 Ashley – nob

  • Sickandtiredstill

    wor monga No, he still thinks that no matter what dross is served up, he can find enough willing mugs to occupy the seats (for ‘premium’ games) and screw out of them what he can because of it.
    Just a few days ago some people were on here stating how affordable it all is now, thanks to Ashley.
    He certainly won’t like empty seats. But seats filled with silent sheep is not exactly helpful either.

  • vin1892

    I can see a fair few away fans especially Man Utd, Arsenal and Liverpool fans taking up some of those empty thus ensuring trouble in the stands.

  • No Brainer

    IS that stopping manu fans from buying seats if it is then it is a good idea, I hold them in the same regard as many on here do M Ashley, the sad glory hunting *****

  • Maximus Moose

    State normal for the Fat Pig his Greed knows no bounds

  • Adelphi

    wor monga  Yes. It seems that when we sell out it’s an excuse to attack Ashley’s pricing structure and when we don’t sell out it’s also an excuse to attack Ashley’s pricing structure!
    I’m sure there are plenty of valid and reasonable concerns about which the club could be criticised but the agenda obsessed make themselves look daft with their constant moaning and contradictions.
    Like I say, plenty of valid reasons to criticise them but I think ticket pricing along with things like the academy starting to bear fruit and the club’s impeccable response to last year’s tragedy are more worthy of praise than criticism .

  • wowski13

    While I agree it’s lunacy that the game hasn’t gone on general sale there are hardly thousands of empty seats. I’ve just taken a look at the tickets available and I’d be surprised if the attendance isn’t greater than the one on Saturday.

  • RobertWilkinson

    fat rich greedy piece of s—t who will get his cumupannce what goes around comes around Ashley karma will hit you believe me

  • Brownale69

    Still be a big crowd tonight regardless. Nothing will change.

  • The Mag

    Adelphi wor monga What part is good of there being empty seats that will remain unsold, yet there will be fans who would fill them for £42 but won’t because they have to pay £35 for a membership before they are allowed to buy one?

  • howaymebonnylads

    Probably more to do with the fact the football is terrible, we’ve only won one against ManU at home in about 10 attempts, that’s unlikely to change tonight so why would you pay to put yourself through that if you don’t have a season ticket.  Maybe if we were actually trying it would be a different story…not sure it will even be good watching from the pub!!

  • Adelphi

    The Mag Adelphi wor monga  Non whatsoever – did someone say there was a anything good about it?  We all love a full stadium.
    However it’s somewhat distorted to imply that the 35 quid membership is some kind of surcharge for this match. It entitles various benefits including a chance to buy tickets home and away. Didn’t the club introduce it when they felt they had to act after a couple of embarrassing away pre season friendlies?
    Perhaps the decision has been made this time to stop away fans buying the remaining seats. Last season we had ManU fans close to where we sit and stewards had to take action.
    Personally I’d sell them cheap to deserving people but I can see the club’s reasons.
    But hell, lets just use it as something else to blame Ashley for :-)

  • shaunieoisdead

    I have 3 mates who have a ST each not bothering tonight! To much hassle for a week game. This says more than a thousand words to me where the club is at with the fans.

  • Adelphi

    shaunieoisdead  I know people who left when we were 4-0 down against Arsenal.
    As individuals we all support to varying degrees. It’s our prerogative.

  • The Mag

    Adelphi The Mag wor monga That is the excuse used for away tickets but Ashley is only doing it for the home games where thinks will sell out, to try and coerce fans into paying £35 for a membership so they can get a ticket – likes of mackem match etc and Arsenal, rather than letting tickets go on sale to general public after certain period of available to members. Has nothng to do with trying to stop away fans buying them.
    He has misjudged tonight and so it is senseless not to then try and sell tickets to those fans who either don’t want to or can’t afford to buy a membership.

  • The Mag

    howaymebonnylads At the same time as trying to make fans buy memberships even if they want to (or can only go to) one match, the club sell discounted tickets through organisations such as civil service and police social schemes, with no membership required.

  • DavidDrape

    i had 6 manc lads in the front of the leazes next to me last season. canny lads  and they were no bother (not mouthy) like most fans they just wanted to se the game and keep quiet but no doubt they got there tickets via the website and i suppose this rules out many chinese and japanese who frequent this game once per season if not willing to pay the membership fee

  • whickhamrobbie

    we go on about the attendance like a badge of honour its the football we should be bothered about not how many go or dont go.
    The average joe is priced out of football anyway so is ashley really that bothered about helping these people out.

  • A lex

    RobertWilkinson Probably, more like a large korma, actually. :-)

  • No Brainer

    If they are only toon fans for one game a year I think the membership should be on a ten year scheme at £35 and an altrrnative one week membership for twa*y man u fans who live in the northeast I dislike them more than mancs

  • No Brainer

    Maybe just maybe this is the boycott all the dissenting voices are calling for and now the dissenting voices are calling calling it a crying shame the stafiums not full.
    Does that make all of those folks look?


    If Newcastle were actually the self proclaimed best supporters in the world MAN surely they’d have enough members who don’t just want to go against United – goons the lot of you!

  • No Brainer

    Lets be honest here Manchester united are not the draw they were if we had a full strength team I would not be hoping but expecting a home win. So not surprising its not full any way

  • Sickandtiredstill

    No Brainer Better to dissent than just kiss Ashley’s [email protected]@e like you do non stop.

  • Sickandtiredstill

    Adelphi The Mag wor monga Where have you appeared from with your ticket price arguments?
    Same happened just before the Villa game. I see No Brainer appeared on cue as well.

  • No Brainer

    Its of to match we go
    with no idiots there more
    enjoy the nite
    thou jc’s Shi*e

  • Sickandtiredstill

    No Brainer Expecting? Coz you are as deluded as JC.

  • GToon

    HOWLONG united? who might that be sad act? ….. off

  • jimblag

    No Brainer
    I was wondering where you’d been Alan Pardews Black and White army, so this is the genius name change.
    I thought you’d crawled back under whatever rock you came from.

  • RobBrown

    Very funny Dean.

    Midweek match against a less than spectacular Man U and you suggest that less that 51, 573 will be a disappointment.

    You fail to mention that even with all of the garbage being written about how the peasants are revolting we still haven’t dipped below 49,000 at home this season, and if we do tonight it will only be by virtue of the far that its a midweek school and many of you are at Kindergarden tomorrow morning.

    The fans will turn out in style – even if the players don’t!

  • LeazesEnder

    RobBrown they didnt

  • LeazesEnder

    whickhamrobbie Yes …he’s the King of the Charvers!

  • Sickandtiredstill

    47 for Stoke.

  • No Brainer

    I have absolutely no idea what you mean jimmy

  • PeterWD

    MA runs a business; which is ok and any business, including a football club, needs positive cash flow and, hopefully, profits.  Ashley’s policy will slowly break the connection between the community and fans on the one hand and the club on the other.  The Club makes so much money he could easily forego cash to spend it on improving the squad.  The quality between Manchester and United {BT and MO seemed to think that there was only one United playing} was embarrassing.  The only players who would get into the Manchester squad are Sissoko and Janmaat.
    Carver got his tactics right though.  United had the chances and did not take them.

  • No Brainer

    What did you think of the match?

  • newcastle7

    Who totally miss the point Mike could have sold the extra two thousand tickets to make a few bob very
    easy but did not want to sell them to the general public in case Man Utd fans bought them still a great attendance with it been live on T.V. and on a wed night. If he was really interested in making money
    would have put tickets on general sale please please go back to school

  • Sickandtiredstill

    Past your bed time, Simon. Settle down, Mikey will ne aling with another story for you. Sweet dreams

  • Sickandtiredstill

    About as much as i think of you.

  • DavidDrape

    newcastle7 i was in a corporate area which didn’t need a club ship to get a ticket and i had 4 rows  (100 fans) of man u fans  in front of me and plenty others in the same section so man u fans did get in possibly in there thousands (inc 1 coach i seen down from scotland as well) if you consider other parts of the ground as well.  double standards when it suites me thinks

  • DavidDrape

    newcastle7 not sure what the attendance was tonight but take off approx 5000 away fans in the whole ground for a more true reflection, however i seen plenty gaps in every stand but its also difficult to see individual seats that have not been sold as they are more difficult to spot.

  • RobBrown

    LeazesEnder RobBrown 49,801

    A recorded fact that all you Ashley Haters can’t refute.

    Just shy of 50,000 people turned out for a midweek match to watch a team that is  in crisis and abandoned by the fans..

    Does the term “small minority” ring a bell?

  • StephenBowers

    I was offered a free ticket by friend who is a fed up season ticket holder and as far as I am aware tha seat remained empty, in other words he couldn’t give it away.
    I watched most of game on TV and was struck by the thought that our paper thin shouldn’t get close to Man U.after all one of there players cost more than our whole squad.
    Full credit to JC and his team for making a game of it .
    In the long term I won’t be back, no support for this current regime from me. All that lies ahead is struggle, players signed from abroad with about a one in four chance of becoming a decent pro and even the probably moved on for profit.
    As for Man U, they weren’t great but the difference Is ambition, they have become used to European football and challenging. During the summer I expect JC to be installed full time and good luck to him he’s going to need it.
    I expect some of our better player to be sold once again for profit.and sad to say more empty seats at SJP.

  • newcastle7

    Nearly fifty thousand there a great crowd and tickets were not available to the general public had to be a season ticket holder or member .The seats left were the seventy pound corporate ones.
    You are the bloke who said pre season in your article crowds SET TO DROP BELOW 40,000.
    Still avearaging nearly fifty one thousand.Think you and your mates on this site live in the funny farm.

  • Sickandtiredstill

    RobBrown LeazesEnder Surely it’s beyond reasonable comprehension why any supporter with an ounce of sense doesn’t actually hate Ashley?

  • GeorgeBainbridge

    Just enjoy the soccer our time will come!!!

  • LeazesEnder

    GeorgeBainbridge I’ve been saying the same since 1969….I was wrong!

  • LeazesEnder

    RobBrown LeazesEnder They have been bombarding everyone for a week with emails…. I’ve never known the fixture not command a full house!

    What does that say?

  • DavidDrape

    StephenBowers totally agree. also chatting to a rangers fan on the way out of the ground last night & his main point to me was the lack of atmosphere.TBH i thought it had picked up considerably compared to previous.

  • DavidDrape

    newcastle7 it may have been 51k but i would estimate 5000 man u fans so in reality you had what you can class as possibly 46k home fans. Don’t forget you have a few thousand in the corporate areas who are there for a jolly from companies of whom many don’t really care about football or have the same passion for it compared to your average fan & whom many probably don’t even support a team.   You are wrong re corporate as i have an email from box office yesterday which says corporate was sold out. I agree crowds will get near 40k by the end of the season and we will see the re introduction of seats for a fiver for kids.

  • RobBrown

    Surprised you didn’t narrow it down further. Not “real” fans, Not from Tyneside, didn’t have this seasons shirts, not old enough to vote.
    With a bit more effort you could have have it down to a few hundred.

    At the end of the day  the numbers show nearly 50,000 came through the gates. And that’s pretty impressive  ANYWHERE, ANYTIME.

    Spot on @NEWCASTLE7 – this used to be a fairly balanced site, but there’s not much positive stuff on here these days.

  • mrkgw

    The current regime disgust most of us and they have destroyed the club. Ashley out!

  • mrkgw

    Rob, there was 47k vs Stoke. I was at that game and the empty seats were there for all to see.

  • DavidDrape

    RobBrown Thats my viewpoint Rob & i can only speak from what i seen inside the ground last night& based on experience & no doubt there would have been many mancs in the crowd acting as neutrals & or pretending to be toon fans.  The fact that ”there’s not much positive stuff on this website these days” is simple, its because NEWCASTLE UNITED at present isn’t acting in a POSITIVE way. FACT

  • RobBrown

    mrkgw Followed by 51k against Villa

  • bill49

    just ask the question …. where would nufc be if ashley hadn’t bought the club ?????……we would have gone the same way as leeds…

  • CMRowley

    bill49 Please explain how and why this would have happened.

  • RobBrown

    LeazesEnder RobBrown Ibrox has a capacity of 51k. The fans are voting with their feet and the average attendance this year in the league has been 31k. 40% down

    Fan power – Go!

    The likes of yourself and others are talking about discontent dissatisfaction, hating Ashley, can’t give season tickets away.

    SJP has a capacity of 52k. Our average home gate this season is not far short of 51k.

    2 % off full.

    Errr … Fan Power? Oops.

    UP on last season.
    Up on the season before
    Up on the season before that
    Up on the season before that
    Up on the season before that
    Up on the season before that

    It actually appears that apart from stabilising the club financially and increasing profitability, and despite the rants and raves that we are subject to every day on websites such as this, Ashley is actually bringing MORE FANS INTO SJP.

    Come on guys – debate the point. Tell me it isn’t so!

    If every “reasonable” fan hates Ashley so much where are all these natters coming from that turn up week after week?

  • Demented_Man

    bill49 Absolute rubbish.  There’s not even the beginning of a comparison.  And don’t let them fool you that Freddie Sheppard incurred massive debt for the club and hid the fact from the buyer.  If he’d done it on the scale the Ashleyites allege, he would certainly have been up in court for fraud.

  • RobBrown

    CMRowley bill49

    Shepherd and Hall were a bit like my son. 

    Fancy clothes, all the latest gadgets and a flash car. All on tick and with the minimum repayment he could get away with.

    The clothes and the gadgets  will all be out of fashion next year and need to be replaced, but the credit card company don’t seem interested.

    The car is already worth only 60% of what he paid but on the loan there is still 75% outstanding.

    Everyone claims that the huge amounts that were outstanding under Shepherd and Hall were to be paid off on future revenue, but there was absolutely no evidence of this happening. 
    The debts were piling up, the trophy signings continued and the fact that we owed more than we were worth when Ashley bought us would suggest that we were on our way out.

    And of course the owners knew this and were happy to get out. 
    Ashley had the wool pulled – no doubt.

    That, CMRowley, is how that would have happened.

  • Sickandtiredstill

    RobBrown DavidDrape Christ, seriously? What on earth is there to be positive about? You may not agree with all of the posts, but even the most brain dead supporter has to accept that what is happening at the club and on the pitch is a complete joke.
    If that is the best noise 49,801 NUFC ‘supporters’ can make, at home to Man U, then it says everything that needs saying.

  • RobBrown

    Sickandtiredstill RobBrown DavidDrape Yes it’s a complete joke. Never said it wasn’t.

    As for the brain dead comment – I’d have a bit more respect if you posted it under your real name, rather than hurling insults from behind a pseudonym.

    My point here – and always has been – is the complete lack of commitment to their own cause from those who object to Ashley.

    NUST?  What a waste of time they turned out to be.

    March for Change – March for small change more like it.
    three quarters had to leave early because they had to be home by 9.

    Protest walk outs? We had fans walking out at 3 or 4 different times, with some getting up to leave and sitting back down, because the we were doing well!!

    The words “piss-Up” and “Brewery” spring to mind.

    If you’re going to do it, then organise and do it. Otherwise stop bloody whinging about it.

    There are actually 3 options. Negative (which you all want to do as long as you don’t have to put your name to it), positive (where you are immediately dismissed as a pro-Ashley freak) or in-between, which is where I’d guess 75% of fans sit.
    Its not a coincidence that the biggest complainers never post under their real names. It’s much easier that easy – less actual responsibility.

  • Sickandtiredstill

    RobBrown CMRowley bill49 Sure! 
    Are you really going to believe that one of the worlds richest men whose career is made from buying distressed brands and companies – and his entire troop of advisors – didn’t establish that the club had mortgages and other debt? 
    I hope you realise what a completely ridiculous statement that is to make.
    Ashley knew exactly what he was buying, where the profits were to be made and how to do it. Unfortunately the biggest winner from the moment he walked through the door was SD, just as he planned for.
    He paid 134 Million for NUFC, which includes all of the assets (ground, training ground, medical facilities, academy, players etc) as well as the debt
    111 million of debt in total when he bought the club. The debt increased to almost 150 million thanks to his relegation of the club and the revolving door of staff and payouts HE was responsible for (Verete, Mort, Jimenez, Wise, Llambias, Allardyce, Houghton, KK, Shearer etc). 
    The club, 8 seasons on, still has 129 million of debt. A debt owed to Ashley and one which is still greater than when he bought us.
    All of the top PL clubs have been, and still are, running on debt and none have gone bust thanks to tv revenue and increased commercial revenues. 
    As much as it hurts to admit it, he bought this club to benefit SD. Not you, not me, not the city of Newcastle nor NUFC.

  • CMRowley

    RobBrown CMRowley bill49 You could have just said no, you can’t explain how or why this would have happened.

    Instead you ramble on into some whimsical anecdote which has no basis in reality.

    You even have the cheek to sign off with a smug little finale, as if you have actually demonstrated something.

  • Sickandtiredstill

    RobBrown Sickandtiredstill DavidDrape
    As for brain dead, some of the comments made on these boards prove how very little some people know about the club, let alone the owner and what he gets up to.
    Not only do they know little, they argue against the most obvious FACTS.
    Names – ok Rob Brown. If that’s your real name then so what? What does that bring to the table of discussion? 
    You criticise here anyone who is or has tried to make a difference.
    Have you done anything at all, or are you just one of the ‘positives’? Being positive has gotten what in return after 8 seasons of Mike Ashley’s ownership?
    If people really support their club, shouldn’t they want to do something about the way it is being run by one of the richest men on the planet?
    We can barely put a team out at present.

  • RobBrown

    CMRowley RobBrown bill49 Just out of interest – do you live your life up to your neck in debt all the time? Piling on the interest?

    If so , hows that going for you?

    Sorry – trying not to be smug.

  • Sickandtiredstill

    RobBrown CMRowley bill49

    If I can afford to buy something for cash in order to avoid finance charges, I do. I don’t then believe I owe myself the money though. Do you? Ashley does.

    Sorry – trying not to be smug.

  • CMRowley

    If you can’t answer the question that’s okay, it’s much better to just actually say ‘ don’t know ‘ rather than waffle endlessly or try and change the subject.
    A wise man once said, better to keep your mouth closed and have people think you are fool as to open it and remove all doubt.

  • DavidDrape

    Sickandtiredstill RobBrown DavidDrape Sick and tired still the best comments i have read for a very long time. well said. RB asks for more respect but then slags off NUST who are doing some fantastic groundwork in the community trying to build/earn respect & they can’t be blamed for fans not wanting to join it. I am proud to be a member of NUST. this comments were very disrespectful. also i will lay this one to rest hopefully but the protest walk prior to liverpool was not all kids as it just so happens the kids were all at the front. Agree names mean nothing but i FULLY UNDERSTAND why some fans want to protect themselves because this regime has proved to me they can do a lot of underhanded things. I know from experience how i have been messed around deliberately in the past but i know that ashley has his spies out & as we have seen form this website in the last year or so names supporting ashley on every single matter have come & gone. I also know big companies have small teams of people who check on their employees (social media etc) to protect there brand/reputation & guess NUFC/SD are no different which leads me to the fact that we know the club have spies about home & away. spies have been correctly been seen catching adults out swearing in the family section but also acting as real fans away from home & reporting incidents back to the club who subsequently threaten to take away season tickets from law abiding fans for what the club claim is a minor discretion of rules being broken regards passing on tickets. this is one of the many reasons why we dislike this person so much. in fact i have never disliked anyone/brand so much.By the way, this is my real name so any ashley bloggers reading this then i await the knock on the door from one of ashleys apologists but my dog will be waiting to bite that persons arse.  we only spout off because we care as no doubt every fans families have made great sacrifices for this club over many decades & some approaching 100years. lastly, as a newcastle and celtic fan this is another reason why i am 100% behind rangers fans sending ashley and his SD company homebound.

  • RobBrown

    Sickandtiredstill RobBrown CMRowley bill49 As an individual yes , but as a business no. When money goes into the business the business has to pay it back. Otherwise its not a business – it’s just an expensive hobby.

    Smug Smug Smug

  • RobBrown

    CMRowley OK, so analogy is beyond you. 

    The company was operating beyond it’s means – significantly. There was no plan in place to correct that. Debt was spiralling and management failed to acknowledge the problem. 
    Pretty much tell tale signs that the business is going down.
    I suppose that by your reckoning we hadn’t gone so we weren’t going. 
    Bit like the guy jumping off the cliff isn’t finished until he hits the bottom.

  • Sickandtiredstill

    RobBrown Sickandtiredstill CMRowley bill49 Exactly so.

    That is of course why it was stated ‘it is beneficial to the group to retain a level of debt’. 

    The group – MASH. Not NUFC.

  • LeazesEnder

    RobBrown CMRowley What debt?

  • Sickandtiredstill

    RobBrown CMRowley  You and no one else can prove the club were ever in danger of administration.

    And, even if they conceivably were – Ashley the genius decided to buy it anyway???

    How ridiculous is that argument?