It is Hull v Newcastle on Tuesday 29 November with a 7.45pm kick-off.
A League Cup quarter-final and Newcastle fans were eagerly awaiting news on tickets for the game.
However, on Friday it was revealed that Newcastle United approached Hull City and asked for an extra allocation of tickets for the cup-tie, only for the request to be refused. The reason given by Hull City is that they want to ‘maximise home support’.
No news as yet of exactly how many tickets Newcastle fans will get for the quarter-final but competition rules say the away team should get at least 10% of capacity.
With Hull’s KCOM Stadium currently holding 25,400 according to a number of sources, this is likely to mean as few as two and a half thousand tickets for United supporters.
Cynics might say that Hull City want to minimise the number of Newcastle fans, as opposed to maximising the number of home fans.
Even though Hull have dropped ticket prices (£9-£15) for the visit of Newcastle to presumably try and attract more home supporters, the decision on all available evidence just looks even more embarrassing when looking at the stats of the crowds Hull City attract, or rather, don’t!
The last home match at the KCOM Stadium saw only 18,522 turn up for the Premier League game against Stoke, with of course most of those being season ticket holders.
Bearing in mind that the capacity is 25,400…
Last season Hull City got promoted (winning most weeks etc etc) and yet their biggest crowd of the season at home was 21,842 for a Boxing Day visit of promotion rivals Burnley – who no doubt sold all their allocation for this festive fixture.
It gets worse, Hull played in the play-offs semi-final against Derby County last season for a place in the Premier League, and only attracted a crowd of 20,470 at the KCOM Stadium – once again you would automatically expect Derby fans to have taken every ticket going.
Last season Hull drew Arsenal at home in the fifth round of the FA Cup and yet only attracted 20,993, the Gooners no doubt selling their full allocation.
In March 2014 Hull hosted Sunderland in an FA Cup sixth round tie on their way to the final, a crowd of only 20,047, and being fair to the mackems they would have filled the away section.
A bit like Aston Villa away, last season in the Premier League and this time in the Championship, we are going to have the frustrating situation of thousands of Newcastle fans desperate for tickets but not being allowed to buy them, despite the home side knowing that they have zero chance of selling anywhere close to the stadium’s capacity.
All the indications are that the Hull v Newcastle match will be lucky to see a crowd of 20,000, with at least five thousand seats left empty, that Newcastle fans would have snapped up.
(On top of the minimum number of tickets to be handed out, Newcastle fans won’t be able to watch the game live on Sky Sports either, with the Liverpool and Manchester United games chosen for live broadcast on the two nights.
Tuesday 29 November
Liverpool v Leeds
Hull v Newcastle
Wednesday 30 November
Man United v West Ham
Arsenal v Southampton
(***So Newcastle United’s week at the end of November/beginning of December now looks like this:
Saturday 26 November 3pm home to Blackburn, Tuesday 29 November 7.45pm away at Hull, Friday 2 December 7.45pm away at Notts Forest)