Sunderland have informed their fans that parts of the Stadium of Light will be closed on matchdays as from next season.

With dismal attendances, the decision has been taken to cut costs and at the same time make the stadium not look quite so empty, my moving the remaining fans into fewer sections.

Crowds are regularly announced as in the mid-twenty thousands at Sunderland this season but it has been quite clear that in many/most matches there has been less than twenty thousand in the stadium.

Last season, Aston Villa did the same, as their crowds plummeted, though not quite on the scale of Sunderland’s.

It led to a bizarre situation when Newcastle visited Villa Park, with Aston Villa refusing to give Newcastle more tickets, even though they had large parts of their stadium closed off.

The move by Sunderland has led to estimates that around 12,000/13,000 seats will be in the closed off sections.

Or is that 12,000/13,000 in the parts to remain open…

Sunderland fans have received the following communication from their club today:

‘Thank you for your continued support.

As you may be aware, earlier in the season we ceased the sale of match to match tickets in the Premier Concourse with the aim of increasing fan numbers within the lower bowl and boosting stadium atmosphere.

The decision has now been taken to close the Premier Concourse at the end of this season to both season card holders and match sales, unless demand dictates that additional capacity is required.

We believe that closing the Premier Concourse will help us to improve match atmosphere, whilst also reducing the costs associated with safety stewards and kiosk staff in the area.

However, we recognise the commitment you have shown to Sunderland AFC and this is a loyalty that we intend to honour.

Should you choose to renew your season card for season 2018-19, we will relocate you to any available seat of your choice within the stadium at no additional cost. Your renewal for the new seat will be priced at the same rate as it would have been in Premier Concourse, even if you should choose a seat in a higher price band. Should you select a seat in a lower price band this price will, of course, prevail.

We will guarantee that you pay no more than this renewal price for the following three years. Should the Premier Concourse reopen, we shall ensure you retain first refusal on your original seat.

We also appreciate that many supporters sit with friends and family and that friendships have been forged with season card holders in nearby seats over the years. We will therefore endeavour, wherever possible, to relocate seats together upon request.

All Premier Concourse season card holders will be contacted by telephone to discuss the closure in more detail. The contact details we hold for you are. If you wish us to contact you on an alternate number or these details require to be updated please let us know by emailing [email protected] quoting your name and season card number or by calling our dedicated Premier Concourse number on 0191 551 5101.

You will shortly receive a renewal notification for your seat in the Premier Concourse. Should you wish to renew for the forthcoming season please action as normal. Upon receipt of your renewal you will be invited to an open day at the Stadium of Light where Ticket Office and other staff will be on hand to show you available seats and associated facilities within the main bowl of the stadium and answer any other questions you may have.

We are truly sorry for the disruption this will cause and thank you for your understanding and continued support of Sunderland AFC.’



  • Monkseaton Magpies

    That will be a few more fans not going back if they getting kicked out their seats. Remember Jane Duffy’s save our seats campaign at Newcastle not seen her since except at my mates funeral. Been in the Premier concourse for a reserve game think that was the place where the bar is done out with old turn styles’ match tickets photo’s etc. was quite impressive.

  • Leazes.

    Maybe you should gloat when we are safe from relegation Graham…. just a thought!

    • Peaky Magpie

      My sentiments exactly…

    • HarryHype59

      True, NUFC could well be taking their place in the Championship next season.

  • briankilclinesfordfiesta

    Hmmmmmm… is this a site for Newcastle news or Sunderland news? When the currency of Newcastle is so much higher than them, why should this site resort to the lowest common denominator level of craic? I, probably like a lot of Newcastle fans feel that it’s unbecoming of a site such as this to gloat in this way. Let’s see what the PL table looks like at the end of the season!

  • Peaky Magpie

    Still hate “League Of Gentleman” face rammed in the middle of those two up top…..🐷🐷🐷

    • Leazes.

      He’s a pickpocket searching around.

      • East Durham Mag

        Be slim pickings in The Land that Time Forgot.

    • briankilclinesfordfiesta

      “League of Gentleman” face. That’s the funniest thing I’ve heard all day by a mile. I’m stealing that.

      • kingfisher

        Is he local ?😁😂🤣

    • Wor Lass

      Looks like his Dad`s home!

    • East Durham Mag

      Looks like he is having a very difficult shyte 💩

  • TheNutJob

    Looks like the Mackem`s have had enough & who can blame them when they have an owner like ours. i wouldn`t call them for not turning up because the only way to get rid of people like Short & Fatty is to empty the stadium

    • Leazes.

      It was only the points that we gave them that kept them up, they’d been in decline for a few years and when they dropped it was like a stone to the bottom…. they were once called the ‘Bank of England’ club!

      • Wor Lass

        Look what`s happened to the Bank of England!

  • kingfisher

    Fur king well said Mr Nutty ! Even if Ashley walked around S.J.P on match days and p****d , c****d and vomited all over the fans, some would still keep going to line his pockets.
    If we get relegated and Ashley stays (and perhaps Rafa walks) then I honestly don’t know what reason these fans could give for wanting to keep going to S.J.P

    • Monkseaton Magpies

      We support the team that is why. With your pitch no one would attend matches outside the top six and the game would die.

      • kingfisher

        You’ve got to support your team through thick and thin,that’s what true supporters do,however after supporting nufc for nearly 60 years,there comes a time when enoughs enough.As long as fans keep going regardless of having the p*** constantly taken out of them, then they get what they deserve.
        Sunderland fans have the right attitude, standing up for their convictions.

        • Ram Kishore

          We will think about that when we are at the bottom of the championship.. let’s not worry about that now mate

          • kingfisher

            I hear what your’e saying Ram, but if we wait until we are bottom of the Championship it will be to late to change anything !
            We can only hope that we stay up,Ashley sells up and Rafa stays and then we may, (just may) start to believe that our club can finally reach it’s true potential !

        • Wor Lass

          I don`t think the drop in attendance is any sort of protest against the owner, just a desire to not witness such cr*p football and constant defeats. I think it`s probably a bit harsh to compare Ellis Short to Mike Ashley (comparing ANYONE to Mike Ashley`s harsh!). He just hasn`t got the funds and is actually trying hard to sell the club. That`s my impression, anyay. I don`t have any inside info so I`ll stand corrected if I`m wide of the mark.

          • kingfisher

            Aye wor Lass, apologies to Ellis Short.Comparing him to Ashley was below the belt. 😁
            Sunderland fans have always been a bit fickle.Their attendances drop if they have an extended bad run, and they very rarely fill their stadium, It may be that they do indeed stop going because of constant defeats and seeing c**p football, but as I say, part of it must be because of the state the club’s in and the buck must surely stop with the owner.Having said that,no one can accuse Short of not spending on the playing side, quite the opposite in fact and perhaps that’s why they are millions of pounds in debt !

          • Wor Lass

            Fair comment!

          • John

            Ellis Short is worth $4.5bn

          • Wor Lass

            I imagine that`s the estimate of what his assets are worth – it doesn`t equal ready cash. I`m not trying to be an apologist for the guy – I don`t know too much about him – but he does seem to genuinely want out and is prepared to take quite a hit to move the club on. Unlike a certain fat cockney bar steward who is also a paper billionaire.

        • Brian Standen

          I agree with you in some respects but NUFC fans historically have been less fickle than fans of SAFC! You point out yourself you have gone for 60 years so you have seen bad or worse!

          • kingfisher

            Very true Brian ! I can honestly say that I wish the “good old days ” were back: standing room only in the Gallowgate end, bags of peanuts, cup of Bovril and a pie at half time, instead of this money orienrated juggernaut which threatens to steamroller into the ground those clubs who try, but fail to compete in The Prem.

          • Brian Standen

            Indeed. Things evolve but despite what sky would preach football is less fun these days!

        • Haitchdee

          Kingfisher Is that infront of a Judge?.

          • kingfisher

            😁😁👍👍

        • Monkseaton Magpies

          Yes desert your team and get a new owner and new players and go straight back up to the premiership. Sadly the only thing the Sunderland fans have achieved is to get them relegated for a second time bankrupt the club and next season have fifteen points deducted and in a relegation again. That is what happens when fans give up and CHAIRMEN LIKE Ashley do not back the club when they go down so well done mike.

          • GToon

            Ashley is the reason we get relegated. He has achieved nothing for this club. Nothing. Even he admits that.

        • Jonas

          Yes there’s a diff between our situation after 10years of Ashley and their fans stopping going because they a) didn’t have NUFC to compete against and b) are having a s**t season

          • kingfisher

            Spot on Jonas 👍👍👍

    • Lhc

      Because you follow your club through thick and thin the good times and bad times, you honestly can’t be a fan with craic like that!

  • Patrick Church

    regardless of the rivalry, this is sad news for ANY football club and once again a sign that the ‘rich owner’ bubble is about to burst – the rich keep getting richer and the rest can go to the wall

    • HarryHype59

      Well said!

  • Rich Lawson

    Your closing parts of the ground NEXT year,seems a tad defeatist for the remainder of this season ?

  • GToon

    Every now and again life presents us with a unique opportunity to make a difference and here is one such occasion. My solution? Simply sell all of the tickets from the top tier to Newcastle fans! We will be playing away so that’s not an issue. It could be amazing. Just imagine their last home game v Wolves and it’s full to the rafters. 22,000 mackems, 5,000 Wolves fans and 20,000 “neutrals” from Newcastle. We’re happy, the mackem bank balance is happy, everyone is happy. It’s a win win situation!

    • Lhc

      You of your trolley?

      • GToon

        No. For the past few weeks as the season has unfolded I’ve been pestering my Wolves supporting mate to get me a ticket for that game. It could be hilarious. I’d pay good money to see them go down. Just like some of our fans did for their game with Gillingham.

        • Lhc

          They may be down before wolves, they may stay up we may go down n meet each other sooner than we think. A lot will happen between Nieves and the end of the season.

          • Lhc

            *now

        • Albert Stubbins

          Love it mate. Give it to them!!

    • Whickhamrobbie

      if you want to make a difference go to Gateshead games and help out a LOCAL club in need of help .

  • Coach Clagnut

    They’ve got a long history of being fair-weathers, going back to Tom Cowie and more recently Niall Quinn. Cowie bemoaned the fact they were not in the same class as the N.U.F.C. and Quinn went on regular walkabouts in the ale houses pleading for them to come and support the team.

    • Albert Stubbins

      Precisely. They’ve got a long and not so illustrious tradition of deserting their team in droves plus no other team can clear a ground as quick when they’re losing!! Rats deserting a sinking ship.

  • Lhc

    Sounds like there winding the curtain down to me.

  • Whickhamrobbie

    who cares move on . empty seats blah blah ,Villa blah blah .
    Just give us news on the toon please.

  • Gareth Marshall

    Sad, really sad.

  • Toon

    Porter, you are such an embarrassment to NUFC. Why anyone would allow your immaturity to represent the fans views and opinions is shocking

  • X,WHY,Y MAN.

    Why are we as Newcastle Utd fans obsessed by attendances at football matches ?

    That was always one of the cries from fans who used to say : “Well we get 52,000 so players should sign for us.”
    As though big crowds somehow equal “Big Club” and that qualifies you to rub shoulders with the big boys.
    The reality is players will play in front of two blokes and a dog as long as they are getting huge pay packets at the end of the week.
    You only have to look at a club like Monaco that only attracts about 5,000 for home games but is a very successful club who has had any amount of superstars play for them !

    What Sunderland are doing is nothing new and has been done at countless other clubs, So where is the story here ?
    I think we at Newcastle are a bit naïve when it comes to this because St James’ Park is all season ticket which does not give a true barometer of fan loyalty imo.
    Everyone is consumed by the fear of losing their place in the stadium that they constantly renew their ticket every season.
    It has always been a good scam dreamt up by The Halls and Shepherds when you think about it.
    It doesn’t matter how bad the product is when the season starts because you already have the cash in the bank.

    Some say there is a hairs width between sanity and insanity so could the same be said for loyalty and stupidity ?

    • GToon

      Our support is the only thing we have to be proud about.

      • X,WHY,Y MAN.

        That is basically the response I was expecting !

        How can you say that though in a ground that is ALL SEASON TICKET ?

        • Brian Standen

          Are you forgetting season tickets still have to be paid for in advance which shows commitment! We expect to win nowt but are still committed to supporting our team!
          And unlike the like of Arsenal etc whose stadiums are also full is ST holders our fans do still turn up!

          • X,WHY,Y MAN.

            It doesn’t show commitment though does it ?

          • Brian Standen

            Are you sure? In the case of NUFC it does , the attendances back that up! In the case of Arsenal your comment makes sense!

        • GToon

          Based on the support I’ve seen over the years. Great support. Win nowt. Continued great support. Look at today’s sell out between two bottom table sides. And we will sell out our remaining fixtures too, home and away.

  • Jonas

    They think they have great support and despite it’ll.still be said, unchallenged on their forums,.im their circles and on the wireless.
    anybody that thinks that is.literally is mad.

    • Leazes.

      Some people will go looking for positives and find them…. like their club spokesman, ‘closing stands will improve the atmosphere’…..

      …..from the Ryder book of spin, every down has its up!

    • John

      Or they aren’t idiots willing to financially support the chairman they want out?

  • HarryHype59

    The plight of Sunderland is bad for football and the North East. I find it staggering that a club who earned ten years of EPL TV money, could be going into administration. Incompetence doesn’t enter into it.

  • John

    I find it not only embarrassing but cringeworthy that OUR fans sit here and say Sunderland deserve what they’re getting however in the next breathe say Ashleys this Ashleys that.. So one club destroyed by an owner deserve it however us as their neighbours don’t? slightly retarded.

    • NUFCLX

      Start Cringing – they deserve everything they get.

      • John

        Yet you’re probably one of the mongoloids crying about Mike Ashley and the footballing world oweing us a favour. Time to open your eyes and realise He’s not doing a bad job really

    • stevetoontoon

      Are you eating cheesy chips and drinking blue fizzy pop as you type!!! Enjoy burton again

  • John

    And let’s not forget a lot of ex “Sunderland” fans will be in our stands, we all know many defected over to our side late 80s early 90s..

    • Albert Stubbins

      Late 80 s we were shyte and they won promotion in 89/90. Maybe when we won promotion a few years later under king keV. I don’t believe that this was significant n terms of actually changing alliegences but what it did do was change young supporters loyalties growing up in split areas such as places like boldon and south Shields possibly.

  • Albert Stubbins

    At least we helped them by starting to remove their seats for them last week. I hope they appreciate that at least.