The latest Newcastle fans initiative to try and get Mike Ashley to change his ways, or preferably sell up, is well underway.
The #IfRafaGoesWeGo campaign gaining instant support and traction, as disaster looms.
Refusing to allow any money to be spent in this transfer window unless players are sold to fund them, will guarantee a relegation struggle this coming season and Rafa Benitez walking away at the end of it, even if ‘successful’ in keeping the club in the Premier League once again.
The new campaign aims to warn the NUFC owner that thousands of fans (especially those with Newcastle United season tickets) will walk away if he doesn’t start backing Rafa Benitez.
However, it appears that Mike Ashley has been having plenty of success in that direction already, without any need for an organised protest campaign.
The club have (inadvertently) revealed just how many Newcastle United season tickets remain unsold.
Last summer, the club announced they had sold out of season tickets (this was then backed up when in November (2017) the club stated that unlike recent years, there would be no sale of half-season tickets as there were none available), there appears little chance of that this time.
For those who were/are looking to buy a season ticket, the club have an online facility where you can look at the stadium plan and see which seat(s) you’d like to buy.
At first after the season ticket renewal deadline (the second one, after NUFC pushed back the original renewal deadline due to poor sales), the stadium plan only showed a handful of areas in St James Park where season tickets were available.
However, now that has changed, and you have a pick of a lot of areas of the stadium, indeed a LOT.
The plan below from the Newcastle United ticketing site shows which areas (in green) you can buy season tickets in.
The away fans area in the Leazes and the corporate areas (mainly Milburn) never show up as available to buy on the stadium plan but as you can see, there are only a small handful of areas that have sold out so far.
When you go on the club’s ticketing site you can see exactly which seats are unsold and after adding these up, I counted at least 5,246 seats remain unsold (I’m not quite sad enough to have counted individual seats on the plan, as well as being able to look and see which actual seats are unsold, the site also has the number of unsolds for each section, making it relatively easy to tot up).
Whilst I am of course fully supportive of the #IfRafaGoesWeGo initiative, as indeed I am of anything that is pro-fan/Rafa and anti-Ashley, I have always thought that eventually Mike Ashley will add just one too many straws onto the NUFC camel’s back, pushing Newcastle fans just too far.
This summer obviously many Newcastle fans have been convinced to give it at least one more season mainly because of Rafa Benitez sticking it out for at least the final year of his contract.
However, clearly thousands of others though have already said enough is enough.
Hardly surprising really when you think about it.
Whilst there was satisfaction in staying up last season it was a relegation struggle for all but the final few weeks and much of the football wasn’t great, due to the ridiculously low transfer net spend that was allowed by Mike Ashley.
Add to that all areas of St James Park seeing season ticket rises, some by as much as over 20% rises.
Then with only £4m spent in the transfer market and indeed currently having made a profit in this transfer window…
Also, Rafa now going public that indeed he can’t buy anybody else unless selling players first.
You have to congratulate Mike Ashley on the amazing contribution he’s made already to driving fans away from St James Park.
Interesting as well that no tickets going on sale for the Tottenham game as yet, despite it being less than three weeks away. This is even though Tottenham put their 3,100 tickets for the match on sale on Wednesday 18 July. Guessing Mike Ashley and his lackeys are counting on a late rush for Newcastle United season tickets…
I think an extra level of anger is set to be added when single match tickets do go on sale for that opening Newcastle v Tottenham game, with those rises in season ticket prices I think we can be assured we are going to see a good few quid going on individual tickets.
Welcome to Mike Ashley’s vision of running a football club, even Newcastle fans will eventually have had enough, and this is whether Rafa Benitez stays or not.