The deadline for Newcastle United season tickets was on Tuesday.
Fans having to renew by then, or else there was no guarantee you would get that seat, or indeed any one.
That was of course a second deadline, as the club added an extra week due to so many people waiting and not renewing.
I’ll always support the team and no doubt I will still get to most games this season…but I had promised myself that I would only renew my season ticket this time, if I got some encouragement.
A totally unjustified price increase and the free transfer signing of Ki Sung-Yueng wasn’t quite what I had in mind.
My first time writing into The Mag and I was prompted by reading an article on the site this morning by Dean Wilkins.
He looked at the frenzy of recent transfer links, suggesting there was interest and even bids in for the likes of Kenedy, Townsend and Alassane Plea.
Specifically, that this frenzy of transfer speculation happened to coincide with the impending Newcastle United season tickets deadline.
We are still waiting for Rafa Benitez to speak, then we might get some idea of how he is feeling about how the transfer window is going, or not going…
The good thing is that the manager is giving no indication of leaving. However, by the same token, there is absolutely no suggestion he has any intention of signing a contract extension beyond next season.
I wasn’t expecting massive leaps forward so far in this transfer window but I did think we would have had at least one or two significant signings in by now. Ki Sung-Yueng is a decent squad player whilst Martin Dubravka is simply keeping the goalkeeper who impressed late last season, with Kenedy not here (currently) you can only say NUFC are still weaker now than the team in those final three or four months of 2017/18.
I have surprised myself by feeling pretty relaxed after not renewing by Tuesday night. At least it means I am in charge of what happens and not feeling like Mike Ashley is pulling my strings.
Nearly every other club has kept their season ticket prices the same and yet Newcastle United haven’t felt it was needed to give any explanation/justification whatsoever as to why they felt the need to raise prices. This is at a time when there has never been more money flowing into the football club.
Instead of raising a couple of million (maximum) through the pockets of people on Tyneside already feeling the pinch of austerity and a tough jobs market, why not ask Sports Direct to finally pay a nominal couple of million for their massive worldwide coverage, if cash was desperately needed?
It is laughable that the Ki Sung-Yueng signing saw all photos/video heavily showcasing Sports Direct, benefiting all their shareholders for absolutely nothing.
One of the biggest lies/laughs of all is the club trying to tell us that NUFC season tickets are amongst the cheapest in the Premier League. It is simply not true.
Unless you qualify to be in the family enclosure, and of course want to be in the worst seats in the ground, the cheapest season tickets are £628 (apart from a handful in a small wedge between Milburn and Leazes).
That works out at over £33 per match and that is if you have a season ticket! Imagine what the matchday prices are going to be?
This at a time when the club are signed up to a PL scheme that says £30 is the maximum that any away fan should pay in the top tier.
It is when you feel like you are being taken for a mug that it really grinds on you.
If I go for a cheap pizza/pasta I have certain expectations but if I splash out for the wife and myself on a posh restaurant then I have other expectations.
When Kevin Keegan and Sir Bobby Robson were serving up a treat, you couldn’t argue with whatever price and would have happily left a hefty tip on top…
However, a basics diet of Joselu, Manquillo, Atsu etc and then you put the prices up as well, somebody is definitely having a laugh.
I’ll be sitting back and waiting, ready to buy tickets match by match if necessary. Although it will only take a small amount of ambition and backing for Rafa Benitez to be then ringing up the ticket office for a season ticket.
Until then I will simply keep on enjoying the sunshine and the World Cup, leaving my Newcastle United worries for a little while longer.