There are plenty of Newcastle v Brighton tickets left unsold.
Saturday’s game the first of three that will hopefully help Mike Ashley realise where things will be heading if he doesn’t sell the club.
None of the four matches at St James Park have sold out so far but they were still boosted by the fact it was more attractive opposition and that all the visiting clubs brought at least 3,000 fans.
The lowest crowd so far was the 51,523 announced for the Leicester match, although like the other three games, there clearly weren’t as many inside St James Park as the official figure suggests. Not quite of Arsenal proportions at The Emirates but certainly hundreds lower and maybe a thousand or so less than the announced attendance.
There are still Newcastle v Brighton tickets available around the ground, with green areas on this availability map from the official NUFC ticket website showing where you can still get tickets on Friday lunchtime.
However, on top of that, the map doesn’t show that Brighton have failed to sell around 60% or so of the total away tickets that are available.
Only around 1,300 Brighton fans (see below) making the trip, whereas Newcastle make 3,200 available if club can sell them.
In times gone by, unsold tickets that the away club couldn’t sell would be quickly snapped up by Newcastle fans.
However, with Mike Ashley driving more and more fans away, Newcastle look sure to have less than fifty thousand inside St James Park on Saturday.
With Watford and Bournemouth up next at SJP, it looks like another couple of sub-fifty thousand crowds.
This will bother Mike Ashley far more than protesting against him on a matchday, thousands of empty seats and that is without any kind of an organised boycott, just individual fans saying enough is enough.
Brighton fans commenting on only bringing around 1,300 fans to Newcastle via their North Stand Chat message board:
‘Given the distance and cost of public transport in the UK an away audience of 1,300 is not to be sniffed at, and I know our boys there will be loud and proud as ever.’
‘It really is an enormous distance to travel for a football match. Anything close to 1500 seems pretty decent to me.
The view is terrible and you have to climb a seemingly endless staircase just to reach the concourse, before more steps to your seat. Of course absolutely all of that is forgotten if you win, but not everyone wants to take that gamble.
I’m going for the second season running but both times have been vaguely tied in with work and I’m not sure I’d be making the trip twice otherwise. Whilst last year was a valuable point in hindsight, football was certainly not the winner that day.’
‘It’s looking like it going to be a poor turnout at Newcastle this weekend.’
‘We used to take a lot less up north and we’ve played them loads recently.’
‘Somehow Newcastle has managed to ignore the directive of away fans being pitchside. It’s a long way to travel to watch ants running around.’
‘Second season syndrome and some huge journies for fans of this club at one end of the country. The Albion is not of the size, that takes 2,500 to all PL away games, ad infinitum.’
‘I think it’s just the way the away fixtures have fallen for us before the New Year.
It’s been an expensive few months so far for Albion fans.’
‘Is taking 1300 to NEWCASTLE for our 3rd trip there in 3 years when we’ve not won an away game in nearly a year “poor” ? Not bad for us really, if anything it highlights how much our support has grown.’