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Sunderland Director wants to break Checkatrade Rules and give Newcastle fans less tickets than entitled to

7 months ago
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Tickets went on sale earlier today (Friday) to home fans for the Sunderland v Newcastle kids match.

The game is to be played on Tuesday 8 January with a 7.45pm kick-off at the Stadium of Light.

Stewart Donald revealed  (see below) on Thursday that Newcastle United had asked for the full allocation for the ‘derby’ match.

Checkatrade Trophy rules state that away clubs are entitled to a minimum of 10% of a stadium’s capacity, which in Sunderland’s case is around 5,000 of their 49,000 or so seats.

However, fellow Sunderland Director Charlie Methven as now indicated that their intention is to break Checkatrade Trophy rules and give Newcastle fans a lower allocation than they are entitled to.

In this bizarre derby match, nobody knows what the actual demand will be for a midweek match between Sunderland’s first team and a team of Newcastle United kids but clearly it is not going to be a 49,000 sell out.

A bit of an embarrassment really that Sunderland are saying they couldn’t cope with 5,000 visiting fans, if it was the FA Cup then that allows for a 15% minimum away allocation, or around 7,500 in the case of Sunderland’s stadium.

Clearly it appears no agreement has so far been reached, with no confirmation as yet of the NUFC allocation.

Charlie Methven speaking to BBC Newcastle:

“The rules of the (Checkatrade Trophy) competition are that the away team gets 10% of a stadium’s capacity.

“In our case, that is just under 50,000.

“Which would mean getting 5,000 tickets and Newcastle have asked us for that allocation.

“I think that our view, and the view of our internal security team, is that this is maybe a bit high.

“There is a discussion going on with the police, and with Newcastle United, about finding the right balance.

“Stewart Donald and I are not at all fans of the whole idea of banning away fans or anything like that though…

“Away fans are part of what makes the atmosphere and they want to follow their team.”

Stewart Donald – Thursday 13 December 2018:

“I appreciate it (price of Checkatrade match tickets) has gone up but Newcastle have asked for a lot of tickets and the police bill, stewarding and general cost of the game etc is so much more due to that than the other games.

“We have tried to keep it sensible and we are certainly not likely to make much money based on costs. Just simply the cost of the fixture.

“Unlike all the other games with the volume of Newcastle fans expected to travel according to them then we have to police, steward and staff accordingly.

“That is I’m afraid, a completely different cost to opening one stand.

“We have tried to price sensibly.

“Opening one stand for a low risk game has a completely different cost base to a game against our biggest rivals who want their full allocation regardless of who is in their team.

“I have never been to a Newcastle v Sunderland game but judging by the security planning I can see why it is so expensive to stage and you can not unfortunately cover that at £3 a ticket no matter how much we would like to.

“As soon as Newcastle requested their full allocation the costs for Police, stewards, etc etc went boom understandably.

“It won’t be a payday with our costs.

“Although it is their youth team as you say, as soon as they requested their full allocation the costs involved in staging the game have become huge.

“We can’t cover that at £3 no matter how much we would like to.

“Opening one stand just isn’t the same cost base.

“Under competition rules they are entitled to 10 percent of our capacity so just short of 5000 tickets potentially.”

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