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Opinion

Why Newcastle United are now set for strangest crowd ever against Manchester United

4 months ago
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When Manchester United visited it was the hottest ticket in Toon.

One of the biggest benefits of being a Newcastle United season ticket holder, you knew you were guaranteed to be inside St James Park for this one.

If you didn’t have a season ticket then you definitely needed to have a membership, then get in early for the small number of tickets going on match by match sale.

If you had neither season ticket nor membership then don’t even bother.

This season, match by match tickets went on sale to members (and season ticket holders) 22 days ago (12 September) and on sale to the general public 16 days ago (18 September).

However, times have changed, so many Newcastle fans have had enough.

The match was never going to sell out as people are just so sick of Mike Ashley.

His response?

Try to fill as many of the empty seats, by any means possible.

Mike Ashley has refused to put anything in place to try and stop Manchester United fans buying up tickets in the home sections. The NUFC owner happy to try and fill as many seats as possible with visiting fans, despite the obvious security concerns, yet for the Liverpool (a fanbase who we have had far less trouble with in the Premier League era) game at the end of last season, there were over the top measures put in place (NUFC members who hadn’t bought a ticket so far last season, weren’t allowed to buy one for the Liverpool game!) because Ashley new the game was going to be a sell out regardless.

An NUFC fans group wrote to Newcastle United pointing out the security concerns, the club actually replied! Only to say they wouldn’t be doing anything of substance to stop Manchester United buying tickets in the home areas, apart from possibly if buyers have an NW postcode. This cunning plan has one small problem (although I’m dubious that Ashley will be allowing the ticket office to knock back anybody prepared to fill a seat) as Manchester United have the most diverse (gloryhunting) fanbase from all over the place. As for anybody in the North West who did get knocked back, they can just get friends/family anywhere else in the country to get tickets on their behalf.

Then it has also been revealed this week that Mike Ashley has had the club pushing out as many discounted tickets as possible through the universities and other institutions/organisations, with tickets almost half price compared to what Newcastle fans are being asked to pay when buying normally from the club.

As well as this, you haven’t been able to move for competitions offering free tickets for this Manchester United game. You wonder just how many ‘lucky’ winners there have been…did/does everybody win in these competitions?

So we are set for potentially the strangest ever crowd for a game against Manchester United at St James Park.

Still thousands of empty seats BUT if you have been tempted to buy a one-off ticket, you probably have as much chance of sitting amongst Newcastle fans as you do Manchester United fans, students and/or lucky competition winners.

Enjoy the game!

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