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Opinion

I took 2 free Newcastle United season tickets but can’t even give them away…

8 months ago
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It was only last Monday when the free Newcastle United season tickets were announced.

Over 10,000 empty seats against Southampton a very bleak sight.

Indeed, whilst the official crowd was 42,303, it was in reality far less, as numerous people with Newcastle United season tickets just couldn’t be bothered.

Mike Ashley responding to the boycotters and those who are simply just sick of the whole thing, a situation he has dragged us down to, by giving away 10,000 free Newcastle United season tickets.

The tickets went on sale on Tuesday morning and I made sure I was ready at 10am.

It took forever to actually get them (though credit to the club on this one that the ticketing website didn’t crash like it used to when more than two people were trying to buy tickets at the same time!) but by noon I was the proud owner of two extra (free) season tickets.

The only question now, was which lucky people I would decide to give these early Christmas presents to?

Like probably most people who have taken the extra free season tickets, I didn’t have anybody particular in mind for them. It was just a case of it being an offer too good to refuse, free tickets available and of course I know literally hundreds of other Newcastle fans, whether it is through family, friends, work and so on.

I go with my son who is a grown up, allegedly. So that meant I could get two adult free season tickets. This meant I could give them to a couple of adult fans, or somebody to take a kid with them, so all angles covered.

The only question now, was who deserved to be at the top of the list for these season tickets?

After much deliberation because you don’t want to overlook somebody who might get upset when they find out you didn’t ask them and they should have been top of the list, I rang up my brother.

He stopped going a few years ago because of Mike Ashley but with the tickets being free and somebody will end up using them, I thought he would snap them up. Wrong! He said he still wouldn’t fill a seat even if Mike Ashley paid him to do it…

Crossing his name off, I then went and knocked on my neighbour’s door. Lived next to each other for 25 years and socialise a lot, watch the games together on TV when NUFC are away from home etc etc.

He also gave a polite no, citing Mike Ashley and the terrible football this season, saying it is a big enough effort to watch it on TV this season in his own house with a beer in his hand, never mind going and sitting in the cold to watch Brucey’s ‘front foot’ football.

And so it continued…

I have now asked upwards of 30 different people and nobody wants these two free Newcastle United season tickets.

People have at least been honest and not just taken them in the knowledge that they wouldn’t go to all 10 matches, or even most of them.

I have had a few of them saying that if I don’t get rid of them, then they might go to the Spurs and/or Liverpool matches, if I still have the free tickets available when those games come around.

It has been a nightmare.

You start off thinking you are going to be doing something a massive favour and instead it just becomes a right chore and I am stressed out.

A week later and I am still stuck with them.

What I am continually hearing is Mike Ashley, he is why people aren’t interested in taking the tickets, so many Newcastle fans wanting nothing to do with the club whilst he remains. After that, the quality of football is the next reason given, just how boring NUFC are to watch now. The third one I am getting is Steve Bruce winding people up with his patter, comparisons to Pardew and Carver in not telling it like it is and spouting Ashley’s PR.

A condition of taking the free Newcastle United season tickets is that you are responsible for whoever ends up sitting in them, if anybody actually does…

The club saying you will lose your season ticket instantly as well, if that freebie misbehaves. So I can’t just give them away to any random person.

My mercenary son is already wondering how much we can flog them for to Liverpool fans on the final day of the season when they will be very likely lifting the Premier League trophy. I have told him this isn’t happening, even if I am still stuck with them.

I wonder how many people are in a similar position?

I have spoken to a number of people I know and whilst some have got rid of them, others are in the same boat as me.

I would give them to charity but as I say, you can’t, because you have to be responsible for whoever uses the tickets.

This was always a short-term fix for Ashley to fill the seats in front of his adverts and I knew it would create longer-term problems for him and the club in terms of selling tickets in the future BUT I never thought it would be this bad.

It is horrific to think that you can’t even give these tickets away at the moment because of the owner, imagine back in the KK and SBR days if they were offering free season tickets!

Even 2016/17 and over 51,000 in the Championship because Rafa gave us a bit of hope for the future.

I am now looking ahead to that Everton match on the 28 December when the free tickets kick in. I am now trying to see if anybody wants to take them match by match but the signs aren’t good, as last night in the pub I got half a dozen knockbacks already.

Interesting to see if I can shift them and exactly how many empty seats there still are when playing the blue scousers.

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