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Opinion

Mike Ashley gives Oxford kids a sausage but Newcastle kids just get invitation to his shop

9 months ago
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Mike Ashley is at it again.

The Sports Direct supremo played Santa back in December.

Simply out of the goodness of his heart he gave away 10,000 free season tickets, to people who already had season tickets, out of pure generosity, which honestly had nothing  at all to do with the fact it was looking embarrassing for himself and cheapened his SD advertising to have thousands of empty seats next to the adverts.

Now Mike Ashley is aiming to put a smile on children’s faces in January.

The NUFC owner giving all kids (from Oxford) a free sausage (***A hot dog is a type of sausage).

As for kids from Newcastle, they don’t get a free sausage, they instead have been invited to visit Mike Ashley’s shop.

In an announcement on Thursday morning, Newcastle United made an official announcement that Mike Ashley was desperate to encourage ‘more young supporters’ to go to the Oxford game on Saturday, by now only charging them £1.

That is all very generous of course but call me Mrs Cynical, why would you wait to do this when St James Park is all but sold out already…?

The devil is of course in the detail.

For those Oxford kids who have already paid the full £5 price, they will get a free sausage instead of a £4 refund. Plus it is not all kids who have bought tickets just those under the age of 12, which I assume there won’t be loads making the long journey up to Newcastle.

However, the obvious transparency of what this is all about, is when you see that NUFC kids who have already paid £5 don’t get a £4 refund or free sausage, instead it is a £5 voucher to spend at the one NUFC club shop Mike Ashley hasn’t closed down yet.

Obviously Mike Ashley doesn’t want teenagers getting a voucher who will make sure they don’t spend a penny over £5, instead it is restricted to under 12s who when accompanied by parents will all make sure that more than the £5 ‘free’ voucher is spent.

Nothing wrong of course with any business having a promotion to tempt customers in but it is painful to see the extremes Mike Ashley and his minions go to, to try and dress it up as something it is not.

Quite clearly, this has been the intention all along, to introduce this shop invite at the last minute, once everybody has bought their tickets. It isn’t in the last 24 hours the decision has been made and now the club have to organise more shop staff etc for Saturday.

I must admit I do find it amusing that the club feel that they have to point out to those with free season tickets, that they don’t get free cup tickets as well. I enjoy the mental picture in my head of people with free season tickets going along and kicking off because they won’t let them in, saying they have supported this club and shown their commitment ever since December when they got a free season ticket…

Everything is so lame and laboured that our club does.

Plus I bet Mike Ashley has got Lee Charnley on his hands and knees currently clearing the shelves of anything in the NUFC club shop costing less than a tenner!

Newcastle United announcement:

As a special incentive to enable more young supporters to attend Newcastle United’s Emirates FA Cup tie against Oxford United this Saturday, tickets for children aged 12 and under will, for a limited period of time and subject to availability, be available for just £1.

More than 45,000 tickets have already been sold for Saturday’s fourth round clash and the club has reduced prices further for youngsters wishing to come along to St. James’ Park.

Lee Charnley, Newcastle United’s managing director, said: “We wanted to do something a little bit extra to give more young fans the opportunity to come to St. James’ Park and be part of what we hope is a really good cup run.

“We want to give the FA Cup everything we’ve got and hope everyone who comes plays their part by really getting behind Steve and the team.

“We have already shown a commitment to making cup tickets accessible and the reaction has been fantastic. We hope this extra step will ensure even more young supporters and their families can be at the stadium on Saturday as we look to reach the fifth round.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Oxford United for their support in the pricing for this game and this initiative.”

How to buy

Tickets will be available at this special price from 10am on Thursday 23rd and Friday 24th January only and can be purchased by calling 0344 372 1892 or by visiting the St. James’ Park box office (Milburn Stand) in person. This offer is not available online.

Please note that all supporters aged 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult.

Adult ticket prices remain priced at £10 – the cheapest possible adult price under competition rules – and £5 for other concessionary categories.

Adult tickets remain available by telephone, online at book.nufc.co.uk or by visiting the St. James’ Park box office (Milburn Stand) in person.

If you have already bought junior tickets

Supporters who have already purchased tickets for those aged 12 and under before Thursday 23rd January can take their valid junior match ticket to the club shop on Saturday 25th January (matchday) and present it for a discount of £5 off all items.

One ticket can be used per transaction. This discount is available in-store only and is not available online at nufcdirect.com.

There is no minimum spend required in order to be eligible for the discount, however should the selected item cost less than £5, please note that no change will be given.

Oxford United supporters will be able to claim a free hot dog or vegetarian equivalent for under- 12s at concourse kiosks on Saturday upon the presentation of a valid junior ticket.

Important information – matchday prices WILL rise

There will be no cash turnstiles on the day of the game and supporters are strongly encouraged to buy or collect their tickets at the earliest opportunity.

On the day of the game, prices will rise to £20 for adults and £10 concessions, as they did against Rochdale. By incentivising supporters to buy early at a lower price, the club greatly reduces the large and unnecessary queues at turnstiles and collection windows that have resulted in fans missing the opening period of previous cup fixtures.

Please note that this fixture is not included as part of supporters’ season tickets or half-season tickets.

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