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Opinion

Mike Ashley setback as sees number of unsold Newcastle v Southampton tickets on matchday

2 weeks ago
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A lot to ponder for Mike Ashley as he counts up the number of unsold Newcastle v Southampton tickets now we have reached matchday.

I had a bit of spare time last week and found myself looking at the official  NUFC ticketing site, especially the number of unsold Newcastle v Southampton tickets.

As I flicked through that official NUFC ticketing website there looked to be a fair few…

The West Ham match was always going to be a little different when it came to fans in attendance, the novelty for many supporters that for the first time in 18 months they were able to buy a ticket for a home game at St James Park.

In the end it was a crowd of just over 50,000 with a couple of thousand under capacity.

Even though still the school summer holidays and it being a 3pm Saturday kick-off, I did think this Southampton game would tell us a lot more about Newcastle fan interest in filling the empty seats with Mike Ashley and Steve Bruce still in place.

Well, Ashley has been about as successful in selling Newcastle v Southampton tickets as Steve Bruce has with results (three defeats in three matches) on the pitch.

I have counted up again this Saturday morning on the NUFC official ticketing site, just to see if there had been a ‘surge’ of interest in tickets from what I found almost a week ago.

So looking at the Newcastle v Southampton tickets that are currently unsold, what kind of crowd / support, backsides on seats, are we looking at this afternoon?

Well on the NUFC ticketing website, at 9am in the normal home areas the site is showing around 4,600 Newcastle v Southampton tickets still unsold.

In addition to that, the three corporate / hospitality areas that NUFC push online to fans – the Barracks, Park Grill and Four Corners (Though there will be additional unsold corporate tickets in other areas that aren’t pushed online), they were still showing 220 unsold on Friday (they take these areas off sale online on a matchday).

Meanwhile, Southampton had taken an allocation of 1,722 tickets for the game.

The actual full maximum away allocation allowed is 3,200 and even though the Saints haven’t taken that full 3,200, on the official NUFC ticketing website you can’t buy tickets in the usual away sections that the away side haven’t taken, this only happens once all the other parts of St James Park have pretty much sold out.

The Southampton match policing unit have confirmed that 950 Saints fans have bought tickets, meaning out of 3,200 maximum in the whole away end at Newcastle, 2,250 are left unsold.

Taking these three totals together, I now estimate at least 7,100 Newcastle v Southampton tickets are left still unsold on the game, though in reality there will be a fair few more currently empty as well, such as in other hospitality / corporate areas.

So currently we are looking at a crowd around the 45,000 mark at most (unless late rush…) for only the second home match, with a 3pm Saturday kick-off and kids still off school.

Hopefully food for thought for Mike Ashley and especially in light of the dismal transfer window update Steve Bruce presented on Friday, the NUFC Head Coach saying zero money will be allowed to be spent in these final few days of the window, only a cheap and not so cheerful loan might be allowed by the owner. Bruce revealing that only as a one-off had Ashley allowed Joe Willock to be paid for in instalments, meaning that with £6m+ incoming from the 40% Adam Armstrong transfer clause and Florian Lejeune’s sale, it is very very likely that there has been zero net spend in this transfer window even when you factor in that first instalment to Arsenal for Willock.

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