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40,000 waiting list for Newcastle United season tickets – Former assistant boss assesses demand

1 week ago
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Newcastle United season tickets are a hot topic at the moment.

Indeed they have been ever since the takeover happened on 7 October 2021.

The new owners refusing to sell any Newcastle United season tickets for the time being after having bought the football club, leaving so many fans disappointed.

Not least the thousands and thousands of hardcore supporters who had been forced to accept that boycotting was the only way to get Mike Ashley out of the club.

The mass walkout of so many season ticket holders in summer 2019 after Mike Ashley forced out Rafa Benitez and reinstated the puppet model of running the club, with the appointment of Steve Bruce, leading to massive areas of empty seats surrounding the owner’s tat empire adverts. Ashley’s reaction was to give away 10,000+ free half season tickets to fill those gaps on a temporary basis, whilst at the same time at last accepting he had to finally sell the club after years of pretending he was trying to. The game was finally up and no way back for Mike Ashley, not when it came to filling St James Park.

Following Rafa’s departure, St James Park wasn’t sold out a single time until 28 months later when the first match of the new ownership era took place. The only downside for the packed St James Park on Sunday 17 October 2021, was that Steve Bruce was still in the job, a ridiculous media campaign having been launched to emotionally blackmail the new Newcastle United ownership into giving Bruce a ‘deserved’ 1,000 game in management. You honestly couldn’t have made this up. Steve Bruce giving an embarrassing performance in press conferences before and after yet another clueless negative tactical set-up, which saw not a single effort on goal by a Newcastle player after Callum Wilson had given NUFC a second minute lead. To the relief of all with Newcastle United in their hearts, Bruce then getting the sack after this latest defeat, before he could inflict even more damage.

Anyway, we are into mid-June and still no news on Newcastle United season tickets for the upcoming season, which starts in only seven weeks time.

Once away fans (3,200 maximum), corporate areas (around 5,000), match by match tickets (in the past around 3,000 kept back for these – a Premier League requirement you keep at least a minimum of 5% of capacity which is around 2,500 in NUFC’s case), a Newcastle United season tickets sellout in the past would be around 41,000.

The Mike Ashley / Steve Bruce double act had reduced that total to a reported figure of only around 28,000-29,000 Newcastle United season tickets sold for the 2021/22 season.

Of the minimum 12,000-13,000 Newcastle United season tickets that they could make available, interesting to see what the new NUFC owners do.

Only one thing for sure, whatever number they do put on sale, demand will far exceed supply.

Dean Saunders was first team coach at Newcastle United under Graeme Souness and worked at NUFC from 2004-2006, he has no doubts about just how seriously mad the demand for Newcastle United season tickets will be when they go on sale.

He says that having worked at the club and coming to understand the fanbase, that all 40,000 / 41,000 Newcastle United season tickets would / will be sold in total, with a waiting list of the same number missing out. Saunders insisting the club could sell 80,000 season tickets if the capacity was there.

For those that would dismiss this as unrealistic…

Back in 2016/17, Newcastle fans filled St James Park throughout a Championship campaign. Simply because Rafa Benitez stayed on for the second tier challenge and gave fans some hope, NUFC averaged 51,000+ at home in the Championship that season. Only Manchester United got more fans through the turnstiles over the course of the 2016/17 season than Newcastle United (with 23 home matches compared to 19 for those in the Premier League).

Is an 80,000 figure really impossible to believe now that Newcastle United are on the up?

I think it is entirely realistic to think that 80,000 Newcastle United season tickets could be sold this summer…if the capacity allowed.

Away from fantasy football / stadium capacities, we are all looking forward to seeing which new signings arrive.

Dean Saunders has urged his countryman Gareth Bale to come to Newcastle United, he think Bale would ‘slot in’ at the new look NUFC and that the ‘project’ is the perfect one for the free agent.

Bale turns 33 next month but certainly in recent matches for Wales he has definitely shown he’s still got it, helping to inspire them to the World Cup finals.

It has been a strange existence for Gareth Bale at Real Madrid as time has went on, so much conflict with the club and not much football.

In the 2020/21 season though, Bale showed he could still star in the Premier League when on loan at Tottenham, 10 starts and 10 sub appearances meant a total of 921 minutes of PL action. With 11 goals and two assists, that equalled a direct goal involvement every 71 minutes.

Newcastle United have given every indication that they are going for the younger end of the transfer market, with bids made for both 19 year old Hugo Ekitike and 22 year old Sven Botman. With 26 year old Matt Targett a no-brainer to be converted from a loan to permanent signing, it remains to be seen whether Eddie Howe and the owners would also see the value in a one-off high wages free transfer option such as Gareth Bale?

Obviously, signings like Bale aren’t needed these days to help sell season tickets at St James Park BUT is he the type of signing Newcastle could do with, to try and help ensure progress is made on the pitch?

Interesting times lie ahead for sure at Newcastle United, both on and off the pitch.

Dean Saunders speaking to Talksport:

“The fans right now in Newcastle, because I have been there…and I worked there.

“I realise how much they love the club.

“Right now they could sell 80,000 season tickets.

“If I could pick a club for Gareth Bale to go to now…

“I would say, sign for Newcastle United.

“They have got a project.

“They are going in the right direction.

“He (Gareth Bale) would slot in.”

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