30 months ago Mike Ashley gave 10,000+ season tickets away – Today I queued for over 2 hours to buy memberships
In this most desperate of moves, Mike Ashley announced he was giving away 10,000 FREE season tickets.
That was only 30 months ago (see below), it feels like a lifetime ago now, never mind two and a half years.
It had taken 12+ years of Mike Ashley ownership but finally Newcastle United fans decided they’d had enough. Not everyone, as we all have our different breaking points, but enough of us.
Well over 10,000 season ticket holders deciding to boycott in order to try and get Mike Ashley out, Newcastle fans giving up those season tickets, myself amongst them.
The reason Mike Ashley bought Newcastle United back in 2007 was to promote Sports Direct and related brands around the world and the sight of 10,000+ empty seats was a hammer blow to the image he needed to promote his retail empire and of course it was a personal embarrassment to himself. His actions (with the help of Steve Bruce!) having caused St James Park to lose so many thousands of fans.
As he finally accepted that he had to now sell the club, after over a decade of pretending he was trying to, Mike Ashley took this outlandish unprecedented step of giving away 10,000+ half season tickets for FREE!
An absolutely shambolic and chaotic way to run any football club. Particularly as Ashley had put up season ticket prices for many that summer of 2019, meaning some fans had seen their season ticket prices going up by as much as 25% over a two year period.
So many loyal fans feeling they had no alternative but to walk away from St James Park until Mike Ashley left and now we come to the present day…
Earlier this week I was one of the 30,000+ chasing 1,000 season tickets that went on sale.
Having failed on that front to regain our places inside St James Park, today I was back online, joining yet another queue…
Finally, after another 90 minutes (plus extra time!) queueing online, I at last managed to get my hands on two memberships for the 2022/23 season, with £73.90 (£35 each plus ‘fees’) handed over to NUFC. The only way you will be able to have a chance of tickets next season, unless you have a season ticket.
An incredible club and a quite mad fanbase.
Mike Ashley did his best to sicken us but the desire never left us, whether you boycotted or not. We all know the potential of this football club and now that full potential could very likely be now unleashed…
Mike Ashley put the following official statement out via the club – 9 December 2019:
‘Newcastle United is offering its current season ticket holders a FREE additional half-season ticket as the club looks to get a packed St. James’ Park behind the team.
After discussions between head coach Steve Bruce and managing director Lee Charnley, subject to eligibility criteria, the Magpies will gift a half-season ticket to qualifying nominees by existing season ticket holders on a first-come first-served basis.
A half-season ticket includes ten home Premier League fixtures, beginning with the visit of Everton on Saturday 28th December and including matches against Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool.
Steve Bruce said:
“The supporters have been nothing short of magnificent since I arrived in the summer and I’d like to take this opportunity to say thank you to each and every one of them.
“To have the crowds we have is wonderful, and we can’t ever take that for granted, but the question to all of us at the club is can we pack the stadium to the rafters?
“It starts with results on the pitch, but I hope a gesture like this will help us to fill the place because St. James’ Park in full voice is a force to be reckoned with.
“It really does give the players an edge and when they work hard and play well, the atmosphere is like nowhere else.”
Lee Charnley said: “Steve and I spoke after Sunday’s win against Southampton about what we could do to bring as many people as possible into the stadium.
“As Steve and the players will testify, a full St. James’ Park does make a big difference and we want to support them in achieving that.
“While of course we want to encourage fans to come back and also to attract new fans, at this time we wanted to do something specifically for our existing season ticket holders to reward them for their loyalty and support of Steve and the players.
“I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has been to matches so far this season.
“The support Steve, the staff and the players have had has been fantastic and it has helped to produce some very encouraging results on the pitch. We want to move forward together and I hope this gesture is another step towards achieving that.”
HOW TO APPLY
Applications will open from 10am on Tuesday 10th December 2019 and the eligible current season ticket holders are strongly advised to apply via book.nufc.co.uk.’
If you would like to feature on The Mag, submit your article to [email protected]