It is Chelsea away on Saturday, the first game after a bleak international break fortnight and three weeks since the last away trip.
However, despite this Newcastle United can’t shift their allocation of tickets.
I have criticised the daft decisions when Newcastle refused to take the full away allocations for Norwich and especially Leicester.
However, on this occasion you can’t blame NUFC for sending tickets back to Chelsea.
The West London club revealing on Monday that they had extra tickets for sale after returns came back in from Newcastle.
Even despite those returns, the Newcastle United official ticketing website is still showing 218 tickets still for sale, only four days ahead of the match.
People might find this a bit strange, especially when it is a rare 3pm on a Saturday afternoon away game.
However, Chelsea has never been one of the most popular London away venues for whatever reason(s) so that may play some part.
Also, Chelsea have insisted that Newcastle’s away allocation can’t be put on sale to the NUFC general public, only season ticket holders and members.
However, whilst that will stop some and inconvenience many, the simple fact is that the majority of Newcastle away fans at a typical London away game are our supporters living down south, people used to relying on friends/family in the north east (and elsewhere) to get hold of tickets if they themselves aren’t members or season ticket holders.
Price isn’t really a serious issue now for your regular or even irregular away attender, with the £30 cap on away ticket prices. I remember some 25 years ago going to Stamford Bridge when they had put away prices up to an outrageous £25 and they kept going up and up from there, until this recent away price cap in the Premier League.
You can’t get away from the Mike Ashley factor because if it is affecting the attendances at St James Park, why wouldn’t it then affect the enthusiasm for some/many to go to away games.
The owner has drained so much enjoyment and enthusiasm out of supporting our club, there are bound to be casualties (in terms of fans just wondering why they should bother – especially worrying if you then look further ahead if ex-pats aren’t brainwashing their kids into the black and white faith to the same degree).