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News and Commentary On Newcastle United By Ed Harrison, A Proud Exiled Geordie And Lifelong Fan

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Howay The Lads!!

Where Did The Newcastle Fans Go?

12:25 am, Sunday, August 24th, 2008 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 101 Comments

In spite of incentives given by Mike Ashley on Saturday, like free booze for those who got in their orders at least 50 minutes before the kick-off the St. James Crowd today was the lowest since the ground was expanded to over 52000, around 11 years ago.

The Newcastle Supporters – some stayed away yesterday

There were also complimentary tickets to schoolchildren and cash entrance money for the first time in years, the match was played before only 47,711.

So there were more than 5,000 empty seats, and given what’s gone on in recent weeks, it seems that has to be a protest, or even some distrust against Newcastle Owner Mike Ashley.

Despite the missing fans, Keegan and his team still managed to grab all 3 points, in what was a difficult game, but all in all the lads got the job done again.

Shay Given is no doubt back to his very best, and he proved how good he is, once again, with a 57th-minute penalty save that was the game’s turning point.

The penalty was placed to Given’s left but the goalkeeper was down like a flash to save at full stretch – and then he managed to boot the ball clear as Nolan tried to put the ball in the net at the second attempt.

Michael Owen finally did what he has done his football life, and score another vital goal, that he made look easy.

After the game Kevin said:

“I don’t think he did his case any harm today,” “I think we’ll keep him. I don’t want to labor the point. I’ve said my piece.”

“I think we’re very close but I’ll know more then.” “The agreement has to be right for both parties but I know he wants to stay.”

“’He has a one-in-two goals per game ratio for Newcastle and probably for England as well. That says it all.”

We hope we can sign Michael Owen to a long term contract, but their will be shudders in the boardroom at Newcastle with this attendance – or if there isn’t – there should be.

Losing their fan base is the very last thing Newcastle United Football Club want to even think about.
Comments welcome.

Tags: Newcastle News · Shay Given

101 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Tom // Aug 24, 2008 at 12:42 AM

    What do the papers expect. We’ve not signed anywhere near enough players and the ticket prices went up in a time when everyones either in debt or struggling just to pay mortgage and bills.

    Im sick of the scaremongering in the newspapers, articles like this are starting to really Piss me off, the daily mail is a rag staffed by mackems it would seem from its content. The other papers are picking on our fans nervousness, creating loads of rubbish storys.

    Oh and todays attendance, I blame Bolton. who wants to pay to see a team put 10 men behind the ball and spoil a game of football.

  • 2 Tom4Nufc // Aug 24, 2008 at 12:44 AM

    Agreed with the article,

    I was talking with the family today and we had all come to the conclusion that Owen was a waste of space, time and money… Then he came on and reminded us of why Kev wants him and we all changed our minds! Though I think he is on rediculous wages, I realise that this man is instrumental in our success for the next 5 years…. get him signed up ASAP!

  • 3 tom tomb // Aug 24, 2008 at 12:52 AM

    Because the ticket office is a disgrace, we have a smaller squad than last year. We need to sign a hero.

  • 4 51times // Aug 24, 2008 at 12:58 AM

    Let’s not get too worried yet…if it’s still low next home game, then worry.

  • 5 Spyro // Aug 24, 2008 at 1:04 AM

    we dont need to sign a “hero”, we need to sign a quality, whether he is known or not is irrelevent. Today highlighted how much we need a back to goal striker and a creative dm to play alongside guthrie, Butt is great defensively but takes too much away from our offensive play. i still think a cm of barton and guthrie would work, but when are we going to see him on the pitch again?

  • 6 Spyro // Aug 24, 2008 at 1:08 AM

    why isnt my comment coming up?

  • 7 Tooner // Aug 24, 2008 at 1:16 AM

    They stayed away because Bolton plays absolutely shit football.

  • 8 HATE PRAN SANDWICHES // Aug 24, 2008 at 1:19 AM

    Ashley needs to bring in more quality atleast 3 signing before the window closes to get the rest of the seats filled up! very happy we won but showed that we need quality brought in!

  • 9 HATE PRAN SANDWICHES // Aug 24, 2008 at 1:20 AM

    ive had the same problem myself spyro!?

  • 10 Big Ricks Black Nd White Army // Aug 24, 2008 at 1:27 AM

    i heard there was something wrong with some people season tickets that they wernt workin dunno if its true lyk

  • 11 Ross G // Aug 24, 2008 at 1:30 AM

    I know its early days and there is still a week left to the window close, but I think putting it into perspective its best to compare our window to SUNDERLAND. Lets face it even though we are trying to sneak a UEFA place our next main aim is to finsh above Sunderland and then Middlesborough in the League. The amount of cash trusted to Keane especially since his promotion to the Prem has been remarkable. The guy has bought half the Tottenham squad, and more plus adding two good strikers in Cisse and Healy. Not only this but is apparently in talks to sign Anton Ferdinand and another “top” player. He spent 50m last yr plenty in January and now is doing it again. HOW are Sunderland more financially flush than ourselves. IF and its a big if we make a two top signings and one more good signing I will be relatively happy, but still at the start of the window we expected more now we are all just hopeful of a player in general. I think the Mackem scum will have a good season and some of there business certainly got my attention and my worry that they may end our long lasting superiority in the NE. We have a better squad maybe but some of there signings we were after too so technically we are now targeting the same players not like the old days when we went for top internationals they were after ageing premiership experience. If you look at there strongest 11 poss 442 – Gordon, Chimbonda, Nosworthy, Ferdinand, Bardsley, Diouf, Malbranque, Ried, Richardson, Cisse, and Jones. I must say we wouldnt mind a few in our squad and I hate that. We need to push on now I hope we do make the wow signing lets get Warnock in, Zigic, and hopefully Moutinho would be fantastic.

  • 12 Davy C // Aug 24, 2008 at 1:34 AM

    I am annoyed about the whole fan thing to be honest. I was talking to a few fans at Old Trafford last Sunday about this and none of us can understand why the tickets just aren’t being sold. Yes there’s the credit crunch, yes people are on holiday, yes the papers have done nothing to help the atmosphere surrounding the club but at the end of the day you are either a fan or you are not.

    I was travelling back up north on the train yesterday worried that my season ticket hadn’t arrived by that time so I called to St. James’ Park to get it sorted out. I spoke to a guy on the train in the same boat and he actually said that he’d wished he hadn’t bothered buying it again this year.

    I do not earn a lot of money and have a family and a big mortgage to take care of but my one pleasure for me is following Newcastle United through thick and thin. I’ve hardly missed since I was 6 years old and it is in my blood. I say good riddance to the glory hunters and let the good atmosphere inside the ground once 3pm comes prevail.

    Come on lads and lasses a few pints less a week is all it takes – follow your team!!!

  • 13 Big Ricks Black Nd White Army // Aug 24, 2008 at 1:36 AM

    i hate the way bolton play, i would hate to be one of there fans

  • 14 HATE PRAN SANDWICHES // Aug 24, 2008 at 1:37 AM

    All that needs to happen is Ashley spends his money on at least 3 quality to help strength’n the squad! over the moon we won but it just proves the point it could have went either way and more injuries!
    need a LB ! N’zogbia is’nt one he’s a midfield player! and should only be played there!
    need a quality forward to take over from ameobi and smith to help our goal scoring potential!

  • 15 GeordieJamie // Aug 24, 2008 at 1:42 AM

    The low attendance will be down to several factors. Bolton taking a meagre 500 fans at best. The whole getting season tickets out on time fiasco will not have helped. Season ticket holders who are on holiday etc will not have been able to pass their ticket on due to it not arriving before they went. And as has already mentioned we are at the start of a reccession where people will be starting to watch their outgoings.

  • 16 ScottyT // Aug 24, 2008 at 1:56 AM

    fact – newcastle will never ‘lose their fan base’. theres 2 many loyal supporters for this. the atmosphere 2day where i was (leazes corner) was decent. singing throughout most the game even though it was a poor game. same cant be said for the rest of the ground though and it really will take more thn just a signing corner to bring bk the noise which me and many othas wud love.

    main reason could be the late arrival of season tickets sent out by our awfully run st james box office. i was told after payin for my seat 2 weeks later i needed identification proving this. money had all ready been taken nd evryfin. the box office staff r embarassin tbh. it is sad to see the attendance below 50k though nd this surely has a lot to do with prices which keep goin up or stayin the same despite awful past seasons.

    i for one will keep going despite the pathetic runnin of ticket arrivals, poor performances on the pitch and overpricing. spose tht makes me an idiot but ther we go. i just hope we get the fans bk by hull cos the club seems to be going in the right direction for the first tym in many a year.

    howay ppl! howay keegan!

  • 17 Big Ricks Black Nd White Army // Aug 24, 2008 at 2:03 AM

    it wasnt just the leazes corner singing cos we were singing too in the john hall stand middle tieer nd i could hear it from gallowgate too, so atmosphere wasnt bad, bt nt the best

  • 18 Raffles // Aug 24, 2008 at 2:05 AM

    The ticket office has screwed up this year. Substantially. Traditonally, as in- this is when I’d normally be able to pick up a ticket from a mate who’s on holiday, people are in the position to pass on their season ticket for a game or two. Hence the lack of a few of the seats at least. Quite what else comes into it is up for debate, but jumping onto the Daily Mail line is a joke, especially when the problems with tickets coming out. Talking of free tickets for kids, c’mon! Where are they issued to? Schools- that are off? Mackems? Chebs? Haddaway and ordure.

  • 19 irish // Aug 24, 2008 at 2:27 AM

    martins injured, duff injured..viduka injured,…derdyiok??

  • 20 nufctj // Aug 24, 2008 at 2:38 AM

    one word sums up the dire attendance:


  • 21 Spyro // Aug 24, 2008 at 2:43 AM

    great post scottyt

  • 22 tom tomb // Aug 24, 2008 at 3:23 AM

    Spyro- read my post correctly before you diss it. I said we need a hero, I did not say we need to sign someone that is known. Over the years we have had them from nothing Beardsley, Gazza , Waddle. Then KK bought for example Ginola who was not well known!Then look what happened. You miss my point totally. We have always – well since the early eighties had one player that will put bums on seats. We need another now and kk should be allowed to deliver that player. We have been fed drivel for a few years now. Hopefully KK can restore the faith.

  • 23 xfer // Aug 24, 2008 at 3:46 AM

    Interesting, didnt noticed that when watching on TV. That should be a concern. If it is a sign of protest, then MA has to do something about it. I thought the crowd was really quiet today and didnt really get going until the penalty save which was surprising cause I thought this is the first home game, the crowd would be all geared all!

  • 24 mitch // Aug 24, 2008 at 4:54 AM

    I think it was down to people being away unable to give there ticket to anyone. Some may be protesting but I tell you I am with Davey no matter who owns or who they buy NUFC is my club and I will go and support them no matter what MA may have the cash to own it but 20 years down the line who is the ones who are still there us because owners are just mere custodions of are beloved club we are the the lifeblood and let no one tell you different Oh and last year we dropped two points to a Bolton side who we could not break down this year we knicked by a goal why all the doom and gloom

  • 25 ToonEskimo // Aug 24, 2008 at 5:56 AM

    The club gave away 10,000 tickets to local youth football organisations FOC. The attendace could have been much worse.
    Nobody heard of the credit crunch?

  • 26 G // Aug 24, 2008 at 6:13 AM

    The Owner is not paying the money , why do we?

  • 27 ObaFan2 // Aug 24, 2008 at 6:45 AM

    I remember when there being a waiting list for season tickets …… how times have changed. It’s been a strange summer with so many rumors/gossip about the club and very little money spent on the team in the last 12 months or so.
    Atleast the performances have improved.

  • 28 dingo // Aug 24, 2008 at 6:49 AM

    its bank holiday weekend in the summer holidays….


  • 29 dingo // Aug 24, 2008 at 7:01 AM

    I hear we are in for Malouda valued at 12m…..


  • 30 Edd Case // Aug 24, 2008 at 7:02 AM

    Dingo – exactly?!

    Why are people stressing about the attendance?!!!

    It’s bank hol weekend and it’s August!?

    Next home match, 52000 again, you watch.

    Now, 1 week of transfers left – so, fingers crossed we get in some quality.

  • 31 Hertz // Aug 24, 2008 at 7:43 AM

    To be honest, i was shocked when i see the attendence was below 50k.
    I think it was ignominious number especially it was our 1st home game. It hope i will be improved in the next home game as the holiday is over. Remember how we raved about our fortress, 52k of fans ?
    Lets bring it back!
    Too bad im not English, but my dream is to sit at SJP and scream for the team, seriously.

  • 32 jeff // Aug 24, 2008 at 7:44 AM

    Ross G….I dont think the toon need to compare to what sunderland have spent…we’ve been spending silly money for years…I think the toon have done things the right way with the players they have got…Sunderland seem to have just went for whoever is available and if you look at the likes of cisse malbranque diouf niether of them could do it at the bigger clubs so Im not bothered that the mackems have them….they might be great for the scum hope so in a way because itll make the derbies more exciting…… for the fans not turning up I agree with most of the posts…..Ie ticket office being a joke….My mates ticket hadnt come yesterday and had to try ringing for days to see what was going on….again its left to the fans to do the running around…there should have been an announcement on local news about what to do…..someone at the club isnt doing their jobs….another thing is alot of fans are sick of all the excuses after every season & also bills at home are going up (gas electric petrol etc etc etc) so some sacrifices sometimes need to be made,unfortunately that means maybe giving up the season ticket to a few people………We are not all on fantastic wages give the fans a break and start pointing the fingue at the clubs instead….just my opinion…

  • 33 Rob kirton // Aug 24, 2008 at 7:44 AM

    Here goes a prediction for this years crowds

    a) Down on last year (a little)
    b) This will be the lowest leagues attendance of the season (The Bolton game nearly always is)

    As regards the club giving away tickets to the game to school / youth organisations. First – I’ve heard about it. First time it has been mentioned by anybody i.e. after the event. For all of the people who know this to be a fact – could you please provide details so my kids can cash in on it?

    The lot down the road have been doing this for years. The kids normally complaining – “Oh not again – do I have to go and see S**derland”

  • 34 Ericles // Aug 24, 2008 at 7:47 AM

    Many reasons for attendance – Bolton, bank holiday weekend, annual holidays, season ticket delays, cost of living etc etc. The fans will return soon. My own son will not be back in Newcastle until September 11th. We all know that watching NUFC is the biggest and best roller coaster ride in Britain. Howay the lads.

  • 35 jeff // Aug 24, 2008 at 8:00 AM

    Well to be honest the problem is because of the fans themselves this isnt critisizing the support but with 52000 turning up every other week,the press and evryone not connected to newcastle united couldnt understand why the toon were still getting the support the do…..especially with not winning nowt for donkey’s……and as soon as the attendance drops even though there is a credit crunch & bills are more expensive,the press couldnt wait to jump on the fans for not being there…..Yes we ARE the loyalist supporters but sometimes there are things slightly & I mean slightly more important Like heating your home and well basically paying bills to make sure you have a home………So here anyone reading this from the press F@@K YOU WE DONT GIVE A SHIT WHAT YOU THINK,SOUTHERN BASED MACKEM TOSSERS!!!!!!

  • 36 Ericles // Aug 24, 2008 at 8:02 AM

    Agree with comments that point out press distortions and lies. Typically the NOTW today has another Owen twist knowing that IN REALITY negotiations are going on and most likely will conclude amicably soon. Likewise our old friend (?) Mail on Sunday says we are bidding 12m for Malouda. Why? Truth is any bullshite will do as long as it IS shite and aimed at upsetting NUFC and the Toon Army. Honestly – they must HATE, I mean HATE, us being 4th this morning. Love it KK, just love it.

  • 37 howway geordies // Aug 24, 2008 at 8:21 AM

    reply 3, tom tomb:
    Because the ticket office is a disgrace, we have a smaller squad than last year.

  • 38 Paul // Aug 24, 2008 at 8:32 AM

    I dont think we should be concerened abou thte low attendance. From what I can see the areas that were empty were the corprate, posh seats and away fans. Apart from the away end we need LESS of these stupid premium areas. Look at the leazes that new section at the top (Leazes bar or something) had about 10 peopl ein it and about 400 empty seats. MA will relaise these areas are a waste of time in Newcastle and he needs to price the real fans in. As for the comment that ticket prices went up this is not really true. This wa sonly if you bought a one off ticket but in reality you had the option to get your ticket CHEAPER than last year and the new leazes courner is the cheapest adult ticket in years. I think we will see attendences back to normal when we play a better side. Bolton are one othe most dull prem team sin its history!!!!

  • 39 Davy C // Aug 24, 2008 at 8:38 AM

    Well said Mitch!

  • 40 El Toonio // Aug 24, 2008 at 8:43 AM

    With all due respect Ed, you just paraphrased an article in the Sun, which was at best, lazy journalism. Why perpetuate the myth? Why provide the shite papers with even more ammunition?

  • 41 BILLY-B // Aug 24, 2008 at 8:50 AM

    Lack of investment in players, lack of communication, and i think the Joey Barton situation will have had a big affect on fans with kids

  • 42 Dannufc // Aug 24, 2008 at 8:52 AM

    Where did the fans go? wish the fans wouldnt expect so much… How many teams get frustrated by Bolton?? … answer is Every team even the big 4 do.
    St James’s is a weak point for our team they played so much better away at old trafford because all the mutes in the crowd craeated a pressure pit instead of a stadium of exitement and hope.

  • 43 Dannufc // Aug 24, 2008 at 8:54 AM

    Where did the fans go? wish the fans wouldnt expect so much… How many teams get frustrated by Bolton?? … answer is Every team even the big 4 do.
    St James’s is a weak point for our team they played so much better away at old trafford because all the mutes in the crowd created a pressure pit instead of a stadium of exitement and hope.

  • 44 Angryman the Angry Fan // Aug 24, 2008 at 8:58 AM


    The hypocrites are out in their droves!!!

    I am pleased my rantings are now being listened too in a sensible light by the masses and are not being seen as just a knob putting a downer on NUFC!!

    The need for new players was as evident as ever yesterday, but will we get anyone in before the window slama shut?? Debateable….

    I am pleased that at least 5000 fans have not been taken in by CASHLEYS WOW signing sales pitch, hopefully there was a lot more like that….

    I was at the match yesterday, I DO have a season ticket an will continue to support the team until travel up to the St’ James’ in the sky…….
    However my stance against the current NUFC Board will remain until CASHLEY Proves me wrong!!!!!!!!

  • 45 ERIC CRAMMY MAG // Aug 24, 2008 at 9:07 AM

    does anyone think the prices to go to a football match have just about hit the limit you are there for a hour and a half we are been ripped off i have had my season ticket for 28 years ,i said a few years back when it got to £400 that was enough its now 50% more than that now is this to pay someone a £100,000 plus per game howay the players have got to take some responsibility. after last season which was the worst season i can remember by the way iam supprised we sold any tickets we need a wow ashley

  • 46 UTD111 // Aug 24, 2008 at 9:15 AM

    Some people could be in the same boat as me. I’ve been a season ticket holder for over 25 yrs and I’m a bondholder – but I still havent rec’d my new season ticket (I’m writing this Sunday morning, the day after the match!!). Theyve got my money, had it for months – and I’m clearly on the system – as they gave me a paper replacement on Friday.
    But what about folks who couldnt get Friday off work to sort it out? What about folks who live outside the area?? They would have had to leave home and travel before the post arrived on Sat morning – and might not have arrived in Newcastle in time to sort it out at the box office…….
    Here’s hoping my ticket arrives soon……

  • 47 TOON! // Aug 24, 2008 at 9:15 AM

    i think 2 signings would do 3 a bonus.

    we need someone more creative in midfield or striker

    i think defense is quite strong coloccini was very good yesterday never made a mistake and taylor is improving already (apart from hand ball)

    Both jonas and colo were brillant

    lets hope martins isn’t out for long i think he will be back for hull but we needed him for arsenal

  • 48 agar // Aug 24, 2008 at 9:20 AM

    Colocinni- bobby moore, alan hansen & the drummer from deep purple all rolled into one!

  • 49 craig chisholm // Aug 24, 2008 at 9:23 AM

    THIS IS A CRAP ARTICLE. not yours ed but the one in the rag about the attendence. Who else was there on this site who is a season ticket holder?? anyone will be albe to tell you the reasons, it does not take a genius. Did you see boltons fans – about 3 of them in the corner!! So there is 2000 lost just on the away section – NOT NEWCASTLE. its bloody summer holidays and ontop of that its bank holiday in the sumemr holidays – the busiest weekend of the year for people buggering off. The we have the fiasco with the season tickets – mine arrived sat morning, by which time i had already pre ordered the paper one to pick up at the box office.
    Finally, its bloody bolton and everyone just hates watching them.
    The fans are still there so everyone should just chill out. Give it til lthe next home game when summer holidays have finished and the kids are back to school etc – full house as usual and that is guarenteed.
    from the penalty onwards we were great yesterday. nailed them. jonas and colo looks really really good. for the first time in donkeys our back line looks good. owen will sign this week – 100%.

  • 50 Ganiyu // Aug 24, 2008 at 9:25 AM

    Malouda comin 2 Nufc

  • 51 ERIC CRAMMY MAG // Aug 24, 2008 at 9:28 AM

    martins has a groin strain out for two weeks ,never mind wheres the fans gone ,wheres the strikers going !!!

  • 52 Jack // Aug 24, 2008 at 9:33 AM

    £30 cash turnstiles to see Bolton? That’s too expensive. I was in Shearer’s bar watching it.

    The prices are pathetic now. I’m 19 and a student so I can’t afford to pay even near £30 every few weeks.

    The only time I ever get to go is if it’s a cup game and it’s cheap, or someone I know has a spare ticket.

    If you charge £30 for adults, you basically shut everyone 16-21 who’s not working full time out.

  • 53 Danny // Aug 24, 2008 at 9:35 AM

    We’ve been through worse than this, for those who doesn’t want to support KK and our players, i couldn’t give a sh***!
    We’re finally on the up, last time we we’re that, Sir Bobby was manager.
    Turning your back on the club is a disgrace. Things may happen that you disagree with and dont like, things like Joey Barton, and the ticket problems, but you don’t protest by staying away from matches. You protest by saying what you do not like.
    The message would certanly come across easier if you sent 5000 mails instead.
    Those of you who don’t like what MA does with the club, you read too much paper and listen to too many rumours.
    Use your brains…

  • 54 xfer // Aug 24, 2008 at 9:40 AM

    Dont think we need Malouda as priority, but if he is to replace Duff, and KK sees him the perfect replacement, i trust in his judgement.

  • 55 STEVEYO // Aug 24, 2008 at 9:42 AM

    I want to know how Wigan,Bolton,boro,mackems,fulham,spurs,everton,chelsea,blackburn,west ham and yes arsenal dont appear in the papers with articles like this when there are regularly empty seats at most and sometimes all of their grounds. I’ve been to these games with the Toon over the last couple of seasons and have seen other games on TV so I know empty seats when I see them.Its all bollox from the press as usual I’m just glad that I don’t buy the stuff.

  • 56 Rasko a.k.a Hadji // Aug 24, 2008 at 9:43 AM

    Long time ago(about 4 months ago) i mentioned on this site that we’ll go for Malouda this Summer.

  • 57 beyethegreat // Aug 24, 2008 at 9:46 AM

    i cant realy speak because i have never had a season ticket but maybe it is down to the price hike why would you want to pay an extra 50 quid after last season and its not just that conceeesion are extremely expensive i went to the valencia game and a galaxy bar cost over 1 pound ok i realize i sound cheap but but go to any other shop and they will only cost 40 p at most

  • 58 smithio // Aug 24, 2008 at 9:51 AM

    The optimism and ticket sales will come after a few wins. A few weeks ago it was all doom and gloom, but with the players who’ve gone and the 3 first team signings we’ve made, this is already a much better team than the one that finished mid table last season. P.S. Isn’t it great to see Spurs playing so crap after Modric and Woodgate chose them ahead of us.

  • 59 Matthew Tom // Aug 24, 2008 at 10:00 AM

    What do you know – even though I spent a few minutes giving the Daily Mail a piece of my mind last night about their rubbish article, this morning they are still saying “No comments have been submitted”.

    Let’s just accept that the Mail is simply full of lies peddled by lazy London hacks with no ability to do their research before publishing this nonsense.

  • 60 The Corner // Aug 24, 2008 at 10:17 AM

    I had my season ticket for as long as I remember.

    Over the last few years I have noticed a growing amount of “I’m not renewing next season” grumbling which never came to fruition.

    Last 3 years I have met up with the same 7 pals before the game, all long term ST holders. Out of that 7, six of us did not renew this season.

    The reasons given were mainly because of the 10% increase on prices or the “sick of watching shit” variety. My personel reason was that I now seen matchdays as a day out with the lads, and if the lads weren’t going then it would be pointless.

    I may or may not decide to get a half season ticket in January, but to answer the original question, I’ll dare bet that the majority of non renewals come from the categories that I listed.

  • 61 Nick // Aug 24, 2008 at 10:18 AM


    Sunderland weren’t left the horrendous amount of debt by Shepherd as we were.

    I really hope this below is true

    This is exactly what we need to improve our squad.

    Yes we won yesterday but other than the 2 Argentines and a couple of others, we are still so lacking in top class players .

    There are still so many people that need to be got rid of, both for financial and / or a lack of ability, over the hill or ”sicknote” reasons and not retained purely for sentimental reasons and to pad out the squad.

    1) Duff a waste of time on 70K a week and surprise surprise, injured again.

    2) Smith absolutely useless on 60K a week.
    sell for 4M and save 12.5 in wages.

    3) Butt – aging now and more and more making potentially fatal errors. 50K a week!

    4) Barton – unavailable for large periods due to his many indiscretions and he probably stops a lot of kids watching and other players signing for us.
    Barton is KK’s real blind spot. Get rid and save 12.5M in wages, especially as he’s not even playing for the forseeable!!

    5) Milner – you got to like the guy, but for 9M come on, no way is he that good!

    6) Viduka – another invisible man on 60k a week.
    Hardly the overly committed type is he!

    7) Geremi – occasional good cross but his best days are behind him and he’s on 60K a week. Adebayor is on 35K. Who would you rather have? Another legacy of Shepherd’s stupid wage structure.

    8) Taylor – I still don’t see it. If Nolan had scored, it’s a different story. Time and again Taylor makes really stupid dumb decisions. He’s very lucky to have Colo alongside him.

    9) Owen – what do we do with Owen? Yes he scored the winner and scoring is a very valued commodity.
    However, despite being KK’s captain, Owen is uncommitted ( still won’t sign a new contract after months and months), appears to be greedy and self serving, has lost his pace and above all is extremely injury prone and won’t be seen for long stretches of the season.

    Bring on 2 more Argies.

  • 62 BILL // Aug 24, 2008 at 10:19 AM

    Slow investment in players, lack of communication, and i think the Joey Barton situation will have had a big affect on fans with kids,
    the ticket office is a joke and fancy moving the family enc.( familys with very young Children) to level 7— wonder has Mr ASHLEY sat in the level 7 seats — Bet not!

  • 63 scottynine // Aug 24, 2008 at 10:19 AM

    ducking corp seats were empty loyal fans had filled there end but the suits didn’t turn up !

  • 64 Spot The Zebra // Aug 24, 2008 at 10:30 AM

    Its quite simple really if Mike Ashley starts spending money then so will i.It isnt simply a case of wether youre a fan or not as i can follow Newcastle without attending games.For the first time in 15 years i decided not to renew my season ticket.I will pick and choose the games i attend this season like i had for the previous 20 seasons before that.Im still suspicious of our new owner and his reported mention of a “wow” signing in order to boost ticket sales is another case in point.At the time of writing the “wow” signing is yet to happen.What has happened to the £40 million Sky TV money Mike? This Toon fan can spot a money grabbing owner from miles away after years of putting up with Westwood, McKeag and Shepherd etc.
    Prove me wrong Mike and bring in those 3 players we so desperately need aswell as giving Owen his new contract.
    Only then might i buy a season ticket for this season.

  • 65 Faustino // Aug 24, 2008 at 10:30 AM

    I’m on holiday… accounts for one 😉 will account for another on at the next game too.

    Honestly chaps, a low attendance will be all the markeitng they will need to seel the rest of the season tickets. If there’s any left already. You have to remember not everyone is internet folk.

  • 66 bigpeaovtheweab // Aug 24, 2008 at 10:33 AM

    the fact that theyve put the ticket prices up dosent help iv been a season ticket holder for 15 years and am not gon to be held ransom anymore the team are underacheveing badly untill they start produceing the goods i think st james park will start to become a lonly place

  • 67 Ian // Aug 24, 2008 at 10:48 AM

    I have said it a million times, but signing good players as we have done is the most important thing as we all know, however buying a player who is good but already has a large fan base is a good business move, Cisse has a huge fan base and was avilable in premiership terms for buttons, it would have been a good business move to buy him, but we didnt.

    We need to try and get a striker who has charisma and if possible already has a large fan base, it costs more but it makes good business sense, it is the entertainment business that they are in, Martins brings it in abundance but one player cannot fill a stadium. Spectators want to see goals and near misses, when Martins doesnt play it is as dull as ditchwater to watch.

    Huntelaar would be a sensible business move.

  • 68 Tha_Game // Aug 24, 2008 at 10:49 AM

    Seriously, some of you are prized muppets. Why blame the apparent lack of ‘investment’ for the poor attendence? Would you lot have liked him to splash his cash on the Modric’s, Bentley’s and Dos Santos’ of this world, only to get stuffed in the manner spurs have?

    FFS It’s bank holiday weekend and we were playing a bloody Bolton side who brought about 500-600 fans over. Watch for a full house come next home game

  • 69 beyethegreat // Aug 24, 2008 at 10:50 AM

    malouda is a good player buut it would be a waste of money coz we dont need a winger also if we buy these players we realy will be argentoona

  • 70 Danny // Aug 24, 2008 at 11:03 AM

    Are you even a fan Nick?
    Milner is a great player, and will only get better, same with Taylor.
    Butt is needed in the midfield for the experience, Owen is a good captain, what is says is influential, cause of the simple fact that he doesn’t babble on like others.
    Agree on Geremi and Smith, Smith is not the player he once was, and neither is Geremi…
    But as for some of the other players, im glad you’re not our manager…

  • 71 Spot The Zebra // Aug 24, 2008 at 11:04 AM

    Cisse wouldve been a good signing and suggests big money doesnt need to be spent, only wise money.Investment in the first team is a vital however as the last two results have flattered us if im honest.

  • 72 Will // Aug 24, 2008 at 11:06 AM

    Beyethegreat is right too.

    Even little things in the ground have been increased, which, overall, makes the day out very expensive for the average earner. I quite simply cannot afford to go anymore.

  • 73 Ed Harrison // Aug 24, 2008 at 11:07 AM

    El Toono – I reported on it because i personally was shocked at the low attendance – this is the lowest home attendance for a league game at Newcastle in 10 years – why is that? – I have no real idea – but it’s worth reporting. that news

  • 74 beyethegreat // Aug 24, 2008 at 11:09 AM

    soz i clicked on wrong page by accident

  • 75 Spot The Zebra // Aug 24, 2008 at 11:12 AM

    Cisse would have been a good signing for us who wouldve proved we dont really need a “Wow” signing rather than sensible additions to the squad.

  • 76 nightfall // Aug 24, 2008 at 11:23 AM

    Nick – well said…

    as for malouda…i like him..think he’s good, but he’s 31 and he plays in the same position as zog, duff, milner, jonas, lualua,…so NO!

  • 77 AndyTheScientist // Aug 24, 2008 at 11:38 AM

    The worrying thing for Ashley won’t be the empty seats in level seven (yes there were a good few thousand) but will be the empty corporate. From where i sat in the east stand i counted at least 11 empty boxes, as well as a half empty directors box, and massive gaps at either side of the platinum club.

    That is a massive amount of revenue lost. This will only be replaced when we are back up challanging the top 6. At present peopke just arn’t bothered about going to watch mid table football. For corporates it’s all about impressing customers, back in the first keegan days, people were falling over themselves to see the toon. Customers would be begging to go to the match, but now… their just not bothered.

    Yes we need 3 more quality signings, but we also need those signing to take us back into the top six. Like it or not we need the corporates to come back, they provide a lot of cash for the club, with tickets costing 200-400 quid per match.

  • 78 Paul // Aug 24, 2008 at 11:43 AM


  • 79 BenjiToon // Aug 24, 2008 at 11:44 AM

    Ed (Harrison) – no need to defend yourself mate. We know you are just doing your job and we’re grateful for it.

    I have been a loyal seaso ticket holder for years and my ticket had a big hike this year, but I still came. I too was worried by the gaps. Some observations on these might help:

    – nearly all the gaps were in the Leazes end where the Sports Bar seats are, and where the Leazes Bar seats run along the top of tier 1
    – there were also spaces in the director’s box
    – the new area for away fans was barely full
    – the new ‘singing corner’ was packed out
    – the new family area on level7 was also pretty full

    What does this tell us?

    1. the new seating policies of the club which are experiments this season (singing corner and family area) have worked – they’re cheapest seats in the ground BTW
    2. the seats with the biggest hike (premuim bars, especially Leazes which was previously disportionately cheap) may have seen a drop out
    3. the most expensive seats in the ground (the director’s box/hospitality seats) have taken a hit
    4. the away turn out was the poorest for a long time, leaving some 2-3000 seats empty

    So, taking all that into account, we shouldn’t be too panicked by this. But St James has a reputation for loyalty and commitment. We need to maintain this. How many fans in the Leazes end didn’t get their season tickets in time? Who knows.

    The programme and the local papers are advertising season tickets still for sale. People – buy them is have the money and support the Toon. But ler’s not panick till we’re 3 games in. Then we’ll see.

  • 80 AndyB // Aug 24, 2008 at 12:27 PM

    Afternonn all. Long time reader but my first post…what has made me post? “it seems that has to be a protest”. Sorry. protest at what? We have enough stirring of the brown stuff by the southern press, thanks. get behind everyone at the club, show a solid front, and these people will look stupid…at the moment everyone I know that supports a different team to us is watching to see the latest, in their eyes, pantomime, argument, dissatisfaction we seem to have, when in reality it’s the media vomiting forth the usual stuff. Journalists eh? Worse than students.

  • 81 Magpie Fred // Aug 24, 2008 at 1:12 PM

    OK, here we are again… Sick & tired of the newspapers constant attacks & trashtalk on Newcastle. Everytime we do good these london based wanker journalists say we had luck or just a blink away from losing. Against Man Utd they said Man U were bad & Newcastle looked like a different side this season. Well ofcourse what did u expect, more time,quality players & a fit pre-season always helps a club but still they talk a lot of slag when we do good. Other clubs get an small article in some papers, we get trash from every single paper in England whether we win or lose. Maybe that`s the price to pay as a die-hard Magpie,always defending your under achieving club but times are changing & I really hope we could get a season with an european cup as target for the next & keep up the momentum for a period, that would silence all these Man U & Chelsea adoring journalists & make them write a lot of bollocks about some other “under-achieving” clubs like… Arsenal? Tottenham?
    Oh, I forgot, they`re from London!

  • 82 LoonyToon // Aug 24, 2008 at 1:16 PM

    The atmosphere was better when the capacity was 36000…too many corporate/glory hunting/oh we have signed another “big signing”/oh KK is back type of supporter who obviously didnt fancy watching yesterdays game….good riddance I reckon….take me back to the days when the John Hall was bouncing….and I mean bouncing….literally….

  • 83 Magpie Fred // Aug 24, 2008 at 1:20 PM

    A new forward buy? Let`s turn our interest to maybe one of the best there is, at least to stats & percentage. Huntelaar is THE ONE in europe & he`s nowhere near the tag of other top class forwards. I think he would be a great buy together with a player like De Jong or why not Sneijder (who we should have bought several seasons ago) but this looks very hard even for next season.

  • 84 LoonyToon // Aug 24, 2008 at 1:22 PM

    My season ticket didnt go up….cos I committed to my ticket for this season last August…just like I committed to another 3 years this summer!!!….and I am far from flush with coin, have a mortgage blah d blah the normal stuff….infact i am being made redundant next month….simple matter of fact is that I have been going for the last 20 years, through thick and thin and to be honest, It does not matter who we sign, I will be there, fully getting behind the team, and always will….its like an addiction…a part of my life that will never go away….football has become too fashionable….

  • 85 Toon Graeme // Aug 24, 2008 at 1:29 PM

    I was thinking there was a few grey empty seats yesterday. I dont have a season ticket and wouldnt get one, mainly because i work every other weekend til 4 pm and a vast percentage of weekends I work – we play at home. As much as it kills me.

    I dont know the answer to why it was so low an attendance. A combination of factors, who we were playing, back end of holidays, skint people, poor team performance?

    I dont doubt it will pick up again. Im away for the next two weeks and dont arrive home til after the Hull match finishes, then its an away match and Im working the next so thats why i wont be there.

    The lack of bums on seats didnt spoil the atmosphere up the leazes corner – it was electric!!

  • 86 Toon Graeme // Aug 24, 2008 at 1:30 PM

    ED – why are posts not showing up?

  • 87 Dondatta13 // Aug 24, 2008 at 1:39 PM

    Nick, your comment #61 has hit the nail on the head where I am concerned. The fact that we have so many “players” who are not playing for one reason or another.

    We have not cleared the deadwood. The supporters are still paying the wages of guys like Ameobi and Smith who simply aren’t good enough and in the process, making them Millionaires.

    The fact that Mark Viduka has picked up a sum of around £120k in the last two weeks, in wages erks me no end. What input has he had? How much input will he have in the comming weeks and months, injury prone and 32 years old.

    Its just money tossed down a drain and thats not good enough …. sorry!

    I dont agree that Milner or Butt fit into the above catagory thou, they seem to play and have an input into the team week in week out 🙂

  • 88 Michael // Aug 24, 2008 at 2:20 PM

    Lack of signings
    Season ticket mix ups.
    Empty corporate seats.
    Bolton not selling allocation.

    All contributes to a low crowd.

  • 89 Barry Norman // Aug 24, 2008 at 3:38 PM

    “With all due respect Ed, you just paraphrased an article in the Sun, which was at best, lazy journalism. Why perpetuate the myth? Why provide the shite papers with even more ammunition?”

    To be honest, the blog owner appears to be a bit dim sometime and doesn’t think about what he writes as he just lifts the articles from News Now. Most of the moaners who are on about the crowd staying away didn’t even go to the game themselves. See the number of people who posted on this daft blog whilst the game was on to see my point.
    The blog now has a rep of being populated by halfwits

  • 90 al gardiner // Aug 24, 2008 at 5:06 PM

    took my lad for his first ever game, travelled from hampshire, got reserved tickets but queued for half an hour to pick them up, went to the family enclosure to find that it was just a kids seating area and the old superb famnily enclosure was now a corporate area (that would be where the empty seats were in the leazes. took my seat and then got booted out of it as they had sold my seat to a season ticket holder and double booked it. spent first half amongst great passionate supporters that my little lad was terrified off so went and watched the entire game in the bar area outside.

    i’ll still keep going cos the toon have been in my blood since i went to my first game 28 years ago aged six

    my little one wont be and will probably end up a gooner

    shit ground great fans greedy club

  • 91 stevefcheltenham // Aug 24, 2008 at 7:02 PM

    I’ve not read all the comments but surely everyone has heard of the credit crunch.
    Football is not on a different planet from the rest of the world and the reason for the empty seats may be just that some people can simply not afford their season tickets this year.

  • 92 Gateshead Mag. // Aug 24, 2008 at 7:45 PM

    Lads, Their’s nout to worry about.

    5,000 is nothing and believe me it would of been the bolton fans’ fault for a good 3,000 of that, There was hardly any Bolton fans and all the empty seats were in the upper tier(level 7) of the stadium. Ther was a few emptys in the Family Enclosure, Apart from that brilliant. Gallowgate, Leazes the lot all packed.

    What a great idea the leazes corner was, got the stadium jumping quite alot. Atmosphere was great, 47,000 but the lads made alot of noise and see those attendances keep rising, if you guys remember correctly Newcastle is never sold out first so many games, think of holidays and stuff?

    Don’t get too disheartened of what you read, We’re still the best.

  • 93 Davey // Aug 24, 2008 at 7:51 PM

    as a sunderland fan i was looking on with interest to see your groung half empty, very strange. ashley thought keegan would keep the ground t least 50,000. the credit crunch is only going to get worse and the amount of money owens talking about is insane.
    gateshead for nine quid anybody?

  • 94 Gallowgate31 // Aug 24, 2008 at 8:03 PM

    I’m on holiday for the Hull game, took a gamble and booked up in the summer ( got lucky I think ! ).

    So thats one less for that game, the press can blame it on me ! am trying to pass it on at the mo but most people saying ” uh Hull, no thanks”.

    Go figure……..

    Anyone reckon gallowgate was quiet ? I am just blaming it on the ‘Bolton’ factor for now.

  • 95 Angryman the angry fan // Aug 24, 2008 at 8:45 PM

    where are the signings we were promised 2 weeks ago??

    CASHLEY, please dont think we are thick norverners, there is a minority who are, but most of us can see through your salesmans pitch, wow signing ????????????????


    PROVE ME WRONG!! You wont!!
    I goty 13-1 thet we wont spend more than 10m on one player, get your money on folks, its win win bet x

  • 96 Uncle Junior // Aug 24, 2008 at 9:22 PM

    “El Toono – I reported on it because i personally was shocked at the low attendance – this is the lowest home attendance for a league game at Newcastle in 10 years – why is that? – I have no real idea – but it’s worth reporting. that news”

    If you read the UK news you will find out that the cost of living has gone through the roof in the last few months. How can you not be suprised by lower crowds when families are being clobbered by energy prices and knackas like Barton are still being paid a fortune. The crowds are getting smaller all over the place by the way, not just at Newcastle.

  • 97 MichaelOWaN // Aug 25, 2008 at 2:36 AM

    Once we have got ourselves a ‘Wow’ signing, Im sure the crowd will be back.

  • 98 tom tomb // Aug 25, 2008 at 1:21 PM

    Howway geordies- smaller squad than last season how can’t you work that out! We are not getting the signings as promised, the quality is not there-people are sick don’t you live in the region?
    Ticket office – again don’t you know the problems people have had! It has been talked about by everyone and written everywhere! Can’t beleive I am answering you. My ticket never showed up yet! I am away in York on business so was not coming back to the toon on sat to queue not knowing if I could gt in or not. Just because some numpties had all summer to posy the ticket pass and did’nt bother. Now do you get it!

  • 99 Punk Skunk // Aug 25, 2008 at 1:34 PM

    Errr!..Whinge, whinge ( like a baby!)…’i still buy the crappy rags & believe all they spout, so i’m not gonna SUPPORT my team’ (in whining sarcastic voice!)…BEST GO & ‘SUPPORT’ A.N.OTHER TEAM THEN!..


  • 100 craig chisholm // Aug 25, 2008 at 7:59 PM

    sorry to have a pop Davey – sunderland fan BUT, drop the ‘half empty stadium’ crap man. we were five thousand under capacity – that is nothing. 2000 of those were BOLTON FANS not taking up their full alocation. so lets talk it real terms, we were three thousand under on summer bank holiday weekend (people away), bo0lton (shite) and the season tickets f up. there is no drama here and the story is shite too.

  • 101 Ian // Aug 26, 2008 at 11:12 AM

    I see no-one is posting Cisse is crap anymore, or he is no good with his head etc. Who were they were watching? Or did they ever watch him.

    How obvious was he to sign?? Still fuming.

    Wished I knew which other strikers were really for sale.

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