Reports have emerged today about ticket sales and the possible attendance for next Sunday’s home game against Manchester United – and the results have surprised me.
Since the planned boycott against Arsenal, attendances have been getting gradually worse throughout the season, with that ironically being the highest home gate so far.
The absence of fans certainly seems to have been fuelled by apathy more than anger which in my mind is worse. However there has been comfort in the fact that it means maybe people are finally prepared to take drastic action and walk away until Ashley is gone.
Also, you would think, that given how bad the last two performances have been, that this Sunday would be even lower. You would think that, and you’d be wrong..
Today, the Shields Gazette reported that there are 3,947 tickets unsold for the game. On the Tuesday before the Brighton game, there were approximately 10,000 tickets unsold.
Now I understand it’s Manchester United, who despite the fact they aren’t the force they were anymor, are still a big pull as a brand, but it’s damning to see an extra 6,000 fans are going to our next home game after the last two games and everything that’s gone on.
I would like to point out that even though I support the boycott, I would never judge or criticise another fan for choosing to go, I live overseas and don’t have the right to do that for a start. However the fact that the ticket sales are up for a game live on Sky again, feels like an absolute win for Mike Ashley.
No doubt there will be some neutrals in the crowd, and also the students are back in town now, but it still is a little disappointing as I think a few more thousand stay away during a televised game would have been another big statement.
We need to start hitting Ashley where it hurts. It can’t start and end in a dip in attendances. Support your local sports shop and buy the new kit from Newcastle city centre store START Fitness, not S****s D****t. Don’t buy the new FIFA from GAME and ask family to avoid Debenhams at all costs.
As it stands it will be up on the Brighton attendance, and you can be sure that whichever pro-Ashley, Bruce buddy pundits Sky have on this Sunday will make reference to it.
While we’re on that topic I can’t wait to hear Roy Keane’s take on how bad we are. I’m looking forward to that more than the game, and that in itself, breaks my heart.