Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Apathy Is the Danger Word for United as the Season Ticket Renewals Come Up

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Apathy Is the Danger Word for United as the Season Ticket Renewals Come Up

Article excerpt

Byline: Lee RYDER

IS THERE a danger of apathy setting in at St James' Park? After a weekend in which Newcastle United fans had to spectate during the fantastic FA Cup action, which saw Sunderland and Middlesbrough in the hat for round five, many are wondering what lies in store on Barrack Road.

Mid-table appears to be the height of ambition for United.

With 16 games left, the club have announced the new head coach won't be coming in until the summer, they aren't likely to sign a first-team player in the January transfer window and the only major breaking news we might see Jim White getting over-excited about on Sky on Monday could be another unpopular player sale.

Therefore, is it any real wonder that some Newcastle fans I know are considering quitting their season tickets at the end of this season? It was a similar scenario 12 months ago. People I know who have been watching the club for decades had simply reached the end.

Average attendances at the club are still above 50,000, of course. But what of those who say they've had enough? Season ticket money was exchanged to take in the non-league scene, used for golf club fees or simply used to head to the local pub and watch some of the horrors unfold from the warmth, safe in the knowledge a trip to foreign shores was in the bank at the end of the season instead.

In fairness, Newcastle have worked hard to keep season ticket deals low and make it possible for families to go to St James' Park as one, something that wasn't possible during the club's real heyday of the 1990s.

Indeed, back then you couldn't get a season ticket for love nor money.

Around 33,000 lucky fans had the golden ticket to see the Entertainers trounce some of the biggest names in English football.

People at the club tell us: "Those days are gone." Too blooming right they're gone.

What we are left with is a mere shadow of the team from that era and under the Mike Ashley regime it's safe to say those days will never be back.

Why are people refusing to renew season tickets? Answer: Not because the club don't challenge for silverware, quite simp l y because of the product on the pitch and their prospects.

With 27 points in the bank and 16 games to go there's a good chance the team will stay up. A top-10 slot is also a possibility, but that's not going to inspire the United faithful too much. …

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