Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Days When United Were Not the Ticket!

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Days When United Were Not the Ticket!

Article excerpt

FOOTBALL season ticket prices have been in the headlines this week.

After last Saturday's 77th-minute walk-out by Liverpool fans protesting at a planned price increase at Anfield, the spotlight has been turned on this controversial issue.

Alan Shearer, speaking on Match of the Day, declared: "I do not think any fan in the country - at all - should be asked to pay more for tickets next season."

This all comes in the wake of the Premier League selling television rights for the 2016-17 season for an eyewatering PS5.14bn.

In a game awash with money, it turns out English football's most expensive season tickets are on sale at The Emirates where it costs between a whopping PS1,035 and PS2,039 to watch Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez and co do their thing.

So much for the one-time'people's game'.

As for Newcastle United, the cheapest adult ticket for 2015-16 was PS500, while the cheapest junior seats were PS105.

To be fair to the Toon, I hvae been able to get my young son into family enclosure seats for as little as PS5 a game in recent seasons.

United have just announced ticket prices for under-18s have been cut by up to 54% as Newcastle aim to protect their young fanbase.

All of which is a far cry from the football some of us will remember from the 1970s and 80s.

If season tickets are the norm today, back in the days of Supermac and Terry Hibbitt, only St James' Park's venerable old wooden West Stand operated such a system.

The stand's seated area was where the "gentrified" Toon fans went and where women sat warmed by tartan blankets in winter, where people shared treacle toffees and where the whiff of cigar and pipe smoke was ever-present. I went in there two or three times as the guest of a family friend - and it was great!

Yet for the most part, the bulk of us queued to stand on the terraces where you did not need a season ticket.

I remember paying 37p - a seemingly arbitrary sum - to get into one of the paddocks as a 13 or 14-year-old to watch Richard Dinnis's team in action. …

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