Season ticket cancellations will hit Mike Ashley harder than any other act. Without this guaranteed income Ashley will not be safe in the knowledge that whatever action he takes, fans will continue to stream through the gates. In order to draw ‘customers’ into the stadium, Ashley will be required to act in their interests rather than against them.
Clearly if you cancel and stop going this has the greatest impact, however we do understand that cancelling season tickets will be a step too far for some fans. Nevertheless, even if you intend to continue going to games it might be the best move for you financially and have the added benefit of minimising the amount you pay to Mike Ashley.
A common assumption is that having a season ticket is the cheapest way to attend every (home) game. The club stated in renewal forms that Newcastle fans are “guaranteed to save money compared to single match prices”. That was another lie. For example a £710 East Stand Season Ticket compares poorly to the £673 cost of buying a single ticket to every home game.
Check how your deal compares with single ticket prices here.
If the savings are small or you might end up paying more, is it really worth giving Ashley the assurance that you will be going to every game no matter what he does, which is essentially what you do if you (continue to) buy a season ticket?
See our guide to cancelling your season ticket for more information.
Club memberships provide Ashley almost 100% margin. There is literally no cost incurred and they rely on fans competing with one another for away tickets and high profile home games to provide a return. Again, use the ticket price comparison to check if you’d be better off without a membership. Remember that very few games sell out at St James Park any more – only two this past season in fact. And anyone who already has a season ticket can apply for single tickets on your behalf. One membership between your group of match-goers would get the member benefits for all home games.
The club do not advertise the cheapest tickets actively. They advertise the cheapest tickets in the Gallowgate and Leazes ends. The family enclosure offers tickets for sale as singles in most games. If you feel you must go to games, ensure you get the cheapest ticket to suit your needs, you could be paying half as much for single tickets not sold on the website.
Newcastle fans do not know the finer details of the retail “partnership” the club has signed with Mike Ashley’s shop, but at Rangers the deal was that Sports Direct take 75%. Newcastle fans are encouraged to avoid any club shops and any official merchandise from any other stores. Rather than a Wonga strip there are many alternatives available for retro strips to show your pride in the club without propping up the regime. Try Toffs or Campo Retro for example.
AshleyOut.com, amongst other NUFC fan groups, have joined forces with the party that produced the Rangers’ red and black shirt and are currently working on an alternative Newcastle shirt that will be more attractive, better value for money and most importantly does not benefit Mike Ashley. For more information, please refer to @themagpiebrand on Twitter, who can also be found on Facebook.
With someone on a smartphone within speaking distance of everyone in the stadium, this is an easy one to avoid and hit Ashley in the pocket.
Food and Drink
The half time pie and pint. A frequent excuse used for indulging in this, is that Ashley has outsourced this area so it doesn’t hurt him. Of course the company that buys the outsourcing deal on offer has an expectation that Ashley will deliver 50,000+ willing consumers for each game. If he doesn’t then they will not be inclined to renew the deal or pay the price they have previously. Pies are readily available from many bakeries in the city centre, probably better tasting and cheaper anyway. Take one in with you.
With excellent bars like The Strawberry, Bar Loco and The Trent House on the doorstep of St James’ Park and hundreds more in the city there should be no excuses for drinking in Nine bar or The Terrace.
AshleyOut.com feel the embargo should cover all games as a principle of not supporting the Ashley regime, not just the first team. Certainly those who pay to attend these games are asked if they could forego them, and we would encourage people to only attend free entry Reserves and Under 21 games (take your children if you can) and refrain from spending any money on merchandise, food and drink while attending.
Like memberships, stadium tours come at little to no expense to the club and provide almost pure profit.
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