Issues at board level within Newcastle United never fail to throw up their fair share of thrills and spills.
However, in the eyes of many of the Toon Army, this is as far from a thrill as you can get.
On Monday evening, the club announced that they’d be offering half-season tickets to supporters for free in order to urge stay-away fans to return to St James’ Park.
Sky Sports journalist Keith Downie took to Twitter to have his say on the matter while confirming the news.
Newcastle United are urging stay-away fans (and new supporters) to return to St James’ Park by offering existing season book holders an additional half-season ticket for FREE, starting on visit of Everton, Dec 28. I’m told there’s 10,000 up for grabs. More on @SkySportsNews #NUFC
— Keith Downie (@SkySports_Keith) December 9, 2019
With 10,000 additional free tickets up for grabs, it’s quite the statement from Newcastle as they aim to boost attendance levels after an upturn in form under Steve Bruce.
The Magpies have lost just once in their last seven games but not even that has managed to get fans flocking to see their beloved club.
Sharing their views on Twitter, some were incredibly disappointed with the desperation from Newcastle to try and get their fans back into the stadium via this method.
This is desperation. Stay strong lads. 💪👊
— Phil #GTTO (@PhilofNCL) December 9, 2019
The smell of desperation 😂
— Roman (@AndrewK67647299) December 9, 2019
— Dean Woods (@wuds100) December 9, 2019
Fat mike has finally pressed the panic button ..smacks of desperation ..leave the seats empty
— johnny hope (@HopeJohnny) December 9, 2019
St James’ Park has a capacity of over 52,000 but they’ve only attracted an average of just north of 46,000 in 2019/20. For an indication of how much that’s dropped, last season’s average sat at over 51,000 in terms of average attendance.
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Fans have taken to boycotting matches in protest against Mike Ashley and they held a stand against the current ownership outside the ground before their opening match of the campaign against Arsenal.
Many supporters now seem to think that his form of approach has worked.
To the people who say “boycotting won’t work”,
Well this proves that it DOES work.
Poor Mike is worried about the empty seats, so bribes fans with FREE tickets. 👍 😀 pic.twitter.com/uyIBYa6Get
— Tony Lister ⬛⬜⬛⬜⬛⬜⚽ASHLEY OUT (@tnylister50) December 9, 2019
It’s working. #Ashleyout
— Paul Edwards (@Paul9Edwards) December 9, 2019
Boycotting IS working then?
— Jonny (@jonnymchale13) December 9, 2019
Other supports took to Twitter to berate Ashley for the way he continues to run the club. One individual suggested he wouldn’t be heading back to watch his team play until he sells the club.
The Sports Direct Chief Executive was at the centre of a potential £350m takeover from Sheikh Khaled throughout the summer with talks apparently progressing well. However, nothing seems to have materialised in recent times.
Until that happens, it seems as though fans will continue to boycott and protest.
— acpatto (@AnthPatterson) December 9, 2019
Mike Ashley selling up would pack SJP
— Neverending Ghosted Girl (@girl_ghosted) December 9, 2019
When mike Ashley goes I’ll go back, till then I won’t line his pockets with any of my cash.
— mark fraser (@mfraser75) December 9, 2019