Former England international and now pundit Danny Mills has praised the work of Newcastle’s board for their new season ticket idea.
In order to address the problem of a dip in attendance at St James’ Park, the club has announced a new scheme to reward current season ticket holders – offering them a free half-season ticket, first-come, first-served.
According to the club website, head coach Steve Bruce and managing director Lee Charnley sat down together and discussed a way they could counter the dwindling attendances at home.
Within the half-season ticket, the fan is entitled to 10 home Premier League games, beginning from the 28th of December onwards – not a bad little Christmas present for some lucky fans.
The decision to do this has caused much controversy across Tyneside. With many choosing to boycott the club due to Ashley’s ownership and his failure to tie Rafael Benitez down, some fans see this as an easy way to try and get them back on side. Furthermore, many fans who are paying for a season ticket feel as if this rewards those for not coming to see the club by giving many of those who have stayed a way a chance to come back completely free of charge.
Mills, on the other hand, thinks it’s a superb idea.
When asked about whether he thinks it is a ‘masterstroke’, he told Football Insider: “Yeah of course it is!
“The biggest things owners panic about are results and crowd numbers.
“So quite often they can’t do too much about results, but with crowd numbers and getting the team well-supported, you can at times do something about that.
“And that’s clearly what they’re trying to do.”
It’s a bit of a tough one to weigh up for fans. You can’t blame the board for trying to improve the attendances, but at the same time you can see where the season ticket holders are coming from when it is likely to benefit many people who stayed away from the club from the people who decided to stay.
Last season, according to worldfootbal.net, the club averaged an attendance of 51,212, and their win against Southampton the other day had just 42,303 through the gate.
A ‘masterstroke’ might be an exaggeration, but, ultimately, it is still a way of giving back to some fans and more through the gate, and it is better than doing nothing.
This article was originally posted here