Chelsea slammed for 'kick in the teeth' decision over Newcastle United Carabao Cup tie as MP issues statement

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Newcastle United supporters have slammed Chelsea for a 'kick in the teeth' with ticket prices for the festive Carabao Cup meeting at Stamford Bridge.

Newcastle United supporters will have to spend a fortune to attend the side's upcoming Carabao Cup quarter-final at Stamford Bridge.

Eddie Howe's side have overcome Manchester United and Manchester City in the competition, which they reached the final of last season, as the Magpies create another memorable cup run. Next up for the side is a trip to the capital six days before Christmas on December 19.

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The logistics of a midweek 600-mile round-trip in the week before Christmas was already somewhat of a headache for the loyal Newcastle supporters and insult has been added to injury with Chelsea charging £39 for away tickets. Following a football club home and away is not a cheap hobby in 2023, but the levels to the cup quarter-final make the financials a frightening prospect for football fans.

More than 42% of Britons have admitted to struggling with the financial pressures of the festive period with presents to be bought and events to attend. The Christmas period also sees demand for trains and hotels result in elevated prices - something sure to affect Newcastle United fans travelling to St James' Park.

On Trainline, the cheapest single advanced train ticket on Tuesday, December 19 comes in at £48.90 on the 10:55 Lumo service to Kings Cross with the majority of tickets at over £80. For anyone travelling on the railway, a return ticket the next day comes in at between £39.90 to a huge £125, meaning that supports could be spending over £200 on travel.

The 8pm Carabao Cup kick-off time makes it impossible for Geordies to make the 10pm last train to Newcastle from Kings Cross - meaning many fans who work full-time may need two holiday days for the match.

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For many, the fixture will therefore require an overnight stay with a room for two at a Chelsea hotel coming in at between £150 and £250 best case for the single night. The £39 ticket fee is insignificant when compared to the spending on getting to Stamford Bridge, but the choice of Chelsea to hike up prices is frustrating for fans.

The Newcastle United Supporters Trust told NewcastleWorld: "The pricing for this match is yet another kick in the teeth for match going fans. There’s a reason why away ticket prices are capped at £30 for Premier League games and it’s about time this was implemented for domestic cup competitions as well."

The Newcastle United Supporters Club also called for the Premier League price cap to be introduced for domestic fixtures. The Football Supporters Association led the movement to introduce the Premier League away ticket cap in 2016 with the group labelling it 'steps in the right direction' but acknowledging that 'clubs are finding to increase the cost of a matchday'.

Reacting to the Chelsea pricing, the FSA told NewcastleWorld: "Away supporters are the beating heart of any atmosphere and clubs should do everything to make football affordable for them. We successfully persuaded the Premier League to introduce an away price cap and we see no reason why that shouldn't extend to other competitions.

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Newcastle United have beaten Manchester City and Manchester United in the Carabao Cup this term (Image: Getty Images)Newcastle United have beaten Manchester City and Manchester United in the Carabao Cup this term (Image: Getty Images)
Newcastle United have beaten Manchester City and Manchester United in the Carabao Cup this term (Image: Getty Images) | Getty Images

"Top-flight clubs spend billions on players, they can certainly afford to make prices more affordable and reward travelling fans' loyalty."

Some Newcastle United fans have fairly pointed out that the Tyneside club regularly charges over £39 for home supporters and, perhaps, should set an example when it comes to keeping football affordable. A matchday ticket at St James' Park tends to cost between £17 and £70 depending on the area of the ground.

However, the away fan price cap exists to ease the burden of travel that comes with trips across the country. When Manchester City came calling at the cathedral on the hill for Carabao Cup action in September, Newcastle United charged away supporters £20.

Newcastle-upon-Tyne Central MP and Newcastle United fan Chi Onwurah said: "I think the banners unfurled by Newcastle fans away at Dortmund said it all: 'Change from £20, thanks BVB' and 'Twenty's plenty'. Football clubs can make their own decisions, but in the midst of this cost of living crisis, I'd urge them to think very carefully about the price of away tickets."

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