Newcastle United CEO responds to letter as supporters group left 'disappointed' by latest announcement

Newcastle Chief Executive Officer Darren Eales. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)Newcastle Chief Executive Officer Darren Eales. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Newcastle Chief Executive Officer Darren Eales. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images) | Getty Images
Newcastle United have increased their season tickets prices for the 2024-25 season.

Darren Eales has responded to the Newcastle United Supporters’ Trust (NUST) after they wrote to express their concern over the rising costs of attending Premier League matches.

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  • ‘Resist the temptation to prioritise profit over people’
  • ‘Maintain affordable pricing aligned with the core values of Newcastle United’ i.e working class
  • ‘Be the club that goes against the grain’r
  • ‘Uphold the values of inclusivity, community, and passion’

And after announcing a blended 3.3% price increase on season tickets for the 2024-25 campaign, Eales revealed Newcastle’s commitment to keep football affordable, though admitted challenging decisions will be made as he “balances the needs of people and performance”.

The NUST say they are “disappointed to read about the increase in season ticket prices for adults next season” and “will be releasing a statement relating to this shortly.”

Eales said: “Dear Newcastle United Supporters Trust,

“Thank you for your considered letter (dated 9th April 2024) regarding the price of football and for your kind words. May I take this opportunity to extend warm wishes to the NUST Board and commend you on your continued work on behalf of your members.

“I wholeheartedly agree with your passionate views about the club and our incredible supporters. Everything I have experienced since arriving in August 2022, including the way my family and I have been welcomed to the region, has only strengthened my belief that this is a truly special city and football club.

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“You, as supporters, are the lifeblood of the club. I have spoken often about how important your support is for our teams, and we must not – and will not – take that for granted. That is why we are committed to keeping football affordable and to ensuring we take everyone on the exciting journey ahead.

“To continue building towards our ambitious targets, we must make challenging decisions along the way, and we have carefully considered our ticketing structure for next season. Our objective has been to continue providing a range of ticketing options that offer excellent value and flexible ways to pay, while remaining competitive on and off the pitch both now and in the future.

“Today, we have announced that there will be a blended 3.3% price increase for season tickets for the 2024/25 season. This includes freezing junior tickets and a 5% increase for all other categories, with thousands of supporters on long-term price freeze deals continuing to pay prices set in 2011.

“Although our matchday and operational costs have increased considerably in recent years, we have continued to do our utmost to limit the impact on supporters by setting sensible prices and driving revenue in other areas. All the while, we have made tangible progress in developing our facilities and enhancing the matchday experience, as well as investing significantly to attract and retain top talent. Rather than prioritising profit over people, as you succinctly put it, we are trying to balance the needs of people and performance.

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“We are cognisant of the needs of the supporters we serve and the challenges many people in our communities are facing, and so our ticket prices continue to benchmark favourably compared to the vast majority of our competitors in the Premier League.

“In addition, through the wonderful work carried out by Newcastle United Foundation, we continue to engage with some of the most vulnerable people and families in society and we are proud to provide them with access to match experiences as part of community programmes that genuinely change their lives.

“Thank you once again for taking the time to write on this important topic and for sharing the benefit of your feedback.

“As valued members of our Fan Advisory Board, I look forward to working with you as we continue our journey towards an ambitious future together.”

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Meanwhile, a new NUST statement read: NUST are disappointed at the decision by Newcastle United to raise adult season ticket prices by 5% for the second season running. We would like to place on record that we were not consulted on the price increase.

“We are as disappointed with this decision as we are with the lack of supporter engagement on this matter. We are however pleased to see that under 18s prices have been frozen.

“Whilst on the face of it 5% may not be as steep as the rises facing some of our counterparts in the Premier League, these increases all add up. In a region of the country with less disposable income than others, the increased financial burden is felt keenly.

“As an industry, football generates mind boggling figures when it comes to finances. Across the Premier League there are vast revenue streams, clubs have sponsors for almost everything and a record TV deal worth £6.7bn will be in place for four seasons from 2025-26.

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“In spite of this, we are seeing supporters from all clubs asked to put their hands in their pockets, for differences which mean next to nothing on the balance sheets.

“We have seen it throughout the league in the form of increased prices, removal of concessions and standard seating being replaced by corporate offerings.

“The current Premier League Profit and Sustainability Rules (PSR) in place encourage clubs to exploit the loyalty of their own supporters to maximise revenue.

“We urge both the Premier League and the incoming independent regulator to take action on this and put regulations in place to prevent the exploitation of loyalty.”

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