Newcastle United confirm major U-turn after uproar over ‘disgusting’ new ticket ballot system

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Newcastle United said it had reviewed ‘feedback from fans’ before announcing the ticketing change-of-plan on Wednesday.

Newcastle United have confirmed a ticketing U-turn after the new membership ballot process sparked outrage among supporters on Tuesday.

Fans branded the club 'shameful' for introducing a new system that would have seen fans committing to pay anywhere between £44 and £77 for tickets upon entering the ballot with no ability to select a preferred pricing in that range.

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Newcastle United have now confirmed that after 'reviewing feedback from fans and supporter groups' that idea had been scrapped with supporters now able to select specific ticket price categories when entering the ballot. Payment will only be taken from fans if successful in their chosen price category and customers can only select one price category as it stands.

Newcastle United CEO Darren Eales said: "We are committed to ensuring match tickets are made available fairly so that fans can continue to support the team so magnificently home and away.

"While we have made positive changes in that regard following ticketing workshops with fans, we also appreciated the feedback we specifically received in response to our proposed home ticket ballot process for members.

"After reviewing that feedback, we have made an adjustment and members will be able to select the specific price point that best suits them when entering the ballot.

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"Supporter engagement is hugely important to us and we will continue to seek fans' views as we build towards sustainable success together."

Darren Eales (right) confirmed the change in plans on Wednesday (Image: Getty Images)Darren Eales (right) confirmed the change in plans on Wednesday (Image: Getty Images)
Darren Eales (right) confirmed the change in plans on Wednesday (Image: Getty Images) | Getty Images

The first members' ticket ballot opened at 10 am this morning for the Premier League opener at St James' Park against Aston Villa on Saturday, August 12. Members can enter the ballot at any point before 10 am on Friday, August 4.

The new membership system had already sparked controversy among the fanbase when first announced with confusion over the ballot system, the number of memberships being sold and a lack of a renewal process.

The inability to select ticket price categories had enraged many fans who questioned if the club was out of touch with the current cost-of-living crisis affecting many Magpies. Supporters demanded Newcastle United go 'back to the drawing board' and re-think the prices labelled 'disgusting', 'wrong' and a 'poor move'.

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The Newcastle United Supporters Trust (NUST) also issued a statement slamming the move from the club. It read: "We are hugely concerned by the update this morning regarding membership ballots for home tickets.

"Succesful applicants will be randomly allocated seats ranging between £44 and £74, leaving fans with no choice as to the total cost of their ticket. The potential difference in price between categories is significant and is a huge financial worry for many fans during a cost-of-living crisis.

"We share the concerns of our members at what appears to be a blanket approach to the ballot, especially as this is not something which was disclosed previously and fans were not aware of this when purchasing memberships last week."

NUST added that it would seek 'clarity from the club urgently' on the matter after fans had forked out £37 for adult memberships last week unaware of what was to come.

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This morning, NUST welcomed the U-turn from the club. A Tweet shared by the group read: "We are glad that @nufc have taken on board the concerns raised by us, our members and the fan base. Thank you to all of our members that have contacted us about this issue."

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