Newcastle United insider clarifies 'misformation' surrounding Sunderland tickets after fan backlash

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Newcastle United's head of communications has clarified the situation regarding ticket sales for the Tyne-Wear derby against Sunderland.

Newcastle United's head of communications Lee Marshall has responded to the "misformation" surrounding ticket sales for next month's Tyne-Wear derby against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.

Newcastle were given a 6,000 allocation for their FA Cup third round tie on Saturday, January 6 (kick-off 12:45pm). Tickets went on sale on Monday morning to supporters with 45 or more loyalty.

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However, a post by @NUFCSpares on X sparked a negative reaction among the fanbase. It read: "AWAY TICKET ALERT: Sunderland (A) now on sale to ST holders with 45+ Loyalty Points.

"4,163 away supporters tickets remaining. The next points drop will be today at 4pm (subject to availability)."

This led to accusations that almost 2,000 tickets had been set aside for corporate and hospitality. With anger building on social media, Marshall moved to explain the situation.

He said: "A thread on #NUFC tickets for the FA Cup game at Sunderland. There is perhaps a little bit of misinformation whirling around, so here is how the ticket allocation is essentially broken down:

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"The club was allocated 6,000 seats after successfully negotiating with relevant authorities. From that 6,000, 720 are classed as hospitality in Black Cats Bar. This was made clear in initial comms, and these places weren’t visible in the ‘general admission’ seats this morning.

"From there, a couple of hundred tickets will be used by the club for a few things. A portion for the loved ones of our players/staff. A portion for operational staff who are integral to making a 6k capacity even possible on the day. And a very small ballot for other club staff.

"Add to that a necessary contingency due to police conditions on distribution of tickets. E.g. if an adult and child arrive and find their seats are separate or occupied by fans not in their allocated seats, the club can avoid a safeguarding issue by still sitting them together.

"Just over 200 of the GA tickets will be seasonal hospitality clients and commercial partners. This is less than the ratio they are entitled to for PL matches due, helped by the Black Cats Bar provision. And yes, they will all have to travel on club buses from St. James' Park.

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"The vast majority of tickets went on sale to fans this morning. The ratio of ‘GA’ sales is broadly in line with the club’s other away matches. It’s also understood that ratio is a fair bit higher than the ratio usually offered by many other clubs to their fans in the top flight."

YouTubers who support the club have also been accused of getting tickets fro the club.

Marshall continued: "Seen a bit on ‘YouTubers’. In my experience, if they want to go to games, they have to put the miles in like everyone else. I invited a few into the press area at SJP for Round 3 of the Carabao Cup in 2022 to have a look behind the scenes, but that’s literally it from media.

"On this occasion, fans just won’t get physical match tickets without being on a moving club-organised bus. That’s a condition imposed by Northumbria Police. Fans also won’t get access unless they step off one of those buses in a ‘sterile’ area at the Stadium of Light

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"Final thing. To take 3,500 more fans than the lower option (2,500), it will cost the club well in excess of £100k because of the conditions imposed by the police. The club is taking on that cost and huge operational task for the benefit of fans and so the team is well-supported

"This is all being approached in as fair a manner as possible. I genuinely hope this helps - and sorry to those who got bored and switched off halfway through! Merry Christmas."

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