Pay-per-view: Newcastle boss Steve Bruce says price 'far too much'

By Alistair MagowanBBC Sport
Newcastle's game against Manchester United was available on pay-per-view
Newcastle's game against Manchester United was available on pay-per-view

Newcastle boss Steve Bruce has backed Mike Ashley’s stance that pay-per-view matches are too expensive.

The Newcastle owner said the Premier League should review plans to make fans pay £14.95 for games not already broadcast on TV.

Fans have been choosing to donate money to charity instead but the price is set to remain for games at the start of November.

"I agree with [Ashley]," said Bruce, who is "delighted" that Newcastle season ticket holders would now receive refunds for behind closed-doors games.

"I think £15 is far too much when people pay their subscriptions to Sky and BT. In this particularly difficult time, I think a fiver is enough."

Bruce, whose team host league leaders Everton on Sunday, also warned of an "over-saturation" of TV games.

He would prefer fans being let back into stadiums in reduced numbers and said he was "baffled" by reasons why it could not happen.

"If we are not careful, we are going to over-saturate it too, and we are seeing every game, eight and 10 games a weekend [on TV]," he said.

"For me, it’s not the spectacle. We are all delighted we are playing some sort of football, but what we are all witnessing, whether in the stadium or on TV, it’s not the same, is it?"

Asked if he was fearful about when fans might return given that supporters in Bundesliga games are set to be banned because of a rise in coronavirus cases in Germany, Bruce added: "We are all fearful of it.

"We only have to watch games to see how valuable supporters are. It’s not the same spectacle and we all need supporters back in the ground.

"When will that be? I really can’t understand how we can go to the cinemas tonight or sit on the bus next to someone, where we can't go to a stadium and have [numbers] reduced and it being outside.

"It baffles me, but I’m no scientist and I’m probably being a bit selfish in wanting supporters back in as quickly as we can."

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