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Friday, January 9, 1998 Published at 15:36 GMT



Sport: Football

Stevenage given ground all-clear
image: [ Newcastle boss Kenny Dalgleish will have to take his team to Hertfordshire ]
Newcastle boss Kenny Dalgleish will have to take his team to Hertfordshire

Non-league Stevenage have been given the green light from the Football Association to stage their fourth round FA Cup tie against Premier League Newcastle at their own ground.

Stevenage had been drawn with home advantage but Newcastle asked for the game to be moved away from the Broadhall Way ground because of safety concerns.

Officials from the FA and Newcastle arrived for the meeting at Stevenage at midday on Friday. They reached a final decision after looking at the ground and the stands.

The Newcastle manager, Kenny Dalglish, said he was concerned that the ground is unsafe for such an occasion and was unhappy that only a minority of their fans will be able to attend the match.

The capacity at Broadhall Way is 6,700 but Stevenage said that additional seating would allow them to send 2,100 tickets to Newcastle.

There was further controversy when the Stevenage chairman, Victor Green, promised to introduce massive increases in ticket prices for the fourth round at Broadhall Way.

"If tickets are going to be sold for £7 or £8, then they are easily going to be purchased by others - perhaps Newcastle supporters who will get in the wrong end of the stadium," he told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"That's what we don't want to happen. Pricing is a great deterrent from that happening."

"The glory of the FA Cup is vitally important to us as indeed is the finance - and of course to Newcastle - but in context, we are still running a business."

The Stevenage board is thought to have authorised a 400% increase in the ticket price, meaning a seat will cost up to £44.

Stevenage were forced to switch their third round home tie with Birmingham last season to St Andrews, and the First Division club's managing director Karren Brady is angry that the FA has kept the game at Borough's ground.

"Birmingham would not play there, it just does not have the capacity."

"Some people say they are charging extraordinary prices if it is going to be held at Stevenage so it's not fair on the ordinary fans."






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Relevant Stories

09 Jan 98†|†Sport
Newcastle appeal over Broadhall Way tie

05 Jan 98†|†Sport
Stevenage 'to double capacity'

04 Jan 98†|†Sport
Stevenage face Newcastle in FA Cup

03 Jan 98†|†Sport
Brave Emley bow out of FA Cup but Stevenage march on

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