Newcastle fans donate thousands to food bank instead of paying to watch game

Supporters donated the pay-per-view fee to charity, rather than watching Newcastle take on Manchester United on television at St James Park on Saturday. Credit: PA Images

Newcastle United fans have donated as much as £19,000 to a local foodbank rather than paying to watch their side play on television.

Campaigners launched the appeal after it was revealed that supporters would have to pay £14.95 to watch Newcastle's game against Manchester United on Saturday.

Some Premier League matches in October can only be watched live via Sky Sports or BT Sports box office on a pay-per-view basis.

Fans were urged to donate to fee to the West End Foodbank instead, using the 'CharityNotPPV' hashtag on social media.

The 'NUFC Fans Food Bank' twitter account appealed to ''generous geordies'' to support food bank users in the city.

Other fan groups are encourging a boycott of pay-per-view services. A petition on change.org is calling for the scheme to be scrapped.

Richard Masters, chief of the Premier League, said the pricing was "defensible" and the final say lay with the broadcasters.

The chief executive of the BT cosumers' division Marc Allera said on Thursday that the suggested price had come from the Premier Leage and that BT was "pretty much just covring all our costs to put these games on."

Marcus Rashford is fouled to win a penalty at St James' Park on Saturday. Credit: PA Images

Newcastle lost 4-1 against Manchester United on Saturday.

The Magpies took the lead inside two minutes and United left it late to clinch victory, scoring three times after the 86th minute.