Filed: Wednesday, 3rd May 2006
By: Gordon Thrower
There were angry scenes at the Boleyn this afternoon as season ticket holders were left stranded without FA Cup Final tickets amidst rumours that tickets may have been mis-allocated.
Tickets initially went on sale on Monday to season ticket holders who had attended last month’s Semi Final at Villa Park. However, there were claims that sales had incorrectly been made to:
1. Season ticket holders who had not attended the Boro’ match;
2. Season ticket holders making multiple ticket applications;
3. Club members not holding season ticket references; and
4. Out of date season ticket references.
These claims appeared to be backed up by emails sent out by Ticketmaster, the agency responsible for ticket distribution. The emails were sent to a number of supporters who were told:
“Our records show that you have made an invalid booking based on the above criteria and therefore your transaction has been cancelled”.
The confusion increased when a number of supporters who had legitimately ordered tickets also received notification that their orders had been cancelled, even though they had met all the necessary criteria required to purchase tickets on the first day.
After the initial period had closed one KUMB member was told that there were just 1,300 tickets for sale to season ticket holders who were not at Villa Park. These were sold out in little over an hour after the lines opened at 8 o’clock this morning leaving large numbers of season ticket holders fuming, especially in view of the Club’s initial statement that:
“We have been advised that we will receive an initial allocation of 23,500 tickets, possibly increasing to a maximum of 24,000. We are hopeful that this will be sufficient to satisfy demand from all bondholders and season ticket holders but accept that we are unlikely to be able to offer any tickets to club members or for general sale.”
However by lunchtime today the club were forced to concede that:
“due to the size of the allocation, we were not able to satisfy the demand from all of our season ticket holders”
Ticketmaster are no strangers to Cardiff controversy. Supporters ordering tickets for the 2004 and 2005 play-off finals were critical of the agency’s online booking systems whilst this year has seen Ticketmaster add a whopping £3.50 “service charge” to each ticket which, when added to the £4.90 special delivery charge necessitated by the Millennium Stadium’s “no duplicates” policy, has added a staggering £8.40 to the cost of each ticket.
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