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Ticket ballot system divides fans

Filed: Monday, 23rd July 2018
By: Staff Writer

West Ham supporters are split over the club's recent decision to continue with a ballot for tickets to away matches.

Last season a new scheme was introduced whereby ten per cent of tickets for every away match were retained for the purposes of selling to supporters via a ballot.

However its introduction has divided Hammers fans, with some fans insisting that it should be scrapped with immediate effect.

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Unsurprisingly perhaps those who have objected to the scheme's introduction are largely those supporters who regularly travel to away matches and have built up sufficient priority points {awarded with every booking) not to have to be concerned by troubles obtaining match day tickets.

"The process goes against loyal, fellow supporters who have done far more miles to earn the points," wrote HadleighHammer.

"So it's ok to screw them over for those who want a couple of jolly boys away outings each season? I think it's disgusting to take that ticket off someone who done the miles to earn the points for their place in the queue."

However some of those fans who are unable to commit to regular away matches - whether that be due to family, work or other weekend commitments - believe the scheme is hugely beneficial, whilst others even feel it should be EXTENDED to give even more fans the opportunity to watch West Ham away from home.

"I know our great and loyal away following are mainly against this scheme but there are many of us who would like the chance to travel away but can never get near a ticket," penned Leyton Hammer.

"I have managed a few away games since we returned to the Premier league but it's incredibly hard and frustrating obtaining tickets. Watching WHU is the main quality time my son and I spend together, we are season ticket holders and will apply for tickets under the 10% scheme."

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One of the underlying issues with availability is the reduced price of tickets for the 2017/18 and forthcoming 2018/19 campaign, which has seen Premier League away tickets capped at £30 - something that has subsequently led to greater demand.

Yet that scheme too has its critics.

"I've never been a fan of the £30 price cap for away tickets," wrote B'wood Bob. "The away fan would go regardless of the ticket price and let's face it, for most away games the cost of the ticket is only a small fraction of the cost of the whole day.

"The real crux is for football to survive, then it needs to be affordable for parents to take their kids and in turn the next generation of fans is secured. This needs to be achieved by the pricing of HOME tickets."

One of the inherent problems with the old scheme, an issue that persists today is that a number of season ticket holders continue to purchase away tickets for the purpose of selling to fellow fans, with the buyer having no intention of attending the match in question.

This is so they may continue to earn priority points which in turn ensures that they will always be able to buy tickets for away matches - a system which many claim is antiquated and in need of an overhaul following the move to Stratford and a doubling of season ticket holders.

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However even those opposed to this particular practise do not necessaily feel a ballot is necessarily the answer. "If anything, the ballot system will only encourage fans to behave that way more," wrote Dwight1970.

"Now fans with higher points will be tempted to buy more tickets to stay within the 90% zone.

"The system wasn’t broke, but might have been being slightly abused. Sadly this new system actively encourages that abuse to continue and I fail to see how anyone can endorse it over the previous one."

* What are your thoughts on the 10 per cent policy? Let us know in the Comments section below or via the KUMB Forum.

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