Doc I would like to think we kind of agree on the main point.
I think we all probably do mate. Another symptom of the lack of proper interaction between fans and the Club. In that vacuum, we bicker over things they are to blame for.
You are not wrong to question the fairness of ASTs and, in particular, additional ones issued without regard to PP.
Before the price capping and peak in demand, there was nothing wrong with the AST scheme apart from sometimes being lumbered with a £50 ticket. There wasn't the demand and I can assure you none of those people bought to sell or accumulate points.
There are some soft moral questions to answer being on the AST scheme. If I can't make a game, for example through being hit by a drunken driver (long story..), then I can't give the ticket back, sell on at face value or even give it to your mate out of sympathy. I buy it and let it go empty or give up the scheme.
Should I be able to give it on to someone deserving, like a student who posts on here in Bournemouth and goes whenever he can? Is it better to let it sit empty? Not earth shattering, but honest questions for me to answer to I guess.
Big difference with anyone choosing to renew their AST not really intending to go often but safe in the knowledge that they can shift the tickets or, worse, ever ever selling at profit. The latter's a hanging offence in my West Ham moral coda and the former a real question for those of us as the years pass.
So, you were right to raise it but, maybe, wrong to suggest scrapping the whole thing and letting the dogs loose.
A constructive and transparent way of allocating away tickets would be:
1. See which bondholders go regularly. Offer them ASTs. Offer the others a legal buyout of that term of their bonds.
2. Fix a number of sustainable ASTs. Allow them 2 or 3 misses a year and the ability to return tickets to the Club.
3. Allocate the remainder on a simple PP system.
4. Always take maximum allocations, run Specials and incentivise attendance at difficult away games.
5. Stop using PP as a marketing tool.
6. The Club to buy corporate tickets/freebies separately or only give them away when spare.
Now all of the above would cost the Club so there is no point suggesting it. I disagree about scrapping the AST scheme not because 'I'm all right Jack' but because I have absolutely no trust in them replacing it with anything fair. It worked for years, so the real question should be 'what is going on now which is different?'
There's some terrible touts around. The worst ones seem to be in the lounges.