Date:Tuesday May 8 2007
Picture it, the new and much capacious Wembley stadium awash with color and vibrancy at the end of May. Ninety-thousand excited fans gathering for a show piece final on a warm summer`s day in the brand new national stadium, complete with its magnificent arc and numerous toilets……well, that`s if they can get tickets of course.
Having seen the breakdown of tickets for the FA cup final this year, I like many other people am at a loss for words at the FA`s complete lack of understanding for the one thing that has actually remained pure within the game of football - the fans.
90000 tickets for the FA cup final have been divided thus:
20000 each for the two finalists (wow)
Leaving the 50000 remaining tickets for; corporate bods, the 17000 10-year ticket holders and numerous clubs around the country to share between them.
Now correct me if I am wrong, but I do not think that many people out there really care about paying good money to travel to North London and watch two teams they do not support play out the FA cup final? Well, even if they do, I am not in favour of this ticketing policy. Cup finals are for fans, the ones who pay to watch their teams home and away all season long as a reward for that dedication. It is a chance for fans to either bask in the glory of victory together, or rally around and console one another after a gut wrenching defeat. They are not, or at least should not be, a chance for fat men to quaff Bollinger whilst occasionally glancing toward the pitch.
The FA responded by saying that with the top two teams in English football competing in the show piece final, the demand would always out-strip supply. True enough, but then if there were 50000 tickets available for both sides that would still probably be the case, making it a very poor excuse indeed. Moreover, they remarked on the fact that there are 1500 more tickets available to each team than was the case at the 75000 capacity Millennium Stadium last year. However, 3000 more tickets is merely a fifth of the additional 15000 tickets on sale this year - a poor ratio by anyone`s logic.
The league one play-off final is of course not beset with the same ticketing farce. As less of a pull for corporate events it will see the teams involved (with Forest hopefully being one of them of course) have a large ticket allocation that will satisfy the supporters who really want to go - along with those who make one appearance a season unfortunately but that cannot be helped. So why am I bothered about this you might ask? Well, maybe we will reach a cup final before I reach my old age and this problem may become more apparent? Hmm, dream on…..
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