We would like to clarify the reasons behind the decision not to take the additional ticket allocation for the FA Cup clash at Arsenal
Following Saturday’s sell-out of tickets for this Friday’s FA Cup tie with Arsenal, we wanted to clarify the reasons for deciding against taking a second allocation.
We understand that a number of supporters will have been unable to get tickets for the tie but the risk in accepting an additional 3,500 tickets was too great, especially when taking into account the circumstances around the match.
To those who wanted to go to the game but could not get a ticket, we apologise, but the club had to make the decision last Tuesday because that was the deadline imposed by Arsenal, who wanted to put those tickets on sale to their own supporters.
Had we taken the additional tickets (we had to take all of them, not a fraction) and not sold them, we would have been financially liable.
Last season, from an overall allocation of 9,091, we took 7,951 fans and the club had to pay for the additional 1,140 unsold tickets.
On the basis that this was our second visit to the Emirates, that the game was being screened live on television, it was a Friday night in London, it was more expensive per ticket than last season (when we didn’t sell out our allocation) and that many supporters expressed their inability to get to the game because of the Friday kick-off, the decision was taken not to take up the additional allocation.
Further to that, the second allocation would have been for the upper tier and would have been priced at £35.50 for adults, £33.50 for concessions and £29.00 for under-16s – therefore increasing the risk that they wouldn’t sell.
Because of that, we wanted to ensure that all supporters who have followed the club so far this season – home and/or away – got the opportunity to purchase at least two tickets for the game.
By the time they reached general sale on Saturday, any supporter who had attended any home or away game had been given the opportunity to purchase a ticket because we felt it right that fans who had been to at least one game (regardless of venue) should be able to buy before general sale.
On Saturday, there were still 600 tickets left and they sold out after around three hours.
Of course, we understand that this means some supporters have missed out on tickets but we could not be in a position where we had up to 3,500 tickets left unsold and would have been financially liable for each ticket at an adult ticket rate.
We understand that this will be no consolation to fans who were unable to get a ticket but we hope it, at least, explains our reasons for taking the decision we did and the evidence on which it was based.