Tuesday, April 15, 2008

City's Ticket Distribution not quite right

It was always going to be tough for Cardiff City to allocate their Cup Final Allowance fairly. And to be fair, I think that they have got it mainly right, balancing the need to reward loyal supporters with maximising the opportunity to sell season tickets for 2008/09.

But I just have one axe to grind. 2007/08 Ambassadors (i.e. fans who bought season tickets at the end of the previous season when things looked bleak for the club) have been allocated two tickets. Away travel members are not guaranteed a ticket however. This system gives priority to the well connected over the occasional long-distance supporter, and that can't be right.

When I moved to North Wales after 30 years of regular attendance at Ninian, I knew that I would be giving up my season ticket. With a young family, and local club commitments it just wouldn't be possible to get down to Ninian regularly. But I could make games in the Midlands and North West so I paid out £40 in Away memberships for my son and myself.

I naiively assumed that would give me some sort of priority. In fact, it just gives me the right to buy a ticket. But other away members who might travel to away 10 games a season are behind the queue to friends of ambassadors. I have already spoken to two friends this morning, fans of Manchester United and Liverpool, living in South Wales. They will be going to Wembley as guests of their Cardiff-supporting mates.

I'm OK now. I'm sorted for Wembley, as I bought three season tickets for next year which will sit empty for 15 games of the season. Two were free childrens tickets for the Family Stand. So for £199, I have been allocated 3 semi final and 3 final tickets. That's a bargain in my book.

In America, I would be able to recoup my investment officially. Season ticket holders who do not use their tickets return them to the club for each game that they won't be attending. The club sells it on to a different fan, and gives the season ticket holder a percentage of the sale. Makes sense doesn't it?

I'm sure than any genuine fan will be able to find a ticket, and I think it's that assumption that has driven this policy. But I still think that Away members should be sorted out before ambassadors can claim a ticket for their guest.


Rhys Wynne said...

I like the American idea, as I've made the move in the opposite direction - from the north to Cardiff and did consider a season ticket, and treat the unused tickets as a donation to the club.

Gareth said...

I know that Tottenham have a similar scheme, where you can sell back your season ticket for a game if you can't go. Should be implemented in all clubs really, as it helps everyone all round.