Football is a fast moving game, and no sooner has the dust begun to settle on our excellent day out at Portman Road, squabbling has begun over the allocation of tickets for our replay next week.
It actually started in my house less than 24 hours after the game had finished. My Dad had seen that it was one ticket per season ticket holder, and he complained that he couldn’t take his other half. He has a season ticket but my step-mum doesn’t, and yet she attended 90% of the games with him. He was gutted he might not be able to ensure they watched the game together.
A few hours later the club switched the allocation from one to four per ST holder, and suddenly it was those who invested in the summer, ahead of all the hype, that were having the last laugh.
It has been estimated that if all season ticket holders took their allocation of four, added to the Ipswich allocation it could mean just a couple of thousand are left for the paying punter. With those tickets due to go on sale on Wednesday it could mean that a lot of 9-5 Imps fans who tend to pay on the gate could miss out. Have the club done the right thing?
I do believe that ST holders should get some sort of incentive, and first dibs on big game tickets is such a perk. Those who have held one for a few years haven’t had much chance to take advantage of ‘big game’ tickets in the past, given that we haven’t had many big games.
In fact the past has not been kind to those willing to put trust in the summer hype for a while now. Until recently any ticket incentive the club does appears on a normal match day, and often ST holders feel they’ve been hard done by. I even saw one who had worked out it would almost be cheaper to join the FPS and pay on the gate than buy a season ticket. His argument was flawed, but that over riding sense of injustice does seem prevalent with those who buy in the summer.
There are those though who cannot afford a season ticket, and therefore have to pay weekly, so to speak. Those people are usually five days a week workers who cannot justify taking a days holiday to queue at Sincil Bank. A lack of ‘free to buy’ tickets leaves those people with a real slim chance of picking up a seat. There’s also example ‘B’, the fan who started the season covering as Poacher, but after growing too fat for the suit has chosen to pay on the gate and dedicate his time to writing. That guy (in theory) could struggle for tickets as well.
In fact the to-ing and fro-ing on Facebook today actually had me hoping for an away draw in the fourth round (should we progress) so that the ticket fight wouldn’t break out again if we progressed. I’m not a fan of any negativity around the club, and to find some brewing so soon after our draw at Portman Road wasn’t nice. I almost didn’t blog tonight, that is how much it bothered me. I got home though and realised I don’t really do anything else in the evenings anymore.
The club could have offered two per ticket holder I guess, but that still wouldn’t help out those that work all week, so after much debate with myself I think the club have made the right decision. Your average season ticket holder has shown faith in the club before a ball has been kicked, and they’ve put money into the club when it was most needed. Maybe without that revenue we wouldn’t have been able to keep Matt Rhead at the club? If that had been the case, maybe we wouldn’t be top, and maybe we wouldn’t have travelled to Ipswich at all.
So I’ll spend tomorrow hoping for some positive news on my own ticket for the Ipswich game, but I’ll hope to read less squabbling on the internet. It may not seem fair on a large section of the fans, but it is repaying the faith of some very faithful individuals. Attendances on the day is all well and good, but high season ticket sales can help set a budget policy at a time when the club most need it.
Either way revenue into Lincoln City Football Club is the main thing, and whatever the outcome a week on Tuesday, the attendance will be the best result we’ve had in the cup all season.