The Away Ticket Consultancy Meeting: 9th February 2017
Fan representatives at the latest Away Ticket Consultancy meeting were Anthony Willis, John Holder, John Perks, Mark McFarland & Steve Gough (Apologies: Steve Todd, Stewart Conniff, MOMS’ David Michael was overseas). The club representatives were Lynne O’Reardon, Bromley Davenport & Lee Preece, and PC Stuart Bladen of West Midlands Police was also present.
Lynne O’Reardon – introduction
Lynne O’Reardon is the clubs new Head of Ticketing. She introduced herself, and is looking forward to consulting with the group going forward.
Brentford & Nottingham Forest had been the quickest sell outs that the club had seen.
- Rotherham sales were at 2,123 out of 2,600. There will be no further allocation.
- Newcastle sales were at 1,550 – no need for any further allocation beyond the initial 2,200.
- Huddersfield allocation is 2,000 which go on sale from Wednesday. Again, there is no chance of any further allocation.
- Wigan allocation will be 4,800 – prices to be confirmed.
- Burton allocation confirmed as 1,600.
Blackburn will be a large allocation, and PC Bladen informed the group that the conduct of our fans at Preston has gone a long way to encouraging Blackburn to provide a sizeable allocation. The conduct of our fans and the reputation we gain on the road will go a long way to encouraging clubs and Police forces to give us larger allocations.
50k Away Subsidy
Discussion was then held about the £50k subsidy for season 16/17. At present, tickets for both Norwich & Newcastle have been subsidised. At the current sales rate for Newcastle, it is expected that approximately £29k will be left over.
The fan reps were asked for their thoughts on how we should use the remaining subsidy. Each remaining fixture and its merits for subsidy were debated. Fulham away is on Easter Monday, Blackburn will be a large allocation etc.
Burton away would be a good match to reward away support as those who have attended the most matches will qualify for tickets.
None of the clubs we are playing have a reputation for charging high ticket prices, but it was decided that the club will wait until prices for Fulham are confirmed before making a decision. The matches versus Fulham, Burton & Blackburn were the favourites for possible subsidy.
West Midlands Police (and fan reps that had attended a pre-season friendly at Burton) raised concerns about the terracing. As fans enter, they stay where they have entered causing a blockage for those who arrive afterwards that cannot access the empty terracing beyond. The group noted this, and all will look to communicate this nearer the match, encouraging fans to be mindful when entering and spreading out across the terracing.
Cup Match Home Season Tickets 16/17
One of the group had been asked to raise the situation with the unused home cup match from 16/17 season tickets. This issue is likely to be raised (and answered) at the next Fans Consultation Group meeting on Tuesday 14th February. The club noted the question and are currently considering options.
Lions Club Allocation
A fan rep at the group had been asked to raise the question as to why Lions Clubs receive an allocation for each match.
The club work closely with Lions Clubs, and greatly appreciate the efforts of those that push and promote the club both in the UK and abroad. We will continue to support the Lions Club network by offering an opportunity for them to access a limited number of away tickets. The club will always ensure that the allocation given to Lions Clubs is fair, including reducing the number available to them when the club receives smaller allocations.
Ticket Sites Offering Tickets
It was raised that, occasionally, tickets for away matches were available on ticket sites prior to the allocation being on sale. The club welcome any information on such sites and will always investigate any circumstances where tickets appear for sale via unofficial channels. Anyone found to be reselling tickets are dealt with accordingly & strongly. It was noted that these occasions are few and far between and there is not much of an issue.
Concession Abuse at Spurs
PC Bladen had encountered a number of fans at Spurs away who were adults that had been refused entry at Spurs as they had concession tickets. The club would not sell a concession ticket to an adult client reference. The issue was noted, and has not been a concern at other grounds.
Burton Away Criteria
The club was asked what the starting criteria for Burton away would be. This has still to be decided. The group suggested that starting Forest at 9 matches was a bit low. Rotherham & Huddersfield are starting at 13. Burton to be decided. The club are looking to avoid any criteria changes (for any match) that clash with away matches.
Away Scheme Queries
The club was questioned on our policy regarding returns on the away scheme, and in particular, would an away scheme member who had returned four tickets get automatic priority for a match over someone who had attended more away games but were not in the scheme. The club can see the number of fans that meet each criteria, and can use this in planning to ensure this scenario does not occur.
The question was also raised over anyone abusing the away scheme, by joining it only to obtain Blues or Burton tickets. The club stated that anyone coming out of the scheme part way through any season may run the risk of being unable to join in the future.
There was discussion regarding individuals who can afford to join the scheme and not attend some matches. There is little the club can do at present to stop this, or if anyone sells tickets for the matches they do not attend. Any discovery of such activity will result in individuals being withdrawn from the scheme and prevented from joining in the future.
The next meeting will be held week commencing the 24th April.