After several weeks of discussion regarding Aston Villa’s Away Season Ticket scheme – including an Away Fan Consultation Group meeting – the club today announced their plans regarding away ticket allocation for the season ahead in the Premier League.
The decision was a tough one.
In many ways the away season ticket acted like speedy boarding, allowing fans for first dibs on away seat choice, although they had to pay an additional membership fee to join it. Some away supporters with near perfect away attendance though, questioned why they should be made to pay any addition fee to tickets they already buy.
With away tickets capped at £30 in the Premier League, any scheme that means supporters have to pay more to access tickets could also be seen as an additional paywall and against the spirit of the away ticket cap.
On a MOMS poll regarding the issue, that was run on the website (as opposed to social media, where you get the casual voters), 55% of supporters voted in abolishing the scheme. A slightly higher percentage than that also voted to terminate it at the Away Fan Consultation Group meeting in June.
Ultimately, it was seen that attendance at previous games was the fairest and most transparent way to allocate tickets – many who were on the away scheme, if they had actually gone to games wouldn’t suffer from it’s withdraw, as they’d still get first choice.
One thing that MOMS did support was the principle that away tickets should not become a closed shop to a select few. The fact that a home season ticket holder might not have a chance to go to an away game in the future seemed unfair and it also perhaps inhibits the growth of the fanbase. If a young fan gets the experience of a Villa away day, then it’ll only make their claret and blue blood run thicker.
MOMS supported the concept of a ballot based on loyalty, for a limited amount of tickets, to at least provide a possibility to see Villa away from home.
With that said, here’s the club’s official release, which includes the date of when Spurs tickets go on release:
Aston Villa Away Tickets Statement
The club can now confirm plans for our away ticket sales for the upcoming 2019/20 season. After consulting extensively with supporters – and also following a benchmarking process with other clubs – we’ve made some changes.
Under new procedures, in order to be fair, transparent and reward loyalty, away ticket criteria will be based on attendance at previous away games from the 2018/19 season as we also withdraw our away season ticket scheme.
The new sales criteria will start at season ticket holders who attended 18+ away games last season all the way through to general sale, with 15+, 12+, 9+, Season Ticket Holders and Claret/Cub members in between.
The first game of the season – away at Tottenham Hotspur – will go on sale next Thursday from 5pm online, subject to allocation and pricing being confirmed in the coming days by the host club.
We appreciate that while this new policy rewards loyalty, it means that it also potentially makes it difficult for a lot of eager fans to attend big Premier League matches on the road.
Therefore, 25 pairs of away tickets for each top-flight game will be made available on Pride Rewards for supporters via a Prize Draw, starting with the clash against Mauricio Pochettino’s Spurs. Winners of the Prize Draw will then have the opportunity to purchase a pair of tickets. We understand that some fans will be disappointed there is no away season ticket scheme for this season but we believe this to be the fairest way to allocate away tickets to supporters who wish to follow us on the road.
While this doesn’t affect me (last game i went to was in 93) after the last 3 years there were times when things were so dire i honestly thought our away numbers would drop, but they didn’t, we still fielded an amazing number of away fans for every away game, they did us proud.
While i can understand everyone wanting a chance to go see all the away games at the big premiership clubs now we’re back, in my mind those away fans have earned their first dibs on away tickets for so long as they want them.
Wonderful. I was only able to get tickets for 6 away games last season. So no one at Villa respects that as I am now just the same as some prawn sandwich brigade who has bought his Prem ticket. I have watched us okay on nearly 70 grounds over 63 years and would love to go to more. But the club sees fit not to recognise that. So like last season it will again be a closed shop and I will be unable to go to any games due to smaller allocation. The chosen few will again have a monopoly and there might be a few available early season for the chaotic lottery of trying to get seats on line.
A very disgruntled fan of 63 years.
We are not ‘chosen’ we get first dibs because we’ve followed the club away through thick and thin. I saw every away game last season.
I have three lads. We all go to every home game. We didn’t get to go to any away games in the Villa section last season because on every occasion when we could have gone everything was sold out before we even qualified as mere season ticket holders. I take my hat off to those who go to midweek away games miles away. I can’t. I’d love to take the kids away but it is just not possible under these schemes unless I take a day off work and take three kids out of three different schools. Of course it is no problem to ‘illegally’ get tickets in the home areas but that is no fun for the kids and obviously doesn’t count toward any ‘loyalty’ scheme.
50 tickets per game. Wow. Be able to get online at exactly the right minute, Fastest finger first, it’s worse than the 0820 call for available slots at the Quacks.
Seriously, how are those of us with kids and jobs meant to be able to qualify. How is this encouraging the next generation of fans. Most people I talk to don’t even bother trying to buy official away tickets anymore.
If interested season ticket holders are put in a ballot with a decent amount of tickets available at least we would have some chance.
There have been lots of occasions in the last few years when the ‘away’ section was stuffed and there were great big gaps elsewhere. The best games when I was a kid were when the Witton End was overflowing with away fans and the atmosphere was incredible. Can’t the Prem (and the EFL) mandate more away spaces.
Either way this response is pathetic, totally inadequate and hardly scratches the surface of the concerns expressed.
Basically, it’s an impossible science, where everybody’s self-interest is at play. Also, obviously there’s not enough supply to meet the demand. We have a lot of fans who have been to 15+ away games and a lot of them have done 18+ games. They have obviously earnt priority. At least the club is backing the concept that it shouldn’t be a closed shop. Any ideas to help with that, I’m sure would be appreciated.
Reply to smallheathen ! Spot on mate ! Love the villa but wen trying to get kids to enjoy the away day spirit of things like wen I was a nipper and paying in on gate ! Not happening now till the hillsborough family’s get justice and standing with proper safety measures and adequate policy’s in place it will be As it is ! Fans suffering again! RIP the LFC fans who gave there lives for the game !safe standing better atmosphere!
So those who was able to see away games because of the away ticket sales which sold out before it went on sale will still be the same ones buying them and re selling them for double.
Hows this fair
Season ticket holders should just go in the queue with all to make it fair .
I always go to a friendly games away as these are available so it should be based on that
Hate this crap same old same old.
Brentford away last season sold it in 1 hour I got my tickets of brentford fan via Ebay???
so just for the “select” few again I see, surely the fairest way is to make them available to everyone. same old same old shame on you villa. Very much mking it a closed shop.
So it’s ok, if Mr Glory Hunter, who has been in hibernation for three seasons has the same access now to away tickets to Mr Home & Away, who has spent thousands of pounds on travel and tickets supporting the team in matches? If you can convince Mr Home & Away of your theory, then good work! Surely you can see why they have first dibs?
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