Away Ticket Sales Criteria for 2020 & Possible Allocation Reductions and Alcohol Withdrawal

Away Fan Consultation Meeting Thursday 24th October 2019

Attendees:

Bromley Davenport (AVFC), Lee Preece (AVFC), Nathan Thurman (AVFC), Anne Edwards, David Michael (MOMS), Joanne McKibbens, Jonathan Knibb, John Holder, Kevin Pickersgill, Steve Hollyoake, Steve Gough, Tom Cole

Apologies:

Anton Cuscito, John Perks, Mark McFarland, Max Stokes, Mo Razzaq, Stuart Bladen

Upcoming Away ticket allocations and prices

Manchester United – Sunday 1st December, kick-off 4.30pm Allocation 3,064

£30 Adults, £15 Over 64, £22.50 Student & U22, £10 Under 16 On sale from Monday 28th October

Chelsea – Wednesday 4th December, kick off 7.45pm Awaiting allocation and pricing details – TBC

Due to be on sale Monday 4th November subject to confirmation

Sheffield United – Saturday 14th December, kick off 3.00pm Allocation 2,865

£30 Adults, £25 Over 65, £20 Student & U22, £16 Under 18
Due to be on sale Monday 11th November subject to confirmation

Watford – Saturday 28th December, kick off 3.00pm
Allocation 2,204

£30 Adults, £22 Over 65, £18 Student, £5 Under 19
Due to be on sale Monday 11th November subject to confirmation

Away Ticket Sales Criteria for matches in 2020

Current away criteria, for away matches in 2019 was decided at the start of the season and we are at the point where criteria for the matches in 2020 needs to be decided.

It was opened up to the consultation group to discuss ideas for the fairest system. Ideas discussed included carrying on with basing criteria on last seasons away matches for the remaining away matches, using last seasons (18/19) away history and this seasons (19/20) away history or using part of last season’s history (from a certain point in the season – eg last 12 matches) and this seasons history.

The idea of using loyalty points instead of away history was mentioned, however the club advised this would cause confusion between the current rewards points system and it could not be merged, as it would mean that fans who do not necessarily have the relevant away history might get preference over regular away attendees and could potentially ‘buy’ their eligibility.

After a vote at the end of the discussion, the majority agreed that using last season and this season history combined will be the best option as this rewards loyalty for the championship season in addition to those maintaining attendance in the Premier League.

Bournemouth will have a separate sales criteria confirmed due to the small ticket allocation and in the interest of being fair.

FA Cup Final Ticket Allocation

A question was asked about possible FA Cup Final ticket allocation with the increase in season ticket sales and memberships. The club advised that while the allocation would likely to be less than the amount of season ticket holders we have, the last time in 2015 we allocated tickets based on season ticket tenure to ensure fairness in distributing tickets.

NB – Following lobbying of the FA by the Football Supporter Associaton, the allocation of FA Cup final tickets recently rose from 25k to 28k.

Anti-Social Behaviour at Matches

Recent away games have resulted in numerous instances of bad behaviour of our fans at away grounds. Behaviour at Tottenham, Crystal Palace and Norwich have been particularly poor.

So much so that West Midlands Police have advised that these instances are being brought to the attention of away ground safety officers and dedicated football officers and if this trend continues, the club could see reductions in ticket allocations and alcohol being withdrawn from sale.

The club acknowledge that a minority of fans are engaging in bad behaviour, however we will look at ways of communicating /educating fans and reminding them of the consequences the club face if problems continue.

Issues with online sales

One of the group mentioned issues they were experiencing online when trying to select seats whereby seats would initially show as available but then would not add to the basket with the errormessage ‘seat no longer available’. The club confirmed that this is a case of so many fans beingonline at the same time all selecting seats.

Seat availability when you first log in is a snapshot of what is available at that particular time and fans are continually selecting and de-selecting seats all the time.

Aston Villa third shirt discount

Collection of tickets at away grounds

The question was asked if the forced collection of selected tickets at away grounds would continue. Following the last consultation meeting, the club indicated that this was an option we would explore this season to ensure that only fans who are assigned to match tickets are using them. The only way to enforce this policy is to randomly select fans to collect at the away club and provide ID.

A recent trial of this at Norwich City proved very successful and the club will continue this throughout the season subject to the away clubs being happy to assist us. Concern was raised about forms of ID as not everyone has photo ID but the club explained that the only way someone at an away club can verify a supporter is genuine is by providing photo ID.

The club would look at any individual instances should they arise however this policy will apply to all supporters in the interest of clamping down on the unauthorised passing on of match tickets.

Contradicting Twitter Messages

It was raised that the number of available tickets communicated via @AVFCSupport (Twitter) and what is available to view on the online system is different and therefore leading fans to be confused about how many tickets are left.

The club confirmed that not all tickets are released for sale on the first sale date as there are selling orders that the club are obliged to follow. In addition to this the club will naturally sell one block before another in some instances so that ticket fulfilment can happen sooner and operate more efficiently.

Internet Sales on various unauthorised websites

Noticeably more so this season, the club have noticed an increase in the number of unauthorised ticket sales. The club advised that we take action against any supporter who is found to be passing or selling tickets to other supporters.

We constantly monitor social media for instances of unauthorised sales. Tickets are strictly non-transferable and should a supporter not be able to attend, they can return the ticket to the Ticket Office for a refund providing they are within the refund deadline date which is advertised.

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