A scarcely noted Football League failing
Posted by John Beech on March 30, 2010
While the media have focussed strongly on the failings of the FA in the last week and disseminated the calls for reform from a wide variety of sources, scant attention has been paid to a very basic failing by the Football League – its refusal to increase ticket allocations for Carlisle and Southampton fans to the League Cup final last Saturday.
Southampton were allocated 44,000 seats, which were all sold well before the match (1). Carlisle had to cope with a 13:30 kick-off on the day the clocks had just gone forward, and the number of coaches that travelled overnight showed their fans’ dedication.
On the day a superb turn out of 73,476 was recorded, with the League crowing “That’s more fans than were in Istanbul last season to watch the final of the UEFA Cup, between Shakhtar Donetsk and Werder Bremen and more than watched the domestic cup finals in Italy, Spain and Holland.” (2).
True, but why were there still blocks of seats unoccupied with fans eager for tickets?
The League were certainly neither keeping fans happy by refusing further tickets, nor were they revenue maximising – a lose/lose scenario if ever there was one. Yes, I appreciate it would have tipped the balance of support even further Southampton’s way, but that is the sort of issue which the FA should have thought about when they decided not to move the national stadium to a more equitable location. The choice of date hardly helps with equity in any case.
All of that said, it was a tremendous event which I thouroughly enjoyed (even as a Pompey fan!).
[I was there by the kind invitation of Supporters Direct.]