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Away credits system not fair?

Away credits system not fair?

An important part of AISAs activities is to comment on Arsenal's ticketing systems and practices. We regularly put forward proposals for change, when agreed as beneficial by AISA members. A discussion about away tickets allocation and how credits are allocated took place on one of the Arsenal mailing lists today (see below). What do you think? Email us with your views and suggestions at ticketing@aisa.org

 

Suggestion from supporter

Many people are buying away tickets just to get away credits. This has been increasingly prevalent with European games as the tickets are cheaper and easier to obtain. Now must be the time for AISA and other organisations to ask the club to come up with other methods of major game ticket distribution as the old way is blatantly not working.

Respondent 1

Enlighten me. How do you get an away credit for yourself by buying an away ticket? For some people (myself included) this is the only way to get to away matches. The people that are selling them are usually on the away tickets scheme. So in my eyes that entitles them to have those credits.

Respondent 2

In my experience in the last few seasons at some of the European aways, the away credit has been connected to actual attendance. I know it hasn't always been managed that well on the night, as I'm sure there were games I expected to be given the 'attendance code' thing by a steward but didn’t get one. And there has definitely been at least one game I did get the code and then completely forgot to input it online. But it's a system that at least should vaguely work.

As for people buying domestic aways just to get credits, I suspect it's not that many. And the only way to prevent it is scrap the away credits system or increase ticket prices. Both of which penalise the vast majority of loyal travelling fans, who buy away tickets.

I don't see how any system would be entirely 'fair' in everyone's eyes, not until we have retinal scanners at the turnstiles and our away credits registered like that (I'd like to believe that'd never happen but who knows). How can anyone determine who is more 'Arsenal', more deserving of any final ticket? If it came down to anything other than hard figures it would be far more flawed. Yes the system's very flawed, but it would be a little less flawed if we pushed for more sensible ticket allocation for Finals. Less for the Final than the Semi wasn't it?

Respondent 3

As a one time away season ticket holder and prior to that someone who worked their way up from 0 to 40+ away credits - and now back to 0 because I can't now afford the time or money for 'aways' I think I've seen all sides of the away tickets issue.

It is an imperfect system I'd agree. But we've long discussed this system and how to improve it in the past whilst travelling to and from away trips with various other Arsenal fans and have yet to come up with a perfect solution. It is not perfect but it is fair in that in order to get on the lower rungs of the away credit ladder it requires taking tickets for the less desirable trips first - places such as Boro, Sunderland, Bradford, Leeds, Blackburn and the like on weekends, or midweek away trips to anywhere outside London - places such as Villa Park for example.

Put the graft in for less desirable trips and the credits mount up, eventually after a season or three this allows you enough credits for the more desirable Old Trafford trips. All those at Old Trafford that fabulous night we won the league were there because they were all either dedicated away fans or had paid through the nose to someone. Just as it is at any big game.

Essentially it is not much different really from just buying programmes when we had the old programme vouchers scheme for Cup Final tickets. Which in turn was a massive improvement to the first in the long queue all around the stadium on a Sunday morning system for Cup Final tickets where locals who didn't even go to home games won out. It's always about increasing your chances of getting tickets for the biggest games.

The current away scheme has difficulties because for many trips the Arsenal ticket allocation is limited to just 3,000, but that is also the reason an away scheme of sorts is required. Improve the away allocation and you improve the system. Stadiums which are not always full such as Sunderland, Blackburn, Fulham and the like offered the opportunity for a stand full of away fans to go, and still do.

One thing is for sure - those who complain about not being able to get away tickets are usually referring to their one proposed away trip a year to Tottenham rather than to a Wednesday night at Stoke or Newcastle. When I was a regular away traveller I reckoned I deserved my trip to the Bernabeu, nowadays those putting in the air and road miles deserve theirs.

I don't know a fairer way for our away ticket distribution, but would fully support any that can be found.

 

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