Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Ticket Chaos at the Valley

First a happy Clive Mendonca Day to all Charlton fans.

Well as usual another Tuesday at Charlton Athletic didn’t let us down, this time it appears with shenanigans in the ticket office.  Sources state that the head of ticketing Mandy Anderson- Myers has quit apparently after a disagreement with the chief financial officer.

It would be a fair assumption to make that this was over resources for the upcoming season.  As the club is relegated to league one revenues fall and so cuts have to be made in all areas.  This happened last time the club was demoted and should not be an unexpected development.

So was Anderson-Myers right to protest?  To start with there is the issue of up to 2,400 refund requests for all those in the North Lower whose view was obscured by the posts and netting.  It appears that the club is dithering on its response with Anderson-Myers appearing to have passed the buck to another department according to various sources on twitter.  I wouldn’t hold my breath for a resolution any time soon, but fans should keep on insisting on a refund for a clearly unacceptable situation.

Looking towards to the new season, clearly, the more season tickets sold by a club prior to the start of the season, the fewer resources they require to issue tickets throughout the season.  The latest on season tickets sold from Dansk_Red on the Charlton Life forum is 3,429 at the back end of April.  This may have now risen to 4,000 but is well below last year’s 10,000 plus tickets.  Most of this is down to an effective campaign to boycott season tickets by CARD (see @CharltonCARD and for details ).  This means at least an additional 6,000 tickets to issue for each game.

This of course makes a big assumption that all those boycotting actually do buy individual match tickets and of course that attendances are static which undoubtedly will not be the case.  Last year's average attendance at the Valley was around 15,000-16,000.  Putting the boycott aside I would normally expect this to drop to around 11,000-12,000 which from memory was the crowd size last time we were in League One.

Assuming an effective boycott then individual match day ticket sales will actually be the lower than the season just gone.

The introduction of the ticketing website with print at home tickets and bar code scanning to enter the ground mean that less staff are required as the process becomes more automated.  This is not a complete panacea as there is a need to monitor and restrict ticket sales for high profile games such as Millwall or Leeds to ensure proper segregation but again it requires less resources.

On the subject of ticketing many fans have said that they will only be buying away tickets so that they can continue to support the team without putting money into the owner’s pockets.  I will be doing the same but you should be aware that Football League regulations state that the away club may receive a commission of 5% for tickets sold so if you really don't want to give money to the regime it might be better to buy on the day at the away club.



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