FA Cup ticket fury for Everton FC supporters
EVERTON Football Club today said two out of every three fans who want to go to Wembley will miss out on a ticket.
The claim came after the FA revealed Cup finalists Everton and Chelsea will each receive just 25,000 tickets for the May 30 game.
The Blues received 31,500 for the semi-final, which was nowhere near enough to satisfy demand.
Wembley’s capacity is 90,000 – leaving a whopping 40,000 tickets for non-Everton and Chelsea fans.
The FA revealed 17,000 will go to Club Wembley members who invested in 10-year season tickets for matches and pop concerts at the new Wembley.
A further 23,000 go to its “football family” of clubs and associations.
Everton’s head of public relations Ian Ross told the ECHO: “Every single year the two clubs involved make the same noises and the same complaints. But nothing ever changes.”
“Interest in this game is huge.
“ And using the demand for semi-final tickets as a guideline, we believe about two out of every three fans who want to go to the cup final will be disappointed. It’s been 14 years since our last FA Cup final and, if the number of tickets was unlimited, we think we could sell twice as many as Chelsea.”
He added: “The FA just seems completely entrenched in its attitude that it has to provide tickets to the ‘football family’.
“That’s old school thinking – old school tie thinking. Most fans want the FA to modernise itself and the first thing it should address is ticketing for cup finals.”
Many fans appeared to be baffled by the FA’s decision to launch a new Out the Touts campaign while at the same time making tickets available to people with no interest in Everton or Chelsea.
Ian Ross said: “It’s all well and good taking a stand against touting. But by having such ticketing arrangements you drive fans towards the touts.”
Club chief executive Robert Elstone said: “The FA needs to do something about this. We are working hard like all clubs to fill our grounds with fans and attract people to football. However it seems the regulators are doing their best to force fans away from the game.”
Everton is likely to announce plans for distributing its allocation in the next 24 hours.
An FA spokesman said today: “Clubs will always want, and always be able to sell, more tickets.
“But everyone should share in the FA Cup final.” THE ECHO