Why Are Saints Only Putting Half The Aston Villa Tickets On Sale ?
Friday, 15th Nov 2019 09:48
Saints put the tickets for the game up at Aston Villa on sale this week stating that they had an allocation of 3,000, so why have only half gone on sale.
The club made a rush announcement that they were putting the tickets for the fixture at Aston Villa on December 21st on sale earlier this week, they gave supporters only a days notice putting out the announcement on Monday and the tickets on sale on Tuesday.
This is strange in that the game was still almost six weeks away, usually tickets for away games go on sale a month before.
The announced that the allocation would be split into upper tier and lower tier in the Doug Ellis stand which many Saints supporters will be familiar with.
But on Tuesday only the lower tier went on sale, some would say why is this a problem, the answer is simple, the view from the lower tier is not great and many away fans visiting Villa Park prefer the upper tier as it gives a much better view.
So why the early sale and why only half the allocation, the answer is simple, the club are trying to gauge demand before deciding whether to take the basic allocation or the full allocation where they would have to page for any tickets unsold.
The extra two weeks gives them the opportunity to do this before having to commit four weeks before the game to a certain number of tickets.
That is fine in principle, but it does not take into account various factors, the first being that many Saints fans may be waiting to get paid at the end of the month before buying the tickets and therefore wont be able to buy them for another couple of weeks yet, but this will be after the date when Saints will have made the decision.
This happened twice last season, the trip to Huddersfield saw Saints take the smaller allocation only to see that sell out fast and for what was a vital relegation battle not have a full contingent of supporters behind them when they could have sold the full allocation with many fans missing out.
Likewise the trip to Leicester, the initial 1,500 tickets sold out fast, but by then the club had told Leicester they would only take the initial allocation and again many Saints fans who would have gone found that they could not buy tickets.
The reason the club do this is that the initial allocation is always on a sale or return basis , however further allocations are not and the club could be out of pocket if they do not sell them all,
After the Everton game there was never going to be a mad rush for tickets, but the games between now and the trip to Villa Park are crucial and a couple of wins could change our position and make this a popular game to go to.
If we are to have any chance of survival we have to beat the likes of Villa on their own patch and to do that we need every advantage.
This being the case why are we not trying to ensure that we have as many fans possible at the game ?
The obvious answer seem to be money, whoever is calling the shots on this one is willing to gamble the multi millions we get from the Premier League for the sake of saving a few thousand pounds, even if we took the allocation and failed to sell one ticket of it, the financial risk would barely be £30,000. Half a weeks wages for most of those likely to play against Villa
This perhaps shows the inexperience of the people running the club, it will not be the ticket office manager making this decision, it will be the board who in the past have instructed the ticket office manager that he cannot make a loss on selling away tickets.
This highlights our deficiencies on the board, this is nothing to do with Gao, this is below his level, Martin Semmens is the CEO and ultimately is the man who is making the decisions or at least ratifying them if made by those under him, Toby Steele as managing Director would most likely be the man instructing the ticket office on this.
They are both shrewd businessman but football clubs are not like normal business's and although yes having experience in the business world is necessary it has to be tempered with the fact that you have to make footballing decisions that are totally different from the way you would operate a normal company.
So perhaps someone at the club will read this and take note of the significance of this game and not play around with the club's future to save peanuts in the grand scheme of things.
I have often said Saints and all football clubs need businessmen running the club, it is now far far bigger than say 20 years ago when we were still at the Dell, gone are the days when the likes of local businessmen could make the decisions on a part time basis, but it only works if those CEO's & Managing directors have a feel for a football club and know what they are doing, I have said before that our board seem to be trying to learn fast, but they are still a long way off as this decision again show, they learn't nothing from last season's aforementioned games.
Lastly there is the matter of the fact that the club have penalised it's most loyal fans, if they do release the second part of the allocation they they have forced those that go week in week out away from home to buy the worst seats, now that is just plain wrong.
Photo: Action Images
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