Just to put some clarity to the allocation of tickets prior to official release.
This furore has mainly come from Tony Dyche and myself on social media. Over the past few weeks we've been speaking to folk at away games that have started to comment on the apparent lack of prominent vale fans having to queue for high demand tickets, and criticism and sarcasm aimed at said fans always having the best seats at matches, but are never seen at the front of any queues. It started as a bit of an awkward one as, the fans being mentioned are the ones that go to every match come what may. In one respect, if anyone's deserving of preference then it's hard to deny their merits. Openly and probably unfairly on here and PVO, Jacko has been called out on that. We all know there's a group that would go to Mariupol if we drew them in some cup.
Now, aside from that group of folk, others have also been noticable and I had one or two other folk also questioning how these folk have managed to get high demand tickets without queueing. This led us both to do a little digging. In no time, an avalanch of information was forthcoming from people in person and by text messages and PM's online. The more we dug, the worse it got. I have also been presented screenshots of texts requesting tickets. It reached a point a few days ago where we both blew our lids, particularly over Exeter.
So, laid out bare, those that have had priority reservations over season ticket holders are as follows:
Players - Normal practice. Unknown quantities but was told 4 family members of 1 player were sat near someone I know at Exeter.
Staff - Normal practice I assume. Unknown quantities
Fans that undertake voluntary work at the club - unknown quantities but verified
Box holders x 8 per box - Verified by box holders but some box holders unaware of available privilige and understandably angry
VP's - 1 each presumably but cannot verify (seen texts to ticket office myself for requests for reservations)
Official Travel coach users get them reserved (Not sure if all or a select few) - verified by several users of official travel
Staff of Synectics / Hubb foundation - verified by someone who works for one of them but can't recall which
Backdoor sales to mates of ticket office staff - this was openly happening in the food queue at Salford away
We can of course argue the merit of each of those and we'd all have a differing opinion of where the line should be drawn. It is clear, however, that the volume going out and the hidden manner in which they do so leaves something of a sour taste, when tickets become high demand.
Basically, hundreds of tickets were flying out of the back door before reaching sale. It is entirely wrong of the club to state that X amount of tickets have been allocated and will go on sale to ST holders as priority, when that is blatantly not the case. The fact that the club were filming the huge queues for Exeter has rightly upset a few, because the club knew full well that of the 1300 tickets allocated, the actual figure on sale is rumoured to have been no more than 4-500.
Alongside that, Vale still honoured tickets that had been bought through the Exeter website debacle to fans that did not hold season tickets. We know fans that chanced their arm and they were sat there awaiting their collection in an envelope with their name on. On top of which, despite hundreds of season ticket holders being turned away after queueing for hours to purchase on the day, we know of one instance where a non-season ticket holder that was refunded for their tickets received a phonecall from the club to ask if they still wanted them?!
So, that basic lack of trust in the system has led to many fans braving the night to get in line. I read a comment above saying none of those moaning about the ticketing were there last night, they are ll the die hards. My mate Tony Dyche, who has been probably the biggest voice over this, was number 4 in the queue, pitching up in his bivvi bag at 10pm to spend the night on the floor to get his and my tickets.
Now, all that said, does it mean we want Carol's head on a pole? Of <ovf censored> course not!! I don't need to explain my background to many of you on here, but just because the Shanahans have done a fabulous job with our club so far, it should not mean that if and when certain things are lacking and need addressing, we are not entitled to call them out on that. They wouldn't have the club in the first place if we'd taken that approach as fans in times past. And that's all this is. The ticket office have badly let them down and has left an unfortunate sour taste on an otherwise excellent season. Given what we as a fan base have had to endure for the past 20 years, it's disappointing to hear that this behaviour is still present. We expected better. Just <ovf censored> treat us fairly. We still have shallow wounds.