Opportunity and costs hit fans

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AFTER two capacity crowds at Roker Park have spurred Sunderland on to the F.A. Cup Semi-Final, supporters now hit the unwelcome squeeze provided by diminishing opportunity and escalating costs. Receipts records at Roker Park were twice established when over £26,000 was paid to watch each of the ties against Manchester City and Luton Town, but at Hillsborough, where the capacity is just a few thousand more than Roker Park, the total take will top £80,000.

Sunderland‘s share of tickets will be about 24,000 which provides opportunity for fewer than half of the enthusiasts who have followed them in their last two games. And season ticket-holders, who have the first option on tickets, can take their pick from seats at £3 and £2 and standing at 70p.

Season ticket holders wishing to exercise their options should make postal application immediately, enclosing form “F,” the correct remittance, and a stamped addressed envelope. Tickets will be issued strictly on the basis of one per book. Envelopes enclosing applications should be marked C.T. on the left-hand corner. They must be in the hands of the club not later than Saturday.

Details of the distribution by ballot to non-ticket-holders will be published later, but it is emphasised that no applications from other than season ticket-holders will be entertained.

The possibility of disappointed ticket-seekers receiving a measure of compensation by being provided with the opportunity to see the game on closed-circuit television is, for the moment, only in the minds of the company proposing to arrange the transmission of both semi-finals. The matter did not come before the F.A. Cup Committee, who have the final word, at yesterday’s meeting and there has been no contact on the subject with the Sunderland club.

Manager Bob Stokoe, whose suggestion that both semi-finals should be played at Wembley before 100,000 crowds springs from the sense of disappointment which he feels for club supporters, says “If it brings the game live to all those who cannot get tickets then I think we must be for it.”

Story taken from the Sunderland Echo on March 20 1973.