SUNDERLAND Football Club today apologised for the inconvenience caused to some supporters at Saturday’s match against Oxford United, when hundreds failed to get in to see the match, and hundreds more failed to obtain vouchers for tickets for the FA Cup match against Luton.
It was the decision to issue vouchers to supporters at Saturday’s match that was responsible for the congestion, the club chairman, Mr Keith Collings, and club secretary, Mr Ron Linney, said in a statement today.
After Tuesday night’s replay against Manchester City the chairman met Mr Linney and Mr Stokoe, the manager, to try to formulate a method of ensuring that regular supporters had the best chance of getting tickets for the cup-tie against Luton, the statement continued.
It was felt that a system of voucher distribution at the home match would be the fairest method.
Some criticism has been levelled at the club because the intention to issue vouchers was advertised,”said the statement. This decision was made because of the large number of inquiries being made at the ground during the week.
“It is now appreciated that this was the main reason for the congestion at the ground and the club would like to apologise for the inconvenience caused to their supporters.”
Club officials would be taking a new look at the method of distribution to ensure that in the future tickets were distributed in the fairest manner and with the least inconvenience.
The Echo was flooded today with letters of complaint from supporters. A typical example was that of B Fair who wrote: “I find it disgraceful that gates were not opened at 1pm or even earlier. Arguments about the sudden success, lack of gatemen etc., are as pathetic as they are pointless.”
Story taken from the Sunderland Echo on March 5 1973.