SAFC issues apology after Sunderland fans left stuck outside Stadium of Light by turnstile problems at Charlton match
Sunderland AFC have issued an apology to Black Cats fans after a technical fault with the entry system left supporters stuck outside the Stadium of Light at the club's first game of the season.
Angry fans took to Twitter berating the club and new owner Stewart Donald after the glitch saw them facing queues and missing the opening minutes of the game against Charlton Athletic when season cards and tickets were affected by the glitch at turnstiles.
@Watsa74 said: "What a complete shambles. Turned away at the turnstile with my season card. Que an effing mile long at the ticket office. Fumin."
@laidlerSteve said: "Really shambolic scenes at the turnstiles Stewart! Honestly this is terrible. Travelled 260 miles for this and taken over 30 mins to get in. How does it go so wrong?"
@HiltonHeslop said: "It would be helpful if KO was delayed for 15 mins to allow the crowds outside to get in."
Black Cats bosses put out a tweet before the gaming warning of the issue and asking fans to "bear with them" while they dealt with the issue.
They have now issued an apology.
This is the statement in full:
"Sunderland AFC would like to apologise to those supporters who experienced issues entering the Stadium of Light today, ahead of the game against Charlton Athletic.
"A technical glitch with some of the bar-coded tickets and season cards meant that fans could not enter the stadium as quickly as usual.
"Over 15,000 people were already in the stadium when the problem occurred, approximately 20 minutes prior to kick off.
"Once we became aware of the issues, extra stewarding and police resources were immediately deployed around the stadium to assist with entry and communication, which resulted in over 10,000 supporters coming through the turnstiles in a 30-minute period.
"The vast majority of supporters had gained entry to stadium within 10 minutes after kick-off.
"Naturally we know those supporters affected will be very disappointed to have missed kick off and we share in that disappointment.
"We are sincerely sorry that we have encountered technical issues on the opening game of the season and assure our fans that we have done everything possible to rectify the issue swiftly and safely.