AFC Wimbledon release statement after Sunderland turnstile issues

AFC Wimbledon have released a club statement after some of their fans had difficulties entering the Stadium of Light on Saturday.

Friday, 8th February 2019, 5:57 pm
Updated Friday, 8th February 2019, 6:02 pm
Many Wimbledon fans had problems entering the Stadium of Light on Saturday.

Many Dons supporters who made the trip to Wearside missed a substantial part of the first half and were left outside in poor weather conditions.

Due to several complaints, Wimbledon wrote to Sunderland for an explanation and received an apology and outlining the reasons for the issue.

Wimbledon's statement read: "Sunderland have offered a heartfelt apology to all the fans that experienced long delays getting into the ground on Saturday.

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"They went on to give some context for the problems that were encountered.

"In essence, Sunderland felt that due to potential weather issues and the low number of sales from the additional tickets we requested on top of the first batch of 500, they did not expect to see a big walk up of visiting fans

"What happened on the day was that they had a cash turnstile walk up of 299, which is the second largest they’d seen all season (their average walk up is 100). They therefore only opened one cash turnstile based on this.

"This was further compounded by the pricing which had an adult ticket at £18, meaning that the vast majority paid with a £20 note, leading to them running out of change due to the size of the walk up.

"They did authorise the opening of a second cash turnstile, but this took time to get in place and so had limited impact."

As a result of the problems our fans faced, Sunderland have this week reviewed their processes for opening additional turnstiles quicker and ensuring they have more change available for similarly priced matches.

"For the sake of clarity, both we and usually the police will give the home club an indication of our expected away support, in addition to the final pre sales numbers. As a rule of thumb, we typically advise the host club to expect double the number of pre sold tickets, and that is what we advised Sunderland on this occasion. However, it is up to home clubs to make their own decision on final numbers based on their own analysis and in these circumstances, it is possible that miscalculations may be made.

"For this reason we urge fans as much as possible to try and buy away tickets during the pre sales period and not on the day, as this is the only way to avoid potential away turnstile issues or even disappointment."