Belfast Telegraph

Glenavon fans furious as ticket fiasco sees them late for game

By Rebecca Black

Glenavon football fans have complained of complete confusion over ticketing arrangements for last Saturday's Windsor Park clash with Linfield.

Many fans were unable to gain access to the stadium until almost half time, missing the first goal of Linfield's 4-0 win at home in south Belfast.

Glenavon fans have complained that their coaches were unable to gain access close to the stadium and they faced a walk of over 15 minutes.

Queues for tickets lasted until almost half time, and after concession tickets ran out, some parents paid full price to be able to get into the stadium to see as much of the match as possible. One man paid £30 for himself and two children.

In a statement, Glenavon said they were aware of difficulties faced by some supporters on Saturday, and will be discussing the situation at a meeting this week.

Glenavon fan Ralph Hewitt told the Belfast Telegraph the parking issues meant many did not reach their seats until almost half time.

"The away supporters are housed in an area of Windsor Park where there is no decent access for a supporters' bus," he said. "So we parked our two buses on the Boucher Road and cut through where we normally would have cut through - but when we walked around it wasn't open and we were redirected to a different entrance which was about 15 minutes away.

"It was a long walk for a lot of our elderly supporters. By the time we got to the area where they were selling tickets it was about 2.50pm (match started at 3pm), and there were hundreds in this queue.

"We missed the first goal. It was about 3.10pm when I got to ticketing office, by this stage the supporters were getting irate.

"There was a bit of a row between people queuing and a man who appeared to be a Linfield official shouting, which could have turned nasty but it didn't.

"After I went through, they ran out of concession tickets. It was £10 to get in, and then concession tickets which are for over-65s and kids.

"They said there are no concession tickets left, you'll have to wait a little longer. Now some said we can't wait any longer and paid full price. There was a man paid £30 for him and two kids.

"I think after that supporters were becoming more and more irate and some kids were let in for nothing. This was 3.25pm, almost half time."

Mr Hewitt said he did not feel the match should have been ticketed, claiming there were no more than 2,500 supporters in total at the match, in a stadium which can house 10,000.

He said his club has written to Linfield, expressing disappointment at what happened.

Mr Hewitt also added that the experience has put many fans off attending matches at Windsor Park in the future.

Glenavon FC issued a statement following the match. "The directors have been made aware from verbal feedback and reports on social media of difficulties experienced by our supporters at Saturday's Danske Bank Premiership game at the National Stadium in gaining access to the North Stand," they said.

"The Board will be discussing the matter at its forthcoming monthly meeting this Thursday before deciding on any further action. Prior to this meeting any supporters who feel they have information that may be relevant are asked to contact any board member, who will be happy to speak with them."

A Linfield spokesman said that the club's board had discussed the matter and would be speaking to Glenavon's board today.

Belfast Telegraph


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