The Irish FA have missed a trick. Yes, they’ve just scored another own goal.
That classic we are all anticipating – Northern Ireland v Kosovo at Windsor Park on Saturday, September 24 – will set back £40 for adults and from £16 for juniors.
Correction – two adult tickets purchased on Ticketmaster will cost you £87.50.
Tickets went on general sale yesterday and hopefully the lines didn’t crash.
In these financially challenging times, the Irish FA could perhaps have taken a very different approach.
Fans have vented their anger at them before over ticket prices but we are still left wondering if the penny has dropped with the Association.
A row started when individual match tickets for the crunch World Cup qualifying games against Switzerland and Italy started at £52 each.
Ahead of the Swiss game, three-match bundles for GAWA Official members had been advertised for between £112.50 and £145.50 for adults and £45 for juniors.
The Amalgamation of Official Northern Ireland Supporters’ Clubs (AoNISC) had to get involved in talks in the search for an acceptable compromise.
Those discussions were described as “positive” by the Irish FA and fan pressure forced them to change track for the Nations League and European Championship games.
There will be a discount for campaign card holders, with a reduction of 18 to 20% in comparison to single match ticket prices, while the GAWA Official scheme will be free to access for all Campaign Card holders.
Any Campaign Card holder who purchased the GAWA Official membership in 2021 was also to be given a £10 food and drink voucher to be used in Windsor Park.
There will also be a bonus if the Northern Ireland team qualifies for UEFA Euro 2024. Namely, a £15 discount for every Campaign Card holder in the event.
These are uncertain times in more ways than one. Northern Ireland manager Ian Baraclough has been booed by the fans and the Irish FA has also been referred to in unflattering terms by some supporters at matches.
You could argue the team needs the fans now more than ever but how many will fork out at least £40 in the hope of watching a performance to be proud of during the current cost of living crisis?
As somebody pointed out on Twitter: “£40 to watch Northern Ireland v Kosovo, good joke lads. Release the real price of tickets.”
What we fear are poor performances in a poor atmosphere.
The Association maintains that it “truly values the support and devotion of the Northern Ireland fans.”
If that’s true, then reach out instead of pushing them away.