AFC Bournemouth fans braved a night of cold and rain to bag their tickets for the big FA Cup game against Liverpool – but many were left disappointed.
Within three hours of box offices opening on Saturday morning all tickets were gone, with another 180 unclaimed season ticket seats snapped up in 15 minutes when they were sold online and on the phone yesterday morning.
Those hunting for tickets began waiting at the Goldsands Stadium and at the Bournemouth International Centre on Friday evening.
It is thought that 500 tickets were available at the stadium and 750 at the BIC. The club’s ticketing website crashed and phone lines were jammed.
At Dean Court, thousands were turned away after waiting for hours in the cold.
Adrian Winwood, 54, and son Daniel, 18, were first in the queue, having pitched their tent at 7pm on Friday.
Daniel said: “It’s been quite a good laugh. It’ll be worth it to make sure we get tickets.”
Terry Scott, 37, who stood in line from 8pm the night before, said: “I’m really chuffed to get my ticket.
“The atmosphere here has been amazing – it’s a friendly club.”
And Teresa Chavra, who arrived during the morning to meet husband Gary with children Matthew, nine, Katie, seven and Josh, 13, said: “I could cry I’m so happy.
“We’ve been supporters for 20-odd years and I just can’t wait to see the game.”
Kylie Stokoe, seven, sat in the queue with parents Clair and Wayne Persence from 7am, but the family was turned away.
Lorraine Ballantine, of Westbourne, added: “I’ve been here since 6am. We’ve just been told there’s no way we’re going to get tickets. It’s absolutely ridiculous and it’s been so badly managed.”
Simon Djemming, 37, said he lost his temper after being told he wouldn’t be able to get his hands on a ticket.
“I watch them play every week, and yet people who have been once or twice before are getting their hands on these tickets. I’m so angry about it.”
And Kate Bennet, 38, who lives near Castlepoint, said: “We’ve been here since 6.30am and I cannot understand why they didn’t tell us earlier.”
Club overwhelmed by huge response
A CLUB spokesperson said on Saturday: “It’s unfortunate, but we went on Twitter at 8am today to tell fans not to bother turning up as there were so many people waiting.
“We have tried to be as fair as possible about this – sadly, there were always going to be people left disappointed.”
After the website crashed, stadium manager Liz Finney confirmed that tickets had been withdrawn from the internet to sell at Dean Court.
She said: “We are a bit overwhelmed here this morning by the response.
“There are more people here then we were expecting. There are only so many tickets and that means there is an extremely limited availability.”
The website on Friday said: “Non-season ticket holders must have a league ticket booking history to purchase tickets for this game. Purchases will be checked retrospectively to ensure this criteria is met.”
Touts selling match tickets for up to £500
TICKETS for the game were sold by touts for up to £500, witnesses claim.
Many disappointed fans were turned away from Dean Court after queuing for hours on Saturday morning for tickets.
But some of those who stood in line overnight and managed to get their hands on the prized tickets immediately began selling them outside the stadium to desperate punters.
With tickets for the East stand costing £22 for adults, one tout reportedly made more than 20 times the original price with a sale.
Josh James-Keen, who coaches a Christchurch youth team, said: “There were quite a few who sold on their tickets. A couple were sold for around £500, which is fairly unbelievable. I think it’s a real shame to see the tickets being flogged like that, especially after people had waited for hours to get them.”
Mixed emotions for supporters
AT the BIC, where the queue snaked around the car park, some fans were left angry as they accused the club of moving the goalposts on eligibility.
Barry Clark, from Bournemouth, told the Daily Echo: “We went to the Burton game and I rang up and asked if I bought tickets for the Watford game would that qualify us for the database and we were told it would.
“I’ve been here since 4am and we got there and flatly refused because they changed the rules yesterday.”
Kyle Seager, from Poole, was second in line with his friends, having queued all night.
But he was refused tickets and said: “I have a ticket for the Watford game and I went to the Brighton and Hove Albion game.”
However, many departed happy.
Jay Carter, 10, from Iford, queued with his mum Zoe and brother Leo. Jay said: “I’m really excited to see Liverpool. I think the game is going to be 1-1.”
Andy Saul, from Canford Heath, was first in the queue.Before the barriers were opened, he said: “I’ve been here since 8.30pm last night.
“The person in the office said the BIC was better because I wanted to get in the North Stand.”
Although Andy got a ticket for his son, it ended up being in the East Stand, he said afterwards.