Aberdeen were yesterday forced to release an “embarrassing” statement urging fans to buy up more tickets for their match against Rangers next weekend after admitting tickets sales for the game had “fallen short of demand”.
The club have sold less than half of their League Cup semi-final tickets despite complaining about their initial allocation.
After receiving a larger amount of saleable tickets, extra seats have now been retracted by the football authority – prompting the club and boss Derek McInnes to make the plea to fans.
— Aberdeen FC (@AberdeenFC) October 18, 2018
The Betfred Cup Semi-Final between Aberdeen and Rangers kicks off at Hampden Park next Sunday at 4.30pm.
The match has already created controversy after Dons fans complained the initial kick-off time was too early and was on the same day as the Hearts and Celtic Semi-final.
The latter match has now been re-scheduled to Murrayfield and will be on the same day but at 1.30pm.
Last week Aberdeen FC were given an additional 4,400 tickets bringing their full allocation up to 20,300, but some of those have now been taken back by the Scottish SPFL and given to Rangers FC instead.
The response online was swift and filled with jibes directed at the Dons.
Tam McManus, former footballer turned pundit, said: “After all the moaning and crying about the Semi Final kick off times Aberdeen still can’t sell their allocation of tickets. Only sold 9,000 odd to date – Poor show and frankly a little embarrassing.”
After all the moaning and crying about the Semi Final kick off times Aberdeen still can’t sell their allocation of tickets. Only sold 9000 odd to date? That right? Poor show and frankly a little embarrassing IMO for a club who claim to be the 3rd biggest in the country. ??
— Tam McManus (@The_Tman10) October 18, 2018
Armchair football pundits, meanwhile, posted a string of messages, gloating at the apparent “begging” sentiment from the club and branding the request “an embarrassment” that made the club appear “tinpot” in nature.
The extra tickets were for Hampden’s South and East Stands, but in the statement released yesterday, Aberdeen FC said just 9,000 had been sold so far.
A spokesman said: “Despite strong initial sales, particularly from our supporters’ clubs, overall ticket sales for the match have fallen short of the demand expected.
“Given current sales figures, with the SPFL recording less than 100 being sold by Aberdeen FC today, the SPFL have now taken back certain sections of the East Stand.
“In return, the SPFL will issue the club with an additional allocation of seats in the south stand upper and lower tickets. This will necessitate the relocation of some supporters to alternative seats and the club will be in touch with any affected fans to finalise arrangements.
“With 5,500 tickets still available for our supporters, and access to a further allocation if we demonstrate additional demand in the next few days, the focus now quickly turns to building on the tickets that have been sold to fulfil the remainder of our allocation and ensure that the team walk out to a wall of noise from Dons supporters in attendance.
“We must now all play our part in building upon this current sales figure to ensure we have fantastic backing at Hampden next Sunday.”
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Yesterday ScotRail had been urged to provide more trains for Dons supporters travelling to an upcoming cup tie – after the network suggested they avoid the railway because it might be too busy.
ScotRail’s head of customer operations, Phil Campbell, said: “We will be doing everything we can to keep people moving hassle-free, but supporters should plan their journeys in advance.”