*BS*JIM PARMENTER has explained the reasons behind the ticketing arrangements for the FA Cup second-round clash with Aldershot on November 27.
*BF*The Whites chairman revealed that the club had to allocate one end of the ground, under segregation rules, to visiting fans.
He said: “We’re slightly hamstrung by the way our ground is mapped out. The days where we could just close a gate between two sets of fans down one end is no longer allowed. We’re required to have a sterile zone as well, usually filled with loads of stewards.
“The Town End actually holds more than 2,000 but we are only making that number of tickets available. We’ve not made this decision lightly – it was forced on us. It’s a health and safety requirement.”
However, the capacity for home fans may yet be increased. Jim said: “We’re still in discussion with health and safety people and hope to increase the home fan numbers. We’re hopeful of doing that – and will update fans later today.”
Explaining why tickets will first be available at the Woking game this Saturday, Jim added: “They won’t actually be ready until then.
“First of all, you can’t start sorting the tickets until you actually know who you are playing. The Aldershot v Brentford replay in on Tuesday night so we will start the ball rolling on Wednesday.
“The tickets have to be ordered and it takes a couple of days for that all to be sorted – as they all have to be foil embossed too, so they can’t be illegally copied.
“We doubt all the tickets – or the majority of them – will sell on Saturday – so there is still plenty of time for supporters to purchase tickets who cannot attend the Woking game.
“We thought making them first available at that match would be the best way of making them available to our regular fans first.”
As for ticket prices themselves, Jim explained why there are no concessions for seats. The club have actually four different priced tickets – whereas Gillingham had three different priced tickets.
He said: “We have had to keep it simple. There are concessions for children and pensioners – but the seated areas are one set price. We cannot add a fifth and sixth different price scale simply because it would be a logistical nightmare to manage.
“Our prices are not over the odds. We actually have an extra price scale that Gillingham did not have for our first-round match.
“On these tickets, a strip has to be torn off for each concession. Gillingham have an all-seater stadium so it was much easier for them to manage concessions – and if we had one we’d do it differently too.
“But we only have 1,000 seats and normally only sell about 100 – and barely any children sit at those games to be honest.”
Telephone lines will not be open to purchase tickets this time – and the chairman explained why.
He said: “We’ve not opened telephone lines for this game because we don’t have volunteers to do it. For the Gillingham game, it happened to be half-term and we had some kind volunteers who manned the phones for us. We don’t have that facility this time.”