We recently published an article from season ticket holder Ryan Douglas who was delayed due to a traffic accident and turned up at the start of the second half of the Manchester United match and the club officials wouldn’t let him into St.James’ Park.
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Ryan has been in touch with Newcastle United and received a response, here is his original article with the club’s response below;
‘I am a Newcastle United season ticket holder and pay my direct debit every month. I was travelling up from London for the Manchester United match (due to a family anniversary) and was delayed due to traffic from an accident, though I obviously tried to get to the stadium as quickly as possible for the game.
After 8 long hours on the road I finally arrived at the stadium for the beginning of the second half only to find the turnstiles closed.
I spoke to the steward who informed me there was nothing they could do.
I spoke to the supervisor who again said they couldn’t allow me entry due to, “club rules”, although he then told me if I had a paper ticket I would have been allowed in as they don’t need to be scanned like my season ticket card needs to be.
His actual words were, “a paper ticker holder takes priority over a season ticket holder as those are club rules”.
I can’t believe they would admit this and disregard a season ticket holder who pays every month in favour of some fan who has paid for one game.
He then turned me away stating there was nothing he could do and my seat remained empty for the remainder of the game’.
Ryan has now received the following response from the Newcastle United Box Office;
Hello Mr Douglas,
I am sorry you encountered trouble getting in to the game on Sunday, I have checked your account and I can assure you that your card was not blocked, in fact the system tells me that you did not try to gain entry so I’m not sure why a steward would tell you it was blocked. I think there may have been a misunderstanding about paper tickets taking priority, paper tickets merely override your smartcard if for any reason we have to reprint a ticket i.e. card not working or card forgotten. The Box office was open until half time so if you had arrived before then we would have sorted the problem for you.
I will forward your email to health and safety and see if they can shed any light on the matter.
What relevance has the box office being open until half-time have, when you don’t arrive until the start of the second-half?
The problem wasn’t that Ryan’s card was blocked but that the turnstiles were closed and because of that his card couldn’t be scanned, leading to the stewards/supervisor response that this meant he couldn’t get into the ground because of ‘club rules’.
Not exactly a satisfactory response and sounds a bit like passing the buck to the person with the Health and Safety hat on.
I think quite simply the question that needs answering is that if you turn up late and the turnstiles have closed, is it club policy that season ticket holders won’t be admitted to St.James’ Park, or was it just jobsworths who couldn’t be bothered to deal with it properly?
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