James Shield’s Sheffield United Column: My take on the great away ticket debate

editorial image
15
Have your say

The good news is that Sheffield United are capable of taking over seven thousand supporters to an away match.

The bad news, unfortunately for those petitioning MK Dons to increase the visitors’ allocation, is that their efforts appear doomed to fail.

Something which will disappoint those loyal followers of Chris Wilder’s side who face being locked-out of their penultimate match of the season and final away fixture before returning to the Championship next term.

A crying shame for them and also officials at Stadium MK, which could have been looking forward to an absolutely belting rather than simply bumper pay day.

“In a nutshell it comes down to the club’s safety certificate and, under the current one, we have provided Sheffield United with the maximum ticket allocation permissible for an away club,” a spokesperson for the Dons told this column last night.

Now, I don’t think they are being awkward. And, in the interests of fairness, Dons have handed United more tickets than their nameksakes from Manchester enjoyed when they visited Buckinghamshire three years ago.

Chris Wilder and his team have enjoyed great backing away from home: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Chris Wilder and his team have enjoyed great backing away from home: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Only Wolverhampton Wanderers, who took a shade over eight thousand fans there earlier that year, will have enjoyed more backing at Stadium MK come a quarter-to-five next weekend. And, as Dons point-out, operational issues back then prompted advice on the numbers permitted inside their ground to change. The final call rests, not with them, but with the local safety advisory group.

Nevertheless, if we are capable of sending astronauts into outer space or persuading people to watch TOWIE, surely it is possible to let 10,000 people cheer-on their team away from home?

If policing and stewarding costs became an issue, United might consider making a contribution using funds generated from last weekend’s beamback. Alcohol sales could be temporarily suspended and warnings given that any encroachment on the playing surface will lead to sanctions a division above next term. Just to remind the small number of idiots, and every club has them, that failing to behave or drink sensibly will have ramifications beyond their own sad little worlds.

Surely better to have them in the right area of the arena than in the home areas where, if spotted, they face being ejected or worse.

Persuading people to watch TOWIE proves nothing is impossible

Persuading people to watch TOWIE proves nothing is impossible

Hopefully a solution can be found although, as I’ve said, the Dons have already been very accommodating.

Back to the top of the page