The announcement that the Heineken Cup final is a sell out must come as music to the ears of the shareholders in the ERC plc but it will do nothing to assuage the anger of those who can’t get tickets.
ERC Ltd might spend some time now clapping themselves on the back for a job well done but the fact remains that there are thousands of Munster supporters in this country and abroad who will be unable to go to the match because they cannot purchase a ticket.
And it’s the same story emanating from Welford Road where a spokesperson said, ” Frankly, we are disappointed for our supporters who have once again been let down by ERC.”
The ‘once again’ refers to the semi final when Leicester’s allocation fell short by something in the region of 6,000 tickets. Leicester point out that five years ago they had 25,000 fans at the final in Cardiff and last year 20,000 travelled to Paris, so this time around their allocation was never going to suffice.
The decision by ERC Ltd to sell 26,000 tickets has led to the current problem and why or how they arrived at that particular figure remains a mystery. Well not so much the why perhaps, for profit of course, but who decided it should be 26 and not, for example, 21 or 23.5. And did most of the 26k end up, as one Leicester source suggested, “in the hands of the glorified ticket touts.”
It’s a shame that Munster and Leicester supporters have been treated so shabbily. Throughout Ireland, the phones of anyone even remotely connected with Munster or any senior level in Irish rugby, are been bombarded by those desperate for tickets. Travel agents who sold packages in the expectation of receiving tickets are now faced with cancellations, angry customers, lost revenue.
With that in mind how ironic the comment from ERC Chief Executive Derek McGrath in the media saying, “We are delighted to have two of the best supported teams in the European Cup final.”
Congratulate yourselves on the Millennium Sell out if you will but spare a thought for the others who were sold out – the genuine Leicester and Munster supporters.