Sold Out: Football and the Impossible Quest for Tickets

Adi-Oula Sebastian@JubeiKibagameCorrespondent IISeptember 9, 2010

I need tickets too!
I need tickets too!

As any football fan can attest there are a couple games that one must not miss under any circumstances. Usually these games are highlighted on anyone’s football calendar weeks and months in advance.

Being somewhat ignorant of American Sports I doubt that there’s anything remotely close to an Old Firm derby in Scotland or the El Clasico in Spain.

Of course nobody knows if the game itself will be entertaining or a spectacle but rest assured it’ll be something. Darby’s in each and every country are always intense matches. Regardless where you find yourself in a stadium, as a player on the pitch or in the stands – it’s everything but boring.

When you are in a relationship and your significant other doesn’t share the same enthusiasm you have for the beautiful game you’ll most likely plan, scheme or even lie to see THAT game.

As soon as the fixtures calendars are announced you check if there’s the possibility for you to attend the game in person. Regardless on which day the match is going to be contested you think to yourself “that’s the game I’m looking forward to”.

The people in a relationship begin to formulate a devious plan to free themselves from their significant other (if they do not share their enthusiasm) on match day if it’s a Saturday evening. They start to collect credits with their partner in agreeing to do what THEY want in hope of getting off the hook when the game arrives.

But clubs being the semi-economical entities that they supposed to be, are perfectly aware of the demand for those games. While it’s possible to sell these tickets months ahead they make it relatively difficult to obtain them even more so if don’t live in any of those countries where the game is to be held.

For instance, I do not live in Spain therefore it’s not reasonable for me to buy a season ticket for FC Barcelona since I won’t be able watch every game in the Camp Nou. I have toyed with the idea of buying a season ticket just to be guaranteed a seat for the Clasico but even this route is complicated.

In order to purchase a season ticket one has to become a Socio first. And even if you are a Socio it is not certain you will get a season ticket.

Just out of curiosity I checked out various clubs and their membership program (Arsenal, Chelsea etc. cause I’d never even consider becoming a Real Madrid member and England has a lot of interesting matches) and it’s even worse.

At Arsenal you have to pay to get on a waiting list for season tickets. C’mon what kind of scheme is that? Isn’t it enough that somebody is willing to pay hundreds of Pounds for a season ticket? Do you really have to charge a fan just to put his name on a waiting list?

At Chelsea the terms and conditions are slightly better £25 for a ticket-only membership is fair. I’m assuming since Chelsea FC has one sole owner, who doesn’t really need the money, there’s no need to overcharge its members. This membership enables you to purchase tickets for Chelsea games at a very reasonable price. Because if you aren’t the prices for some tickets can balloon to a staggering £200.

But even this kind of membership has his flaws. If you just became a member and intended to watch the Chelsea/Arsenal game – don’t get your hopes up. Why? Because you’d have to accumulate 6 loyalty points to be one of the first to buy a ticket. Which at first sounds like a really cool idea to reward “loyal” fans.

Now here’s the question: What about the other fans that for some reason couldn’t accumulate 6 loyalty points in time?!?

What about the fans that live in another country and cannot attend every game? Those supporters have to book a flight and accommodation just to watch the match. Correct me if I’m wrong but it doesn’t get any more loyal than that.

Flights and Hotels don’t come cheap but are there any “loyalty” points for that?