Thursday 8 December 2016

Furious clubs join together to fight IRFU in ticket war

Hugh Farrelly

Published 29/10/2010 | 07:17

IRISH rugby clubs facing a massive financial hit due to the IRFU’s ticketing policy for the November Internationals are joining together to take their fight to the Union.

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Ireland play four matches on successive weekends at Lansdowne Road; the IRFU have been offering tickets in two-game groups, with South Africa/Samoa selling for €150 and New Zealand/Argentina €190.

Those prices are proving offputting for supporters and the clubs are struggling to sell their allocations on to members, facing thousands of euro losses as a result.

They do not want to ask for a reduced allocation as it would affect their Six Nations allocation.

There is widespread anger among clubs and preliminary briefings have been held by a group of Munster clubs with a view to organising unified opposition to the IRFU’s policy.

“We are struggling badly, all the clubs are,” said Shannon PRO Andrew McNamara. “The New Zealand/Argentina packages are selling okay but we are having huge problems with South Africa/Samoa.

The last time Argentina came here, we took a hit of around €16,000 and we are looking at another big loss. This has to be resolved.

“The Union does not want to put clubs under financial pressure,” said an IRFU spokesman. “But clubs cannot cherry-pick what internationals they want tickets for – there has to be a balance.”

The situation is reflected by the IRFU offering free bus transport from around the country to the Samoa game while hospitality company 4U are offering coach transport and match ticket deals from Limerick for the South Africa game for €90 per person, when the face value of the ticket is €100.

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