THE FAI will offer concessions to 10-year-ticket holders who are up in arms after learning they will have to pay extra to attend the glamour visit of Manchester United for the first soccer game at the Aviva Stadium.
Instead of being granted free access after shelling out between €12,000 and €32,000 for their premium seats, Vantage Club members were only offered first option to buy tickets, as revealed in the Irish Independent on Thursday.
They were particularly unhappy given the poor sales of the decadelong tickets, with the FAI well short of their targets and so desperate to sell them that they are prepared to lower prices for new customers on a case-bycase basis – another development that won’t please those who have shelled out already.
FAI CEO John Delaney said yesterday that they will try to work something out with the members for the Manchester United game on August 4, with Alex Ferguson set to bring his first team to take on an Airtricity League XI.
“I’ve spoken to the Vantage Club guys and I think next week we’ll do one of two things,” said Delaney. “We’ve got a huge positive reaction to Manchester United.
“I think, to be fair to the Vantage purchasers, we’ll either do one of two things or both. We’ll open up the ability to buy more tickets (than two) if they want, and I think we’ll also look at some discount.”
Delaney added that preliminary discussions have taken place if an embarrassing clash with a crucial Bohemians Champions League game the same night arises.
If Bohs win their second qualifyinground tie, the stage where they enter as a seeded team, then the decisive encounter in the third round, which would have huge ramifications for the domestic game, would be scheduled to played on either August 3 or August 4.
The timing is particularly unfortunate given that one of the reasons offered to Limerick FC for blocking their lucrative friendly with Barcelona is a clash with Airtricity League fixtures.
Delaney said that the FAI would lobby to have the Bohemians showdown moved to the Tuesday – 24 hours before the visit of Manchester United – if that situation developed.
“We can certainly talk to UEFA if Bohemians make their way through, which I really hope they will do,” said Delaney. “We’re in preliminary discussions with UEFA in terms of the ability to move games if we need to do so.”