The only time I have ever bought a ticket from a ‘tout’ was a pre-season friendly at Wolves in 1998-99. The guy got off the bus and sold around a dozen tickets for face value on some coach park round the corner from Molineux. Bet he was gutted when he walked round the ground to find dozens of Reds wanting a ticket.
I had 2 Champions League Final tickets for 2005 but ended up not going. I booked a holiday to South Turkey, had the bus booked from Anatalyia to Istanbul and all was set. Until my best mate and fellow Beard informed me that his parents (my landlords) had paid an outstanding council tax bill upfront and needed the money back ASAP. Tears were shed, big fucking tears. I have begged borrowed (but never stolen) in order to see my team.
Back in the 90’s LFC operated a ridiculous system whereby they allocated tickets relative to the season ticket serial number. So, if you had around 30000 season tickets and just 2500 tickets to Old Trafford or 3500 at Goodison, there was usually just 1 serial number (i.e 10% of the total) able to even APPLY for tickets. No loyalty for attending all bloody season to the likes of the Dell on a Tuesday. Stupid system which lead me to wander the Kop asking for vouchers with the appropriate serial number, being stopped by the police more than once.
This brings me to the Olympic tickets debate. On paper (or should that be plastic?) it is quite simple. Far more people want to go than tickets available. The solution; unbiased random draw. This seems to me to be a simple procedure. The issue is complicated by the ‘premium’ events. So, if you applied for the 100m final only your chances of getting a ticket were around the same as finding a tight sheep in Swansea. But if you mixed your events and rounds, you had a better chance. Go figure.
Still, huge complaints were aired at the unfairness of all these millions who didn’t get a ticket. Unlike Take That the Olympics can’t put on more and more events to meet the demand. I put it to you, find a better system.
This all got me thinking about the lesser lights of the sporting world. I know huge numbers of people who love to go to the dogs for birthdays etc. Do any of them give a shit about the sport? NO! I’ve become quite partial to a bit of speedway (cheers Mr Murdoch, salt of the earth that lad). Most races are won from the tape, but every now and again something happens that makes my eyes stand out on stalks. Cycling? On telly? How incredibly boring. Except the commentators spin such wonderful regailings, I can’t help but watch. Or should that just be listen. Which of the non-mainstream sports get the LlaMas spitting with excitement?
To finish, part one in a really occasional series; People who have a lot of reasons to hate them, but you have grown to love them…. in this issue, Gordon Strachan.
Reporter: Gordon, you must be delighted with that result?
Strachan: You’re spot on! You can read me like a book.
Reporter: This might sound like a daft question, but you’ll be happy to get your first win under your belt, won’t you?
Strachan: You’re right. It is a daft question. I’m not even going to bother answering that one. It is a daft question, you’re spot on there
Reporter: There’s no negative vibes or negative feelings here?
Strachan: Apart from yourself, we’re all quite positive round here. I’m going to whack you over the head with a big stick. Down negative man, down!
Reporter: Bang, there goes your unbeaten run. Can you take it?
Strachan: No, I’m just going to crumble like a wreck. I’ll go home, become an alcoholic and maybe jump off a bridge. Umm, I think I can take it, yeah.
If you can beat those, lets be having you!
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