With Celtic’s season ticket renewal deadline fast approaching, there are a lot of questions which fans would like answered in relation to the actual getting into games.
In talks with fans from different sections of the ground and different cohorts amongst the support, I’ve found that there’s a lot of confusion about exactly how the system for actually attending matches is going to work, and I was asked to a piece asking some questions.
First, I have a friend who has a season ticket in an expensive seat in the upper tier.
He knows he’s not going to get that seat for games; his question is simply this.
If he’s allowed to attend games, will he be guaranteed a seat of equivalent value?
What if you have a heated seat?
Not everyone who does buys one for luxury. Some folk can’t sit in a cold plastic seat or outdoors on a cold night; they buy those seats out of necessity.
So are they guaranteed to still have one if they come out of the ballot?
Will a more expensive seat give you a better chance of tickets, or is your £800 seat giving you the same chance of seeing games as someone who paid half the price?
Another friend of mine has a question about the balloting system for getting into games.
If you attend games with a dependent or someone who depends on you, there’s a new “bubble” system.
But will everyone in that bubble get tickets if one person is drawn in the ballot, or is there a chance that people will be split up?
What if that’s not possible as part of your situation?
Say you take an elderly relative to games, of if someone younger in the family takes you … will you be guaranteed to be together?
The bubble is a good idea … but details are needed on it.
What happens if you miss the deadline to register in the ballots?
An even better question has been put forward on that score; if the balloting depends on registering online, what happens to that cohort amongst our support that doesn’t have easy access to the internet?
Another fan asked me; say you are one of those notoriously unlucky people, and you never seem to get picked for anything. Will every fan who registers be guaranteed to attend games? Will this work on a rotation system?
And how the Hell will that work for big games that everyone wants to attend?
Would some people be effectively guaranteed tickets for those just on the basis that they had failed to get tickets previous to it?
What if you get drawn in the ballot but can’t make the game?
If you pass on your ticket are you guaranteed a ticket in the next one? Or would you have to take your chances? Would turning one down, or cancelling, get you excluded from the next draw?
Will getting tickets for home games impact on your ability to get tickets on the very limited basis that would be available for away matches, and because those games are usually attended by a hard-core of fans, does that mean they stand a better chance of actually sitting in a stadium and watching a game live than someone who buys a ticket for Celtic Park?
Will tickets be balloted on a game-by-game basis?
And will they be balloted on a competition by competition basis?
Or will you just have to take your chances on that score, knowing that getting into a Scottish Cup game might cost you a big league match?
We all recognise that there are difficulties here which the club is not responsible for, and that they are working hard to find a way to do this that is fair.
But people have different ideas about what that word means, and some of them have questions.
I’ll pass this article along to the club itself and see if some of these questions can be answered … but there will be others and that’s natural. The club has often refused to talk to the fans on stuff, preferring to let us all “wait and see.”
A lot of folk don’t want to in this case, if not because of these questions then because of all the others relating to the football department itself. Answers would be appreciated.