Wales

Fresh Wales-England football ticket row erupts

Fans at two Welsh clubs say they feel let down by the Football Association of Wales over tickets for the Euro qualifier against England this month.

Both Newport County and Wrexham FC were taking part in a scheme to sell tickets to fans for the Millennium Stadium match later this month.

But the clubs have been told they will not be receiving tickets after the game sold out.

The FAW says it has adhered to its ticketing procedures for the game.

Football Conference teams, Newport and Wrexham, had been taking part in the FAW's Kick-Back scheme, which returns a percentage of the proceeds from international ticket sales made by the clubs.

Both clubs claim the FAW advised them it was extending its deadline for applications for tickets to the Wales-England international because of low sales.

The two clubs insist they were also told not to send their ticket requests and cash until closer to that new date.

But when Wrexham Supporters Trust contacted FAW officials two days before that extended deadline on 16 February, they were told the game was already sold out.

Newport County said they were in "almost day-to-day" contact with Welsh officials, and had been "guaranteed" a ticket allocation for their fans.

The club submitted its request for about 500 tickets a week before the February deadline.

But on Monday, the club received a letter from the FAW stating it would not be receiving any tickets.

'£10,000 cheque cashed'

"We couldn't believe it - we thought the letter had been sent to the wrong address," said Newport County chairman Chris Blight.

"It is an absolute fiasco. There is an absolute furore here. We have 500 extremely angry people, who through no fault of their own, now do not have tickets."

The Newport chairman insisted that his officials had "received, accepted and acknowledged" every instruction from the FAW regarding the ticket allocations, and had been assured on several occasions that the club would get its tickets.

Mr Blight said he felt "irreparable damage" had been done to the club's relationship with the FAW.

He also claimed that while the FAW knew the match had sold out in early February, it still cashed a cheque for about £10,000 from Newport County later in the month.

The latest ticketing dispute follows the revelation by the FAW earlier this month that 1,500 tickets were sold that did not exist.

It forced the FAW to ask 951 England fans and 549 Welsh supporters to return their tickets.

Officials issued an apology stating there had been an "administrative error".

'Extended the deadline'

The FAW has not commented directly on the latest issues raised by the two clubs.

However, it has issued a statement to "clarify several misconceptions" about its ticketing arrangements.

The association said it had initially extended the deadline to apply for tickets through the Kick-Back scheme.

But it added: "On the understanding that this was a 'first come, first served' basis and subject to availability.

"The demand was such that the tickets did, in fact, sell-out by early February 2011.

"The ticketing process that the FAW has adhered to is with the full backing of the South Wales Police, Millennium Stadium and our own auditors."

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