Planet Rugby

Harlequins "disappointed" with fans

11th April 2013 11:46

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Vocal: Munster support

Harlequins have expressed their frustration over the redistribution of tickets for their Heineken Cup quarter-final against Munster.

The large numbers of Munster fans at The Stoop on Sunday suggested that the away support had exceeded their allocation, with Harlequins clarifying the numbers of tickets allocated to certain parties and suggesting that some of their own supporters had re-sold their tickets.

"Last Sunday Harlequins hosted the biggest crowd ever to attend a match at the Twickenham Stoop," read a club statement.

"A total of 15,000 people were an essential part of an historic day for the club which is very disappointed that a bigger share of those present were obviously not Harlequins' supporters, despite the club's best efforts to ensure that they had priority in the ticketing process.

"In deciding to host such a high profile occasion with such experienced and prestigious opponents as Munster, the club recognised from the outset that its ticketing policy had to be transparent and that it would be put to the test given the anticipated demand.

"At no stage did tickets for the match go on sale to the general public, instead Harlequins season ticket holders and members were given priority access to the 8,520 tickets that were available for them. All of these tickets were rapidly taken up within the restricted times they were on sale.

"Under the participation rules of the Heineken Cup, 25 per cent of the tickets available in all categories (3,750) had to be allocated to the opposition. Munster sold all of this allocation to its supporters.

"Further tickets (750) were allocated as required by the tournament rules to the organisers, ERC and its sponsors (Heineken, Amlin, EDF, FedEx and Adidas). In addition, a number were used for Harlequins' sponsors, corporate guests, community clubs, players, staff and official charities. The few tickets that were returned were sold to the club's season ticket holders.

"In the two weeks leading up to the match, the club was aware that tickets were being sold on Ebay and through other unauthorised channels, where possible it tried to identify the source of the tickets, the tickets involved and cancel them.

"Last Sunday it was obvious from 90 minutes before kick-off that Munster's well organised and wonderful supporters had a presence in the stadium that exceeded the number of tickets officially allocated to them. The colourful and vocal support they gave their talented team during the match provided further evidence of this if it was needed.

"Given the controlled manner that tickets were made available for the match, it is clear to the club that many of its "supporters" sold their tickets on to opposition fans.

"To say that this is disappointing for the players, coaches, management and staff of the club is an understatement. The club is determined to identify any person that sold on his or her ticket and will ensure that last Sunday's outcome is not repeated."

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