Ipswich Town fans turned away before Aston Villa game due to ‘all-ticket’ policy

Freddie Sears fires in a first half effort during the Ipswich Town v Aston Villa (Championship) matc

Freddie Sears fires in a first half effort during the Ipswich Town v Aston Villa (Championship) match at Portman Road, Ipswich, on 17 September 2016. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Ipswich Town Football Club have said they are looking at their matchday ticketing policy after some fans were turned away at Portman Road before kick-off yesterday.

An ‘all-ticket’ policy was in place for Town’s 0-0 draw against Aston Villa, with no tickets available for purchase at the turnstiles.

Tickets for the game were available from Planet Blue up to 90 minutes before kick-off and online from ITFC Direct – if they had been to a game in the past 10 years.

Braintree Town fans Steve Thoroughgood and his 10-year-old son Lennon made the trip to Portman Road to watch the match as they go and see games in the area when The Iron are playing away from home.

On arrival at the ground, at 2pm, they were told they could not purchase tickets.

Youth football coach Mr Thoroughgood said: “Just on the off chance I said to my boy that we should go and watch Ipswich as there’s always tickets on the gate.

“We were told it was all ticket as Villa had sold out their allocation and didn’t want them in the Ipswich end.

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“There was no way of getting in. I’m here with my boy, we’ve come up from Braintree, we were wearing our Braintree Sporting 77 tracksuit tops and we’re told ‘unlucky, there’s nothing we can do, see you later’.

“The staff there were pretty matter of fact and there was not much sympathy.”

Mr Thoroughgood also said he saw someone, whose train was late meaning he missed the 1.30pm cut off point, denied a ticket, as well as a father not being able to buy a ticket so he could go into the ground with his eight-year-old son who is a season ticket holder.

“It could have been handled better by Ipswich,” he added.

“I feel sorry for the ones turned away.”

Mr Thoroughgood and his son finally got into the ground after another fan, who was having similar difficulties, managed to log in to ITFC Direct and purchase tickets for them.

Mr Thoroughgood added he would have understood more if the game was close to a sell-out. The official attendance was 19,249.

He added: “I lost a lot of respect and faith for what is supposed to be a family club. I won’t be going back.”

An Ipswich Town spokesman said: “The policy only applies to two or three games a season. Anyone who had purchased a ticket in the past 10 years could have purchased a ticket.

“It was something we had to do as we were told Aston Villa fans may buy tickets in the home end, which did happen.

“It was a decision we didn’t take lightly and something we are looking at going forward.”