Norwich City explain decision to provide minimum away ticket allocation for Ipswich Town’s visit to Carrow Road

Ipswich Town entertain local rivals Norwich City at Portman Road.
Daryl Murpht sandwiched between S

Ipswich Town entertain local rivals Norwich City at Portman Road. Daryl Murpht sandwiched between Steven Whittaker and Elliott Bennett - Credit: Archant

Ipswich Town supporters have voiced their disappointment at the decision of fierce rivals Norwich City to provide the minimum away ticket allocation for the forthcoming East Anglian derby at Carrow Road on Sunday, March 1 (2.05pm ko).

In 2010/11, the Norfolk club provided the Blues with around 2,500 tickets for this fixture but, with segregation regulations now more restrictive, this year they have decided to offer 2,000 – the smallest number they can offer under Football League rules.

Ipswich Town have a priority system in place for selling the tickets to their fans – priced at £40 for adults – with those who have attended an undisclosed number of away matches this season receiving letters offering first refusal in the post yesterday morning. If any are left after that initial invitational stage, tickets will then go on sale in the following order; gold membership holders (February 11), season ticket holders (Feb 13), silver membership holders (Feb 17) and then general sale (Feb 19).

During yesterday’s live EADT and Ipswich Star web chat, Blues fans were asked if Norwich should have provided a bigger away allocation and whether the tickets were priced too high. Both returned results of 86% for the ‘yes’ option.

“How come we’ve only been offered 2,000 tickets for a derby match? And £40 a ticket is a joke,” wrote one, with social networking sites full of similar comments.

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Ipswich provided Norwich with 2,086 away tickets for the reverse fixture at Portman Road earlier in the season, those tickets priced at £37 for adults with a small allocation nearer the halfway line priced at £43.

A Norwich City spokesperson said: “Under Football League rules, Norwich City must make a minimum of 2,000 tickets available to visiting clubs.

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“With more than 21,000 season ticket holders and average league crowds of 26,124, demand for tickets to games at Carrow Road is extremely high and it is our policy to offer all visiting clubs a maximum allocation of 2,000 tickets for Sky Bet Championship games.

“Our prices are set as part of our strategy to sell as many tickets as possible at Carrow Road, where the away end provides excellent facilities and unrestricted views of the action from every seat.”

Ipswich Town director of retail operations Lee Hyde said: “Norwich are well within their rights to allocate 2,000 tickets to us for this match. Being a league match, the Football League rules state that a club must make available 10% of their capacity or 2,000 tickets – whichever is the smaller quantity – to the opposition club.

“We do, however, appreciate that Ipswich Town fans will be disappointed with this news as this allocation falls below that of previous visits to Carrow Road and will mean there is even greater demand for a ticket.

“We are using a priority system for selling the tickets which has worked successfully over previous seasons. It’s seen as a loyalty reward for those members that regularly attend away fixtures.”

The game will be televised live by Sky Sports.

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