Video: Chelsea FA Cup tickets sell out

DISGRUNTLED Ipswich Town fans have spoken of their disappointment after not being able to secure an FA Cup ticket to Chelsea.

Russell Claydon

DISGRUNTLED Ipswich Town fans have spoken of their disappointment after not being able to secure an FA Cup ticket to Chelsea.

Hundreds of loyal fans braved the early morning rain today to queue up patiently for tickets at Portman Road, but a stream of supporters were told they would be going home empty handed.

The last of the 2,500 tickets for Saturday's mouth-watering cup tie with Champions League runners-up Chelsea went on sale to season ticket holders at the ground and via the phone lines this morning.

But they sold out within just three hours, leaving the crowd still queuing with the reality of not being able to cheer on the Blues on Saturday.

At 11.45am a club spokesman walked through the crowds to tell supporters still hoping to secure a tickets only 700 were left and they would be unable to meet demand.

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Chelsea had allocated Ipswich 6,000 tickets for the FA Cup Fourth Round clash at Stamford Bridge and the first of them went on sale to the club's most exclusive membership - the Gold Card holders - on Friday.

Speaking from the queue a section of fans voiced their disappointment at hearing they will not be able to get to the match and said they felt the club could have handled the situation better.

Helen Cook, from Bealings, had waited for two-and-a-half hours before being told it was likely to be a wasted trip.

She said: “It is a shame. If you ring up it is a 0870 number, so it is very expensive and you have to keep ringing so I came down and fortunately had a day off work. My son will be disappointed.”

Peter Wright, of Henley Road, Ipswich, who was also queuing for his son, said Ipswich Town didn't seem to have enough staff on.

“I think they could get through the tickets quicker,” he said. “It is not good really. It could have been done better and it should have been done electronically in this day and age.

“Fortunately I am retired so I can afford to wait here for two hours but others cannot.”

Michael Osbourne, of Kirton, near Felixstowe, said he believed the policy of letting people purchase an unlimited number of tickets, provided they had a season ticket to hand for each one, was not helpful.

He said: “The only thing I would say is they are letting some people have quite a lot of tickets.”

Pat Mead travelled along the A14 from Rattlesden, near Bury St Edmunds, to try his luck.

He said: “I think the whole thing is chaos. I have been here two-and-a-half-hours and I got so near to getting a ticket and then got told I most probably won't.”

He added: “They have been selling tickets over the phone while we are waiting so patiently.”

Iris McMurrogh, of Valley Road Ipswich, said she had been trying to get through on the phones for two hours before she decided to make a dash down to the ground in a last ditch attempt to secure tickets.

“I realise there is only a certain amount of tickets but It was a bit mad this morning,” she said. “I had been on the phone for two hours and if I realised I could not get through I would have come down straight away.”

Mick Warden, the head of safety and security at Ipswich Town, said the tickets, being sold from the club shop, could not stretch to cover the volume of fans turning up.

He said: “Some people have been queuing for three hours.

“When you get 6,000 tickets and nearly 15,000 season ticket holders, unfortunately and regrettably some people are going to miss out.”