Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Shock for Euro Army

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Shock for Euro Army

Article excerpt

Byline: Eric Paylor

Hundreds of fans left in limbo

BORO confirmed today that fans who have booked travel to Banik Ostrava are not guaranteed tickets for the UEFA Cup return leg.

Hundreds of fans are thought to have arranged their trip to the Czech Republic already, believing match tickets would be more plentiful than the 900 Boro have received.

The Evening Gazette understands that scheduled flights and many hotels in the Ostrava area for September 30 were sold out within hours of the draw being made 12 days ago.

But the club is sticking by its policy of holding a draw towards the end of next week to determine who will get tickets, giving priority to S and T prefixed season ticket holders.

Boro have 13,000 S and T book holders, and these are the club's longest serving book holders.

Graham Fordy, Boro's commercial manager, said: "We know there will be a lot of disappointed people.

"But we only have 900 tickets, which are contained in Banik Ostrava's segregated area.

"Their ground is not like ours, where we can accommodate differing amounts if visiting fans.

"We know that many people have already made their own arrangements, but our policy is to offer tickets to our longest standing season ticket holders.

"And if you don't get a ticket, then our advice is don't travel.

"Obviously we cannot stop fans without tickets from travelling, but we must emphasise they do so at their own risk."

However several worried fans have already contacted the Gazette.

Rob Nichols, editor of the Fly Me To The Moon fanzine, said: "I was very disappointed to see that there were only 900 tickets, especially as Ostrava attract crowds of only 4-5,000.

"I wonder what attempts have been made to get more tickets, and I still hope more will be made available.

"We have waited years and years and years to go to Europe and thousands of fans are keen to experience the atmosphere and occasion of seeing Boro play there. …

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