Football / FA Cup Final: Dein advocates cut-price tickets

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The Independent Online
DAVID DEIN, the Arsenal vice-chairman, is proposing a cut-price ticket deal for FA Cup final replays. He says a sizeable reduction, around 50 per cent, would be fair for fans who have to finance a second expensive day out, writes Trevor Haylett.

This is the fifth final in 13 seasons to require a replay and the problem is particularly acute this time with both Arsenal and Sheffield Wednesday followers preparing for their fourth Wembley visit in only six weeks.

'From a marketing point of view this is the right thing to do,' Dein said. 'For an occasion like the FA Cup final the stadium ought to be full and we are conscious the people of Sheffield have to make another long journey. We have to appreciate that time is too short to implement this for Thursday's game but I believe it should happen in future seasons and we will be making representations to the Football Association.'

While supporting the sentiments the FA points to the practical difficulties. 'If you take this particular instance with fans having to come back from Sheffield it's an ideal thing to do,' the FA commercial director, Trevor Phillips, said.

'Obviously you want to play to a packed house but history shows that Wembley gets pretty full for the replay. There are other considerations, the FA gets very little income from a replay with most going to the competing clubs. Some clubs might not want their income reduced and the County Associations also have to be borne in mind, they have to receive a substantial percentage.'