Agony for City fans as Cup tickets are stolen

 

Manchester City's ticket allocation for the FA Cup semi-final with Manchester United may be reduced by 900 after that quantity of tickets was stolen from a Royal Mail van near the club's stadium.

The tickets – all for City fans – were inside two bags of special delivery mail taken from the back of the van on Ashton New Road. It is unclear whether the vehicle was stopped or this was an opportunist crime but City now face the headache of whether to reissue the tickets and risk hundreds of fans arriving for a match they cannot attend. The club have "strongly advised" fans not to purchase tickets from unofficial sources and are in discussions with the Football Association and police about whether to reissue or write off the allocation – part of the 31,500 for the West End of Wembley for the match on Saturday 16 April. Police are aiming to segregate fans and the availability of so many tickets on the black market will not help.

When 1,600 tickets for the 2006 Liverpool v West Ham FA Cup final were stolen from Liverpool, they were not reissued as Cardiff's Millennium Stadium systems were unable to recognise duplicates. If City's allocation is 900 less, it will be fans lower down the waiting list who will miss out on the chance to see the semi-final. The van was travelling from the club shop to a Royal Mail sorting office when the theft occurred, shortly before 7.50pm last Friday.

The FA said the decision was one for the club and police, and it seems the Metropolitan Police will help establish a course of action. The theft hampers attempts to prevent violence at the match which, against the police's preference, will be a tea-time kick-off. Dedicated "red" and "blue" motorway service stations have been designated on the route down to London and there are also United and City trains to the capital.

Trains bringing fans home from the Manchester FA Cup semi-final will be held back if the match goes to extra-time. Five extra trains, each seating 439 people, have been secured for the day. Club officials are hopeful of chartering more but they have warned fans to make sure they book a seat first and do not turn up hoping to buy a ticket on board.

It is another cup competition that is occupying the thoughts of City's owners. So set are they on reaching the Champions League that on the morning of Sunday's game against Sunderland, the chairman, Khaldoon al-Mubarak, addressed the players on the subject.

After Sunday's 5-0 destruction of Sunderland the gap between Manchester City and Spurs is six points, although the London club have a game in hand and still have to come to Eastlands, where they have won six of their last seven matches and where they secured Champions League qualification 11 months ago. Mubarak and the rest of his Abu Dhabi United group are determined there will be no repetition.

"The chairman addressed us and outlined what it would mean to the club," said Adam Johnson, who scored the first of City's five on Sunday. "I think it spurred everyone on to victory against Sunderland.

"He said he was fully backing us and that everyone was behind us to get that Champions League place and he also said how important it was to win a trophy because we hadn't won one for more than 30 years. It was a really motivational message for us to push on."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links