Planning on going to an away game from now on? Make sure you take some ID with you as Brighton and Hove Albion are to start carrying out checks at away games.
In a move that reads like something from a George Orwell novel, club officials will now be requesting to see ID to ensure that supporters have a ticket that belongs to them. Paul Barber claims this is to clamp down on supporters using their fan numbers to purchase tickets for others.
Quite how this Big Brother style surveilance is going to work is anyones guess. Away tickets do not have names on them so how they are going to work out if you have the correct ticket remains to be seen. You can also imagine the carnage that would unfold at ten minutes before kick off at a ground with tiny turnstiles such as QPR should club staff be demanding to see tickets and ID at or after the turnstiles.
Writing on the official club website, Obergruppenführer Barber said, “As a result of a number of people misusing the system at recent away matches, including Saturday’s game at Nottingham Forest, the club will begin random spot checks at away matches, to ensure tickets are being used by the named member. Supporters will be expected to be able to identify themselves (using a credit or debit card, driving licence, NHS Medical Card or official form of photo ID) to a club official upon request to do so.”
So the basic message is do not get ill before a game as you won’t be able to pass on your ticket. Do not have a family emergency as you won’t be able to pass on your ticket. Do not lose or misplace your ID as you won’t be able to use your ticket. It seems like nearly 30 years after it was first mooted by Margaret Thatcher, football will finally be bringing in ID checks. Once again, Paul Barber is showing just how out of touch he is with fans…sorry, customers.
A small number of fans may use other peoples fan numbers to go to games, but in typical Barber style he has identified a miniscule problem and decided to take a bloody sledgehammer to it. While it may be an issue IF we make the Premier League next season and there is a scramble for the likes of Arsenal and Chelsea away, it is totally unwarranted for the like of Rotherham away which, lets be honest, we are going to be playing far more regularly over the next 10 to 20 years than we probably are the Premier League.
You may remember the club said something similar would be in operation for the play off game at Crystal Palace whereby you would only be able to enter the turnstiles after having shown ID. This was very quietly dropped as being completely unworkable and hopefully this shambolic idea that would make the leadership of North Korea blush goes the same way.
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