Albion's CEO speaks about the use of loyalty points and season-ticket transfers.
"We will now have to undertake additional work, at additional cost, due to those seeking to exploit the system, while still selling the same number of tickets. We will not accept fans piggybacking on other supporters' loyalty points to jump the queue or find ways of getting tickets to people who have not gained enough loyalty points to receive them."
Chief executive Paul Barber explained: "It isn't acceptable for fans to do this. The chairman and board of directors are committed to a fair distribution of away tickets, and the passing on of tickets in this manner won't be tolerated.
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.
It is not acceptable for fans to use their loyalty points in order to purchase tickets for others. Those caught doing so run the risk of losing their loyalty points, their season ticket being cancelled, and potentially being banned from attending future matches or holding season tickets in the future.
Firstly, with regard to away matches, the club would like to reiterate that the Seagulls Priority loyalty point scheme is for personal use by the named member only.
With increasing demand for tickets for Brighton & Hove Albion matches at home and away, the club is beginning to tighten up further loopholes being exploited by a small minority of fans.
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Meanwhile, Barber has also clarified the situation with season-ticket transfers, as the club is still receiving requests from season-ticket holders to transfer their season ticket to a family member or friend.
He added: "It is only acceptable to pass on a season ticket if someone is a 1901 Club member or purchased a season-ticket seat licence. It is not possible for those with a general admission season ticket to reallocate their season ticket to a family member or friend. We do appreciate that in some circumstances this may be following a bereavement or an older child moving to college or university, but it still isn't possible.
"If we allowed this to happen, and tickets to be passed on at the discretion of the owner, instead of the club, we would be cheating those fans who've been on our season-ticket waiting list and taking money from them under false pretences. Furthermore, only those families currently holding season tickets would ever be able to hold one. Again, we must operate ticketing policies that are fair and transparent to all.
"As interest in the club continues to grow, and demand for tickets continues to outstrip supply, for home and away games, we are beginning to see many new ticketing challenges. The vast majority of fans do fully respect the club's ticketing policies, and we thank them for that, but we will now take strong action against the small minority breaking the rules. We hope that all fair-minded supporters will respect and support the club's actions."
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