The Club and Dons Trust, a supporters organisation which owns English League One football club AFC Wimbledon, has apologised to fans hoping to purchase their usual seat for the upcoming Emirates FA Cup game against Guiseley. 

The Trust hoped to free up large sections of the Ry stand at Plough Lane for this match so that local schools, amateur clubs and community groups had more of an opportunity to watch AFC Wimbledon.

Season ticket or debenture seat holders were asked to buy into an open seat policy and waive their right to buy in their designated seat, so that fans displaced from the Ry Stand had the same opportunity as other season ticket and debenture holders to buy a seat anywhere in the stadium.

However, a number of supporters expressed their displeasure at being displaced from their usual spot. 

In a statement, The Club and Dons Trust said: “We are aware that some fans would like to buy in their designated seats and with only a few hundred tickets sold so far, we have temporarily taken the Emirates FA Cup match off sale so that we can enable those season ticket holders and debenture holders to buy in their designated seats.”

Those that have already purchased a ticket for the Guiseley match in a season ticket holder or debenture holder’s seat will be moved to the best alternative. 

The statement added: “For those that are happy to support our request, we hope to have tickets back on sale from Friday morning, when you will be able to buy anywhere in the stadium with no restrictions on the number of tickets that you can purchase. 

“This will still be in the season ticket and debenture priority group, followed shortly after with the next priority group of stadium cards, Dons Trust Plus and Dons Trust, before going on open sale.” 

It is not the first time the club has had to address ticketing issues and taken an honest approach. 

Back in August, chief executive Joe Palmer had to apologise as there was a delay to the delivery of season ticket cards. AFC Wimbledon had to send tickets straight to the fans’ online accounts instead. 

At the time Palmer said: “We sincerely apologise to those fans who have been affected. It’s certainly not something we wanted but a lot of it was because we are at the mercy of our providers and partners on ticketing and access control. 

“One of the biggest problems has been the delivery of season ticket cards which didn’t arrive in time to distribute to fans ahead of our first match, having been assured they would.” 

Palmer also noted at the time that the Trust would look into the usability of the club’s site as fans had found Plough Lane difficult to navigate. 

Image: Waldemar Brandt on Unsplash