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Page last updated at 14:27 GMT, Tuesday, 28 April 2009 15:27 UK

Everton issue Cup tickets warning

Everton players celebrate the winning penalty that sealed victory over Manchester United in the semi-final
Everton players celebrate the decisive penalty in the win over Manchester United

Everton fans will be forced to buy tickets from touts if they want to watch the FA Cup final against Chelsea, says chief executive Robert Elstone.

Elstone is unhappy with their 25,109 allocated tickets for the 30 May final, having sold over 32,000 for their semi-final win over Manchester United.

"It is clear to us that 25,000 is a hugely inadequate figure, it is so disappointing," the Toffees chief said.

"It is inevitable that too many tickets will end up in the wrong hands."

With Chelsea receiving a similar allocation for the 90,000 capacity Wembley Stadium, around 40,000 tickets will be given to what is called "the football family".

Elstone added: "The allocation to both Everton and Chelsea is not only too small it is, sadly, hopelessly inadequate and will drive ticketless supporters towards the touts.

As a club, all we can do is to try to ensure that our allocation ends up in the hands of those who have proved their dedication to Everton

Everton chief executive Robert Elstone

"While the Football Association tries to close these outlets down, it only happens after the event. It all smacks of shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted.

"As a direct consequence of the FA's decision to award us just 25,000 tickets for the ultimate in prestige games we are faced with trying to squeeze not a quart but a gallon into a pint-pot.

"We really feel for our fans. It is a smack in the face for everything we are trying to do both in terms of growing our fan base and growing as a business.

"Unfortunately, there was no scope for negotiation when we met with the FA.

"Promises have been made already about where the other 40,000 tickets are going, and I suspect they have been posted. All we can do is express our immense disappointment."

The match will be Everton's first FA Cup final in 14 years and Elstone predicted that "we could sell in excess of 70,000 tickets for this game".

The club say they will distribute their tickets based on how many games fans have seen this season, above their normal season-ticket quota.

"I would estimate that two out of every three Evertonians who would dearly love to be at this game will not be at Wembley," added Elstone.

"As a club, all we can do is to try to ensure that our allocation ends up in the hands of those who have proved their dedication to Everton.

"Many supporters will seriously consider going down other avenues in search of tickets. I would urge them to steer well clear of the countless internet ticket agencies which claim to already have tickets - they do not."

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Chelsea have revealed that the size of their allocation means it is unlikely there will be sufficient tickets for all of their hospitality and non-hospitality season ticket holders.

However, they too said on their official website they intend to "ensure there will be as fair an allocation of the tickets as possible in line with the club's ticketing policy."

Tickets that are not allocated to either club are distributed to alternative groups which include the regional FAs and referees, sponsors and charity partners.

Last year, 17,000 tickets went to Club Wembley - the 10-year season ticket allocation which were sold to help cover the cost of building the ground.

The FA also revealed on Thursday that tickets will be priced in four categories: £34.30, £58.65, £78.30 and £93.

These are the same pricing levels as for the 2008 final, amended to take into account the VAT reduction.

It has been revealed that Cup final tickets are being offered for sale on the internet before they are issued to football clubs with prices reaching over £1000.

In response the FA have launched a new "Out the Touts" campaign designed to crack down on such illegal selling of tickets by requesting fans who have purchased tickets to send them to the FA in order that the origin can be traced.



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see also
Illegal Cup final tickets worry
23 Apr 09 |  UK News
Man Utd 0-0 Everton (aet)
19 Apr 09 |  FA Cup
Arsenal 1-2 Chelsea
18 Apr 09 |  FA Cup
Webb appointed for FA Cup final
21 Apr 09 |  FA Cup


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