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Page last updated at 17:18 GMT, Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Luton fury at lack of extra seats

Nick Owen
Luton chairman Nick Owen is working to get more tickets available

Luton chairman Nick Owen says it is "beyond belief" that more tickets cannot be released for the club's Wembley final next month.

The Hatters, struggling in League Two, face Scunthorpe in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy final on 5 April and they have already sold 37,800 tickets.

"We hope to get a few more and are working on this with the FA," he said.

Luton say hundreds more tickets could be sold but none will be made available, due to segregation issues.

It now appears as though around 40,000 seats are likely to be empty.

Owen added on BBC Three Counties Radio: "The FA, in one of their major aims in life is to encourage the game of football and get as many people involved and enjoy it.

It is not possible to make significant changes to a segregation plan once ticket sales are under way

Football League spokesman

"But they cannot find it in their organisation to release any more seats.

"They are going to have 30,000-40,000 still vacant on the day at the brand new national stadium. It is just beyond belief, it really is."

The Football Association says that as it is a Football League event, they cannot comment.

In a statement issued to BBC Three Counties Radio, a Football League spokesman said: "The segregation arrangements were based on the ticket allocations that were requested by the two clubs during the planning process.

"In the case of Luton Town, the club indicated to the Football League that it expected to sell 25,000-30,000 tickets.

"The segregation plan, subsequently put in place by the League, made contingencies for that number to swell to 37,500.

"Unfortunately, it is not possible to make significant changes to a segregation plan once ticket sales are under way.

"The incredible level of demand from Luton fans has exceeded all expectations and every effort has been made to make more tickets available for the club's supporters.

"In fact, Luton have now been given the highest allocation of tickets a club has ever had for a match at Wembley."

Mark Chapman from the Luton Town Supporters Club says Bedfordshire Police, the Metropolitan Police and Humberside Police are happy with extra tickets going to Luton.

He told Three Counties Radio: "Scunthorpe have no objection as it would mean more revenue for them, and the only people who are against it are the Wembley Safety Advisory Group, who don't seem to want to look at ways to enable this to happen."



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