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IRFU performs U-turn over autumn series ticketing

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Irish chief admits to flawed ticket policy

The Irish Rugby Football Union has performed a U-turn over its ticketing strategy for the forthcoming autumn international series.

The IRFU said the change had been made in response to a lower than expected demand for tickets for the fixtures.

It is understood that clubs had been asked to pay up in full for ticket allocations, including unsold tickets, within three days of matches.

The IRFU says it will seek to find an "equitable solution" on unsold tickets.

A statement released by the IRFU admitted that it had "made an error in its ticketing strategy and is giving a commitment that it will review its policy at the conclusion of the Guinness Series".

A meeting of the IRFU Management Committee decided that clubs will only be asked for immediate payment for tickets they have sold for the Guinness Series.

"The IRFU will work with the Branches and the clubs to assess the situation regarding unsold tickets with a view to reaching an equitable solution to this difficult problem.

"It was further agreed that ticket allocations to Branches and Clubs for the 2011 RBS Six Nations matches will not be affected by sales of tickets for the Guinness Series," the statement continued.

The IRFU does not want to see clubs suffer financial hardship as a result of being unable to sell ticket packages

Philip Browne

IRFU Chief Executive Philip Browne explained that there were "a number of elements impacting on this situation since the sales structure was drawn up in March 2010, including a further significant deterioration in the economic climate".

"While the situation varies from club to club we are aware that a number of clubs are still in possession of tickets for matches.

"The IRFU does not want to see clubs suffer financial hardship as a result of being unable to sell ticket packages for this Guinness Series and consequently will only seek immediate payment for tickets sold.

"On completion of the series, the IRFU will work with Branches and clubs to assess the effect of the reduced demand for tickets.

"In addition the IRFU will undertake a comprehensive review of its entire ticket sales strategy, which includes price tiering, bundling and distribution channels.

"As part of this review, which will commence immediately on completion of the Guinness Series, it will consult widely with its stakeholders," he added.

Tickets were originally to be sold in a four-match package, but that was later cut to two-match packages.

A combined ticket for Ireland's matches against New Zealand and Argentina now costs 190 euro.

A combined ticket for Ireland's matches against South Africa and Samoa costs 150 euro.

Single tickets are also available for the Argentina and Samoa games.



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Injured duo may join Irish squad
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