There are so many positive things happening with the Sunderland Ladies squad this season. It’s a good time to be a lasses fan. They’ve started the season really well and despite the defeat to London City Lionesses at the weekend, I couldn’t be happier with the results so far. We’ve even been doing well in the Continental Cup whilst giving all of the squad minutes as part of a very shrewd rotation policy.
Off the pitch is improving too, with more social media and website content, featuring interviews, match reports and highlights. It’s great to see and has become more engaging for fans and players alike. However, despite these improvements, the communication regarding match day ticketing needs to improve.
I know that, in comparison to the men’s team, home crowds are a lot smaller (something the lads and lasses at Roker Report are working hard to help grow by increasing awareness of the Ladies team), but detailed planning and communication is still required to keep fans informed of ticketing, travel and changes when they crop up.
There were issues with ticketing for the home game against London City Lionesses at the weekend. Whilst I was watching the players warm-up, I became aware of fans being turned away from the ground. These fans were being informed by stewards that entry was ticket-only and there was no cash or card entry on the gate.
My Dad was one of the fans being denied entry, as there had been no communication that payment wouldn’t be accepted at the gate as it had been against Durham a few weeks earlier. I was able to go online and purchase a ticket for him and four other people who were in the same predicament as my Dad. As they either did not have internet access at home and/or outside of the ground.
The club must improve the communication around ticketing and there is no reason why they have to wait until the week of a home game to start posting information about games. There were a number of fans who were turned away due to not being able to make a cash or card payment at the gate.
We know from the Red & White Army that the club is aware of these matters, and that the General Manager of the Ladies, Alex Clark, will be working with colleagues across the club to make this right. Ideally, as well as improved communication from the club, they could provide a pay on the gate facility to solve the issue. The matter will be raised in the next fan meeting. We don’t want fans missing out on supporting their club and the lasses missing out on the support they deserve.
Ha’way the Lasses!