Free to taker: two Brentford tickets

If only.

I’m frustrated. There must be a solution to this…

Two mates have just dropped out of tonight’s trip to Brentford, so I have two tickets that are not going to be used and I’m going to have three seats all to myself. It will be like that dream scenario when you get on a flight and find no-one else sitting in your row. If the game is a bit dull I’ll be able to stretch out across all three seats and catch up on some sleep. Wake me up when the drinks trolley comes round, please.

In the good old days, we’d see if any other mates wanted to come, maybe put a post on twitter, or even start a thread on NSC to see if someone could escape work early and make it up to west London in time for kick-off.

In these less-good modern days, that’s simply not possible. Well, it is, but doing so comes with a tremendous risk: being ID-checked by club ticketing staff at the Gtech Community Stadium would give rise to a 5 or 10-game Amex ban, missing out on away games over that same period and a loyalty points deduction.

I’ve got absolutely no complaints about these punishments for those who tout tickets or game the loyalty points system. Since the club got really serious about away ticket distribution, penalising those who intentionally pass tickets on they had no intention of using themselves, it’s become easier for those lower down the loyalty points ladder to pick up tickets for games. As a fanbase, we all win.

But, when plans change – illness, family issues and, well, general daily life stuff happens, there surely HAS to be a way to ensure there aren’t empty seats when so many fans want, and can, attend.

There was a very predictable fastest-finger-wins scramble when the second sales window opened for tonight’s game and lots of people who wanted to go missed out.

We’ve put a man on the moon, we eventually found somewhere within Brighton and Hove (just) to build a Premier League football stadium and we discovered that putting garlic and toasted bread together was a taste sensation, so surely we can find a solution to this problem.

The club gets so very many things right. Fans of other clubs must be sick of hearing about how well-run Brighton & Hove Albion football club is. As an aside we really should be exploring getting a trademark on the term “Best-run football club in the world”.

So surely, surely, surely this football club, a club that has just made a profit of a gazillion pounds can find a way to ensure that tickets don’t go to waste and that Albion’s away ends are full, literally.

In most cases, fans with a ticket they can no longer use do not want a refund, they simply want to see the ticket utilised and know that another Albion fan gets to go to the game.

(Note to Albion’s supporter services: for the avoidance of doubt, I will be using my own ticket tonight and I am absolutely NOT offering to give away two spare tickets because I want to keep attending games please.)