Explanation of ticket issues v Palermo (14 September)
Many supporters attending last Thursday's game v Palermo, season ticket holders in particular, found they were unable to gain access to the stadium despite having validly purchased a ticket for the game. As a consequence, stewards had to refer supporters to an already overcrowded ticket office and we are aware that many of those supporters did not ultimately gain access to the stadium until long after the match had started. The increased demand on ticket office resources also inconvenienced many other supporters by creating unnecessary congestion outside the ticket office both before and after kick off that evening.
The club recognises that this state of affairs is totally unacceptable and consequently the ticket office conducted an urgent investigation into the events of last Thursday. It now emerges that problems experienced by season ticket holders were caused directly by a defect in the ticket office software we operate - supplied by a company with whom we have dealt for a period in excess of ten years.
The defect, which applies only to home cup ties, resulted in a number of valid ticket sales (of which 168 have been identified to date) being cancelled and the seats being made available for resale. With the game being a sell out, virtually all of these seats were of course sold a second time. The invalid "cancellations" did not appear on any reports obtainable from the ticketing software and so the error was not brought to the attention of the ticket office.
Our supplier has confirmed all of this to us and has undertaken to rectify the software defect before we will be selling tickets for future home cup ties. At our insistence, the supplier will also be writing to all season ticket holders who suffered as a result of this error to apologise to them for the inconvenience caused.
West Ham United would like to extend this apology to all supporters attending last Thursday who may have experienced difficulties and to reassure supporters that we are devoting every effort to improving access for supporters on match days.