Johnston defends ticketing policy for Windsor Park trip
By Gavin McLaughlin
DUNDALK Club Promotions Officer Paul Johnston has defended the club's ticketing policy for the Setanta Cup tie with Linfield at Windsor Park on February 14.
Match tickets for Dundalk fans intending to make the trip to Belfast will only be available to supporters who travel on coaches arranged by the club. Linfield will operate a similar scheme for the return leg at Oriel park on February 28.
A number of Dundalk supporters were keen to travel to Windsor Park independently but Johnston said that the club had taken the decision to issue tickets to only those on the official party after extensive negotiations with a special security group headed by the PSNI and the Gardai.
"It's been a long time since we played Linfield and a lot of things have changed since 1979 but we have had a series of meetings with both the PSNI and the Gardai at senior level, the Setanta Cup organising committee, the IFA, the FAI and with Linfield and nobody wants there to be an issue with the game", he said.
"We have to be strategic with what we do and the best way from a policing point of view is for supporters to travel by convoy from Oriel Park. It was agreed on by all parties for the safety of every supporter."
Johnston said he could understood the frustrations of those who wanted to travel independently.
"Of course it causes problems. It causes us administration problems and it causes those fans who want to go their own way problems. It's certainly not ideal but when you weigh up all the options, we have to go with what the authorities say."
Groups who wish to travel together can do so by reserving a coach (or block of coach seats) as part of the official party, including the possibility of the coach originating from and returning to a starting point other then Oriel Park.
Adult tickets, including coach travel and stand tickets are available at €27, with a limited number of concession tickets for under 16 years or over 65 years available at €17.
Further details on ground regulations and prohibited items will be posted as soon as they are available on www.dundalkfc.com. The Oriel Park booking office is open each weekday from 9am to 5.30pm. Credit and Laser Card bookings can be made on 042-9335398.