‘No magic wand’ for Winkelman amidst Dons’ ticketing debacle

“I haven’t got a magic wand, and this is the difficulty we’re facing”

Friday, 3rd September 2021, 10:22 am

For some supporters this season, it has been difficult to get into Stadium MK with long queues, deliver issues and season ticket problems

Pete Winkelman hopes an end is in sight for supporters who have struggled to get into Stadium MK this season but admitted it might take another couple of games to get it right.

Ticketing issues, season tickets not being delivered, slow postal delivery and long queues at the box office have taken some of the shine off Dons’ on-field performances thus far as fans have been put through the ringer just trying to get into the ground.

The Dons chairman pointed fingers at a new electronic ticketing system, a lack of experienced match-day staff and the pandemic for the problems this season and admitted the problems could continue for ‘the next couple of games’ while they get to the bottom of their issues.

“These are genuinely unacceptable to all of us, I'm hugely sorry,” he said.

“I haven't got a magic wand, and this is the difficulty we're facing. People were telling me at the Tottenham game it was like we'd never hosted a game before - 85 per cent of the people working that day hadn't done a game before. We had 15 different agencies supplying stewards. Covid has caused a bit of chaos in our industry. There is a lot of learning to do, but we're slowly getting there.

“The season ticket problems should be resolved in the next couple of games, and our clubRed ideas weren't practical or feasible. What I've realised is we're trying too hard and therefore failing.

“We've had a perfect storm with the Women's Euros taking place next year and switching to electronic ticketing, which will be fantastic going forwards. We thought we'd introduce it before the season started rather than in the middle of it, but it has brought about one problem after another.

“Add to that the difficulties of getting staff, people not knowing the system and then some of the post extraordinary postage stories too. When you put all these things together, it hasn't been a great start for some of our supporters.

“I've been there, I've seen it first hand, the queues at the box office. People have been able to get in but it hasn't been smooth. At the end of the day, we want that matchday experience to be so important and for people to enjoy their day at the stadium, and for some it has been anything but that.”