The Premier League Board’s desire to better the selling of match tickets by introducing electronic tickets (e-ticketing) met challenges that forced the board to go back to the old system.
Initially tickets were pre-printed and distributed to the host teams to manage sales at their preferred points or outlets. The new system of selling ticket required supporters to go only to the contracted companies’ ticket sales points to buy.
Contacted for comments Premier League Acting Chief Executive Officer Styles Ntshinogang confirmed that they had since stopped the trial of e-ticketing because it has challenges. “The Premier League agreed to stop the trial towards the end of the year. The board has agreed to go back to the pre-printed tickets where Premier League teams will sell tickets at their preferred sales points close to their supporters,” explained Ntshinogang.
He said the board found it vital to stop continuing with the trials because of many challenges it has. One of the challenges was network cuts. Often when supporters wanted to buy tickets they found the network down. The other one was that the outlets that were selling tickets were often far from football supporters and required them to travel to acquire them and it was demoralizing. All these challenges led to low turnout of supporters at the match venues.
On purposes of transparency, Ntshinogang said they would be floating advertisement looking for suppliers who can print match tickets for them. “The league will be floating adverts looking for suppliers who can supply the league with tickets. We are going to engage the cheapest of them all,” he said.
Ntshinogang said the providers of e-ticketing were asked to correct the hiccups that were evident during the trial period if they are to be considered in future.
He said they were optimistic that the initial arrangement of pre-printed tickets will work and avoid the challenges that the league faced during the trial period.
The league went against the pre-printed tickets because they were expensive as they were bought in bulk and often supporters turned up for matches in small numbers leaving unused tickets that would be destroyed.
During the trial period of e-ticketing teams claimed they were making low profits from gate-takings because supporters did not turn up in large numbers because often they could not buy because of network breakdown.