The demand for away tickets is one of the most frequently raised issues to the Fans’ Forum.
It is widely acknowledged that we have one of the best away supports in the League. We sell out stadiums all over the country and in a lot of cases demand is greater than supply.
However, there is a misconception that it is “impossible to get on the away ticket ladder”. I call it a misconception as, just three years ago, I had no 'away history' and was one of those people saying how "impossible it was to get on the away ticket ladder". The fact of the matter is, it wasn't impossible, I just had to earn the right to get on the ladder.
As a Forum member I have heard suggestions from fellow Blues that the Club should change the way it distributes away tickets, but as a travelling Blue the current system, based on amassing away credits, is simply the fairest way and rewards loyal fans for their support.
A few years ago I started a season with zero away credits. Within one season I had nine and earned a ticket to an away Merseyside Derby the next season! I built up my history by going to away games that were early kicks-offs, late kick-offs or televised. I set my alarm for Southampton and Norwich away, which were 12:45 kick-offs and went down to being on sale to Season Ticket holders. There was also a game at Newcastle which was a late kick-off which also went down to being on sale to Season Ticket holders – the three games gave me a platform to build up my away credit history and qualified me for other games that season. It did mean an early alarm call and early darts from work for some away trips but it meant I was putting in the miles, supporting the Blues, having a good day with friends - win, lose or draw; and I knew I was getting credits in the bank for when the 'popular games' came around.
Our away allocations do sell out but getting on the ladder is easier than you think and can actually start at Goodison Park!
If you're a Season Ticket holder who has attended our six home cup ties so far this season then you already have six credits, as the Club offers a credit for attending cup games at home. Our away Carabao Cup fixture at Stamford Bridge went down to Season Ticket holders which would therefore give you a total of seven credits to redeem when credits for the 17/18 season begin to be counted for away games in November.
Seven credits is a great platform to have by the late-November, and with the home cup fixture as well, away games in November there is even more opportunity to add to those credits. The away fixture at Brighton sold out at five + credits; and with Leicester, Crystal Palace and Southampton going down to all 17/18 Season Ticket Holders then there have been brilliant opportunities for supporters to build their away credits up.
However if I'm a Season Ticket holder who just fancies a trip to Old Trafford, the Etihad or watching the derby at Anfield then I'm afraid that isn't going to happen. The thousands of Blues that make up our travelling support, travel up and down the country, have put in the miles to earn their away history and therefore, in my opinion, have earned the right to a ticket for Man U, Man City and an away derby.
I know other clubs can only dream of the away support we have, some clubs have to try and entice their fans to away grounds - but our support is there come rain, hail or shine.
Picking up away credits is not impossible, if you're a loyal supporter who is willing to put the miles in, then you'll get on the away ticket ladder. So pick off the home cup games alongside those away early or late kick-offs, the away televised games, the longer journeys and you'll get on the ladder and be at away grounds up and down the country singing your heart out for the Blues.