Canaries pushing for 'maximum allocation' at away games to bolster promotion hopes
Norwich City will push for the biggest away allocations possible as the Championship promotion race heats up - and could take as many as 5,000 fans to Wigan in April.
Chief operating officer Ben Kensell spoke about the club’s commercial department doing all they could to support Daniel Farke’s high-flying team off the pitch, with over 3,000 supporters set to make the trip to Millwall on Saturday.
The Canaries have taken an average following of just over 1,500 fans to their 17 away league games so far this season, with the current high of 2,723 at West Brom in January being one of four games to exceed 2,000 City away fans.
“The games that we’ve got remaining, we’re pushing to get the maximum allocations that we can,” Kensell revealed on the Pink Un Show.
“So at Stoke (also in April) we’re trying to get 3,000 because we know our phenomenal away support is growing every single game, we’ve got a high average now.
“It’s very hard to go to these clubs and say ‘can we have a greater allocation?’, but for Wigan we’ve worked hard and spoken to them and we believe that we’ve secured nearly 5,000 tickets.
“I think their average attendance is around 10,000 (11,909 so far this season), so we could effectively match their home attendance and that’s five games from the end the season.
“So we are working further out to secure the maximum allocation that we can, to ensure that the maximum amount of people who want to travel, can travel.”
Kensell also responded to supporters who were disappointed to see the away points scheme not used for the upcoming trip to Rotherham, when around 2,500 tickets sold out in rapid time after being put straight to general sale.
“In hindsight, having sold-out in four hours, it should have gone to points, and it would be remiss of me not to say that,” the Canaries’ commercial chief admitted.
“There are some circumstances around that. Effectively two games have been on the points scheme, that was Brentford and Ipswich.
“If you think about our allocation at Leeds, it took seven days to sell-out a similar number to what we’ve got at Rotherham, which is just over 2,500.
“If, for the ‘biggest game of the season’ at Leeds it took us seven days to sell-out that allocation, we go on sale with Rotherham and it sells out in four hours.
“So, to a certain degree, you pick and choose when you are going to go onto the points scheme, when it might take seven days to sell-out.
“So we want to make sure the fans that travel get priority and moving forward we will have to consider that, but what I would say in defence of our hard working team in the ticket office, it’s not an exact science.
“This time, based on general allocations and them not selling out very quickly, we will now move to a points scheme for Middlesbrough and see how that goes.”
While those tickets for the televised 5.30pm kick-off at Boro on Saturday, March 30, are due to go on sale next week, Kensell also hinted at an added incentive for City supporters to make the eight-hour round trip to Wigan on Saturday, April 13 – when the promotion race really will be hit the finishing straight.
“With Boro, from our perspective, we go on sale for that on Monday, but it will be on a points scheme and we’ll go forward from that point,” he concluded.
“I think with Wigan we are looking to do something a little bit different and we’ll give some more information about that: can we help try to get as many fans there as we can by potentially subsidising some tickets?
“I don’t know, we’re working on that, we’re always working on initiatives where we can give something back to the loyal support we’ve had this season.
“I know the players find it really inspirational when they walk out at away games and it feels like a home game, and the fans are so vibrant and up for it and together.
“I know it has a massive impact on the players, there’s a real feel-good factor, we just want to help.”
• You can catch up on last night’s Pink Un Show in the video player above, which featured Kensell as a guest alongside the Community Sports Foundation’s head of development Jackie Thornton, Canaries Trust vice-chairman Mandie Thorpe and City’s director of communications, Joe Ferrari.