Sweet FA

An open letter to the Football Association:

To whom it may concern,

Having spent the last hour attempting to buy a pair of tickets for the forthcoming England Under-21 game, it is gratifying to learn that the rank incompetence which has characterised much of the stadium’s construction has been extended to the ticketing process.

Initially I was placed in a queue to buy tickets on the website. Shortly afterwards, the page refreshed to reveal that I was 200 places lower in the queue. The next refresh threw me out of the this process altogether. Since then, I’ve been greeted by a series of different error messages. Meanwhile, attempting to book tickets by phone has resulted in a similar number of variables: a recorded box office message, a recorded message from BT, and a simple engaged tone.

I expect this story will be spun to reflect your surprise at the huge number of eager fans ready to show their enthusiasm for England’s return to their traditional home, as if this technological failure actually represents some kind of triumph.

In reality, of course, it merely confirms the disdain you display for those willing to put money in your pockets, your continued refusal to come to grips with 21st century technology (it’s a website: you can prepare for these spikes in traffic. You can simulate your server being hit by tens of thousands of simultaneous connections. It *really* isn’t rocket science), and the rampant ineptitude you’ve publicly demonstrated again and again and again ever since the Wembley project was first mooted.

Yours sincerely,

Fraser Lewry
Registered England fan # 55355280

Update: Three hours later, through some minor URL hackery (making note of my session id and refreshing the page with the correct variable each time the errors appeared), I made it to the front of the queue, entered my fan number and password, clicked submit, and… after being greeted by another series of runtime errors, was finally told that my ticketing session had expired. Back to the start of the queue.



  1. while you’re at it, have a go at them for choosing the inept and ridiculous steve mclaren.

  2. Hi Fraser,
    As one of the UK’s most influential bloggers, we’d like to invite you to enter the Ask.com Best of Brit Blog Awards.
    If so, then more information can be found at Ask.com.
    All the best,
    Stefan Kirchner, Ask.com.

  3. i m a very good taleted player looking for a foriegn agent to help realize my dream

  4. That’s classic, that is – they’d like to /invite/ you to enter. LOL. Surely as one of the “UK’s most influential bloggers” you should automatically be on the top table of the award ceremony, quaffing Cristal, eating Beluga Caviar and being surrounded by buxom hostesses. Stuff their crummy awards, I say – unless they come up with a *far* better offer. C’mon “Stefan” – show us the mo-nair!


  5. You know – you’d not get this problem if you just switched from the “beautiful game” to the “truely gorgeous game” of Eggby…Only because we get pants crowd figures! On the plus side we do get to use the fabuloso Millenium Stadium though – no ticket issuing probs there and back to land of our (well…my husband’s) fathers too. Niiicceeee!

  6. Being an influential blogger is like being an England footballer- the more you think about it the less impressive it seems. Don’t let The Man buy you Fraser, unless there’s free food and drink in it.
    Pity you didn’t get in for the U-21 match. I watched it on Sky and it was great fun.

  7. I actually had a similar problem – actually I seem to have a lot of problems with any companies I want to sign up for through phone or internet – wanted to get football tickets for the England U21 and surely you’d have thought the tickets weren’t that much in demand and they should be able to cope with it all! Just does my head in that some companies can’t manage new technologies, and if they can’t then they shouldn’t offer it!