FURIOUS Latics fans have hit out at Manchester City officials after a ticketing blunder meant they missed the first half of Tuesday night’s cup tie.
Fans of the FA Cup winners were told they could pay on the gate at the Etihad Stadium but on arrival were instead directed to the ground’s ticket office.
However, once there, they found a large number of Manchester City fans already queuing up because a problem with the club’s ticketing system meant some home fans were being denied entry.
As a result, many Latics fans spent the whole of the first half waiting outside to buy tickets for the game.
Despite Owen Coyle’s side losing the game 5-0 many fans left the Etihad bemoaning not the team’s performance but the way they’d been treated by the mega-rich Blues. Anthony McDonagh, from Aspull, travelled to the match with his son Patrick and arrived half an hour before kick-off but was angered by the lack of organisation at the Premier League outfit.
He said: “Apparently there was an issue with City fans’ season ticket cards which meant they were directed to the ticket office.
“Arriving at about 7.15pm we expected to be in our seats for the 7.45pm kick-off. But the first half passed us by and it had passed 8.30pm before we got into the ground and to top it off it was still half empty.”
By the time Mr McDough got to the ground, there were already large queues with many Latics fans becoming increasingly anxious.
He added: “There must have been at least 1,500 people left outside the ground and by the time I got in there was still a few hundred waiting behind us.
“To the credit of the Wigan fans, there was only good natured singing and chanting, something about a famous cup win a few months ago.
“Finally with tickets in hand he made our way in. Our seats were in fact empty but the security refused to let us sit in them. This wasn’t just me, most of us entering late where told ‘We don’t care if your ticket is for this block, you’re not sitting here’.”
Another supporter affected was Nick Seddon.
He said: “We arrived at the stadium around 10 minutes before kick-off to see hundreds of people queuing at the ticket office with the line stretching right back. Both Wigan and City fans were affected by the delay and we queued together and missed the entire first half, getting into the ground just in time for the second half.
“It’s annoying, but these things can happen. Capital One Cup games are traditionally popular for walk-ins so these problems can occur.”
A City spokesman blamed the number of fans buying tickets on the night.