WIGAN Athletic supporters travelling to Wembley for their team’s historic FA Cup semi-final showdown with Millwall are being urged to avoid the railways when making their travel plans.
Concerns have been raised that it will not be possible for fans to make their way to and from London by train due to engineering works and services finishing early on the day of the game.
A statement on the club’s official website advised supporters not to use the railways to head to the capital, confirming that fans would be able to purchase seats on coaches at the same time as buying their match tickets, which will go on sale later this week.
Currently, the last train heading back to Wigan Northwestern on Saturday will leave London Euston at 8.31pm, leaving Latics fans struggling to head back from Wembley in time to catch the train.
If the match were to require extra-time or a penalty shoot-out Wigan fans, who will also have a longer walk back to the tube station after being allocated the East side of the stadium, would almost certainly be left stranded.
Pre-planned overnight engineering works on the route on Saturday night and the early hours of Sunday have made it impossible to schedule extra services.
A Virgin Trains spokesman said: “We understand that fans are not going to make it to the last train, and we have made this very clear to the FA and Network Rail.
“We appreciate this is not ideal for fans and not the way we like to do things. We hope that lots of people will make a weekend of it in London and we can get them home on the Sunday.”
Private companies are offering chartered train services for the game, and there is currently no suggestion that these will be affected.
Latics’ allocation of 31,863 tickets, priced between £30 and £60, will go on sale to corporate members on Friday, March 22, and to season-ticket holders on Sunday, when purchases will be online and at the stadium only.
They will then be available to season-ticket holders via telephone booking from Monday, March 25, before going on general sale on Sunday, March 31.
Tickets will be available in person, on 0871 6633552 or at www.wiganathletic.com/tickets, limited to three per season ticket holder and two per person on general sale.
General sale purchasers must have a buying history at the stadium.