Aberdeen this evening responded to the recent issues arising out of the club’s loyalty points system.
The club posted on their website the following statement:
In light of the response to the announcement regarding tickets for the Europa League tie at Turf Moor last week the club would like to provide an update on the loyalty points system which has been in place since 2014/15.
The club has been issued an allocation of only 2,400 tickets for the away match with Burnley and as a result, it was inevitable that some supporters who back the club significantly may not secure a ticket.
To put things in perspective, the club has around 10,000 season ticket holders, the vast majority of whom have renewed for the upcoming campaign. Therefore, holding a season ticket for a minimum of two years and attending a large number of additional games – both home and away – is required to meet the qualifying level so it has not simply been a case of buying an AberDNA membership in order to ensure a ticket for the Burnley match.
As many supporters will know the system was first put in place to deal with fixtures where the demand would clearly outstrip supply, as was the case for the League Cup Semi Final against St Johnstone at Tynecastle. In subsequent seasons the system has developed and evolved from the first season when Black & Gold Members were afforded priority ahead of the general sale period.
In 2015 it was decided that it was unfair to provide Black & Gold members access ahead of general sale and that loyalty points alone would be a more equitable approach in dealing with ticket allocations. For that reason, Black & Gold Members were allocated 10 loyalty points instead of outright priority and the same principle has been applied to AberDNA members to recognise the contribution that each supporter is making in support of the football operation.
The decision to include loyalty points as part of the AberDNA membership (in the same manner as the Black & Gold Membership) involved consultation with supporters including a survey which had a response of several thousand. In the feedback it was clear that loyalty points were very desirable: 95% responded favourably and it was the third most requested benefit and seen as integral by fans to success of the membership.
To date almost 6,000 supporters around the globe have pledged their support in just over 3 months since the launch, each of whom make an invaluable contribution to the club’s football operation and future success.
AberDNA seeks not only to strengthen the football operation but also strives to mobilise our worldwide supporter base and by offering loyalty points we are able to ensure that supporters overseas (or from further afield in the UK) can feel part of the club. These fans actively support the club by subscribing to RedTV, purchasing merchandise and match tickets when possible. Through the loyalty points offered by AberDNA, these fans have a chance of access to tickets, albeit at a lower phase than more regular attendees.
At the moment our system is a hybrid of rewarding supporters for attending matches and acknowledging the financial contribution that supporters make to help make the club stronger through home match ticket purchases, season tickets and AberDNA subscriptions.
The club appreciates there is clearly a balance to be struck between rewarding members for signing up and acknowledging supporters who actively attend matches. With this in mind, we have already taken the decision to re-introduce an allocation of 2 loyalty points for supporters attending away league matches.
We are aware of a multitude of loyalty systems in use and will work with supporters over the coming months to make improvements where possible to our loyalty points system. The AFC Fan Forum will also be a key driver in ensuring fan input to all areas of the club, not just loyalty points.