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Saracens v Toulon HCup Semi

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    #16
    Todays Telegraph
    Saracens fear empty Twickenham for Heineken Cup semi-final against Toulon

    Just 20,000 tickets for Sunday's showpiece semi-final have been sold, leabing Saracens fearing a lack of 'home' atmosphere

    Grand stage: Saracens flanker Will Fraser tries to promote the Heineken Cup semi-final at Twickenham Photo: GETTY IMAGES

    By Mick Cleary, Rugby Union Correspondent
    10:00PM BST 23 Apr 2013
    Saracens chief executive Edward Griffiths says that the prospect of his club’s Heineken Cup semi-final against Toulon on Sunday being played in front of great swathes of empty seats at Twickenham is “not ideal” for the sport.
    Only 20,000 tickets have been sold so far for a game that is under the control of European Rugby Cup, which chose Twickenham as a neutral venue in the country of the higher-ranked team in the semi-final.
    StadiumMK in Milton Keynes was mooted and would have been a more suitable backdrop for such a crowd.
    Saracens would have preferred Wembley, which they have hired themselves several times in recent years to stage money-spinning matches, but it is not available this weekend.
    Saracens have never had a crowd lower than 40,000 for their Wembley matches. The average attendance for a Heineken Cup semi-final over the past five years is 39,500.
    The relatively sparse figures on Sunday will be in stark contrast to the 71,000, and perhaps more, who have already purchased tickets for the annual Army-Navy game at Twickenham the previous day.
    “It is not ideal for the sport where you have a big game involving two big clubs played in a stadium where there are gaps,” said Griffiths, who also expressed reservations about the club-based competition being run by governing bodies.
    “Do I think that there is something inherently wrong with a competition for clubs being run by unions? Probably. The Champions League in football is not run by the FA and other national federations. It would be interesting to see what it would look like if it were.”
    Even though the Engish clubs have been at loggerheads with ERC for several months over the future format of the tournament and broadcasting deals, Griffiths refused to lay the blame for this embarrassing episode at ERC’s door. The cheapest ticket is £35.
    “They have to run a complex competition across six territories and they have to have a common set of rules,” Griffiths said.
    “When we stage matches there are no rules. So we can have group sales of tickets, offer discounts and incentives.
    "You can say that they’re being a bit conservative and safety-first but they are operating within the guidelines they set. If they do it for this one game, they have to do it for others.
    "They are being even-handed. I don’t hold them culpable. They have one set of rules and they are sticking to them.
    "If that means they lack flexibility, lack innovation and the ability to be creative, you can understand why.”
    An ERC spokesman said: “Twickenham was selected from the limited number of venues available and was the first choice of Saracens.”
    Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth. (Marcus Aurelius, 121-189 AD)

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      #17
      20k when the ERC are in charge of things.

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        #18
        The cheapest ticket is 35 pounds, when you think what must the average ticket be I think thats quite steep, it doesnt help though that it will be a kickfest between Jonny and Farrell
        My computer thinks I'm gay
        What's the difference anyway
        When all the people do all day
        Is stare into a phone

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          #19
          1/4 final was £20.
          Yorn desh born, der ritt de gitt der gue,
          Orn desh, dee born desh, de umn bork! bork! bork!

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            #20
            Did the ERC assume Ulster would win and the game would be in LR?

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              #21
              Originally posted by the plastic paddy View Post
              Did the ERC assume Ulster would win and the game would be in LR?
              Could just as easily have been Saracens vs Tigers in which case 40,000 + would have gone .

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                #22
                So, Griffiths puts this down to the ERC's lack of creativity? The average attendance at HEC semi's over the last 5 years is about 40k and they were all run by ERC. What's different this time?

                Sarries only attract 40k to Wembley by selling tickets for feck all and I'd say they're happy to break even on those games. They simply aren't a draw.

                If anybody lacks creativity it's their players. I wouldn't get up to open the curtains if they were playing in my back garden.

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                  #23
                  35 quid for the cheapest ticket is too much imho.

                  They could have done tickets for 15 or 20 quid and bulked out the numbers imho.
                  Please support Milford Hospice. Click here to donate.

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                    #24
                    I feel sorry for the Saracens supporters. Embarassed by their club over "tannoygate" and now their biggest European game since 2008 has been significantly diminished by the marketing of the event, that and the fact that they have no draw outside of a committed fan base.

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                      #25
                      Sarries to win mainly due to the Twickers factor. A big step up for Toulon. If, if, if, if our boys could do the impossible, would prefer Toulon in the final. Anyway, not counting chickens yet.

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                        #26
                        anybody got a link for the game?

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                          #27
                          Just started. Soft penalty to Saracens, landed by Farrell, 3-0.

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                            #28
                            Link

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                              #29
                              3-3, five minutes gone. Wilkinson pen.

                              Comment


                                #30
                                Horrendous atmosphere.

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