Martinez defends Wigan’s FA Cup ticket flop

LONDON - Wigan manager Roberto Martinez insists he isn’t embarrassed by the Premier League club’s failure to sell their ticket allocation for Saturday’s FA Cup semifinal against Millwall.
Martinez won't concede any disappointment at the relatively low sales. Net photo.
Martinez won't concede any disappointment at the relatively low sales. Net photo.

LONDON - Wigan manager Roberto Martinez insists he isn’t embarrassed by the Premier League club’s failure to sell their ticket allocation for Saturday’s FA Cup semifinal against Millwall.

The Latics were allocated 31 000 tickets for the clash at Wembley, but only 22 000 have been sold.

Although Championship side Millwall have sold their full 31 000 allocation, there are likely to be plenty of empty seats at the national stadium.

Yet Martinez won’t concede any disappointment at the relatively low sales, preferring to focus on the club’s rising attendances since they were in the bottom tier of English football when he arrived as a player in 1995.

“It’s not about the numbers,” Martinez said. “The numbers need to have a meaning. “Back in 1995, when I arrived at the football club, we had gates of 2000 people.

“Now we are in the best league in the world, and we are in the semifinal of the best cup competition - for us to take whatever figure it is represents an incredible percentage of the town.

“It’s an incredible turnaround of the fans we had 15 years ago, so for us it is a success.”

And Martinez, whose side are battling to avoid relegation from the top-flight, added: “I know from the outside they will compare numbers, but we don’t really care about that.

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