DERRY CITY season ticket holders will be issued with a new state-of-the-art ticket for the 2011 campaign, the club's Board of Directors anxious to avoid fraud at the Brandywell turnstiles.
And it's now been confirmed by the Board that season tickets had been fraudulently used in the past - including last season.
Commenting on the new change, Derry City vice-chairman, Mr. Sean Barrett, said the club had been negotiating with the well-known "Ticketmaster" organisation in an effort to avoid the misuse of season tickets and he was delighted that the changes would be in place for the return to the Premier Division.
"Each of our season ticket holders for the 2011 season will be issued with a credit card type ticket bearing a personal bar code and that ticket will be scanned at the turnstile," said the vice-chairman.
"That season ticket can only be used once at the turnstile, therefore, putting an end to the alleged practise of passing season tickets back out through the gates to someone outside who also used it to gain entry to matches," he added.
"We've carried out a few investigations during last season's campaign and we've discovered that season tickets had been misused. Indeed, we've also confiscated fraudulent season tickets which had been carefully copied last season and the Board decided that such practises had to be eradicated before the new campaign kicked-off."
It's understood the unique bar code on each ticket will contain the identity and personal details of the season ticket holder which will be logged in a new database set up by the club.
"We've opted to take a positive and a more professional approach to our ticketing system and the involvement of Ticketmaster has been significant in that regard. As a result, we've basically ended the threat of any duplication of tickets," declared Mr. Barrett.
"Each ticket will be scanned at the turnstile and the new system will give us an accurate account as to the size of the attendance on the night."
Mr. Barrett also suggested that there had been "significant abuse" of the club's concessionary season tickets in the past and the new system will also alleviate that problem.
"The Board believes the new system will be another positive step forward in the progression of the football club."
However, Mr. Barrett also urged those who preferred to occupy the same seats year after year to purchase their tickets before Christmas as it was important to identify the number of holders in order to secure the necessary ticket numbers and bar codes.
"We have quite a few season ticket holders who prefer to occupy the same seat as they have held in the past, therefore, it's very important that those particular season ticket holders secure those seats as early as possible.
"And with so many season tickets purchased during Christmas week, we would also urge those people to secure their tickets as soon as possible so that the ordering of the new tickets would run smoothly," he concluded.
Meanwhile, the club has received the final batch of Hummell gear with limited stocks of jerseys etc., now available.
Merchandise can be purchased from the following outlets - the Derry City Shop inside Brandywell Stadium, 8D Lighting, Coshquin and Jobby Crossan's Sports Centre, Racecourse Road. Merchandise will be sold on a first come, first served basis.
Oman, Twigg not bound for Brandywell
On the team front, it's been confirmed that speculation linking both Ken Oman and Gary Twigg to next season's Derry City squad is well wide of the mark.
Brandywell boss, Stephen Kenny, dismissed such rumours last night, suggesting that Derry City was not in a position to take such players on at this stage.
"I've been made aware that speculation has linked us with both Ken Oman and Gary Twigg but I think it's important to dismiss such speculation," said Kenny.
"Given where we are as a club at this moment in time, such targets are not realistic. Ken, as we know, is a top quality central defender who played so well for Derry in the past while Gary was the top goalscorer in the league last season. They are both fantastic players but even if they were interested in coming to us, we would face problems with relocation and family issues and we're not ready for that," added the Dubliner.
"Ken has been with us in the past while Gary resides north of the border and I believe that's why they have been linked with us."
Did he expect any movement on the transfer front over the next few days with further speculation linking both Gareth McGlynn and Ruaidhri Higgins to a return to the Brandywell.
"I have continued to speak with players in relation to possible moves but, at this moment in time nothing has been agreed with anyone. Signing new players can take time, we will have to wait and see what develops in the run-up to Christmas," concluded Kenny.
Meanwhile, Dundalk have emerged a possible force to challenge for top honours in the 2011 season with the news that Ian Foster has signed two high profile hitman to lead the Oriel Park side's attack next year.
Former Bohemians front men, Jason Byrne and Mark Quigley - who netted a memorable hat-trick for St. Pat's in the Brandywell in recent years - have both joined the "Lilywhites" who have now issued a statement of intent in relation to next season's competitive campaign.