Kelly called on the AFL to increase club member allocating from 17,000 to 20,000 to meet the growing demands of the league’s biggest clubs that have memberships in excess of 100,000.
Amid the fight for tickets to the decider, Collingwood members who had forked out thousands in membership dollars were given standing room tickets when they should have been allocated a seat by ticket agency Ticketek.
Others who were selected to receive tickets via a ballot had money taken out of their accounts before being allocated tickets, while other members’ credit cards were rejected in what has become an annual problem with grand final ticket delivery.
Kelly addressed the issue on Monday and while he said all Collingwood members who were guaranteed grand final tickets would get them, he called for change to the system and how many tickets competing clubs were allocated.
“We believe members who contribute their hard earned should be rewarded with a fair opportunity to witness our team on the biggest stage,” he said in a club statement.
“We have been working through the situation overnight and have some updates for you.
“Every single priority one (P1) member who registered for the grand final ballot will receive a ticket to the 2023 AFL grand final.
“There were 37 P1 Members who did not select the standing room option and, as such, missed out on tickets through the automated ballot – we will sort each of those 37 members directly to ensure they have a seat.
“Anyone who is a P1 member and were given a standing room ticket – that will be changed from standing room to an allocated seat.
“We call on Ticketek to improve their system so that the moment funds are taken out of bank accounts, tickets are released to members immediately.
“We know grand finals are a case of high demand and limited availability, which is why we call on the AFL to increase competing club allocations from 17,000 to at least 20,000 tickets.
“We want to assure all members that we are actively engaging with the AFL, MCC, Ticketek, and other stakeholders to push for changes and improve this system and access for our most dedicated members.”
Despite the mistakes, Ticketek was adamant it had fulfilled its role in the ballot allocation.
“Ticketek wants to assure all Collingwood members that the ballot process for the AFL grand final ran as planned, without any issues, and as per the instruction from the AFL, Collingwood Football Club and the MCG,” a statement from the agency said.
The grand final is a sellout.