Dundee United have issued an apology over ticketing arrangements for the Championship final play-off clash with St Mirren.
Hundreds of Dundee United fans camped out overnight in the hope of snapping up tickets for the crucial away leg of the Premiership play-off final.
United take on St Mirren at Tannadice on Thursday before the return match in Paisley on Sunday.
Arabs queued through the night in the hope of securing one of the 1,500 briefs on offer for the match at the Paisley 2021 Stadium.
All the tickets were sold out by 10am, leading to criticism from supporters who left Tannadice empty-handed.
The club say the ticket take-up was “unprecedented” and said it would “review how such a situation will be managed in the future”.
Dundee United managing director Mal Brannigan said: “The number of tickets allocated from St Mirren has been the lowest number for any of the play-off fixtures Dundee United has competed in over the last three seasons.
“The club did request additional tickets for the game from St Mirren, but due to the configuration of their stadium and the way they segregate the two sets of fans, they were unable to help us.
“The club believed that the system of one ticket per season ticket voucher was the fairest way of distributing these, but this has received some criticism, given that some of the purchases were in excess of twenty tickets by some customers.
He slammed “unfounded” suggestions that some supporters bought several hundred tickets, as well as claims that tickets were sold to non-season ticket holders.
“One of the first areas that we identified when we came into the club was the need for a new ticketing system that could help us interact and engage with our fans better,” he added.
“The ticketing system being introduced ahead of next season will help alleviate some of the issues from this morning.
“In particular, it will include the ability to record those fans who travel to the away games as well as being season ticket holders at Tannadice.
“I take responsibility for the situation this morning, and it has been a learning curve. While there is not one solution that will work in today’s scenario, we will look now at all the suggestions that have been forwarded by fans since this morning, including the capping of tickets per person regardless of the number of vouchers they have.
“I apologise to the number of very loyal and passionate fans who missed out this morning after queuing through the night.
“It was neither the club’s nor my intention for that to happen, but there was only ever going to be a tight allocation from St Mirren once we knew they were our opponents.”
The Tangerines secured their place in the final after a resounding 4-0 aggregate victory over Inverness Caledonian Thistle.
Fans said there was a “wave of optimism” as they waited for tickets.
Stuart McKiddie and Barry Halliday joined the queue at 8pm last night.
The pair believe a social media frenzy may have led to fans heading to Tannadice for tickets.
Stuart said: “We were definitely surprised by the number of supporters that were here so early.
“Fans were clearly determined to make sure they secured the briefs for Sunday’s tie.”
Stuart, from Fairmuir, and Barry, from Craigowl, stood in torrential rain but said it would be “worth the wait” this morning.
Stuart added: “Me and Barry have been in the queue since around 8.10pm.
“The weather was absolutely terrible this morning but it will be worth it for the Shed Boys.”
United diehard Graeme Falconer joined the queue shortly after 9pm.
The retail worker said about 40 fans had already gathered by that time before the line snaked around from the ticket office on to neighbouring Neish Street.
He said: “There was a good party atmosphere in the line.
“People had their deckchairs, one boy brought a camper van and some folk were in the line with their dogs.”
The 35-year-old from the Coldside area admitted he hadn’t intended staying overnight.
He added: “Thankfully I’m on holiday this week and I’ve got to get a few other tickets for supporters who’ve still got work today.
“United have had a decent run of form but I think the second half against Inverness has raised everyone’s spirits.
“Looking at the line from around 11pm last night you got the feeling these tickets were going to be like gold dust.
“There have been folk driving past honking their horns and as time went on the line stretched around the corner.
“It hadn’t been my intention to be in line overnight but I really would have struggled to get a ticket if I hadn’t.”
The club confirmed on Twitter that all tickets to the second leg had sold out by 10am.