High demand forces Bohs to stop selling season tickets

Bohemians Football Club have had to turn down would-be season ticket buyers due to high demand for tickets and the lack of seating at Dalymount Park. 

Following a fantastic 2020/21 season which saw Bohs reach their first FAI Cup final since 2008 and a European run that saw them defeat Greek giants PAOK in the Aviva Stadium, the popularity of the Dublin 7 side has skyrocketed. 

“It’s so frustrating,” explained Bohemians senior club administration manager Jimmy Dignam. “This season we have over 1,800 members and over 500 season ticket holders. Following last season’s results, the want to see Bohemians has exploded. We have actually had to turn people away.” 

Dalymount Park, which at one stage hosted as many as 48,000 people – including for Ireland games and concerts – has over time seen the stadium capacity reduce to just 3,800. Safety issues and a lack of money have seen a once thriving stadium reduced to a relic of the past. Numerous plans over the years have been set in place to either build a new stadium or renovate Dalymount Park – but nothing has come to fruition. 

Photo by Sean Garland Mural of former Ireland manager Jack Charlton who managed Ireland at Dalymount Park

“We love Dalymount Park for what it is and all the history that has happened here, but it is time to have it re-developed,” Dignam says. “It is soon going to become an issue and stunt further growth as a club for Bohemians.” 

The desire to watch Bohemians was evident in last year’s FAI Cup final at the Aviva Stadium, where 37,000 fans attended the match, with a considerable proportion supporting Bohs. 

Photo from FAI Ireland Twitter The FAI Cup final 2021 between St. Pats and Bohs

Bohemians have also gone viral with the release of the new Bob Marley away jersey. Following problems with the Bob Marley estate in 2018 over licensing issues, Bohs had to pull their kit from the market. Three years later, Bohemians finally released their jersey commemorating Marley’s last outdoor concert at Dalymount in 1980. 

The buzz around the jersey has seen it all over social media with coverage from the likes of Soccer AM to CNN. 

Following a fantastic season last year, Bohemians have lost most of their star players. Top scorer Georgie Kelly earned a move to English League 1 leaders Rotherham United and Ross Tierney moved to Motherwell in Scotland. Bohs also lost the experienced trio of Keith Buckley, Rob Cornwall and Keith Ward, who combined had over 600 appearances for the club. 

“For teams in the League of Ireland it is very hard to retain your best players when interest comes from abroad – especially with how we give out contracts with our financial constraints,” Dignam says. “Players sign on a 44-week basis rather than a 52-week contract, meaning players can leave quite easily. 

“Thankfully for us, UEFA requires player compensation for players under 23 which means we get something, but this does mean players go for less than what they might be worth.” 

The situation for Bohs is improving with signings for the new season, with both Jordan Flores and Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe signing multi-year deals with the side. 

Bohemians come into the season expected to finish mid-table according to the bookies, but the Phibsboro side could shock a few this season. Despite Bohemians having a very young side, their signings in the transfer window saw them sign previous League of Ireland players such as,Jordan Flores, Kris Twardek and Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe. The Gypsies also signed former Sheffield United youth player and former U19 international Jordan Doherty, who returns to Ireland after a spell in the United States, with over 60 professional games under his belt at just 21. 

Most importantly, Bohs kept 19-year-old Dawson Devoy, who was heavily linked with multiple English clubs over the summer. 

Bohemians start their season away to Sligo Rovers at 7:45pm this Friday. 

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