The chief executive of the Scottish FA got involved in a Twitter spat with supporter David McDonald, who runs the fans’ forum Pie and Bovril, after he posted messages about the Hampden crowd and ticket prices.
A crowd of lower than 26,500 turned up for the must-win game on Monday night, and McDonald tweeted a photo of a half-empty Hampden with the caption: “£36 a ticket on a Monday night vs Malta gets exactly what it deserves.”
But Regan responded to the tweet saying: “Please check your facts before you post such nonsense. It was £20 adult and £5 kids plus £30 and £10 in the more expensive seats.”
However, McDonald then sent Regan a photo of his ticket with its £36 price tag - but stressed that he accepts it was purchased at the start of the qualification campaign as part of a five-game ‘season ticket’ deal for £180.
Some of the Tartan Army hit out at the five-ticket deal, branding it too costly and accusing the Scottish FA of exploiting fans keen to land tickets for the mouthwatering clash with England in June.
Speaking afterhis initial tweet sparked a huge debate on Twitter, McDonald told the Daily Record: “I don’t think Stewart came across well, he’s in charge of the SFA and he should be slightly more sympathetic to the fans.
“There’s a belief that the SFA are outdated and out of touch and they don’t do themselves any favours with Stewart’s reaction on Twitter.”
McDonald added that, while he was aware the £36 ticket price ‘may be a vagary how the SFA’s tickets system works’, he added: “[Regan] could have pointed out in a less abrasive manner how the ticketing arrangement works.
“I appreciate my £36 ticket was an average price. I do get the point that Stewart was making. That said, it was still £36 for every one of the home qualifiers.”
Fans have also pointed out that the £180 price for the season ticket was on top of the £55 club membership fee.
“To charge £30 to walk up and buy a ticket on the night is out of touch with what the product’s worth. It’s about the premium and supply and demand but the game was too expensive and the fans are sick of it.”
The Scottish FA issued a statement in response in a bid to clarify the matter, saying: “Supporters purchasing a season ticket receive a discounted rate compared to those who bought on a match-by-match basis.
“The price printed on the tickets purchased as part of the season ticket package is listed as an average across all five matches.
“For this campaign we’ve offered a range of pricing options to our members and to fans attending individual matches.”