Sunderland fans’ Capital One Cup Final defeat went from bad to worse as some coaches didn’t leave Wembley stadium until two and a half hours after the match had finished.
Even after the brave Black Cats’ effort saw Gus Poyet’s team defeated by Manchester City, the Mackem support seemed still to be in high spirits. That was before they started their journey back to Wearside.
Both Sunderland and Manchester City football clubs had spared no expense in order to get their respective sets of fans to the game but their warm gesture was tainted by a lack of staff in the car parks.
31580 Sunderland fans alone were at the game with the majority using coaches or trains to get to and from the capital. With extra trains having to be made available as well, huge questions have been asked about the organisation at the game.
One disgruntled fan, 50-year-old sales manager Stuart Shaw from Penshaw, described the whole thing as a “huge joke.”
He said: “I payed £50 plus for these tickets and it’s a shame to have our big day out ruined by a lack of effort in planning”.
Some fans didn’t arrive back at the Stadium of Light until after 1am on Monday morning while some even opted to get off their pre-booked buses and try to grab some last-minute train tickets back to the North East.
Although some thought the Wembley staff were the reason for the delays, Diane Blankley, a 48-year-old shop assistant from Chester-le-Street, was among those who claimed that the layout of the car park was also to blame.
She said: “The design of the car park is ridiculous. There appears to be only one way out and no one directing the coaches.
“Getting to the exit appeared to just be a free for all and drivers were just trying to get in front of each other.”
No official statement has been released from either club but the outcry on Twitter in the early hours of the morning meant that these flaws did not go unnoticed.