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By ESPN Staff

Stadium chief welcomes Liverpool final ticket move

Millennium Stadium chief executive Paul Sergeant has welcomed the news that Liverpool have decided to replace stolen FA Cup final tickets.

But he maintained the club only had themselves to blame for the theft of around 1,000 tickets last week.

With stadium officials refusing to issue duplicate tickets, Liverpool have opted to use tickets held back for a ballot of fan card members to replace those stolen.

'This is great news and the most sensible conclusion to this unfortunate set of circumstances,' Sergeant said.

'This seems to be the best solution for everyone involved and there is no-one more pleased than us that those fans who were due to miss out will now be coming to the Millennium Stadium after all.

'However, the Millennium Stadium and its Safety Advisory Group would like to add one final note of caution to all clubs, event organisers and sporting institutions.

'If Liverpool had followed stadium advice and dispatched tickets in a secure way, then this situation would not have arisen.

'Our no duplicates policy has been borne out of similar thefts - albeit on a smaller scale - which have happened in previous seasons with Liverpool and other sporting clubs and we are pleased to be able to send a clear message to those who deal in black market tickets that stealing Millennium Stadium tickets is not profitable and ticket touts will not be tolerated.'

The Millennium Stadium is now awaiting a definitive list from Liverpool detailing which tickets can be deemed stolen property so that the appropriate action can be taken by South Wales Police on Saturday.

Chief executive Rick Parry told the club's official website, www.liverpoolfc.tv: 'We have decided that tickets which had originally been held back for a ballot of fan card holders will now be used to replace those stolen and we are confident the vast majority of supporters affected will be offered replacement tickets for the final.

'Our ticket office staff will be contacting those fans this morning to say their tickets will be replaced.

'Obviously, those supporters who had applied for inclusion in the ballot will be disappointed, but we feel this is the best way to deal with a very difficult situation.

'We were disappointed with our initial allocation and the bottom line now is that one thousand fewer Liverpool fans will be able to watch their team in the FA Cup final.

'We are very unhappy that fans who have backed the team throughout the competition have been denied the right to attend the showpiece final through absolutely no fault of their own.'