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OK, so maybe it’s not the MOST intense time of the season, but it’s still rather stressful. When the Premier League fixtures were announced on the 14th June, as an LFC member, two things initially crossed my mind. First of all, it was delight to know that I would be able to get tickets for the first home game of the season. Crystal Palace isn’t a huge game on paper, and a lot of fellow members will know that for bigger games, you need a certain amount of other games on your record to access tickets, which is fine if you have the sufficient matches, but you feel unfairly treated if you don’t. And then the wave of dread overcame me. In order to get tickets, I must first go through the absolute carnage that is the July Members Ticket Sale. As a member, when you read the phrase ???July Members Ticket Sale’, you automatically hear that high-pitch screeching music you stereotypically associate with horror films. When you think about it, the hands begin the sweat and the heart begins to pound. It’s like some kind of Black Friday, Boxing Day and January sales hybrid. If it took place in a physical shop where you plucked the tickets off the shelves, there would more than likely be a lot of violence and several casualties. There’s a myth among some Liverpool fans that it is impossible to get ticket for any games. This is not the case. You just need to be well informed about when tickets go on sale, and have a membership bought. A membership is guaranteed to entitle you to some games in the season, so therefore will never be a complete waste of money. This year, the sales start week beginning 10th July. If you know what games you’re eligible for, which games you want to go to, and your membership is active, it’s actually a very simple process. I like to treat sale day like a match-day itself. Preparation is the key. For starters, it’s an 8:15am sale time, and who can be arsed with that? So you get a good night’s sleep the night before, make sure you’re well-rested. However it can be quite difficult to get a sustained sleep since you’re awake at least once an hour through the night in a cold sweat, thinking you’ve overslept. Approximately an hour before the sale time, be up and ready to go. You’ve got to give yourself plenty of warning that the big moment is almost upon you. Have a brew, have some cereal, fire up the laptop and make sure you’re ready. You have a long journey ahead. If you’ve been organised enough, when it actually comes to 8:15, there shouldn’t be much work to do. You just have to make sure you’re ready and waiting to click ???buy now’, and once you’re in the queue, the waiting game begins. It’s a long, tedious and drawn out process. There’s not much you can do but wait. Don’t get impatient, don’t get restless, and don’t be stupid enough to refresh the webpage because that does not help, I speak from experience. Just let the website do its thing and you’ll get there eventually. Once you’re into the promised land of the ticket distributing website, you’re suddenly in a battle against time where you’ve got just half an hour to find the tickets you want and get them bought. Of course, it goes without saying that you should have a list of prioritised games prepared before going into the venture. If you’re eligible for games like Man United and Everton, these are the games you need to address first. This is perhaps the most complex and delicate stage of the entire process, as you’re often left with many dilemmas, such as “Am I happy with my current tickets? Or do I want to roll the dice and see if I can find better ones? Or…even more of a risk, do I throw them away and wait to see if any Kop tickets appear?” You see, if Kop tickets appear, they’re the fucking Holy Grail. You snap those bad-boys up, no questions. If you’re efficient and not too fussy, half an hour later you should have your tickets. And then comes the wave of satisfaction and relief. You’ve done your job. You’ve come out the other side. Congratulations! You’ll be going to Anfield this season, let’s hope the actual season will be just as successful as your ticket-buying adventure. And, when it comes to November and the sales for the second half of the season, we get to put ourselves through the whole experience yet again. I’m already relishing the challenge.
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