Written by: Matthew Purchase – @kopitesaint91
With Liverpool’s recent form under Jurgen Klopp yielding a 6th European Cup, 2 more European finals and a 97-point league season, the interest and demand for tickets is advancing on an upward scale causing a larger disparity between the numbers of tickets available and the number of supporters wishing to attend.
Unfortunately, in the days and times of social media, the ease to deceive and fraudulently scam football supporters is on the increase, whether it be taking money and never providing tickets, providing fake tickets/membership cards with no match information recorded or even selling tickets on for a significant mark up, exposing either a lack of effort or a clear demand on the buyers behalf. This guide will hopefully allow people to understand the options available to them when buying Liverpool tickets as even when speaking with people who may have been scammed or may have spent significantly higher than the face value, the most common response when talking to people either in person or via twitter is I didn’t know how to get them or I have a membership but I can never get tickets.
The minimum requirement to attend matches at face value is to hold an official LFC membership with the exception of the local general sale (500 tickets for those in the L postcode area in the Upper Main Stand at £9) and friendlies. It is extremely rare in the current ticketing structure that a league game or even a cup game reach the level of a general sale. Memberships are available on a seasonal basis with prices starting from £26.99 per year for a light membership which is the minimum required to purchase tickets. The only difference between this and the full membership is the collectors box with a book/pen or other little gifts that vary year by year. The state of membership does not affect the ability to buy tickets.
Premier League Matches
Premier League matches are sold to members in a variety of different sales
- Bulk Sales (July and November) – 10,000 tickets are available for members with the 1st sale of 50% of tickets for the majority of matches on sale to members who have recorded 13 matches in the previous campaign in July and November of a season. This is generally all games with the exception of the 3 promoted sides although due to Norwich being promoted and being the first home match of the season, this is included in the sales for 2019/2020 to members with 13+ from 2018/19
For the fixtures against Chelsea/Everton/Manchester City/Manchester United/Arsenal and Tottenham as well as a newly promoted side in the final home of the season (as has been the case the last 3 seasons), the other 50% would be sold to supporters who had attended a minimum of 4 Premier League matches the previous season.
For all other fixtures, the other 50% is sold to all members irrespective of recorded attendance over the previous campaign. For newly promoted sides (with the exception of the aforementioned Norwich game), all tickets are sold with no previous attendance requirements. Up until the 2013/14 season, there was no loyalty issue placed on the final home match but since the 2014/15 season, a minimum of 4 games from the previous season has been required to try to buy tickets to the final home match of the season. The July bulk sale has been confirmed for 16th, 17th and 18th July with the November dates to be announced towards the end of October 2019.
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- Local Sales – For members with an L Postcode, a limited number of tickets are available (normally around 500 at £9 each located in the upper main stand) with no membership requirement although there is also a separate local members sale but tickets in this sale are around the stadium and at the advertised prices.
- Late availability sales – A rotating sale that usually starts just over 2 weeks before a match (exact dates advertised on Liverpool website). The sales generally begin around 11am and tickets are very quickly collected and put in baskets, however if you are not lucky at the start of sale then try to remain on the page for a few minutes to anticipate the return of tickets not purchase being returned for selection. It is also worth continuing to keep checking the ticket site as the match approaches as tickets are made available multiple times in random drops in the build up to a game. These drops have no fixed time parameter and can happen at 8:30 or 4:30 or any time in between. The games that have criteria drop as the game nears and the best chance of getting tickets is midweek matches where there is a lower demand generally with the 2017/2018 match with West Brom a prime example with tickets available even on the day including pairs of seats together.
- Before the start of the season, members can opt in to the Auto Cup scheme for the Champions League, FA Cup and League cup. This guarantees that in the event of a home match in a competition, your seat is guaranteed subject to the payment being successfully processed with exact dates of payment runs confirmed on the club website following the draw. In recent years, pre-requisites from previous cup competitions has been required for all competitions (having initially only been required for the European Auto Cup scheme) although the League Cup enrolment for the 2018/19 season was available to all members and failed to sell out.
For the 2019/20 season, members wishing to enrol on the European auto cup scheme are required to have all 6 home matches from the 2018/19 season registered on their membership although the number of supporters meeting the criteria exceeds the tickets available with an additional 1,000 members holding the 6 credits as opposed to 12 months earlier.
For the Carabao Cup Auto Cup scheme, supporters who attended the defeat by Chelsea in September 2018 are eligible to enrol on the scheme. Should this not sell out, it is likely that the club would open this scheme to all members irrespective of previous attendance.
For the FA Cup Auto Cup scheme, supporters who attended both the 3rd and 4th round matches in 2017/18 against Everton (Van Dijk’s dream debut) and West Brom (The VAR match) can book their place on the scheme. Should this fail to sell out, it is likely that Liverpool FC would require supporters to have attended at least 1 of the Everton/West Brom matches to enrol. In the event that seats were still available after dropping the criteria, it is likely that the remaining seats would be available to all members with no previous attendance required.
- In most circumstances, the initial sales will be for those not enrolled in the Auto Cup with previous history although dependent on the date/ time/ opposition and competition, these matches can filter down to all members, so it is advised that if you want to go, keep your eye on the information on the website as attendance at these matches can count towards enrolment in the Auto Cup scheme the following season.
- Away league matches are always sold to supporters who have attended a number of matches in the previous season, although for cup matches, it is very much dependent on the allocation Liverpool receive. A small allocation at a team with a small ground can see the loyalty period extend back several years. Dependent on the number of tickets awarded affects the starting point for criteria as the first sale is guaranteed for those with the loyalty.
- If you are willing to pay a significant outlay on a ticket, the best and safest option is to buy hospitality direct from the club. You guarantee your seat and packages include programmes, meals, drinks and in some cases former players in attendance. There are a wide range of packages available both on-site (at Anfield) and off-site (including Aintree/The Sandon and the Hilton)
Official Match Breaks
- Just like hospitality, if you are prepared to spend more than the ticket price, you are better off getting the additional extras along with your ticket such as a hotel. The Official Liverpool FC match breaks are sold direct by Thomas Cook with prices starting from around £279 and include a ticket with a hotel, a match programme as well as a free drink and a former player in attendance in the Anfield Beat Lounge.
- If you are not buying direct from the club either through the members sales or hospitality, my advice is to ensure you know the person you are buying from, whether they are family, friends or colleagues. Whilst there are some genuine people on social media and across the internet, there are a large amount of scammers in operation with numerous tales of scams occurring using these platforms with perpetrators often using alias’s or false names and even having multiple accounts who act as “thumbs uppers – people who provide false feedback to create a ruse that they are trustworthy”. I’m not saying you shouldn’t use them because they’ve benefitted me in the past but I would advise extreme caution especially when on social media and in the Liverpool Echo you hear of people paying significant sums for tickets that don’t exist and being out of pocket or people going to the match to find out the tickets are fake or to meet somebody to collect tickets they’ve paid for who leave you and your 87 year old gran outside in the blistering cold.
- Whilst not 100% fool-proof or practical, wherever possible pay on the pickup of the tickets rather than transferring large sums in advance, seek evidence that they have the tickets in question. For membership cards ensure they provide you with evidence that the card has been activated for the game. Prices for each game can be found on the Liverpool website so you can check the price somebody is quoting, whether it be a person on social media or a number of websites where premiums are sold for seats which in a number of cases have proved to be non-existent. Liverpool Football Club is committed to tackling touts and ensuring a fairer distribution of tickets and have advertised this year for roles where the sole focus will be to eradicate touts.
- There are a number of different types of sellers ranging from credit hunters (buying to ensure they can get tickets for a future game/get priority in future sales) to those who actively buy tickets to sell on for significant profit and of course those who see a spike in demand for tickets to certain games and take advantage of people’s desperation to get hold of tickets and say they have tickets, take money and then block you or disappear or just fail to turn up to hand over tickets or in some extreme circumstances, send a blank envelope to your address.
Written by: Matthew Purchase – @kopitesaint91