Ticketing Déjà vu
Another season under the stewardship of Jürgen Klopp and the club are celebrating reaching the pinnacle of being European and World Champions as well as commanding a significant lead as they aim to add English Champions to that list for the first time since 1990. The knock-on effect of that success is the substantial increase in ticket demand, as well as an element of Déjà vu in a raft of similar “stories” coming out of the woodwork again all with the intention to climb an ever-increasing ladder for the so called “golden ticket”.
Just like last year, the impressive league form of the reds has attracted a major increase in demand. I have to tell you it is so amazing to see how many people suddenly make their first pilgrimage to the city to coincide with certain matches, but to me, it is no surprise having witnessed the same stories in 2014 and 2019. Right now, the amount of people on social media who are heading over in May for their first visit that just so happens to fall either side of the Chelsea home game where a Premier League title could potentially be lifted is staggering. I understand for many of those travelling from miles away, they want to squeeze as much into the experience, out of what is a rare or solitary occurrence for them which is in direct contrast to those who make efforts to go to as many matches as possible irrespective of kick off time, location, or opponent, and this is quite often where debates intensify over who deserves a ticket.
A very common post circulating on social media lately is of people who have promised their children “tickets off Santa” but have surprise surprise either been let down by sellers they refused to name (another common one being a “family friend”) or have failed to look into how to secure tickets and begging strangers across the internet to help them out to keep up the pretence. Last year saw Liverpool come agonisingly close to adding the Premier League crown with a record haul of 97 points and the first few posts from parents wanting to take their children had a good success rate until suddenly it seemed everybody was using that reason to try and get tickets over other supporters. It often seems to be that a genuine story or an opportunistic blag will work, but as soon as word reaches the wider Liverpool fan base – suddenly the same story gets shared out and used. It is the genuine people who suffer from the opportunists chancing their arm as it becomes harder and harder to distinguish those who are scammed or have exhausted all avenues.
I am still awaiting my personal favourite… the “compo” face hoping for compassion and a freebie from the club themselves. As Liverpool went toe-to-toe with Manchester City in the title race in 2019, it felt like every day there was somebody in the Echo asking for a ticket either citing being scammed of hundreds of pounds or being let down or in the most bizarre situations. Somebody even paid for tickets, received them, but then complained about what they had willingly paid for, even going to the extent of badgering Peter Moore to show them the “true experience”.
This isn’t going to subside overnight, so it is time to belt up, batten down the hatches, and get set for more and more sob stories. If you are looking for tickets, then I would suggest doing your research on availability, success rates, and the prices of standard and hospitality tickets. Though it is not impossible to get tickets through the club, the numbers available are extremely limited so there will be many people who now turn to touts outside the ground, ticket reselling websites, or social media. It is always advised if utilising these routes that you exercise extreme caution when conducting transactions as the likelihood of being the victim of a scam increases.
Ideally if you are using a source outside of the club, ensure you know who is providing your tickets and that they are reliable. There are numerous people on Facebook groups who can assist and there are some great groups for helping fans get to matches including assisting supporters get the credit on their own membership for next years sales which may or may not change, both in variance and criteria. Even when dealing with Facebook groups though, and there are some good ones operated by genuine people, there have been copycat groups on the platform operated by scammers on these pages blocked lists utilising several cloned accounts or fake accounts providing positive feedback for scammers where the end goal is to exploit as much financially as possible.
There are genuine touts too. While these are very much seen as the devil to the regular match-goer, it is sadly a part of the current game where they will sell you a ticket at an inflated rate, usually 5-10 times the face value of the ticket. This is something the club are trying to combat and the recent ID requirements for memberships has seen a number of tickets return to general circulation. There are also a number of scammers that operate in a peculiar way where they often sell tickets for face value for a number of games, building up loyalty and trust before branching out to either tout the tickets or to oversell the tickets, which increases the people left disappointed until the point where the financial gain of the seller allows them to disappear with a significant sum of money.
I have written multiple articles on ticketing over the years but unfortunately I don’t have all the answers, nor a perfect solution, and I doubt anybody has, most suggestions seem to only satisfy one person’s agenda and not a collective. It really is a dilemma for those at the club who come under attack from different sections of the fan base depending on their decision on how to allocate and sell tickets.
My sole advice would be if you are wanting to come over to Liverpool as the season draws to conclusion and hope to see silverware being lifted and paraded, is to be realistic. If you are unable to get tickets, it’s still worth coming over to see everything the great city has to offer because it is very unique and there is so much to do. There are plenty of places to watch the match with fellow like-minded supporters. Visit Anfield, go in the club shop, do the stadium tour, visit the museum, and just enjoy yourself. Again though, when trying to secure tickets, exercise extreme caution. Try to avoid changing sums of money before receiving tickets and do thorough research before handing any money over. There are plenty of known scammer lists out there, so take time to find them because you will notice people will be less sympathetic if you have been a victim to somebody on their avoid list.
With the current stature of Liverpool, this demand is likely to keep on climbing and it is entirely feasible that the ticket sales structure from the club may well change for next season. This could have a positive or negative effect on supporters dependent on their own individual circumstances. It is quite literally the best time to be a Liverpool supporter right now, so enjoy the ride and if you are lucky to get tickets, enjoy the experience, but if not, enjoy everything else the city has to offer.