Another mid November morning, another Liverpool half season ticket sale fiasco. The floored system that is Liverpool Football Club’s ticketing sale has begun to show once more how much work is still required moving forward. Members logging in for this mornings sale are, due to having 13 or more credits from last season on their card, guaranteed tickets. The difficult part will come with Thursday’s and then, Friday’s sales when, the 4+ and open season sales roll on.
Long wait times and disappointed supporters are the one certainty from the next two sales as supporters who were slugged upwards of £34 just for the privilege to join the members sales will be missing out completely in some instances despite paying for a membership. Liverpool have a vast fan base that come from all corners of planet earth with some 200,000 paid up members. A great portion of those members will be battling for only a couple of thousand tickets made available in Friday’s free for all. Rest assured though. Many hundreds, if not thousands of tickets will begin to appear at inflated prices on sporting tour websites and by way of the scourge of football, ticket touts.
It’s a sad and sorry system.
Previously, Liverpool sold match tickets on a match by match bases. For a long time, this system was reasonably successful for most and failed to create the congestion of recent years. Part of the American owners (FSG) plans to restructure ticket sales was to hold two seperate blocks in July and November. Naturally, you can understand with up to 10 home matches going on sale at any given time and massive volumes of supporters all vying for tickets, it’s safe to say, Liverpool FC’s outdated and seriously flawed online sales system will deliver more headaches and heartaches for supporters as the many clamber for the few.
If you are reading this then, it’s safe to say, you are privy to the intricate problems that go down on the days of the sales so I shan’t carry too far into that field. Despite numerous attempts to overhaul the problems that have been raised too many times to mention, the club still sit firmly on their hands and refuse to act. Why would they do this I hear you pondering? Because the club are only interested in getting the money in from the ticket sales and memberships. The more memberships they sell, the more money they make. If there are 200,000 people potentially battling for a couple of thousand tickets, it’s no real bother to the owners. Games are always going to sell out and generate the income required so why would John W Henry, Tom Werner and the board be too bothered by the problems faced by match going reds? As the season continues, the club will still push for more sales of new memberships despite prior knowledge that new members face almost no chance of obtaining match tickets between the new year and May.
The club have indeed made some positive changes. Local members now have a dedicated sale and there are £9 tickets available to young lads to ease the financial burden. However, despite all this, there is a very long way to go before the required improvements are implemented moving forward. The first starting point would be to envoke a cap on memberships. Allowing over 200,000 people to fight over a “chicken feed” portion of match day tickets needs to stop. An expansion of the Anny Road end is another important factor moving forward. And why allow people who aren’t eligible for selected ticket sale dates the option of joining queue and clogging up the server only to increase wait times for those who are in fact eligible?
Sadly, I think we will still be here this time next season bemoaning the same problems.