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Liverpool: 'Absurd' Arsenal Ticket Allocation

Liverpool: 'Absurd' Arsenal Ticket Allocation

Arsenal have given Liverpool a meagre allocation of 5,168 for their fifth round FA Cup tie later this month…

The subject of away ticketing is back in the spotlight after it was announced that Arsenal have given Liverpool just 5,168 tickets for their FA Cup encounter on Sunday 16th February.

That figure equates to only 57% of the possible maximum allocation permitted.

Competition rules state that the away side can be given up to 15% of the home team's stadium capacity. At the Emirates that would have been around 9,000 seats.

By comparison, in round three, Liverpool handed opponents Oldham Athletic 5,755 tickets for their trip to Anfield despite the ground holding 15,000 fewer than Arsenal's.

Coventry City, the Londoners' opponent in the previous round, had access to 8,600 seats for their match at the Emirates, although they declined 3,500 due to fears over a lack of demand.

Unsurprisingly Liverpool had no such concerns and requested the full allocation, only to be rejected by the Gunners primarily on safety grounds.

In particular, the club's Safety Advisory Group, made up of representatives from the club, local authority, police and transport, pointed to the threat of supporters standing in the upper tiers of the stadium.

The news comes just a week after Liverpool supporters were celebrating a minor victory over the cost of tickets for the game.

After much campaigning, and prices upwards of £93 per ticket for November's Premier League encounter, Arsenal designated the cup match as Category B as opposed to the usual A.

Consequently adult fans will be paying a much more palatable £35.50 this time around.

That's if they can get hold of a ticket of course! Which following today's allocation announcement is highly unlikely.

Liverpool supporters' union, Spirit of Shankly, said it found the reasoning behind Arsenal's decision 'absurd'.

A statement on their website read: "We are disappointed at today's announcement that we will only be receiving 5,168 tickets for the forthcoming FA Cup match against Arsenal.

"In our letter to both clubs last week, we made clear that as well as reduced ticket prices and consideration being taken for the impact on supporters travel arrangements with regards to any proposed kick off time, that we wished to be given the full 15% allocation in line with FA rule (21.(a)). This would amount to approximately 9,000 tickets, somewhat higher than the announced allocation.

"As a result, we have immediately re-written to both clubs today to ask them to explain this decision, given the absurdity that a football club can designate an area as being available to away supporters yet then raise fears over potential safety issues.

"If necessary we will seek further information from the local authority, similar to action recently taken by our fellow supporters trust at Tottenham."

Vital Verdict
SOS's statement sums it up well. The situation is ridiculous and, when you also factor in some of the kick-off times currently being scheduled, fans are increasingly becoming an afterthought in football. A truly sorry state of affairs.

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Writer:Gavin Kelley-Day
Date:Tuesday February 4 2014
Time: 6:10PM


Yiddo in peace. Sorry guys but you'll have to get used to this from now on, it's what they do. oddly enough, they had no problem whatsoever allowing over 9000 Chel$ki supporters to go to The Emirates Stadium earlier in the season, and that was a bloody evening game, where people had time to get more pi$$ed up & more opportunity to cause trouble.

They're gutless, and I hope you go there & smash the ***** out of them!!
04/02/2014 19:19:00
Their reasoning is crazy unless the top tier referred to is going to be closed permanently. Surely our fans are no more, or less, likely to stand than any other clubs (except the passionless home supporters possibly!)
The Bagman
04/02/2014 20:47:00
Gooner here to add my opinion to the mix!

The problem is that the rule is not clear in that it doesn't give a lower limit just that an away team is entitled to "up to 15%". So that can be anything from 0% to 15% is still within the rules. The host club could technically give the away team 10 tickets and it would not be breaking any FA rules!

It's not pleasant but until the FA clarify the rules by adding a lower limit this will constantly happen.

Galway Gooner
05/02/2014 08:52:00
Section 21. (a) of the FA Cup rules: "In all matches preceding the Semi-Finals, the Visiting Club shall have the right to claim up to 15% of all accommodation for which tickets are issued providing these tickets are in a fully segregated area"
05/02/2014 09:29:00
Thanks Big Red - was looking for the exact wording of the rule in question... As I though the choice is down to the away club on how much of the allocation they take up and not the home side.
The Bagman
05/02/2014 09:31:00
Bagman - that's not fully true. If the home club cannot give them tickets in a non-segregated area then they can reduce the quantity to what ever level they want. So Liverpool ca a for 15% (9000) tickets but Arsenal can come back and say that we cannot give you 9000 full segregated tickets, the best we can do is 5000, or 1000 or even 1 and still not have broken any rules.

I think in the league away teams are entitled to a minimum of 5% up to 3500 tickets so many clubs have their stadium setup so that 5% (or 3500 seats) are segregated. The FA Cup has different away ticketing rules/guidelines.

There is also a get out clause at the end which says that the game board can vary they tickets allocated should they see fit (such as based on police or transport issues).

Galway Gooner
05/02/2014 10:00:00
But there is clearly a 9000-segregated area available as it has been issued to other clubs on many previous occasions - Arsenal are not even clamining it to be a segregation issue. The reason the request for a full allocation has been turned down, as with Spurs in round 3, is on safety grounds and primarily the potential for supporters standing. Nothing to do with being unable to segregate such a number.
The Bagman
05/02/2014 10:39:00
The previous game you were referring to is I assume the Chelsea game which was in the CC cup, I don't know but I'd guess that the CC cup mightn't fall under the club season ticket so not as many seats may have been effectively reserved so the segregation issue may not apply.

As far as I'm aware Arsenal haven't broken any rules here and are perfectly entitled, in FA law, to accept or refuse Liverpool's request for tickets based on either safety concern or the segregation issue.

This comes up pretty much every season in the FA cup if Arsenal draw a big team and every year its the same outcome. Away clubs are entitled to ask and the home clubs are entitled to approve or deny. You can be pretty sure that all clubs (and I'm including Liverpool and Spurs in this) have played cup games at home in the past where they allocated less than the 15% to away support.

But don't let the facts get in the way of a good rant eh?


Galway Gooner
05/02/2014 10:51:00
Indeed :-)
The Bagman
05/02/2014 12:27:00
Galway - ~You made the same pathetic argument on Vital Spurs, when your club shat all over our supporters. The FACT is, there was no issue whatsoever allowing Chel$ki to bring over 9000 supporters to your library, for a late kick-off and a 'London derby'. So there is absolutely NO REASON for the restriction for our game, or for the game against Liverpool. Hopefully both of our clubs (Liverpool & THFC) return the favour, and state that we have no desire to have your supporters at our stadiums. Gutless French surrender monkey basterds!!
05/02/2014 15:20:00
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