“£50 a match ticket?!” – 3 cheap ways to watch Liverpool

The price of football has risen to extraordinary high levels. Liverpool games at Anfield are now in excess of £50 and some away games have seen prices of up to £63 (Arsenal, the culprits with that one).

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The Liverpool Supporters’ Union, Spirit of Shankly are behind a nationwide campaign urging clubs to put a cap of £20 for away supporters at Premier League matches.

Spirit of Shankly recently responded to a new tiered ticket pricing structure at the club with contempt, pointing out that Reds supporters have been short-changed more than most football fans. They said in a statement in March:

The Union maintains that the proposed increases are an insult to long-standing supporters, flying in the face of economic reality and adding further to the 1108% price increase, against a football wide average of 716%, Liverpool supporters have endured since 1989. So much for Lord Justice Taylor’s Hillsborough report saying that “it should be possible to plan a price structure which suits the cheapest seats to the pockets of those presently paying to stand.”

The club and league might try to justify the inflated ticket prices in saying football is a very different game to what it was in 1989. The standard of elite football has surely improved; footballers are paid more, they are now much more athletes than ever before and the worldwide brand of both the Premier League and Liverpool FC has expanded thousands of times over. It’s a global business.

The 2012/13 season has been my first season as a Liverpool season ticket holder, after being on the waiting list for almost 15 years. My season ticket in the Lower Centenary is rising by £70 to £850 next season, and it must be paid by the end of May – almost three months before the first game of the season. My job and family mean I live away from Liverpool – about an hour and a half’s drive away from the ground. So add another £30 for petrol, parking, food and drink per matchday and I’m looking at a minimum of £1420 for watch Liverpool’s home league games next campaign.

I’m lucky that I can afford, albeit begrudgingly, my season ticket next season. I’m also lucky in that I have a job. It doesn’t pay fantastically, but it’s a job in these hard times. I don’t have children to support, so it’s just about affordable for me. Therefore, I completely sympathise with fans and the terrible rising ticket prices, especially when you add on the booking fees and hassle of buying on a match-by-match basis (my headaches have cleared this season not listening to ‘Fields of Anfield Road’ on repeat for hours at a time on the ticket office phone line).

I also completely sympathise with fans who has simply been priced out of watching the football club that runs through their blood and want it to run through the blood of their children, and their children’s’ children.

But I encourage you not to give up on football.

There’s a lot of things wrong with the sport, especially in England right now. I don’t know why I bother with it half the time. But it’s still engrained in all of us.

It still makes us passionate. It lifts us and deflates us at the same time. It keeps us alive. And so does Liverpool Football Club.

Here, I have complied a short list (just the three bullet points) of how you can still watch affordable football proudly with the Liverbird upon your chest.

Liverpool U21s in the Barclays U21s Premier League
Anfield/The Academy
FREE/£5

Raheem Sterling

The Liverpool U21s is the relatively new name for the Liverpool Reserves. The league they play in was rebranded as an Under-21s league by the Football Association a year or so ago. Games are broadcast live on LFC TV and are either free or under £5 to go to.

Watch the emerging stars of the Liverpool first team get match experience against the cream of other club’s youngsters, with a few veterans thrown in for fun (Joe Cole played for the Reds U21 team last year). Raheem Sterling, Suso, Shelvey and co. are all regulars right now.

More details here.

Liverpool Ladies in the Women’s Super League
Anfield/Halton Stadium, Widness
£5 Adults; £2.50 Concessions; Free to Season Ticket holders

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A lot of money has been pumped into the Liverpool Ladies team by the club’s American owners, with women’s football massive over the pond. They’ve signed a lot of players recently, and currently lie third in the Women’s Super League (a league made up of 8 teams).

Their season runs through the summer, until September. So with just three Premier League games left to go, you can continue to get your football fix beyond May 19th.

More details here.

200px-AFC_Liverpool_logoAFC Liverpool in the North West Counties Premier Division
Valerie Park, Prescott
£3.30 a game / £70 season ticket

The ‘A’ in AFC Liverpool stands for affordable and the club was set up in 2008 by around 1,000 Reds fans looking to make football affordable in the mould of Liverpool FC.

The club have three games left to play in the North West Counties Premier Division (level 9-10 on the football pyramid) this season and are looking at a mid-table finish. They also have a women’s team and several youth teams.

More details here.

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  • Becciboo

    We live in London (my husband has been a Liverpool fan for over 30 years as Anfield was the first ground he ever watched a live game). My son, as expected, even at 5 is a fanatical Liverpool fan. He watched every game that’s televised, pores over the scores as they come up on the vidiprinter. We managed to take him this season for his first ever game at Anfield (0-0 draw against Stoke but that’s another story). By the time we’d paid £129 in tickets, £80 in petrol, £99 for a room overnight and then food and a few souvenirs we had essentially our annual holiday! Don’t get me wrong, our boy had an amazing weekend (as did we) but that sort of money is out of our range every other weekend, we can do it once a season at most. We aren’t season ticket holders so we would have no chance of getting away tickets to watch Liverpool against one of the London clubs. Sad days for the poorer of the Liverpool faithful.

    • DerBaumMann

      i live in austria, guess what im paying for a flight there and back + all the points you mentioned cost for me! Feel delighted about young boys, as your son, being already liverpool fanatics. im just hoping your son will enjoy some memorable and magic moments at anfield :) ! YNWA from austria

    • Tom

      you could always just sit in the home end when liverpool play away it’s annoying but anything to watch liverpool and it’s a bit cheaper

  • tonythered

    The ever rising cost of tickets just goes to show how little respect and consideration clubs in the premiership have for their supporters. Soon a MASSIVE new tv rights deal will come into play. There are various sources on the amounts in question but £3 billion over 2013-2014 to 2014-2015 is mentioned by a few publications. The amounts pulled in from sponsorship and merchandising are increasing also with some extremely lucrative record busting deals announced in the last few years. With the obscene amounts of money streaming into the the premiership have clubs sat down & said “You know what? we are raking in vast fortunes already, we have this new tv deal kicking in, we can easily afford to slash ticket prices for our loyal supporters” ……I very much doubt it.

    Clubs and players always bang on about how much they love and respect their supporters. But it seems the thing they truly love about supporters is how the passion and deep seated loyalty they feel for their clubs can be cynically exploited in order to squeeze every last available penny from them. Even during this time of harsh austerity when so many people are being hit so so hard financially, we have clubs continuing to hike up their ticket prices. They don’t share the same world as the rest of us though, austerity and recession has hit seemingly every area of society except for football. They continue to revel in their never ending greed which knows no bounds.

    We don’t have to look very far to find a better way of doing things. Only as far as Germany. Their fan ownership model means that supporters are always uppermost in the minds of clubs when it comes to decision making. The standard of football in the Bundesliga is excellent, their grounds are always packed with passionate supporters stretching across the social demographic, and they pay an average of around £10 for a top flight game.

    The clubs in the premier league could do the same, they do pull in enough money from other sources to heavily slash ticket prices……But they wont. Because they are too greedy & because they have little real regard for their supporters. It is the same with the governing bodies, supporters always seem to come bottom of the list of priorities. We are the lifeblood of the game, everything comes from us. We are the reason that tv companies, sponsors, advertisers etc are willing to pay such vast sums of money to clubs. Yet we are often treated as an afterthought, we are often treated with barely concealed contempt while clubs pay lip service to how much they ‘value and respect us’. I love the game of football, I love playing it, I love watching it, but more and more I am disgusted by the way supporters so often seem to be bottom of the list of priorities for clubs and governing bodies within the game. I am sickened by the seemingly never ending greed of clubs and players. Just as sickening is the rampant and blatant corruption in the game we love, which we are supposed to believe will be cleared up by the very governing bodies who have been the worst offenders.

    I love football…….But I hate the culture of never ending greed and corruption that goes hand in hand with it.

    Everything comes from supporters though. We are the lifeblood of the game. Why do tv companies

  • Paul

    Vote with your feet and stop paying these prices. I had a season ticket throughout the eighties, enduring both Heysel and Hillsborough. Nobody was more passionate about Liverpool than I was; following them everywhere. During this time I got married and we had a child, money was tight but I still managed to buy my season ticket. Then in 1990 a new pay deal was agreed with John Barnes for £10,000 a week. I could no longer justify my outlay to fund this extravagance and stopped going on the very day Liverpool won their last title. Admittedly somebody else just stepped in and took over my ticket, but it was my decision and my personal protest. I told the club why I was not renewing, but never got a reply. My point is that if enough people stopped buying overpriced tickets, prices will come down