Liverpool FC Ticket Prices: Who benefits from the end of categorisation?


When the revised Liverpool FC 2016/17 ticket prices were announced, perhaps the biggest surprise was the end of match categorisation.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Monday, January 25, 2016: Liverpool supporters in Kop stand before kick-off of the Football League Cup Semi-Final 2nd Leg match against Stoke City at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

What Is Categorisation?

Categorisation only applies for match tickets (not season tickets). This season, Liverpool categorised their home matches as follows:

Category A: Everton, Man City, Man Utd, Chelsea, Spurs and Arsenal
Category C: the 3 promoted sides
Category B: everyone else

There are different prices per tier per category. For example, a Tier 1 match ticket on the half-way line in the lower Centenary stand would vary from £59 vs Everton, to £53 vs West Brom, to £49 vs Bournemouth.

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Why does it matter?

The main argument put forward against categorisation is unfairness to away fans of the Category A teams. For more on this please visit the Football Supporters Federation – an example case from a Spurs fan is here.

Who benefits by ending categorisation?

The argument goes that if Liverpool end categorisation, it becomes more likely that other clubs follow suit and therefore in future years, maybe even starting next season, the Travelling Kop will be the biggest beneficiaries as Liverpool are charging the same price for all away fans to watch their team at Anfield.

Within the home support, there has been some cynicism since the announcement with the following being the most commonly touted suggestions:

  • ‘All match tickets are being set at the Category A price’
  • ‘The club must be making more money out of doing this’

I wanted to look at whether either of these is true.

The first thing to understand is how many tickets are affected by this change. It’s just over 300,000 tickets but a minority of all tickets available:


The next thing we need to understand is where in the ground those tickets are:

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So the majority of all match tickets are in the Anfield Road End (about 170k) with just over 130k in the other three stands. Currently, only Tier 3 and Tier 4 tickets are available in the Anfield Road.

In comparison, there are under 11,000 category A match tickets available in the Centenary for the whole season.

Currently, there are six tiers of pricing at Anfield. Under the original 2016/17 prices this increased to 19 tiers and was finalised at 12 in the revised prices. It’s been a challenge to ‘map’ current tickets to new tickets (and a few assumptions have been made) but I’m confident that the results will only be 1-2% out either way. The end results are below:


  • Over 90% of Cat A prices are dropping
  • Over 80% of Cat B are rising
  • Over 90% of Cat C are rising

So it’s clearly not the case that all match tickets are being set at the Cat A price.

Overall, almost 60% of match tickets are increasing! So far, so bad. But remember that each category doesn’t have the same number of games.

The next chart is the price change of match tickets:


The notable points here are that over 45,000 tickets going down by £4 and over 25,000 tickets going up by £6.

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Overall there is more red than blue and I make the average increase £0.43p per match ticket. So it’s true that the club “is making more money from this” but it’s a pretty nominal amount.

The last thing to look at is where the winners and losers within the stadium are:


At the start of this analysis I showed how most match tickets are in the Anfield Road End and 50% of the seats are practically unchanged. However, almost 4,000 seats are increasing by either £1 or £2 a match (£20 or £39 over the season) with a chunk of seats in the centre of the Upper Annie Road increasing by £5 a match (£96 over the season).

75% of match tickets in the Main and Centenary are increasing by about £1 a match, but a chunk of match seats in the centre of the new Lower Main will be going up almost £5 a match (£90 over the season).

However, if you get your match tickets in the Kop then they will all be cheaper next season, with almost 1500 seats £5 a match cheaper (£94 over the season).

FURTHER ANALYSIS: 74% of existing match and season tickets are frozen or decreasing


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    • Well said, but I don’t want to think of the club as a casino here. The underlying assumption for me is still that the money will go towards costs of the club – namely players and the redevelopment expenses of the main stand itself.

    • Also on hospitality only man ure and everton where in the same cat about £50 dearer than city chelsea and the others in cat A so where those games now £50 dearer also for the man ure and everton game it was 1 adult to a child on tickets so if you took to kids one of them you was having to pay £300 for was that also the case
      FSG where ripping the fans off all over the place

      • All they will do is make less tickets available for match ticket prices and move them to hospitality. Have you seen how many hospitality tents and buildings there are nowadays dotted all over Anfield? Then theres the lounges inside the ground. There must be 1000s of meal seats. Every single 1 of them tickets used to be for the average working class man. He can’t afford to pay the £300 hospitality packages.

      • The hospitality issue is one that is highly contentious at all clubs and a cause of concern that isn’t going to go away any time soon. I still think the club have a massive opportunity to address the imbalance if and when they proceed with the Annie Road extension. They could draw a line under the need for more hospitality seating and make the Annie Road end predominantly affordable and available general admission tickets but that’s more of a hope than an expectation…

        • The annie road already as some of the dearest hospitality seats at anfield its no surprise that the two stands that are getting developed are the dearest for hospitality

          • That doesn’t mean the additional 4500-6000 seats have to be ‘hospitality’ seating, I’m not saying they will do it simply that they could if they wanted to..
            And as I said to TrueReds it’s more of a hope than an expectation anyway…

        • They won’t build the Annie Rd, the more match tickets that are available then the less hospitality tickets they will sell.

      • Hahahahaha! god dam n it FSG what the heck, why are you not doing anything right,,, we want free tickets.. it is that simple… if you refuse, we hate you…

      • Being an ar se aside, If i were an owner,and I owned LFC, I would turn the Kop into an exclusive hardcore fan stand and give tickertsdaway free of charge to help foster the amazing atmosphere we try and sell the club off on….. I am not all that bothered about the ticket issue, but I ain’t that bothered about alot of things, but. If I was receiving the money LFC are, I would just give match day tickets away free of charge, I would charge only for the hospitality and exclusive box seats…. the sad fact is, even if I were to do that, I’d still be making more money than last season.

    • it needed to be a league protest to have a major effect. Protest against the league sponsors and the PL itself and something would get done.
      Everyone else is now looking for it to be a Liverpool problem not a league wide problem and other owners are hoping that happens too and will wait it out.

  1. Interesting to consider what happens to English clubs if UK leaves EU. Foreign quota would include EU players including those deriving EU citizenship from family relationship to EU state (eg Lucas)? Don’t know but could be disastrous given far more Europeans (and South Americans and north Africans with EU passports) come this way rather than the other way around.

    • Surely if the UK pulled out of the EU (hypothetical) it would mean that all EU citizens or passport holders would then need to obtain a work permit to be eligible for employment in the UK, it’s completely off topic anyway and might not happen…

        • As it stands players from the EU (those holding an EU passport) don’t need a work permit for the UK so we can sign as many European players as we wish. Non EU players, South Americans as an example require a work permit to play in the UK. My take is that if we pull out of the EU then any ‘non British’ player we sign would require a work permit. It would make it a little bit more complicated to sign foreign players and even give the authorities the opportunity to restrict the number of foreign players in the league (if they wanted to) I think that’s how it would work..

          • Interesting, thanks. Think English clubs could be at a serious disadvantage if an “out” vote comes to pass. Vote “in” – for our team if nothing else!

          • Nah! if anything, it helps British footballers and improves the overall level of foriegn players, if they have to pass the same criteria as non EU players, I’m good with that… No more half baked cheap as chips players and better overall quality for all clubs.

          • Not so sure. If currently we’re only allowed a limited number of “foreign”players (let’s say four) who are not British or otherwise from the EEA/EU, then if we exited a good number of our current squad would count towards that quota. I may be wrong but Coutinho and Lucas may currently count as EU players via ancestors and Italian, German or Portuguese passports. Maybe only Firmino and Toure are currently considered foreign. If this changed, all our French, German, Spanish, Belgian and Portuguese players would be considered “foreign”. Given far more Europeans come to the Premiership than Brits to the continent, I could see a massive issue for British football in terms of legally being able to bring in talent. Be like the old days when Man U could play young English lads alongside the likes of Catonna in the later rounds of the Champions’ League – and accordingly got hammered.

          • A rule change would have nothing to do with with numbers, just quality.. Even under guidelines now, a player from outside the EU has to have a number of games as a full international, or show his ability is well and above that of just another QPR player, for example… They have to show that they are here as an improvement on whats available here or at the club…

          • Normally, or should show the players quality, but nowadyas, it just shows how desperate a club is… so yeah!

          • Et voila (an article from the Guardian – Sept 2015): “How Brexit could drive out European Premier League footballers”

          • any industry with big money involved will get exemptions. They will simply blackmail the govt to agree. Football will get the same exemptions.

            And the EU will simply mandate that we go by their rules anyhow – much like European but non EU countries have to do now anyhow.

          • There would have to be some exemptions anyway otherwise every European player already at an English club would become ineligible to play because they don’t have a work permit, it’s never going to come to that but it’s going to be interesting to see how things work in future, assuming we do leave the EU of course..

          • It’s quite amazing that we’re actually thinking of leaving the EU right now, or it’s amazing that it’s come to that and the pro-EU argument looks a little lightweight with Cameron leading the charge, although he has roped some of his big business buddies in to fight for it like Vodafone.

            Boris has wasted no time in getting in front of the media and could really reach through to a lot of people, although I can’t help but think he wants a leave vote to force the EU into major changes who I’m not sure want the UK to leave.

            It would take years to sort out though, so it’s not going to happen on June 24th!!

          • The key point being your last sentence, however it pans out on the 24th June the full implications will take a lot longer to be realised let alone resolved or implemented, bound to be a few sub plots, deals and arrangements along the way as well…

      • If anything, it will just improve the level of player eligible for a work permit , in line with the exsisting standard for work permits for non EU players.

        • I’d agree with you, there’s already certain criteria in place for issuing non EU players with work permits based on the quality of the player, I guess in future that could apply to all non UK players…

  2. I’m only able to get to midweek games and might only purchase a ticket on say eight to ten occasions a season, I’m a member and get my tickets at face value from the club. From a purely personal point of view I don’t have a problem with a reasonable increase in the price of my ticket if it enables the club to sell other seats at a lower price to younger fans or families who are on a lower disposable income, they are after all the future of the club. That’s just my situation however and it would be pretty arrogant and selfish to expect everyone else to feel the same way, especially a family man who never misses a game and might be faced with a much bigger increase than me over the course of a season. The two year freeze on the revised prices will help everyone but only in the long term, even more so if its extended beyond the two years. It’s going to be interesting to see where the supporters groups stand on this after their planned follow up meetings, I’m hoping the club accept the invitation to attend those meetings, I think it would send out the wrong message if they don’t..

      • Like most things Stan it’s never as simple or as straight forward as it could be. I think most people will look at this two ways, firstly how it affects them personally and secondly the overall impact and how it affects other people (it’s human nature) It’s easier to take the moral high ground when you’re not directly affected. Personally I still think the objective of making more lower priced tickets available could have been achieved without the need to raise any prices and at very little cost to the club but that’s easy for me to say…

    • but it’s not the case that those who can least afford it get the cheapest tickets.

      That’s why you have to increase the range between low and high so people do migrate more according to income / affordability. At the higher end you would tend to get people who earn more / can afford more. Doesn’t happen if high and low prices are in a small range. But that model has been rejected.

      I think the supporters groups are going for big price reductions next.

      • I can see your point about a wider price range, that would have been great for everyone if it had been based on significant ticket price reductions without any corresponding increases, realistically I don’t think that will ever happen but I’m sure the supporters groups will push for something along those lines..

        • yep, seems like they want substantial reductions from the extra money coming into the game.
          I still think this has to be a league protest though. Not sure how much good it does just targeting the club to do it. And of course it pushes more money into the grey market – I don’t see those resellers offering tickets any cheaper.

          • Absolutely, no single club will ever introduce a significant reduction in prices unless there’s a multilateral agreement across all clubs, the only way that will ever happen is if it’s imposed on the clubs by the FA or PL, that’s not going to happen any time soon either..

      • How much is a theater ticket for LIVE enertainment? When Mary Poppins the musical came to Dallas the cheapest ticket was US $300, in the upper balcony of two in the last few rows of seats from the stage… Top bands want over US $100 for a concert, and local bands demand a cover charge of US $50 at the town dance hall.

        • Oh Dallas! My kind of town. Irvin, Harper, Williams, Tolbert, Gant – the real Boys! Never, ever in any sport has there been a team like them! Talent, swagger and a always a good time!

        • I went to see Jeff Wayne’s last tour of the current War of the Worlds, and it cost me about £80 per ticket, and that was far away from the stage… Still, well worth it, awesome show…….

  3. I’m sorry to disagree with many fans on this, infact, I’m not sorry at all! Hear me out

    I’m not from Europe but started following Liverpool in 1981. I moved to Central Europe in 1992 and continued following from this closer location indeed attending the FC Kosice vs LFC 0.3 away match in 98/99 as my first live match. Moved to Ireland in 2005 and have been on the season ticket waiting list since then…..with no response to my repeated correspondence.

    It cost me 1500 euro to visit anfield the first time and watch the pre season match vs Lazio in 2008 with the Mrs (we chanted Xabi Alonso all match long) Infact, I pledged 10 000 pounds to the fans initiative that was looking to buy the club from Gillete and Hicks btw 2008 and 2010.

    When I brought my son (and the squeeze) over on his birthday to see us draw 1:1 vs Wigan under King Kenny (Raul Miereles was on a hot streak), it cost me over 2500 euro.

    If I had the chance to spend 2500 annually for me and junior to attend 19 matches coming up to 131 euro a match for the premier league matches, I’d kiss you in the ass and blow you silly.

    I know that people get animated and frantic over ticket prices, but lets be realistic and understand that it is a business. Now you call me whatever you want to call me, but I’ll tell you this, you will only value what you have the day you finally lose it.

    Be careful what you wish for

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      • I would have a season ticket by now if I had access to I A, don’t you thing. Then you know who would get kissed and blown…

      • No probably just someone who has paid hospitality prices and can’t understand why people are moaning about season ticket prices and normal admission prices.

    • It’s a different mindset to the remote supporter though. There are many of course and of those who do take in a game, it’s a pilgrimage and for some of those it’s once or twice in a lifetime.

      That’s not the same for the regular match going fan who is going to see things differently and may even argue that the matches should be for local people. It’s a valid argument, as is reducing ticket prices when there is a lot of money in the game and those fans have enjoyed little benefit from it. It’s all valid if not always realistic.

      In reality you have to decide whose corner your fighting – different fans are different. Also, accept that charging some more allows you to charge others less which the supporters’ groups aren’t prepared to do right now. eg. auction of 10% of the tickets to the highest bidder and use the proceeds to halve the cost of all the other tickets!

      Also, the grey market is being ignored in the protests which is a bit dishonest really.

  4. If Liverpool would like to be in competition with Man United and Chelsea and City, than sadly the ticket prices must be not far away from theirs, but just when the owners too spend similar. Otherwise TT. Top ten.

    • Not totally true our recruitment and development network needs to be better. Leicester are proving that you just need the right people doing things to a cohesive plan to compete in this league.

      • Such a “thing” like Leichester probably will be again in 2100 again, so this is not a very good example in my oppinion.

      • If Leicester were proving anything then there would be one of those every year. There isn’t and there won’t be.

        I do agree that we need to do a lot better though. Mike Gordon and the spreadsheet mafia playing football manager seems to be producing a rather uninspiring group. If the scouts / committee come up with the same selections only ever from people running down contracts then having Klopp isn’t going to help much beyond putting lipstick on a pig.

        Right now we’re struggling to win games and be incisive. It’s a worry.

        Spurs however are showing the value of a very good manager being the real difference on top of having very good and robust attacking players.

  5. I’ll be honest, I haven’t looked or checked tosee what the policy is regarding ticket price for next season after the removal of cat pricing, but is it not an assumption that the club will charge cat A prices.. Or have they actually stated this is their plan?

    • It was an assumption that wouldn’t add up. The reality was somewhere in between as I suspected. Because if club changes all tickets to Cat A prices then they would have ended up making a significantly higher amount of money in overall revenues.

      I had actually done the comparison myself to fully know what was increasing and decreasing and it seemed about right. It’s all mentioned in this article in detail.

      • It more a case of assumption not fact with the article, or examples of what we could expect at differing prioce structures… I was asking if anyone had actually seen definitive prove on FSG’s intentions….

        • “but is it not an assumption that the club will charge cat A prices.. Or have they actually stated this is their plan?”

          I thought your original question was about pricing though? When this announcement was first made, a lot of people were assuming that all tickets will be switched to Category A prices…reality is that not all of them are..some are Cat A, some just average(average being pretty close to B) and some cheaper than those.

          • I’m sorry, I thought that was the jist of the comment… Maybe I am writing stuff down differently to the way it spins around in my head, if so… Ticket price is linked very very closely to whther it be cat a or cat c… the question is, and Iam pretty sure I haven’t been having a pop at anyone here, are we any closer to knowing what the “actual” prices will be, or are we just going to expect to read half baked articles on possiblities… If anyone has read anything anywhere that would shed some light on this, please share it.. Not sure that was too difficult to understand, not my fault TIA are taking everything the wrong way, we know you flit from one opinion to the next depending on how well the team performs….. But.. Facts are alwaays good, don’t you think.

          • Oh I’m guessing you want hard facts and figures? One definite fact is that they’re not going to make any additional money this season compared to the last one overall.

            If you want to see for yourself and compare the cost of tickets between this season and the next, then you can always go to the official LFC website – both of them are present. That, and check out the link I was sharing earlier when the controversy was not sorted out.

            https:// twitter. com / JayMcKenna87/ status/694932488758652928/photo/1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
            (remove the spaces)

            It’s a bit laborious/tedious but you’ll be able to find everything you need to. That’s how I did myself anyway. I’m hoping I interpreted your post right this time around.

      • Isn’t this what the question was, help determining what the price line would be, being an open question, kinda suggests it was for everyone, some of whom may have a better grasp of reality than TIA, or even have read something youi have missed… Innocent and worthwhile question, so keep your knickers on.

  6. those who had tickets and got to watch Suarez, thank the stars that they once saw someone perform who is better than Messi and Ronaldo.

  7. Why do tickets to the final home fixture agains Watford cost as much as A category oppenents Everton and Manchester United?

    • seems that to remove the categorisation that’s the effect. Previously there was a price hierarchy which is more “real world”.

      The problem with categorisation for big clubs is that when our fans go away they are always charged the top tier of pricing as we are a cat A team. That’s how I read it anyhow.

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