Under the tournament rules, Liverpool were due to receive an allocation of 9,000 away tickets, but a statement released by the club this morning reveals Arsenal’s “Safety Advisory Group” has intervened to reduce the allocation to 5,168.
The grounds they give to justify the massive reduction are quoted as “fears over safety issues from supporters standing in the upper tiers of the stadium”.
Liverpool Football Club explain in a statement:
Any decision on ticket allocation is made by the Safety Advisory Group; however, Liverpool Football Club have been in continued dialogue with Arsenal and made every attempt to obtain the full allocation for fans.
A plea had been made by Liverpool supporters’ union, Spirit of Shankly, prior to the decision for the full allocation, fairer ticket prices and an earlier kick-off time.
Although the game has been demoted to a ‘category B’ game, meaning tickets start at £35.50 and rising to £54, the kick-off time has been confirmed as 4pm, to accommodate live television coverage.
As a result [of Tuesday’s allocation announcement], 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.
In the previous round of the FA Cup, Coventry City fans received a full allocation of 9,000 away tickets, with prices at £25.50.