For seventeen long years now, I’ve been finding my way, comfortably into Liverpool away matches around England and Europe. It’s always been at face value unless I throw a little extra for a couple of beers as a thank you for the ticket. Away credits are pretty much a closed shop so for most travelling reds, we rely on our contacts and friends for help securing those hard to come by match tickets.
Today, Liverpool visited West Ham at London’s Olympic Stadium for their final away match of the season. The weather was boss and I arrived at the ground early enough to get on the hunt for a spare. After all, somebody always has a mate who couldn’t make it. The past couple of weeks had led me well down the garden path with no luck from my regular ports of call. Still, I figured I would turn something up outside the ground. In the end trying to work out what the huge penis shaped monument (pictured below) at the front of the stadium was the closest I got to getting in.
The minutes passed by as the touts were asking anything upwards of £250 for the Liverpool end. To put things into perspective, that’s a 500% increase on the face value of £30. I’d never pay those prices on principle alone however, there is always a desperate supporter or a mentally challenged tourist with a selfie stick ticking off their bucket list willing to pay. They are the fuel to the fire which keeps the touts coming back for more. For every ethical supporter like myself, there are two or three deluded fools who will pay the £250 to get in.
What got my blood boiling today were the Liverpool supporters passing tickets off at the £150 mark. Some had the audacity to to wear Hillsborough Justice Campaign stickers (pictured below) on their Ben Sherman’s as they slugged vulnerable supporters £150! Ironic considering they were wearing a sticker that spoke up against the lack of ethics and morals of a particular newspaper, the Sourh Yorkshire Police and the British government at large. Now these same reds were dropping their own ethics and morals to take other supporters to the cleaners.
I take nothing back when I label supporters who buy off tours mentally challenged. The touts are a disease in football and as long as morons buy off them there will always be an outlet for them to thrive off. Plenty of supporters also bought fake tickets for crazy sums of money only to be turned away. Another group of reds had their tickets refused at the gate which led to a huge battle between security (who didn’t give a flying fuck) and the West Ham ticket office who were equally disinterested in helping. The 15 or so finally got in at half time.
The football clubs could act strongly on touts and greedy supporters by sending out undercover Police officers to arrest and deal with the problem but the clubs give next to no fucks about the supporters as well. There’s no end in sight and I dread to think of the days when Liverpool start winning titles again. It’s only going to get worse with the impending demand that follows on the back of trophies and titles.