The Liverpool Supporters’ Union was recently contacted by a number of supporters concerned about the clubs plans for away supporters which was to involve away ticket checks and threatened subsequent banning orders. This was following information the ticket office gave to supporters who were purchasing tickets for the forthcoming matches at Swansea and Sunderland. This said that supporters who purchase tickets are reminded they are non transferable and should not be passed on to another supporter, along with the threat of possible bans for anyone caught doing so. The club had said that supporters will be stopped in random checks at the away end.
After supporters got in touch with us, we subsequently spoke to both Liverpool FC and to Amanda Jacks at the Football Supporters Federation (FSF) to clarify the situation along with the legalities around this. We reminded them that whilst tickets may not be transferable, supporters can find themselves in a situation where they purchase a ticket and are then unable to go. However the date of returns for tickets is 2 weeks prior to the fixture, leaving supporters in the position that if they find they cannot go to the match after this date, they are left with an expensive wasted ticket. The reality, as we all know, is that supporters who find they can no longer go, usually pass this ticket on to friends or family members. Subsequently, after our discussions with Liverpool FC and putting them in touch with Amanda, they have said they will clarify their comments and make their intentions clearer to supporters in the future.
However, given the worry and anxiety this has caused for supporters who contacted us and we have gone back to supporters to update them on this. We have compiled some information below which may be of use to those traveling to away games and Amanda Jacks from the FSF will speak at our AGM on Saturday 21st September, details of which will be published this week, on this issue.
What might happen?
Stewards have every right to ask a supporter to show their tickets. They do not have the powers to ask fans to show their ID. However, stewards and the regulations around them often rely on something being a “reasonable request”. Whether or not it is reasonable for stewards to ask fans to show them ID is open to debate. It is up to a supporter to decide if, in their personal view, it is reasonable. What fans should be very wary of is allowing stewards to take their ID away to copy it or allowing stewards to note down personal details from ID such as an address or date of birth.
If a fan does not co-operate with a steward in showing ID there is a possibility that a steward may call over a police officer to ask them to search a fan or demand a fan shows ID. In theory a police officer should not get involved as this is civil not criminal law, but in practice they probably will.
Unless the police suspect you of an offence you do not have to give your personal details but the likelihood is the police may threaten you with arrest if you don’t. It takes a strong person to stand their ground in these circumstances.
More details on this are available here
The police should not go through your pockets or wallet etc to find ID. If they do you have grounds for complaint.
If a fan is ejected during the game it is likely the stewards will demand the fan gives them their name and address. This again brings us back to the point on whether or not that is deemed a reasonable request and again it is possible stewards will involve the police if a supporter doesn’t co-operate. If a fan does give their name and address to the police or stewards then those details will be passed back to LFC who may ban supporters even if a criminal offence hasn’t been committed.
If supporters are arrested, please take up the offer of legal advice and contact the FSF.
More information is available to supporters from the FSF here and from ourselves here
If any supporters encounter any problems at matches from stewards or police, please contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org and we will do our best to help