Here we go again

Liverpool’s FA Cup third-round tie away to Arsenal in January has left fans with a strong sense of deja vu. Once again, the allocation, ticket price and kick-off time showing scant regard for travelling supporters.

Under FA rules, and up to the semi-finals and final, visiting clubs are allowed 15% of a ground’s capacity, up to a maximum of 9,000 tickets.

Liverpool’s allocation of 7,600 for the match on Sunday 7 January is 12.5%. Liverpool FC pushed back on this after an initial allocation of 5,200, but supporters are still missing out.

This is not the first time this has happened at the Emirates and we’re not the only supporters it has happened to.

In 2014, Arsenal were drawn at home in every round. Coventry City were granted the full 9,000 in the third round, but in the following ties Tottenham, LFC and Everton each received an allocation of just 5,100. In 2019, Manchester United received 5,233 and a year later Leeds United 8,000.

Why do the FA continue to let this happen? We have written to both the FA and Arsenal on this issue in the past, as have the other supporter organisations, and we will do so again.

Ticket prices
Liverpool’s last cup tie away to Arsenal, in January 2022, was the Carabao Cup semi-final second leg and tickets cost £10 (£5 for over 65s and under-18s). This fixture has seen prices surge up to £53 for adults and £21 for juniors.

We acknowledge this is a different competition, but supporters will be watching the same teams, from the same seats with the same facilities at a cost of £40 – £53 (£21 for under-18s).

In other, all-Premier League third-round ties being played on the same weekend, Tottenham Hotspur v Burnley will cost £25 (£10 for juniors) and Crystal Palace v Everton £15 (£10 for over 65s, £5 for under-18s).

Why are we being asked to pay such high prices?

Kick-off times

Six third-round fixtures have been chosen for TV.

Thursday 4 January, 8pm: Crystal Palace v Everton

Friday 5 January, 8pm: Tottenham v Burnley

Saturday 6 January, 5.30pm: Aston Villa v Middlesbrough

Sunday 7 January, 4.30pm: Arsenal v Liverpool

Not one of these times has taken travellling fans into account. For LFC’s game, supporters will have hope they can secure places on one of only three direct trains back to Liverpool following the final whistle.

We acknowledge LFC have tried to push back regarding all of these issues and we thank the club for that.

There was a football-wide acknowledgement – from the game’s administrators to club execs to TV companies – during the pandemic when teams played to empty stadiums of the importance of fans. What has changed?