Manchester United fans kept in the dark on Liverpool and Everton allocations
Fans forced to resort to Freedom of Information request to get transparency
Manchester United fan groups are struggling to understand their fate as they wait on Liverpool Council to decide how many tickets the Club will be given for future games at both Liverpool and Everton.
Liverpool City Council’s licensing committee will decide at a public meeting next Monday if United should be given fewer tickets than they would otherwise be entitled to for all future league and cup games. It would be a first for a council to make a ruling that would affect ALL future games, and so United fans are keen to know the outcome.
However, the meeting documents do not even say how many tickets United would receive at Anfield and Goodison once safety measures had been taken. Fans have been left to guess.
Reds Away editor Dale Haslam asked Liverpool and was advised to ask United.
United said they had not been told specific allocations.
Liverpool City Council’s licensing manager Steven Clare said: “At this point I feel it would not be appropriate to enter into discussion on the report as it will be discussed in full at committee meeting.”
Everton have so far not responded to a request for information.
A United fans’ representative has been invited to address the committee at Monday’s meeting.
But fans’ groups MUST and IMUSA, backed by the Football Supporters’ Federation, claim the absence of specific information makes it difficult to prepare a case.
A spokesperson for MUST said: “"When the only parties in a position to tell fans what is on the table choose not to, it is extremely difficult for fans to contribute to a fair process.
"We would urge Liverpool, Everton and Liverpool City Council to tell us what allocations they are proposing to impose so we can give contructive feedback and do our bit towards making these two fixtures as safe as possible.
"MUST's door is always open to communication from clubs and councils but in this case fans have been left with no choice but to issue an FOI request to try to get some transparency around this process. Unfortunately any response will come too late for this meeting but we hope it will encourage a more open and inclusive process for supporters in future."
The decision will be taken at a Liverpool City Council licensing committee meeting next Monday.
A Football Supporters' Federation spokesman said: "Football fans pay thousands of pounds each year for season tickets - partly for the privilege of being able to apply for away games - so it is to be expected that fans' groups want to campaign for as many tickets as possible when there is a proposal to cut an allocation.
"Ahead of such an important meeting, it is disappointing that fans' groups are being denied access to information that is vital to them preparing a case.
"The Football Supporters' Federation would encourage all the organisations involved to be as transparent as possible when it comes to sharing useful, non-sensitive data."
Under the FOI Act, I would like to request the following information is emailed to me:
- All emails and documents sent to and from Liverpool City Council staff on the subject of what ticket allocation Manchester United should be awarded for matches in league and cup competitions at Anfield and Goodison Park from the 2012/13 seasons onwards. I am happy for names to be redacted if there are any data protection issues.
- a copy of the minutes from the most recent meeting of the Ground Safety Advisory Group. I understand that this was not a formal GSAG meeting, but instead a more informal meeting between someone from the council's licensing unit and the chair and the deputy chair of the licensing committee. This meeting should have been minuted in the public interest.
- a copy of any match-specific risk assessments submitted by Everton FC, Liverpool FC, the council's licensing unit or any other authority that formed a basis for the licensing committee's decision on what ticket allocation Manchester United should be awarded for matches in league and cup competitions at Anfield and Goodison Park from the 2012/13 seasons onwards
- a copy of any match-specific stadium management plans submitted by Everton FC, Liverpool FC, the council's licensing unit or any other authority that formed a basis for the licensing committee's decision on what ticket allocation Manchester United should be awarded for matches in league and cup competitions at Anfield and Goodison Park from the 2012/13 seasons onwards