Last week, Liverpool couldn’t even be bothered to field their actual team for an FA Cup match at Anfield, now they’re complaining about not getting their maximum allowed ticket allocation for an FA Cup match at Stamford Bridge!
Jürgen Klopp made his stand and sacked off the fourth round replay last Tuesday against Shrewsbury Town. The Reds’ U23s still managed to squeak by the third division side, 1-0 on an own goal and the latest marginal VAR nonsense, setting up a fifth round match against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
But as Liverpool revealed on their official website yesterday, Chelsea allocated them only 5466 tickets, which is several hundred below the “standard” 15 per cent allocation as set out by The FA’s guidelines. Stamford Bridge’s maximum capacity is normally around 41,000 (depending on competition and broadcast specifics), which would make the standard allocation a little over 6000.
Safe to say, The FA, who embargoed Liverpool’s game last week from all broadcast in response to Klopp’s shenanigans, won’t be turning a sympathetic ear anytime soon.
“The club has received a total allocation of 5,466 stand tickets from Chelsea Football Club for this all-ticket fixture.
”On receipt of the allocation, LFC challenged CFC on why the number is less than the standard 15 per cent FA Cup allocation.”
“The club have been informed that the decision to have a reduced allocation is made by Chelsea’s Safety Advisory Group and based on a number of factors.
“Chelsea said that the decision is final and will not change.”
They could’ve just as easily explained that the reduced number is due to safety reasons, which surely benefits all those attending, but they chose to make it a combative issue.
It should be noted that Liverpool aren’t the first rivals to see their Cup allocation reduced at the Bridge, as this Twitter thread from @PhilBlundell shows.
Chelsea allocation has been reduced and I think there's gonna be 1200 empty seats for 'safety reasons' in the Shed having looked at what we've got and what the capacity is. In the League Cup in October, United's end looked like this. pic.twitter.com/cmMrL0yA50— Phil Blundell (@PhilBlundell) February 11, 2020
Whatever the exact safety reasons might be (fan separation, distance from pitch, distance from ad-boards on the side of the stands, etc) — I haven’t seen a Chelsea response or explanation yet — this isn’t new. It may be a bit of an overkill, but better safe than sorry, no?
Plus, I thought Liverpool didn’t even care about the FA Cup!?
Looks like Spurs had a similar issue last season but it looked like it was safe to stand closer to the front of the goal than it was 9 months later, but they couldn't stand as close to the Chelsea fans as United's fans. Also, the stewards are wearing hard hats I think. pic.twitter.com/u92f2LEyVg— Phil Blundell (@PhilBlundell) February 11, 2020