Being an English Premier League fan in Australia isn’t easy. Often it involves waking up at 3am and connecting a streaming app to your TV to follow your favourite football team over 17,000km away.
For dedicated Australian EPL fans, one thing is certain: No matter who you support, we all dream of being able to go over and see our teams in the flesh.
A couple of years ago I was fortunate enough to chase my dream, moving to Liverpool, getting a job with Liverpool FC at their club store and attending 12 games in the space of 10 months. If you too have spent years dreaming of going to your place of worship to watch your team live – this guide is for you.
My guide for Australian fans of the English Premier League is in 3 parts:
Part 1: Getting a ticket
You’ve saved up all the money in the world for that dream 24hr+ flight to England, but then you remember that you have to get a ticket. How on earth do I get a ticket to a team whose stadium has sold out 99% of its matches for the past 15 years, when most Premier League stadiums are over 90% full for every match?
Obtaining tickets for EPL matches is uniquely complicated compared to other leagues worldwide – but the effort required is worth it.
In my experience, these are the best ways to purchase tickets
Buying through the club website:
This one is difficult if you support any of the big 6 clubs (ie. Man United, Chelsea, Liverpool et al.) but if you are particularly committed, you can obtain tickets to some matches. You’ll generally need to have an official club membership to purchase through the club website, and purchase tickets when they are released in the main sales – usually at the start of the season.
The downside of buying this way is that for most matches you need to have credits, that means you must have attended a certain amount of home matches the previous season in order to be eligible to purchase a ticket. Therefore, buying through the club website is really only a viable option if your team are playing against a lower league club in Cup competition or lower Premier League sides.
Alternatively, if you support a club outside the big guns (or *cough* Man City *cough*) it is much easier to find a ticket to matches, and sometimes you can even purchase tickets in the weeks or days leading up to a match. (I managed to get tickets to the Australia vs England friendly in Sunderland through this way!)
Joining an official supporters club:
If you’re lucky enough to support one of the top teams in England, chances are they have official supporters’ clubs in Australia. Some of these clubs get access to a handful of tickets to each home match throughout the season. Membership to one of these supporters’ clubs is usually quite cheap (between $10-20 for the season), however you will also need an official membership. Contact your local supporters club to find out if they get matchday access – and, before you sign up, make sure that the supporters club is official and recognised by the club itself (for example, the Melbourne Liverpool Supporters club). I managed to get tickets to big Liverpool matches against Man United, Everton and Chelsea using this method.
Hospitality packages are generally more expensive than other official options, but they’re less stressful, too. This was the option I used at the start of my trip when I first went to Anfield. At the time, my highest priority was to be guaranteed a ticket, as my initial trip had been planned around this date.
Along with a ticket in a premium section of the stadium, hospitality packages can include extras like a night’s accommodation in the city of the match as well as a lunch at the stadium in one of the suites on matchday. They’re more expensive, but they provide some peace of mind as they’re EPL-approved official tickets.
Most EPL tickets available on Sports Where I Am are Hospitality Package tickets.
For obvious reasons, this isn’t one that we at SWIAM can recommend. However, of the matches I attended whilst living in the UK, a number of my tickets were purchased via online forums and people selling their tickets on Twitter.
You have to tread with extreme caution when using this method, as there are definitely dodgy people and flakers out there. My personal experience, though, was that many fans genuinely just want to be able to help others get to the game when they can’t go themselves.
Of course, this method won’t be for everyone, and probably isn’t a great option for travellers who are only in town for a short time.
Who to avoid
Touts and scalpers:
Touts and Scalpers are the ways that the majority of tourists manage to find their tickets, but it is also something that the Premier League and football clubs are now trying to crack down on.
The crackdown is based on the idea that online touts and scalpers outside the grounds are having a negative impact on Premier League games, due to many local season ticket holders now treating their cards like a business opportunity rather than a commitment to their club.
If you’re looking for tickets to a Premier League and you’d like to avoid some of the pitfalls listed above, all tickets offered by Sports Where I Am are genuine, and come with a 100% money-back guarantee.
What do you think, EPL fans?
Let us know your thoughts on our Facebook page.Categories: EPL, Sports travel guides, tourism