Lately I’ve been getting a lot of emails that basically go like this: “I am going to be in England in a few weeks and want to buy Premier League tickets. Can you help?”
The short answer, for tickets, is almost certainly “No.” But I thought I would take a moment here to explain why that is, and also to suggest times when maybe it isn’t.
So, why is buying Premier League tickets so hard? In a nutshell:
- Most people, when they say Premier League, really mean Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester United or Liverpool. Home tickets to those clubs are almost impossible to get.
- Often they are trying to see one of those big clubs play at a smaller club, which is just as tough because that’s a big seller for the smaller clubs.
- Most people are only approaching this a few weeks ahead of the game, when tickets are long gone.
- Sometimes they even insist on shooting for a Man U versus Chelsea game, which … I mean, if it’s possible to make this harder, that’s how you would do it.
- They often want three or four seats together, which is virtually always impossible to these big clubs.
- They are limited in time – only one weekend in the country, for example – or by location, i.e. they will be in London and aren’t up for a two-hour train ride.
- Re-selling English soccer tickets, at any price, is illegal. That’s why I don’t offer it in my consulting services, and why you’re dealing with high-priced and sketchy “scalpers” called touts.
I have a much more detailed post about buying Premier League tickets.
How can we make this easier? There are some ways:
- Plan farther ahead. The schedule comes out in mid-June for the August-to-May season, and tickets go on public sale (if at all) around six weeks before the game.
- See if you can be flexible and pick a really good time to go for soccer specifically.
- Recognize that the Premier League has 20 teams in it, and shoot for a lesser-known club. (I know, “Tell that to my 16-year-old.”)
- If you have to see a big club, and you’re flexible on timing, shoot for an FA Cup or League Cup game. (Here’s a guide to all the leagues and cups.)
- Even if there are four of you, accept that maybe only two are going to the game.
- Be willing to not sit together.
- Be willing to throw down the cash on a hospitality package, going on the theory of “It’s once-in-a-lifetime.” (I can help with these.)
And finally, consider going to a lower league game. If you pick a good one to see, it can be every bit as fun. Here are some clubs to check out:
- In London: Fulham, Queens Park Rangers, Brentford, Charlton, Millwall
- Near London: Cambridge, Oxford, Reading, Brighton and Hove Albion, Bristol City, Bristol Rovers
- Around Manchester/Liverpool: Blackburn Rovers, Huddersfield Town, Barnsley, Leeds United, Bradford City, Wigan, Preston North End.
Read all I know about buying Premier League tickets and other aspects of English soccer adventures.
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