English Premier League football club Liverpool has confirmed it will switch to fully digital ticketing for entry to Anfield stadium next season.

Liverpool made the announcement as it detailed ticketing plans for the match against Crystal Palace on May 23. The Premier League this week confirmed that the final two matchweeks of its 2020-21 season will be limited to home fans only.

Clubs are currently preparing to readmit fans in-line with the government’s reopening schedule for England. The government’s roadmap details a phased reopening of sectors, with Step 3 – which would come no earlier than May 17 – including a special provision to allow up to 10,000 people or 25% of total seated capacity, whichever is lower, at large outdoor venues.

The May 17 date is set to allow the final day of the Premier League season on May 23 to go ahead with spectators. The League has also rescheduled the penultimate round of fixtures to May 18-19 so that each of the 20 clubs has a home game with fans in place.

Liverpool has confirmed it will make 10,000 tickets available for the Palace match, and has also detailed wider plans for the 2021-22 season, when it is expected Anfield will operate at full capacity. Liverpool said Anfield will be using NFC (Near Field Communication) technology for entry in the new season and tickets will be digital on a smart mobile phone, even when transferred to a friend or family member.

Those season ticket holders and members who do not have access to a mobile phone or NFC technology will receive a card with their photograph on to access the stadium. Liverpool also used NFC technology during the three home games at the tail end of 2020 in which Anfield was allowed to operate at a limited capacity.

As part of the club announcement, Liverpool said a friends and family programme, which will allow season ticket holders and members to use official club channels to share their match tickets with assigned friends or relations of their choice, will be introduced for the 2021-22 season. 

In a change to a previous announcement and due to further potential changes to government guidance, Liverpool said it will now allow all season ticket holders and official members to transfer their tickets to up to 20 friends and family for all home Premier League and cup games during next season. These friends and family must be registered with the club ahead of the 2021-22 season.

All official members and season ticket holders can also use the club’s ticket exchange scheme for Premier League home games and, and if the club sells it, receive 100% of the value of their ticket back, should they be unable to attend any game and don’t have nominated friends or family who can attend.

Liverpool said it will be reviewing the friends and family process over the course of the next campaign and will likely change following consultation and analysis of data from the season.

German Bundesliga club Bayern Munich this week said it would also move over to fully digital ticketing at Allianz Arena from the 2021-22 season.

Image: Mike Pennington/CC BY-SA 2.0/Edited for size