Liverpool have challenged Manchester City and the Premier League over a reduced ticket allocation for their forthcoming trip to the Etihad Stadium.
The visitors say they have been restricted to 2,382 tickets for the lunchtime kick-off on April 1, with the reduction agreed by City, Greater Manchester Police and the local ground safety advisory group.
Liverpool received almost 500 more tickets for their Premier League game at the Etihad in April last season, and were granted 5,432 tickets for their Carabao Cup fourth-round tie in December. Before the pandemic, Liverpool’s league allocation at the stadium was more than 3,000.
Discussions involving the Premier League and safety chiefs are taking place and collective bargaining could yet yield an increase in Liverpool’s allocation.
Several incidents involving both sets of supporters have marred the fixture in recent seasons.
The clubs released a joint statement condemning crowd trouble in the Carabao Cup tie and Liverpool chief executive Billy Hogan personally apologised to the family of a 15-year-old Manchester City fan who was injured when she was hit by a plastic glass weighted by coins thrown from the away section during that game.
After a Premier League fixture at Anfield in October, City alleged to the police that their bus had been attacked, and that coins had thrown at head coach Pep Guardiola. Liverpool accused visiting fans of singing chants about the Hillsborough disaster, as well as causing damage to facilities in the away end.
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Reacting to their allocation, a Liverpool statement on Wednesday read: “Liverpool Football Club has been informed that its ticket allocation for the forthcoming Premier League fixture against Manchester City on April 1 at Etihad Stadium has been significantly reduced.
“This reduction was agreed between Greater Manchester Police, the local Ground Safety Advisory Group and Manchester City.
“LFC has been in contact with the Premier League and Manchester City to challenge this decision. The club is committed to having as many supporters as possible in stadiums for Premier League away fixtures.”
Liverpool fan group Spirit of Shankly objected to the reduced allocation, saying in a statement: “We acknowledge there have been issues involving both sets of supporters in recent seasons, but this course of action is counter-productive.
“We look for support from LFC and urge Manchester City and the relevant authorities to rethink and reverse their decision.”
Manchester City have been approached for comment.
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