I received the following Press Release from Spirit of Shankly.
The Spirit of Shankly recently followed up a number of enquiries by members about online sales of tickets. Ian Ayre, Commercial Director at LFC replied to us as follows:
“The entire sale for Stoke sold out in about two and a half hours so we do not think there can be much of a problem but we will monitor it during the sale tomorrow (for Burnley).
There are a number of things that people often confuse with being “system problems”, when they are actually designed to stop problems.
1. The system only allows people to be logged in for 30 minutes;
2. The system only allows you 5 minutes to complete the transaction once you reserve a seat;
3. We limit the number of concurrent logged in users for a sale.
To explain this, people log in at say 8am for an 8.30am sale and wait to be first. The system only allows people to be logged in to buy for a maximum of 30 minutes as that is sufficient time to log in and buy any tickets. So a lot of people who log in early get logged out after the 30 minute period, this is a system design to prevent people clogging up the system. Otherwise people forgetting to log out would prevent other users getting in. That’s why some people who have been logged in for say 25 minutes get logged out half way through their purchase if they go over the total 30 minute period.
Also we limit the number of people in the sale at any one time to about 400. The reason for that is that when somebody reserves tickets online, the system holds them seats until they complete the transaction (within 5 minutes). If we let everyone in at once the system will reserve all the tickets chosen immediately and create the impression that all tickets are sold out, even if somebody has not paid for them or does not complete the transaction. Often people reserve one lot then change their mind and although they only buy one set, the other set are locked up for a short period until the system releases them. Hence we limit the number at any one time to say 400 and then let people in little by little.
The system only allows 5 minutes for somebody to complete their transaction once they select a seat. The reason for that is that otherwise those seats are locked up and nobody can buy them if the person concerned does not complete. By limiting the transaction time these seats are back on sale within a short window of time.
On postal applications we decided to phase out all postal applications. It is not cost effective, is time consuming and is the least efficient way to sell tickets. We will not be re-instating this function in the future. We are trying to make the club a modern and effective business and that covers all areas of operation. Postal applications are not commensurate with an efficient sales process, they can go missing, there is no clear track of receipt etc and as such they have been removed.”
The Spirit of Shankly will continue to monitor ticket sales and represent any view put forward by members.