Merriam Webster Dictionary has the following entries for the word Tout.
1 : to spy on : watch
2 a British : to spy out information about (as a racing stable or horse) b : to give a tip or solicit bets on (a racehorse)
3 : to solicit, peddle, or persuade importunately <not meant to tout you off the movie — Russell Baker>
4 : to make much of : promote,talk up, <touted as the summer’s blockbuster movie> <the college’s much touted women’s studies program>intransitive verb 1 : to solicit patronage
2 a chiefly British : to spy on racehorses in training to gain information for betting b : to give a tip or solicit bets on a racehorse
It does not seem like a bad thing until you search a British dictionary and get the following.
a ticket scalper.
When I heard the term Tout being used it never really bothered me however looking at the British meaning to the word it is pretty strong.
So where am I going with this?
Yesterday I did promote a company that quite honestly I felt were doing a great service to Liverpool supporters all over the world. They offered packages with champagne, open bar, limo service transport and included tickets with the whole package. I did not see anything wrong with it as they seemed similar to what the club offers with the Hospitality Packages. I also came across similar packages being offered by a hotel in Liverpool which offered L.F.C. tickets available with the stay under certain rate codes.
Later that evening I found out more on these so called “Corporate Packages”, these companies are legitimate businesses and after all they are in it for the money, there is nothing wrong with that. However we need to remember who we are and the serious implications that this “Creative Touting” might have if it becomes more widespread. While these kind of packages work nicely for the likes of Chelsea & Manchester United they not for Liverpool F.C. Sometime these companies buy more tickets than they can sell and then the seats end up empty.
What would happen if a big part of the Kop was left empty? Or filled with people who do not know a single song?
If you are an out-of-towner like me, the temptation of an easy package looks inviting, I know it is very hard to get tickets to Anfield but go through the right sources. If there is a supporters club in your country or locality join it as they can help you get the tickets. If you make it to Anfield please do study every single song, sing loudly and sing proudly :-)