In fact, if you look in the right places you can buy tickets online for all sorts of matches across Europe, often with accommodation packages included.
The inspiration behind this piece has been the mad scramble for Everton v Man United FA Cup semi-final tickets. Even Everton season-ticket holders had to queue for over five hours (or in my case sit on the end of the phone for two!) book their seats, so what chance those who are unable to get to every home game, but still would do anything to see the Blues at Wembley for the first time since 1995??
Well there is the old way, heading down to Wembley on the day and seeing what some shady tout stood outside the tube station will offer you. But thanks to the internet an increasing number of well organised and professional ticket agencies have sprouted up, offering tickets for football matches across Europe.
So why buy online?
Well if you have turned to the internet for salvation it usually means the event you are hoping to get a ticket for is in high-demand and (probably) sold out. Therefore you will have to pay market price for the ticket - i.e. as much as people are willing to pay in the open market. The fact of the matter is that there aren't many sites out there who will sell in-demand tickets at face value.
Therefore if you are going to pay the money, you have to ensure the site is reputable, your money and personal details remain secure and ,of course, the football tickets themselves are genuine.
'The Online Ticket Shop' is among a long line of disreputable online ticket Sellers who were named and shamed after selling phantom tickets in recent years.
Don't forget ,of course, the risk of buying online is often greater than if you go for the touts outside the ground. The most you lose is with them your cash, but once you've inputted your credit card details onto a disreputable site in could cost you over and over.
Don't panic though!
That's doesn't mean to say all football ticket sites are dodgy, far from it. Yes they charge large prices but often the sites are secure and reliable. They are particularly handy for buying tickets abroad, so you can be sure you can actually to get to that big game before booking your flights.
When checking out the sites my advice is to:
- Check what you are buying! Make sure the event, date and time is correct.
- Check for hidden fees and double check the final amount you are paying.
- Check the website out thoroughly, where are they based? how old are they? Consult forums and message boards to see if they have a reputation.
- Make sure they have a returns/refund policy.
- Make sure they offer safe, secure ordering on the web and safe methods of delivery.
- Remember, you will almost certainly pay over the odds for a ticket, if it looks to good to be true it probably is.
- Use a credit card for extra security.
There are so many sites out there it would be impossible to list them all. One I have used previously is www.1st4footballtickets.com, which has a reliable transaction process and a wide range of tickets ( I have no affiliation with them by the way, it is just one site I have had experience of).
Others I have found include:
http://www.tickazilla.com - Particularly good for games abroad.
www.footballticketshop.com - Mainly Premier League games.
Other than that it is down to your own determination or desperation to get those tickets. But if you follow the above tips, you should be fine.