As one of the best supported clubs in Europe, Liverpool have always been proud of their huge fan base.
With more than 200 officially recognised Supporters Clubs in at least 50 countries all over the world, Reds have long ago become the brand of global proportions.
However, with their most recent announcement regarding the ticket price boost, Liverpool management risk to ruin the close bond between the club and the supporters which Liverpool are renowned for.
It all started last week when Liverpool chief executive Ian Ayre told the fans to read the facts while presenting the plan for club’s new ticket prices for the 2016/17 season when Anfield will get the increased capacity of around 54,000.
The club have proposed the £77 price for the tickets for new Main Stand with the information taking the headlines in England, causing great stir among the Reds’ supporters.
Liverpool fans’ committee has labelled the new proposal as ‘morally unjustifiable’ and has hit out at the club’s officials for disregarding the accessibility and affordability for young and local supporters, disabled ones in particular.
Liverpool fans went on to stage a protest during the Sunderland game in an unprecedented stunt at the Kop. Liverpool have been leading 2-0 against Sunderland during the weekend when, symbolically, in the 77th minute the protest began.
About half of the Kop left the stadium, but a significant portion of others chose to join the protest which has seen almost 10,000 people leave Anfield in their attempt to draw the attention to the ticket price problem.
Ian Ayre was ‘staggered’ by the fans who walked out of the Saturday’s game against Sunderland, claiming that 200 tickets at £77 for six games a season is not worth the fuss. Liverpool executive added that prices could not have been reduced thanks to next season’s record broadcasting deal worth £8.5 billon Premier League deal.
Fans are claiming that that new prices will cause middle class supporters to stop buying tickets and even supporting the club.
The 56.13% rise of the prices is set to hit those with limited income and limited lifestyle, but the fans are mostly disappointed with the club’s lack of understanding and compassion towards their most faithful.
Fans argue that their club could have become the leader in a fairer approach to ticket prices in the Premier League and add that in the times of ever increasing commercial revenues, the club’s reliance on admission fees is decreasing to that extent that the latest ticket proposal is a lost opportunity for Liverpool to become the pioneers in a fan-oriented project.
At the moment when Liverpool have successfully started their rebranding with the arrival of Jurgen Klopp, who has managed to change the club’s course and philosophy in just a couple of months’ time he has been with Reds family, Liverpool have also taken a huge step back in their relationship with fans.
Jurgen Klopp himself spoke about the ticket price problem ahead of the FA Cup return leg against West Ham.
“Everyone in the club has a big interest in finding a solution for this”, said Klopp at his press conference.
Liverpool are travelling to West Ham for their return leg at Bolein Road and are standing at 19/10 to claim a surprise win over Slaven Bilic’s men, following the 0-0 stalemate at Anfield.
Liverpool have been going through a busy schedule at the moment, having already played 12 games in 2016, and support from the fans is needed more than ever.
Dealt with a lot of injury problems during the entire season, Liverpool squad will find the most recent problems unnecessary and untimely.
As Jurgen Klopp’s men are preparing for new challenges current problems cannot being any good to the team.
Will ticket price row affect the team’s performances?