The price of Premier League tickets is in the spotlight once more after fan power this week prompted Liverpool’s owners to stage a climb down and shelve plans to increase the cost of attending games at Anfield from next season
An estimated 10,000 disgruntled Reds supporters staged a walkout at the proposed changes in the latter stages of last Saturday’s game against Sunderland, swathes of empty seats on the iconic Kop sending a clear message that enough is enough.
With a record £5.14billion TV deal set to kick in from the start of 2016-17, top-flight clubs are facing increasing calls to act on fan disillusionment after what some are claiming is a watershed moment behind the scenes at Liverpool.
And ahead of this weekend’s Premier League fixtures, various top-flight managers had their say on the issue on Friday.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger
“It’s a very complicated subject, because how do you decide the right level of ticket prices?
“I looked at the comparisons. Our cheapest price is cheaper anywhere else in London. Our most expensive ticket is a fraction higher than the other clubs in London.
“But our most common ticket price is lower than many in England, so I don’t think we have much a problem on that front.”
Newcastle United manager Steve McClaren
“Football is a working-class game and we must never take that away. Make the prices available so they can come and fill stadiums.”
Jurgen Klopp reflect on an eventful week at Liverpool
“They [the club’s owners] care about the supporters. It shows their interest in everything around the club. It’s a good thing.”
West Brom boss Tony Pulis
“I think there should be a way of looking after away support. I’d make every club in the Premier League agree a price for away support and I’d make it as cheap as they possibly can – £10 a ticket or whatever.
“The chairman will kill me for saying that, but a price that will attract people to go away from home as well.
“We went to Chelsea [a 2-2 draw in January], I think Chelsea were charging £50 a ticket – and I’m not having a go at Chelsea – but for a dad with two young children it’s a non-event. They can’t take them to Stamford Bridge, they can’t have a day out in London because the ticket prices are too expensive.”
Guus Hiddink, currently in his second spell in charge of Chelsea
“Football has changed a lot in the last many years, but we must not forget it’s about the players and the public.”