Anfield saw a major demonstration over soaring Premier League ticket prices last Saturday. Liverpool FC announced next season’s pricing structures this week, under which a match ticket will cost £77. Season tickets will also top £1,000 for the first time ever.
Before kick off on Saturday black flags and protest banners replaced the usual array of colourful flags on the Kop. Some 77 minutes into the match 10 to 15,000 fans left the ground to protest the new price proposals by the owners, hedge fund Fenway Sports Group. The walkout was covered by national news organisations.
Further actions in and around the ground are currently being discussed by SpionKop1906 and Spirit of Shankly, the two fan organisations who coordinated the day’s events. Liverpool Football Club’s sponsors are being targeted too, the fast food chain Subway will be first in the firing line.
Messages of support from other fans’ trusts including Tottenham Hotspur Supporters Trust, Arsenal Supporters Trust, Everton Supporters Trust, Manchester United Supporters Trust, MCFC1894 along with the Sunderland fans present at the stadium on the day who also clapped in support.
A number of other fan groups sent best wishes, including Aston Villa and West Ham, lower League fans also wished us success. The Football Supporters Federation and Football Supporters Europe sent messages of solidarity.
Political support came from Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell, a lifelong Liverpool supporter. He said, "In the Liverpool spirit I hope that the club will get round the table with supporters and work out a deal that doesn't price local fans out of the game."
Money from next season’s national and international television rights, £8.3 billion in total, will be carved up between the top tier clubs in London next month.
The Football Supporters Federation (FSF) has long argued these astronomical figures should be used to significantly reduce ticket prices throughout the Premier League. Instead, owners at Liverpool and other clubs are pushing prices up.
Saturday’s protest will reverberate throughout the football establishment.
It's crucial that Liverpool supporters win this battle for affordable football. The implications for football fans around the country could be massive. For future generations of match goers, It's a war on greed we cannot afford to lose.