LIVERPOOL’S TICKET PRICES: A MISSED OPPORTUNITY

Football - FA Premier League - Liverpool FC v Arsenal FCI’M a cynic by nature. People ask if I am really an old man. But it’s just a natural curiosity about things — wondering why someone might be doing something, asking questions why.

I have been like this about going the match and about Liverpool FC in the past. My twenties were against a backdrop of Tom Hicks and George Gillett, Christian Purslow and Martin Broughton. I’ve seen the soap opera up close as I have been involved in Spirit Of Shankly throughout.

I continue to be involved as the Chair of SOS but in recent years, I made a conscious effort to push all those bad memories away, to forget it, to concentrate on the match. Instead, I’ve tried to think about whether Joe Allen is good enough, whether I can try to see in Adam Lallana what others clearly can. Being Emre Can’s number one fan.

Here I am though, now, feeling a bit stupid.

I’ve spent the last 13 months of my life talking to Liverpool about ticket prices. I was actually hopeful. I felt positive at first. I should have known better. I feel a fool.

Today’s prices announcement by Liverpool FC will be picked over. Debated and discussed online and in newspapers. By fans on the way to Leicester tonight and to the game against Sunderland at Anfield on Saturday.

There will be, and should be, discussion about the prices. It will raise many questions: How much it will cost to go to the match? What is being done to get more youngsters into the ground? Can you or your mate or your dad or your sister or your son or your daughter afford to still go the games on a regular basis? Are you going to be an ‘I’m alright, Jack’ or are you angry at paying more?

Football - FA Premier League - Manchester City FC v Liverpool FCI will go into those questions. But, firstly, some clarification to the club’s announcement:

  • The club didn’t have the decency to send us a copy of their planned release until 10 minutes before the announcement. This despite an agreement throughout that we would all share planned releases on this. They were asked. They said they “hoped” they could share it with us. They eventually did. With 10 minutes to go.
  • Yes, 64 per cent of season ticket holders will see prices decrease or freeze. The rest go up. At greater increments than the decreases
  • 45 per cent of match-day tickets see a decrease. The other 55 per cent? Same as above.
  • Yes, there is a £9 ticket. But it is available for just three matches a season, and just 527 of them a game. That’s 1,581 seats priced at £9 out of a possible 878,693 seats a season.
  • These local supporter tickets were introduced right at the end of the process, after we had asked for reductions to prices overall. This was their only “offer” with no consultation.
  • There are additional tickets for young supporters, a move we pushed for throughout and one we now welcome. We have fears on the long-term sustainability but this move should be applauded.
  • “13 months of consultation” is not a true reflection of what happened. We spent 13 months on it, but we haven’t been “consulted” — just presented with final plans and proposals.
  • The Ticket Working Group is not a sub-group of the Official Supporters’ Committee. The Ticket Working Group is made up of reps from SOS, Spion Kop 1906 and the Supporters’ Committee and came about following protests and a request to meet with the club, one acknowledged by John Henry. It has been independent of the Supporters Committee throughout. The club can’t even bring itself to acknowledge the other supporter groups involved.
  • The club have announced the highest match-day price to be £77. True, in their published prices. However the “Tier 1” proposals shown to us, have prices at: £175 for Category A matches, £100 for Category B and £85 for Category C. There are 834 of these tickets. The revenue for these seats was included in the £39million target for tickets set by the owners.
  • The club now say that these higher-price tickets are “low-level hospitality”. For those prices, they should be. But they have been included in discussions on “general admission” prices in all proposals presented. This only changed very recently, when they changed the name.
  • The club haven’t revealed yet what this “new” low-level hospitality will include. But in the same tier of prices where a season ticket costs £1,029, these prices are a 124 per cent mark up on average per match.
  • If people accept that these seats are now “hospitality”, the much talked about redevelopment and seat increase associated with the new Main Stand shifts. We were told half the new seats would be general admission (approximately 4,000) and the other half hospitality seats. This changes that to nearer 3,000 and 5,000 respectively.

Football - FA Premier League - Arsenal FC v Liverpool FCThose numbers aside, this represents something much bigger — bigger than me, SOS, or any individual. Liverpool FC, namely the owners of the club, agreed to set up a Ticket Working Group to tackle the issue of ticket prices and address affordability. This is what they have given us.

They have wilfully ignored their own supporters. SOS, the club’s Supporters Committee, Spion Kop 1906 — all supporter groups that they have been happy to work with or use to sell their atmosphere in the past. One group they even set up themselves.

And they’ve paid no attention to it, save for the idea that if we hadn’t made our representations, it might have been worse and we might not have as many youngsters being offered a chance.

I don’t know if I feel angry or sad about how this has all unfolded.

I should be angry. I should be telling everyone we can change it. That’s out of my hands though.

Supporters themselves need to be angry. They need to see the numbers and find it unacceptable.

I think I am more likely to be sad and let down by it all. Let’s be clear, LFC will never have another opportunity like this. Never again will they have all the additional seats from the new Main Stand, all the hospitality increases, arriving at exactly the same time as a train full of cash from Sky and BT.

Instead, we have more of the same. More squeezing of supporters. Is that fair? Is it necessary? Is it justifiable?

Ignore supply and demand for a minute here. We don’t call ourselves consumers. The club can, but we don’t. We don’t get a say on the supply. They build a stadium that has a limited capacity and that’s not our fault.

This was an opportunity. More seats. More money from the stadium, on top of tv deals, partnerships and increasing commercial revenues. We set out in all discussions with the club that supporters had been asked to pay more and more for so long. Above inflation rises. A chance now then to reward the loyalty. Make a bit less from supporters. Certainly don’t make more.

But then… the prices.

It all went out the window. Overall, the clubs owners have decided to make more money than ever before from ticket prices. They currently make £35m from ticket sales. If they implemented a price freeze, the extra seats would mean this rises to £37m automatically.

Instead, they wanted more. £39m. An extra £2m on top.

Some might say we need this to repay the loan on the Main Stand. Get that paid off and we can give Jürgen Klopp all that extra cash. Only we don’t need a penny of it for this. The club have confirmed that the hospitality revenues from the newly-developed Main Stand will take care of this, and make a bit extra on top.

So there’s at least £2m extra, probably a bit more when the loan is repaid each year.

Maybe we need it to be competitive, I hear you say. Maybe we need it to sign players or pay the going rate in wages.

I won’t make an obvious comment here, save to say that in the last published accounts the wage bill, as a percentage of our overall revenue, had dropped from 54 per cent to 52 per cent.

In that time, revenues to last season grew by just over £40m. Competing against other clubs is one thing. But the extra £2m won’t help us catch Chelsea in the Deloitte Football Money League.

Without it, we don’t fall a place either. In fact, the proposal by supporters to reduce ticket revenue over time would mean we still stay ninth in the world if every ticket in the ground cost £30.

Football - FA Premier League - Tottenham Hotspur FC v Liverpool FCMatch-day revenue, from tickets anyway, matters less and less. In Liverpool FC’s last published accounts, it was 20 per cent of our overall revenue.

Hospitality is where the big money is. As Liverpool have admitted in how they plan to pay for the new stand, this is how it stacks up financially. So why squeeze the last bit out of everyone else? Why miss the opportunity to be fair? Why miss the opportunity to lead the way, to be innovative? Why miss the opportunity to be Liverpool FC and not be like everyone else?

Instead, the owners have gone for more of the same. They’ve robbed Peter, give a bit to Paul and kept the rest.

Some say they would accept price rises if others around the ground fell.

What we see is supporter versus supporter here. Season ticket holders are not hit as hard as members who buy match-day tickets.

More season ticket holders see their price fall, slightly. The rest see theirs go up significantly. For match-day tickets, more prices go up than down. Again, big rise, slight fall. All to reach a bottom line figure set in Boston.

Yet ticket prices shouldn’t just be seen in terms of revenue, or fairness.

All of that is important. For us though, throughout the process, we’ve made the point that the prices you charge, how accessible Anfield is, affects the support and atmosphere in the ground.
The club have listened — there will be 500 local supporters with access to tickets and 1,000 young adults. But it’s a sticking plaster.

Football - FA Premier League - Liverpool FC v Sunderland FCLiverpool are saying to the youngsters, “Come to Anfield, we missed you, we’re fixing our mistake. Come and help us generate an atmosphere. Just make sure that by time you are 22 you can pay whatever we charge by then.”

Maybe that’s the cynic in me. What’s the plan then? Price them out? It’s what is happening now. At 22, have a good job and no responsibility or you might struggle. But thanks for your support over the last three, four or five seasons.

The atmosphere at Anfield is dying. We know it. It’s changed. It is worsening. The manager has said it. The opportunity to give something back to loyal supporters has been missed. That opportunity to be innovative has gone. All for the bottom line.

If you treat supporters as consumers, don’t be surprised if they act like consumers. Having to pick and choose. Being priced out. Seeing it as entertainment, being spectators and not supporters.

This was the opportunity to ensure the sustainability of our current and future support. The opportunity for the club to tell supporters they were on our side. The opportunity to say that for all the club markets itself on the back of our support, it values it.

This was the best opportunity we had – for supporters to get a little and the club to get a lot.

Boston blew it.

Response from the supporter representatives of the Ticket Working Group


THE CLUB’S STATEMENT:

Young and local fans are the focus as LFC announces new ticketing structure — including £9 match ticket and free tickets for schools

  • 64% of season ticket prices will decrease or freeze
  • 45% of match day tickets will see a price decrease
  • Local fans given priority access to over 20,000 tickets across the Premier League season, with prices starting from as little as £9.
  • Over 20,000 extra tickets allocated across the Premier League season, in a new pricing category, for fans aged between 17 and 21
  • Over 1,000 free tickets across the Premier League season to local kids through a new Young Fan Initiative scheme
  • 13 months consultation with the ticket working group listening to what are priorities for match-going fans

Ahead of Anfield’s new Main Stand opening for the start of the 2016/17 season, the Reds have released their pricing and ticket structure, with the Club maintaining its focus on bringing more local supporters and young people into the Stadium.

Local fans will now be able to attend a category C game for as little as £9 following the introduction of over 20,000 tickets across the season with priority access given to local supporters.

Young fans also remain a focus and the Club will introduce a new concession category for 17-21 year-olds which will provide over 1,000 extra tickets for each Premier League match for young supporters during next season.

The Club will launch a new initiative working in partnership with local schools based in and around Merseyside to offer over 1,000 free incentive-based tickets.

The Club has continued the practice of stretching prices across the ground to reflect seat location, resulting in 64% of season tickets freezing or going down in price. Season ticket prices will range from £685 (£36 per game) to £1029 (£54 per game). Match day tickets have also stretched making the cheapest match day ticket just £9 and the most expensive £77 depending on seat location. The under 17s junior season ticket remains at £180 (£9.47 per game). The Clubs new

Young Adult price band will see 17 – 21 year old Season Ticket holders enjoy a 50% discount whilst our Disabled season ticket holders and other concessions will continue to receive a 25% discount on their seats.

Today’s announcement follows a 13 month consultation with the Ticket Working Group, a sub group of the official LFC Supporters Committee, which has met regularly with the Club over the last year to discuss affordability and accessibility of tickets.

Ian Ayre, Chief Executive Officer, Liverpool FC, said: “With the opening of our expanded Main Stand, the Club is heading into a new chapter and we want as many of our fans right there with us to support the team at Anfield.
“We always carefully consider ticket pricing to ensure the long term sustainability and competitiveness of the Club while listening to the views of our match-going fans to understand the priorities around accessibility and affordability.

“The feedback has been clear that having more local and young people at Anfield is a priority and we are delighted to be launching these new ticketing initiatives. The redevelopment of our Main Stand and increased capacity has given us flexibility to freeze or reduce more than half of all tickets across the stadium which is reflected in our longer term plan to give fans more choice on what price they pay to attend a game.

“We would like to thank our fans in the ticket working group for their commitment, engagement, cooperation and time throughout this process. There was agreement from the start that compromise was essential in working together to find solutions to increase accessibility and affordability of tickets. We recognise the incredible importance of ticket pricing to our match-going fans and we take the responsibility very seriously in determining pricing at Anfield.

“We are excited about our new Main Stand opening and look forward to welcoming 8,500 additional fans to Anfield next season to support the team.”

Over the coming days and weeks, the Club will be writing to all Main Stand season ticket holders to provide them with detailed information about their seating options for next season.

26 Comments

  1. I’d be interested to see if the CAT A,B,C game thing can’t be tested in an EU court under the same or similar circumstances around mobile data roaming charges. Under EU law companies operating in the EU will now be forced to charge the same for data regardless of where they are. The basic premise being that a Frenchman consuming data in England should be no worse off than the Englishman consuming that data in the same location.

    The data / entertainment / sport a Liverpool, City, Man U etc fan consumes is the same as the, West Brom, Everton, Bournemouth fan. What the clubs are doing is geographically abusing their own fans.

    I think a good lawyer could cut a decent argument, the flip side being that all Cat B and C games go to Cat A prices.

    Hypothetically then if there were 15,000 17-21yr old season ticket holders they’d get a 50% discount, would that be right?? If so then up to the age of 21 the ground is pretty good value if you can get on a season ticket.

    Overall though I find the whole situation completely and utterly depressing and in the cold light of day, taking off our red misted sunglasses it’s a load of fucking shit. What have the owners actually delivered since taking over the club. HALF A FUCKING STAND, HALF A STAND, wrap your heads around that.

    Utd have 70K plus, City a new stadium, Spurs, CFC doing theirs, West Ham move into a new stadium. Regardless of the idiosyncrasies of how each club arrives at the end result, they have top dollar stadiums and we get yep half a stand.

    Its symbolic of absolute shambles that the club and the city just can’t get their shit together and it’s been the same for over 20 years.

    You’ll have people say oh the road at the anny road is in the way. Tunnel over it. Can’t extend the Kop the road is in the way, move the road, can’t get 60 odd K people in and out the area, put the train loop on, on match days. For every objection there is a solution it’s just the will and the long term vision to do it. And that’s the rub for me, “The long term vision.” 3 years Klopp deal and new stand I bet the club is openly up for sale in a couple of years. These yanks aren’t here for the long term. If they were they’d of taken more money out of their multi billion dollar fund and invested more in the stadium i.e. 5k on the anny road and taken a longer ROI (return on investment) It’s a no brainer to have another 5K tickets at more affordable rates.

    In true Liverpool style someone will defend the club and city by saying “yeah we might do the Anny Road in a few years.” Yes we know we’ve been waiting since 1992.

  2. [email protected]

    (Liverpool) FC – exploiting the Taylor report for profit since 1994.

    “Cash in, on the 96”

  3. Neutral_Kraut

    As a German, I can only shake my head in disbelief over the existing ticket prices in the EPL. But this is there all the TV and ticket money ends: In overpriced mediocrity and becoming “spectator” in the own stadium.

    (If you manage,) you can get Bayern tickets for around 10 Euro for a Bundesliga match.

    One thing for sure: Klopp will be absolutely fuming about it, because it counters his efforts in “raising the volume” at Anfield.

    Short-term thinking and ridiculous, if you know that ticket prices only contribute to around 5-10 percent of LFC’s annually revenues.

    • I’m quite ashamed actually. Even with the ‘improvements’ we are making to the stadium, we as a club, are still in the dark ages.
      I’ve been to Germany many times and have always respected the way they’ve given back to fans when it comes to ticketing, not to mention other rewards for loyalty.
      We still have a way to go.
      For starters, how about they get rid of this cash only policy at the kiosks in the stadium. What is that about? Talk about archaic.

  4. Not constructive, but have to say ‘greedy Fuckers’. Sad that something good (new stand) has been tarnished by this. Probably someone in the finance/commercial team making this decision and not considering anything else other than the numbers. In this case it’s not even to make the numbers, it’s to make ‘more’, which is always the way in the corporate world, which is seemingly what LFC is becoming, a cooperate vehicle. End of the day, they’ll sell tickets at this price and those that pay them will come along expecting to see some of the famous LFC atmosphere – which they are slowly killing. Shame and sad situation when other options were available.

  5. Do you not think this is now about the exit strategy? Increasing the bottom line will increase the club value significantly over the next 3 years. Future loyalty is of no concern as they do not plan to be here.
    We are nieve if we think anything but this is all part of a robust business plan to reward sound investment.
    Sad as it may be its very much a reality

    • absolutely bang on it’s about maximising the clubs revenue the capital value of the club as a saleable asset OR as an asset to borrow against.

      As owners of an institution that will outlive all of us what I find utterly depressing is the lack of significant investment in ground infrastructure. The actual design of the main stand is fine but it needs wrapping round the 3 stands. It’s not rocket science to know that revisiting build projects down the line is more expensive than doing it all at once. There’s also no guarantee that when or if you revisit it years later potentially under new ownership you proceed with the same design or you spend more money getting new plans done. As we saw under H&G.

      Extended capital investment into the Anny Road would of increased the loan / debt and this taken longer to recoup BUT on an area of the ground where the club could not maximise revenue, the Anny road being cheaper seats.

      So hypothetically instead of recouping the outlay in say 5 years it takes you 10 because of the investment in a weaker revenue stand. Thus the value of the overall asset weakens as you have more debt for a longer period of time.

      None of this is long term thinking though, it’s short term thinking and all the Ian Ayre PR spin bollocks of not developing the Anny Rd is just pure PR bullshit.

      If you were redeveloping any stadia for serious long term, say 50 years and you were serious about it you wouldn’t redevelop it and end up with 4 bloody different stands.

  6. Nail on head, Jay. My overriding emotion is just sheer disgust with FSG. At least we know where we stand with them now. Don’t want to oversell it but this does feel like a bit of a watershed moment in that sense to me anyway.

    They were taking the piss with the (I think) 2013 price hike. These prices have nothing to do with what happens on the pitch but it’s almost as if they’ve buzzed off the reaction to getting Klopp in for all the wrong reasons and thought they could take the piss further like we’re all soft regarding increased telly money and just how nominal £2m is to them. So shittily short-sighted it defies belief; I thought they were at the very least smarter than this and that’s before you get to the mind-numbing, petty greed…

    My head’s gone with the extent to which they’re not thinking this through… Jesus wept. We could win leagues but when they eventually sell, their lasting legacy will be one of being resented for their greediness and for killing off Anfield’s ‘famous atmosphere’ once and for all. They’re either so stupid they haven’t even entertained the thought or they just don’t care. I’d hazard a guess at the latter. And will they increase again and again over the coming years? Because when the fuck is this supposed to hit it’s ceiling?

  7. Troutbeck_Red

    Its sad to say but FSG are the worst type of owners in the sence that they make millions of pounds in the transfer market on Suarez £75 Mil Torres £50 Mil and Sterling £49 Mil (149 Mil Total) against a purchase price of £200 Mil. They have no interest in re-investing this money in like for like proven quality but are happy to gamble £7 million on Illori, £9 Million on Aspas and generally squander money on 30 non-proven players instead of 10 proven players. The TV deal increases exponentially, Kenny is ordered to reduce the wage bill and despite the increase in revenues FSG have decided they need to squeeze more money out of fans instead of looking at themselves to find ways to run the club properly.

    The present striking situation sums up FSG perfectly. They collect the Suarez money but do not replace him but gamble on a different type of striker in Balotelli despite buying other forward players to play in a diamond behind a Suarez type. Sturridge was out last year but we only go into the season with an injury prone Sturridge and Benteke that is new to the club and has none of the qualities of Suarez together with Divvy and Danny that are young and also have never pulled on the Liver bird. It is not the fault of FSG that 3 No9 strikers we do have are out injured, but that the only other No 9 in the under 21s is in dispute over his contract, and a club the size of Liverpool does not have 4 or 5 strikers between 16 and 21 on the books that can run the chanels and across the near post is absolute negligence. They may not be of the quality of Fowler or Owen but there should always be strikers of the quality of Mellor or Ngog on the books.

    What has this got to do with ticket prices?

    It demonstrates once again the questionable priorities of FSG and their need to bleed the fan base dry. Millions can be squandered on players that have not proven themselves on the world stage. £50 Million plus gambles can be taken on Markovic and Balotelli. The club can play for two seasons without a proper No9 and miss out on CL money at a time when the traditional large clubs cannot buy 2 points a game and are in general flux. Yet Boston wants an extra 2 million a season from a fan base that has been bled dry. For what purpose?
    What does it acheive? Do they just enjoy pissing everybody off? Just when you think they know what they are doing (by signing Klopp) they once again prove that they don’t understand the club and the people that pay to go to the match any more now then they did when they purchased the club 5 years ago.

    Unless the 12th man can find jobs that pay north of 50K there will be no more 12th Man. Perhaps thats FSG’s objective. They could easily reduce by 2 million but they choose to increase

  8. The price will not get teens and young men in the fucking ground. There aren’t enough tickets available, regardless of price.

    But that reality won’t stop these militants that have never had a real job in their life from pissing on the club.

    Here’s a idea. Try watching another local club at a lower level. You can turn up on the gate, on a Saturday, and pay a fraction of the price. And don’t fucking claim the fans there are any less that you.

    Can’t afford it? Fuck off, no one cares. I can’t afford a 5000 sqr-ft house with a pool and butler. Whaa whaa.

    How about your ST holders stop hogging them and letting them club sell them to 21 year olds. Nah, thought not. Selfish twats.

    • People giving up their own time to push for cheaper tickets for everyone who sets foot in the ground are selfish? Ok….

    • [email protected]

      What a twat

    • Jimmy Corkhill

      What a tit you are Paul, I hope your post was an ironic but I’m not so sure.

      With regards to ‘real job’, I earn about £30-35k a year, not mega money but way above average I’d imagine.

      And yet I can probably afford about 15 games a season tops, that’s just on my own, if I had children I’d be fucked if I wanted to take them regularly with me.

      And why would I want to go and watch and support another ‘local’ club? LFC is my local club, I couldn’t feel the passion, interest or commitment towards another club that I have for LFC.

      Supporting should be a right, not a privilege.

    • I don’t really even feel comfortable responding to all this, because I support this team from afar (in the U.S.), but I’ll note two things:
      (1) in the U.S., we have had this issue with our (American) football tickets for quite some time now. prices continue to go up whilst TV money goes through the roof, to the point that gate receipts account for something like 2% of a team’s revenue stream. in that sense, the idea of raising ticket prices is completely idiotic because the teams don’t actually “feel” the increases. the result, however, is that fewer people are attending the games, and more people are watching on TV. I used to be a season ticket holder for my local football team, and I gave them up as prices kept going up, quality did not, and HD TV entered my living room. so, I think you all are correct in thinking that this result will be duplicated not just in Liverpool, but throughout the Premier League.
      (2) I note all of the above with the additional factoid that I CAN, in fact, afford to attend whatever game I’d like to attend, I just do not because I find the prices to be absurd compared to the ability to watch the games on TV in a climate-controlled room in my pajamas with access to beer that costs less than $10. I empathize with the local Liverpool supporters who desperately want to go to those games but cannot justify sacrificing such a large percentage of their living wage to do so. To wit – if my wages were anywhere approaching what the average Liverpudlian takes home, the very last thing I would be thinking about – even under today’s pricing structure – is home many games I can go see. I would be thinking about how to properly live with a more affordable entertainment option. those of you who continue to attend game after game with religious fervor under these conditions should be applauded. and thanked. and then thanked again. and then given discounts for christ’s sake. leaves a bad taste in my mouth. makes me want to fly over there and take a bunch of you to a game on my tab, even though the missus would shoot me for that.

      YNWA lads. Jay, I’m sorry you’ve had this experience. You should feel like you’ve been fucked. With a dick big enough for an elephant to feel it.

  9. I’m not surprised by the result. I do have some sumpathy for repricing tickets. The person behind the dugout should not have been paying the same as the person stuck in the corner of the Mainstand.

    That said, this applies to a small number of tickets. The overall ethos here to tighten the screw is disappointing but not surprising. The increase doesnt move the needle. Even if this is about the sale of the club what is £2m with a reasonable purchase multiple? The club is worth hundreds of millions. This doesnt impact any price.

    Thanks for trying to prevent the nail being driven into the coffin. Sorry that it cost you 13mths of your life.

  10. cheeky boiler

    Work the problem people . Give me solutions god damn it…..

    Tell you what if we get beat without reply then that’s cause for a refund on your ticket !!

  11. What’s going on with Share Liverpool? Is it dead in the water?

    Because the only way I see this changing is if we pool some money and push for fan investment in the club. Money talks, OK, let’s let our money speak as loud as it can.

    We’re putting in millions anyway to be ignored, as this and other ‘consultations’ prove.

    If FSG want to sell, that’s another opportunity that shouldn’t be missed or we’ll be banging our heads against the same brick wall, just with different owners.

  12. ‘That opportunity to be innovative has gone. All for the bottom line.’

    That’s the world my friend. Rich people screwing us all over whilst only concerned with watching their bank balances rise.

    Do we just roll over and hand Anfield to the corporates ? How long before the change the name even ? Football is fucked.

    Might go watch AFC Liverpool instead.

    Nice article and spot on analysis Jay and thanks for all the good work.

  13. The Lady In The Van

    The funny/sad part is that, despite being treated this way, fans will pay-up yet again this Summer.

    Stop going to the match, or nothing will change. Deciding that refusal to buy a season ticket isn’t worth it, because nobody else will join in with the boycott, is the wrong way to look at it.

    The fans that continue to pay-up and go are the ones losing out, because they are getting such shocking value for money. Watching Liverpool is worth no more than 20 quid. The team’s shit and so is the atmosphere.

    Stop going to the match, at least at Anfield.

    Seriously, just stop it now! Use the money to take up smoking, go out on the ale several times more each month, or book a couple of extra holidays each year.

    Stop wasting your money on Liverpool Football Club!

    If your missus regularly cheated on you with other men and stole money from your wallet, so she could pay for the nights out, would you expect her to show you any respect if you did nothing about it? Of course she wouldn’t.

    Why would things be any different with our owners? They should keep putting up prices, until the fans let them know that they won’t take it any more. Who knows how much money they are missing out on, by not being even more ruthless with such a gullible section of society?

    • Nobody forces anyone to go watch the game. You don’t want to pay for it then don’t go. It’s fricking football match, not a basic need you to live. We all have infinite wants but we cant all have them.

      The club isn’t a charity, it’s a for profit business in case you haven’t noticed. And they don’t have the benefit of acting like sugar daddies, which I think is what you actually want for the club. And they still wiped out your debts, and people still complained anyways.

      Liverpool is a popular club, you don’t want it then it’s okay. There will be many others who are glad to take your place.

      Leave and other people who actually wants to pay for it can go. What’s next, give the tickets away for free? They are ALWAYS people who are prices out of things so what about them? Why can’t they go? Isn’t it unfair to them that they can’t go? Even £10 can be a lot of money to some people especially in these times.

      Why not just have a lottery and give the tickets away to the winner? That would be a fairer way to go about it by your idea. No money or income levels involved, just done by luck and for maximum fairness.

      Your cheating analogy doesn’t work here either because Liverpool doesn’t steal money from you. You’re giving it to them, voluntarily. If you don’t like all this “commercial” stuff then support a club at the lower levels or even make one yourself. Seriously that’s an actual option. The EPL is all about money now and you don’t have any power as an individual.

  14. It’s not getting any easier to support LFC! I’ve just come back to the UK having lived abroad for over 5 years. For me to give my kids the chance to see LFC play meant paying £100 each for a ticket for the Tour game in Brisbane. Put on top of that flights, accommodation and all the other bits that go with that, we could have got a cheap deal to Fiji for the week. For me that was OK ‘cos this was a one off event and certainly easier than buying flights back to the UK and trying to buy tickets for a game!! The worst thing is that the club knows that for fans that live thousands of miles from the UK they will always pay and they took advantage of that. I think they were surprised on how easily the sold out the MCG in 2013 and this meant that there was a significant hike in prices between the Australian Tour in 2013 when they came to the MCG and the Tour 2015. So let’s not be under any illusions, the club has previous!!

    When I was growing up it was so much easier to watch the reds play. Yes there was still standing on the Kop, yes you could pay to get in on the gate or worst case buy a spare of a tout outside. One of my kids has spent the last 2 seasons sneaking downstairs in the middle of the night to watch the reds play live on Foxtel. Pretty committed for a 12 year old! Imagine how excited he was that not only did he not have to get up in the middle of the night but he could actually get to Anfield.

    Ticket pricing is one issue but the way the club distributes tickets to fans is another. Is the % of season tickets in the ground too high? Are there too many corporate seats?? As a non-season ticket holder it is probably easy to argue that there is, however if I put the shoe on the other foot and I’d waited for 18 years to get to the top of the season ticket list then I’d definitely see it differently. The club advertises that there are 8,500 tickets for every premier league game for members to buy but then they go and sell them in 2 blocks, put having to achieve loyalty levels to one side to get tickets for certain games, it is a bloody big commitment to ask members to pay up front. We’d all love to go to every game but it doesn’t always work out that way, yes you can sell tickets back but if I have to commit to half a season of ticket purchases through the member scheme for me, the 3 kids and sometimes their mum then I am not sure where the money comes from?

    I don’t want to have to choose who I can take to a game, and at a time where kids can watch Messi, Suarez or Ronaldo play on TV as easily as they can watch the Reds, how is any of this breeding the next generation of fans?

  15. My boyfriend and I are members of Liverpool Football Club… he has been since he was about 6. Been on the season ticket ‘waiting list’ for 20-odd years too. We don’t live in Liverpool so maybe I won’t be deemed qualified to comment, but the whole system – the categorisation, pricing tiers, member sales, the website, price increases etc – is fucked. Tourists are always going to want to come to Anfield, and they’ll pay whatever the going price. Money that ends up with touts and agencies, not the club itself. They are not the enemy here though, a lot of them worship the club, bring their kids and spend thousands on full kits and embezzled key chains and 99p pictures of Joe Allen. Like about 100,000 people, twice a season we get up stupidly early in the morning and refresh a web page for an hour or so, playing some stupid digital game to try and get one ticket at least. The system is flawed from the off, we lost any of our ‘loyalty privilege’ ages ago simply because we couldn’t get tickets for ANY games. This season they brought new teams into Category A, meaning now we won’t ever get a chance to see Arsenal, Man City, Chelsea or even Spurs(!) because fan ‘loyalty’ is based on ticket sales and nothing else. Maybe some will think I don’t deserve to go to these games because I’m not from Liverpool, or I don’t hold a Season Ticket and for whatever reason that means I am not passionate about LFC, but it is the club who is playing us against each other here and we shouldn’t let them. We pay £30+ a year just for the privilege of logging on to a website to not get tickets, and then they expect us to pay £4.99 per month for video content (LFC Go or whatever it’s called) on top. What exactly happened with the results of the member survey they conducted recently – does anyone know? Will they publish these or was this just all an act too? This season we are going to one game, sat above the Away fans on Anfield Road and 5 rows apart, this Saturday for Sunderland. At 77 minutes we will walk out with you. YNWA.

    • Paul Whicker

      Yep that completely resonates with me and some of my match going friends. I am lucky enough to have sufficient credits to get in the earlier members sale, but its still a painful process, its a race before it crashes and you start again. The whole process is completely flawed from pricing through to the ticket sales process and re-sale. For the latter there are games I can’t attend, but I don’t know which until close to the game and work commitments become clear, so its usually too late to sell back to the club. According to the rules, I can’t even give these to friends/relatives or I risk having my members card taken away (note – give). It seems they would prefer empty seats as long as they are paid for.

      As for £77, what are they thinking. I think its a short term value objective as noted by others. Look at the Match day income.

      It seems so obvious that if they reduced prices, offered better amenities around the ground, better food at better prices they would sell more. Some of the match day times mean that it would be nice to eat just before/after the game, but the food is terrible, queues mad and prices are off the scale.

  16. Listened to the pod yesterday and thought you could hear the sadness in Jays voice at his perception of having been made a fool of by the owners. Perhaps there are staff at the club who feel the tipping point has come and I think the vast majority of fans are inside with the work Jay and the other lads have done.

    Perhaps with hindsight we need to realize that Americans are pure capitalists and only want to see the value of the asset increase over the course of their tenure rather than adopt a more German model to the structure of ticket prices.

    At the end of the day theyre baseball fans and we’re just an add on to their portfolio .

  17. I don’t want to be rude but people have to understand they (FSG) don’t care who is in the stands, they just care that there are people there in the first place.

    It makes no difference to them if the bloke in sitting on the Kop is struggling to make ends meet or is an investment banker, as long as they get the money. In fact if the patron is an investment banker they probably will make more in concessions.

    I’m not saying this is right…I’m saying to expect different is foolishness.

  18. Eric Becker

    Out of curiousity I took a cursory look at ticket pricing for the Boston Red Sox.

    All prices GBP and Fenway tickets adjusted for a 19 game home schedule to match LFC as opposed to 81 games for the Red Sox. If my math is atrocious (it probably is), I apologize…

    Fenway Park is divided into 20 sections and games are categorized across 5 tiers in a 30 team league. Its capacity is ~38,000.

    Anfield is divided into 20 sections as well with 3 categories for games in a 20 team league. Its capacity will be ~54,000 in 2016.

    Anfield Season Ticket = 685-1,029 (36-54 per game); 9-175 for single tickets

    Fenway Season Ticket = 420-1,903 (22-100 per game); 7-124 for single tickets

    The Red Sox also offer modified packages for 53, 20, and 10 games respectively with wildly varying degrees of savings vs. single game tickets. I don’t see this type of option for LFC, but it also doesn’t seem like a viable option with my limited knowledge of the ticketing process/issue at Anfield and there being 4 times as many games for the Red Sox.

    From my quick look, it appears Fenway offers a wider range of prices, but with progressively cheaper single game tickets. Anfield on the other hand has a fairly tight range of season ticket prices, but with the most expensive single tickets 40% more than those at Fenway.

    There are, of course, many other variables to take into account when comparing the teams’ ticketing, but this is what I came up with in half an hour at work on a Friday night.

    I’m tempted to close my stream on 77 tomorrow in solidarity, but may have to wait til 80 to see/hear the reaction.

    Either way… Up the Reds!

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