WATCHING the Reds has been tough over the past month because of poor results and the feeling of the momentum being killed, writes PHIL SMITH.
Wednesday night was hard to take and there was a lot of bitterness and anger in the aftermath of the game.
On the pitch it was a sense of not again and that was the same off the pitch.
A semi-final at Anfield and the atmosphere was non-existent.
The corporate section of the Main Stand was not full and this has become very noticeable in the past six or seven home games. It is not the odd seat that is vacant, it is hundreds.
If you weren’t at Anfield on Wednesday, or if you were in certain parts of the Main Stand you will not have noticed this — and you won’t see any pictures of this doing the rounds on social media unless it was taken on a mobile phone.
FSG’s vision of the type of ‘customer’ they want in our ground is not working.
Yes, more corporate seats are available at Anfield than ever before, but John Henry and the rest of FSG would have expected demand to be higher than they are.
It is nearly one year on since Spion Kop 1906 announced plans to walk out of Anfield on 77 minutes against Sunderland following FSG’s initial ticket price announcement.
It was February 4 when Spion Kop 1906 tweeted their intentions and following thousands of retweets, talks between groups of friends and text messages, an estimated 15,000 people walked out of Anfield because they had had enough of the prices.
It changed the top flight of English football for good.
A few weeks later the club announced the prices of the Europa League first leg tie against Manchester United but were quickly changed.
Now, the club seem to be understanding what to do with prices when it comes to cup ties, but it could be a lot better.
Cheaper tickets give the younger generation a chance to all go together.
This leads me to the picture that has been shared on social media by a lot of people.
On Thursday morning, like most Reds, I was still disappointed about the result and that we wouldn’t be in the final in a month’s time.
But, around midday a picture appeared on social media of a group of young lads on The Kop before the game.
It softened the blow of Wednesday night and like every other person who saw the picture, I thought to myself “that is boss” and I started sending it to other people.
The picture proves that Liverpool Football Club does have a future if the future is looked after.
Twelve lads, all mates, stood together with flags ready to go and wave them before the game, supporting the team that they love.
It has been shared all over social media and when it reaches Boston, it should have the alarm bells ringing.
After they had waved the flags, the likelihood is that they went to different parts of The Kop and sat next to somebody they don’t know.
If those lads were able to be together in the ground, the atmosphere wouldn’t be diluted as much. A group of lads stood together, making noise, isn’t the solution.
But it should be an eye-opener to what could be done to generate an atmosphere at the game. The lads on that picture are made up to be there, they are the next generation.
This picture brings the debate of rail seating back up, imagine the lads stood together, singing, in a safe standing area of The Kop.
These young lads, as well as others of different ages, who want to sing is what The Kop should be built around.
Could the return of a variation on the infamous ‘Boys Pen’ be an option? Tickets that cost £15, £20 in that section of The Kop.
Let them be together, singing as one and let them grow as match-going lads together.
It would make the ‘matchday experience’ a lot better now and in future generations.
You will once again be getting an education from The Kop.
The lad who posted the picture that I initially saw got it spot on.
He said: “Liverpool Football Club — if you are really listening, ‘if you build it, they will come’.”
The club needs to listen.
Nearly one year on from the walkout, what are Liverpool Football Club going to do to make sure these lads, and others are able to afford to go to the match?