Ticket prices continue to rise, respite windfall of new TV deal.
Supporters groups in England are considering organising a nationwide walkout of top flight matches in response to the cost of attending Premier League games.
Approximately 10,000 fans walked out in 77th-minute of Liverpool’s 2-2 draw against Sunderland on Saturday, in protest at the plans to charge up to £77 for a ticket at Anfield next season.
The Football Supporters’ Federation plans to convene a meeting of supporters from all 20 Premier League clubs in the next week to discuss the feasibility of a mass walkout.
“The FSF will be convening a meeting of representatives of supporters’ organisations across the Premier League to discuss the next steps in the campaign,” Kevin Miles, the FSF chief executive, told the Telegraph.
“There are a number of options. The Liverpool walkout very successfully highlighted the whole issue of the affordability of football and the clubs need to be made to listen.”
Last week, the FSF expressed disappointment at the refusal of the Premier League clubs to even vote on a proposal to cap away ticket prices.
The issue of ticket prices has been brought into sharp relief by the forthcoming domestic TV deal which will bring the Premier League clubs a £5.1bn windfall. From next season every Premier Club will earn at least £100million thanks to the new deal, with the winners earning £150m. Matchday revenue now accounts for just 20 per cent of the total revenue received by Premier League last seasaon and that figure is set to drop further when the new deals kicks in.
Meanwhile, Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp warned the club not to ignore “the sign” from Saturday’s mass walkout at Anfield.
“There is always a reason for a situation like there was on Saturday,” he said. “It was not a situation where one game you have 40,000, the next 39,000, the next 38,000, 37, 36 and so on. But it was a sign on Saturday and I think it was easy to understand.
“That is the good thing with signs. Now we have to talk about it. This club is a really big club that has faced a few difficult situations in the history of Liverpool FC.
“These other problems were bigger than the problem we have in this moment but supporters never ever lost their love of the club and that will not happen now. We have our job to do on the pitch which is easier to help people enjoy the game, we will try, and I know the owners are really interested in having a good relationship with our supporters. In the moment, we understood the sign, I think, and now we look for a solution.”
The club’s former defender Jamie Carragher, a Liverpudlian, who joined in with the protest on Saturday, said £77 is too much to pay to watch a football match.
“People have said to me since then ‘it’s OK for you on your big wages, that’s why the prices are so high’,” he wrote in his Daily Mail column.
“I was paid well, yes, but I was there for 17 years and in comparison to some of the other players who were in that squad, it was fair. That’s what you want ticket prices to be: fair. I know the increase will not impact on me but I also know plenty about my city – £77 is too much to watch a game anywhere but that price is particularly over the top in Liverpool.”