Liverpool’s former legendary central defender Jamie Carragher has weighed in on the ticket price debate, but had already made his thoughts and feelings clear by walking out of Anfield against Sunderland.
Carragher, along with around 10,000 other Reds, left the ground after 77 minutes in protest to ticket hikes that are set to come in to place for the 2016/17 campaign.
Liverpool lost a two goal lead to Sunderland, but the real story was the protest – which was symbolic of a commercial driven epidemic between those who run football and those who love it.
“The club say that £77 gets you the best seat in the newest stand in the country but why should that be an elitist thing? Why can’t the normal working man have the chance to sit there? It isn’t fair,” the former Liverpool defender told the Daily Mail.
“Walking out, though, wasn’t a nice experience. The pictures you will have seen were visually striking – and they struck a chord with Fenway Sports Group, the club’s owners – but it wasn’t a happy atmosphere inside the stadium as fans argued with each other.
“For a short time, it took me back to 2010 when the reign of previous owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett was falling apart. That was an awful time and this situation cannot be allowed to escalate. There can be no denying, however, Liverpool have got this wrong.
“You want to be proud of your club. You chose them and stick with them through thick and thin. If Marks and Spencer’s increase their prices, you can shop somewhere else but when your team does it, you are obliged to stick with them.
“That’s what people need to understand about the walkout at Anfield. It wasn’t just Liverpool fans sticking up for themselves, it was Liverpool fans saying ‘enough is enough’ for every supporter across the land.”
Carragher hits the nail on the head. The club are effectively holding supporters to ransom, as like the former England international says – you can’t switch clubs.
Images of the protest went worldwide though, and there is no way they’ll be ignored by the owners.
In fact, Jurgen Klopp told his press-conference yesterday that the club will, “look for a solution” (via the Guardian).
“The situation for the fans at this moment is not too easy,” the manager continued.
“The situation in the table is not too easy and you have to think about other things that are not only about football. Our job is to make it easier for them to think about the positive side of football. We all love this game for different reasons, it is a great game to watch, a great game to play, all these things, but I don’t think it is a strange time – I think this is the situation throughout the whole world. We have to talk and find solutions that everybody wants.”
Liverpool take on West Ham tonight in the FA Cup 4th Round Replay, but don’t have another fixture at Anfield until Augsburg on February 25th. That means FSG effectively have two weeks to find a more reasonable ‘solution’ or you can be sure that protests will continues until one is struck.