Liverpool’s Supporters Board have criticised the club’s decision to raise ticket prices at Anfield next season.
It was announced on the official LFC website this morning that ‘the majority of general admission matchday tickets will rise by two per cent’, equating to a £1 increase per match for members’ tickets and a maximum increase of £17 for a season ticket covering all 19 home games in the Premier League.
Explaining the decision for the price increase, the club stated: ‘The rise is a result of significant rising costs across the club. In the past five years, annual operating costs for Anfield have increased by nearly 40 per cent, and utility costs have gone up by 100 per cent this season.
‘LFC carefully considered all aspects of these ticketing changes and did not take the decision lightly to increase prices. The club engaged with the LFC Supporters Board and together discussed the potential impact of any price increase on fans. These open and honest discussions led to the club making the decision to limit the rise to two per cent.’
In response, the club’s Supporters Board voiced its opposition to what it described as a ‘cruel, unjust, unreasonable and unfair’ decision (via The Athletic), stating: ‘These increases also come at a time when LFC is reporting record revenues, increased sponsorship income and significant increases from success on the pitch.’
Their statement added: ‘We proposed many alternatives to wholesale price increases such as better facilities on the stadium concourses to encourage more fans to arrive early and keeping them open for a time after the match has finished, so those who can afford to spend can do so. Another was sponsorship deals and stand naming rights to generate extra returns.
‘It is unfortunate and disappointing that they have not chosen to fully listen to the voice of the fans and recognise that football fans are not the cash cow to their balance sheet. We do expect the members of our respective groups will be angry and disappointed and anticipate the fullest possible opposition to these increases.’
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Both parties may feel justified in their respective stances on the matter of ticket pricing at Anfield.
From the club’s perspective, they could point to a need to cover rising operational costs at home games, while this is the first ticket price increase in eight years.
It won’t apply to all tickets either, with the price freeze continuing for juniors and the local general sale which involves approximately 500 tickets being made available for £9 per match (LFC official website).
It’s also worth noting that, as highlighted by The Athletic, both Manchester United and Arsenal recently announced a 5% increase in season ticket costs for 2023/24, compared to 2% for Liverpool.
That said, the Supporters Board’s response to the club’s decision is quite understandable.
Liverpool recently confirmed a £107m increase in revenue to £594m for the financial year ending 31 May 2022 (LFC official website), so it’s not just costs which have gone up at Anfield.
Also, with the country continuing to endure a cost of living crisis, it’s only natural if fans feel discommoded by being asked to pay even more to actively support their team than they already do.
As the Supporters Board pointed out, a change to the operation of amenities at the stadium – with it left to people’s discretion as to how much they spend at these – could’ve been an alternative worth considering.
#Ep73 of The Empire of the Kop Podcast: Author chat with Chris Roberts on Football, Mental Health… and more!
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