When 10,000-odd fans walked out of Liverpool FC’s home match against Sunderland at Anfield, it made a huge statement for the owners. But, when club legend Jamie Carragher walked out with those fans, the public relations damage done to the club seemed to be 10 times worse.
Carragher had been one of the central figures in Liverpool for almost two decades before retiring from the sport, and had even donned the captain’s armband in the absence of the then club captain and icon Steven Gerrard. However, even Carragher walked out of Anfield, in the 77th minute of the match, in order to protest the incredible hike in ticket prices that the club has announced for next season, which takes the ticket prices up to £77.
“People have said to me since then ‘it’s ok for you on your big wages, that’s why the prices are so high’,” wrote Carragher on his column in the Daily Mail. “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,” continued Carragher.
Carragher also went on to argue that in the end, this massive price rise in the matchday tickets would increase Liverpool FC’s revenue by only around £2 million. However, that same amount of money would make a great difference to the fans.
“All this for the sake of £2m for the ninth richest club in the world! That would not make the slightest difference when it comes to negotiating for a player,” wrote Carragher. “If Jurgen Klopp wants to sign someone and the asking price is £2m more than Liverpool expected, will they miss out on the player? No. But £2m back in the pockets of fans? That would be huge.”
Should the FA butt in?
Rising ticket prices in the Premier League have been a hot topic of discussion for some time now, especially when the average ticket prices in the league are around £31. That is quite high, when one compares the matchday prices at other top European clubs like Bayern Munich (£11), Juventus (£19), and Celtic (£23).
With the Premier League set to earn huge amounts of revenue from next season onward, one may argue that the clubs could use this huge influx of cash to reduce the ticket prices and draw the faithful fans closer to the teams. However, with top clubs like Liverpool FC, Manchester United, Arsenal FC and Chelsea FC charging a lot of money for entry to the stadiums, it seems that the FA should now step in and put a cap on how much the clubs can charge the fans for a ticket.