Liverpool fans have planned their first ever walkout protest at Anfield in the club’s history, in protest against the club’s ticket pricing policy for next season. Supporter’s groups, including Spirit of Shankly and Spion Kop 1906, are urging fans to leave their seats in the 77th minute of their game against Sunderland to demonstrate their disapproval at the proposed increase in the ticket prices.
The 77th minute is significant because the top-priced tickets in the reconstructed main stand have been increased from £59 to £77 for the upcoming season. The 77th minute walkout plan was suggested by the fan group Spion Kop 1906, one of the most prominent Liverpool supporter’s groups, who are largely responsible for the flags and banners produced at the Kop end of the ground.
The special atmosphere at Anfield seems to be a dying myth that only gets worse as ticket prices increase. This move by the American owners, makes a live game at Anfield become unaffordable for the majority of the club’s traditional and loyal fanbase, and threatens to further diminish the distinctive match day atmosphere.
Access to watching football in this country seems to be slowly becoming a bigger issue. Firstly, the price of a TV subscription to watch Premier League games has essentially been doubled for the consumer, as now two broadcasting companies (BT & Sky) cover the fixtures, with only the occasional game being held on the BBC or ITV.
Without a subscription, the British football fan is only allowed to see a fraction of Premier League games on TV in this country, and if they wanted to see them all, they’d perhaps have a better chance moving overseas.
Smaller teams in the Premier League heavily rely on their fans to generate revenue, whereas the bigger clubs generally generate more revenue via commercial means. As the bigger clubs have a massive branding image throughout the world, they can sell their brand image to many companies.
The changes in TV subscriptions, and a wave of clubs massively increasing ticket prices seems to be creating a shift in football. Generating the idea that it has become about earning revenue for the owners and is no longer about the fans and the love of the game.