Do the right thing

LFC are expected to announce ticket prices for the coming season within the next couple of weeks.

After eight seasons of welcome price freezes, the cost of tickets increased last year. With no shift in the vicious cost-of-living crisis a further rise now would only be seen as preying on supporter loyalty with the club looking to squeeze as much as they can from the people who can least afford it.

It is not essential for the club to increase ticket prices for the ordinary fan; it’s a choice, an active decision. And any decision on such rises should be reached only following supporter engagement.

Dialogue between LFC and the Supporters Board is scheduled for early next week, but we believe Spirit of Shankly and the SB should have been working alongside the club at the start of their decision-making process, which we have not.

A number of clubs, including Arsenal, Manchester City and Tottenham, have already released price hikes for next season – the latter are also axing OAP concessions, which begs the question, ‘what next’?

LFC could dare to be different. They could recognise the value in caring about the current climate and acknowledge that pithy statements such as “it’s in line with inflation” don’t hit home in households where every pound matters and a price freeze to the average fan would be much welcomed. It shouldn’t be a race to tempt only the wealthiest to Anfield.

Liverpool may be one of the biggest clubs in the world, but they were born from a community. They operate out of Anfield; one of the most deprived areas in the country – Fans Supporting Foodbanks now donate to seven pantries across the city. Many make sacrifices to go to the match because it’s something they have always done; it’s a way of life and not something that is easy to walk away from.

Liverpool benefit from this loyalty through the good times and bad. For many fans, that unwavering devotion lasts over the course of a lifetime. It should not be taken for granted or manipulated unnecessarily.

We believe, given Liverpool’s huge TV and commercial revenues, and the likelihood they’ll be back in the Champions League next year (therefore, with the new format, playing an extra group game at home), a price rise is unnecessary.

That extra game will mean more income – in tandem with a higher capacity, post Anfield Road construction – for the club and yet more expense for the matchgoer. There is no need to add to it.

There is no justification for an increase, though most clubs undoubtedly find one, but Liverpool are in a more than healthy position and more than capable of absorbing costs without squeezing more money from fans through tickets.

There is time for Liverpool’s ownership to do the right thing.