Last weekend Liverpool fans walked out in protest at the proposed £77 ticket prices, and fair play to them, for once didn’t have me viewing their flag waving banner clad karaoke Kop with nausea and disgust.
Earlier this week, despite their ability to argue at great volume even when agreeing with one another, Mark Saggers and Stan Collymore on talkSport covered the pricing of tickets in the Premier League against the vast increase of money coming to cubs next season (not the first massive rise in recent years) and clubs will see their coffers swell multiple times above the level of income from gate receipts, that make the turnstiles as beneficial as programme sales. And yet prices in the Premier League will go up.
There has been much discourse about how the relationship with the fan and the players has changed within the Premier League this season. For those with bums on seats are waiting for the players to provide the impetuous to rouse their support rather than the other way round, or at least an equal responsibility. But as the fan are the only people in the stadium poorer at the end of 90 minutes, by some considerable amount, this is entirely predictable and I would say, warranted.
But no one wants the game to be this way, and with prices to make a Chelsea fan blush it was hats off to the Liverpool fans streaming out on 77 minutes when a tipping point was reached.
Saggers and Stan informed the listener that you can watch Barcelona or Bayern Munich with a season ticket that costs only a couple of hundred pounds, and yet very much under reported only a few, lead by our own club, couldn’t stop Premier League chairman voting to refuse capping away tickets at £30.
If the Premier League continues to follow the American path of pricing tickets, our stadia will continue to be full, but not by the hard core fan but those who visit four to five times a season and willing to pay the price of a Barbra Streisand ticket. That is the American way.
One final stat from talkSport, the most expensive ticket at Arsenal 20 years ago, adjusted for inflation, would be £20 in today’s money. And we are about to be taken over by venture capitalists from United States.
Are we about to see unity from fans across the country, as ‘what divides us is not as great as what unites us’? If I could afford to go to the game I’d also walk out on 77 minutes.