By Caitlin Mclaren – Culture Editor
Liverpool fans took to leaving Anfield on Saturday in order to protest against their club hiking their prices up to £77.
At the 77th minute, those involved with the protest left without seeing their team through to the end to express their anger at the ticket inflation.
Football originally has foundations of a working class sport meaning the fan base could use their local team as an escape and generally as a hobby.
Now it seems that clubs are just businesses and fans are nothing more than customers, when they should be rewarded for their loyalty.
With all the costs already associated to following your favourite team from purchasing tickets for games to buying the latest merchandise which changes annual, the questions occurs – why are clubs raising the price of attending a match?
Using BBC’s Price of Football which looks at the cost of season and match-day ticket prices from clubs all over the UK, tickets for Liverpool fans peaked at £59 (15% above the league average).
This is a perfectly reasonable admission fee for high-profile games like derbies.
The hard part to understand is the particular figure of £77, especially against a struggling side like Sunderland.
According to Liverpool’s sources, the club made ‘solid financial process’ last year and continue to grow as a club.
So putting prices up doesn’t make sense, especially as fans voiced their outrage and upon leaving arguably cost themselves a win due to the lack of support which led to Sunderland’s late equaliser.
As a Manchester City fan, I can safely say that the price of football has affected my ability to go and watch my team as I did when I was younger.
After Sheikh Mansour bought the club, ticket prices for adults doubled whilst the cost of a child ticket tripled.
Consequently I haven’t seen my team play since 2006 in a Premier League match as I can only afford cup matches.
With how successful the club is, surely tickets prices can be left alone and there can be more of focus to promote merchandising whilst spectators are at a game.
For example, with more fans there, more food and drink will be bought and by introducing new beers and food to the menu the fans could be tempted to spend more.
Week in week out there will be a strong fan base behind the club which has the potential to influence the team’s performance.
In the end, there will be increased profits but more importantly there will be a fan base which is something money can’t buy.
I think supporters will be heard if they take a stand because the media give free advertisement to the voice of fans’ anger.
If you wanted to buy a Bayern Munich ticket it is almost 1000% cheaper than the cost of an Arsenal season ticket, a fact Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness referred to when comparing the Premier League and the Bundesliga.
“We could charge more than £104, let’s say we charged £300, we’d get £2m more in income, but what is £2m to us?” said Hoeness.
The points he makes is one which I think a lot of Premier League clubs should sit up and take notice of.