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Ticket Working Group Update

Following the recent statement by the Supporters Committee after their meeting with the clubs ownership at the weekend, the Ticket Working Group (TWG) would like to update supporters about our discussions that we have had to date with the club. 

The Supporters Committee meeting with the owners has been used as a good opportunity to raise the ongoing and important issue of ticket pricing and accessibility to Anfield, particularly for younger supporters. It is due to this issue being brought up regularly by Spirit Of Shankly and the Supporters Committee, and the campaigning work of Spirit Of Shankly and Spion Kop 1906 both at Anfield and nationally, that we asked for the creation of this group. It was our view that such a group could sit around the table with the club and talk about the problems we faced and work together to find solutions. This was agreed by club executives and a terms of reference was agreed so that we could discuss openly and frankly the problem of ticket pricing and accessibility and allow the club to present ideas and initiatives to resolve them. 

We have engaged in this process fully since our first meeting in December 2014 and initial discussions centred on the clubs plans for the current season (2015/16). It was on the back of these discussions that the club agreed to freeze ticket prices for both season tickets and match day tickets, both in recognition of the cost and the need to give the group time to work. Since these announcements in early 2015, we have meet with club executives several times to discuss pricing structures for a redeveloped stadium and how they intend to manage the seating in the redeveloped Main Stand. These discussions have been worthwhile and whilst passionate have allowed us to better understand what the club want to achieve, and also allow the club to understand the supporter’s views more clearly. No firm proposals have yet been presented to us.

It was, with this in mind, disappointing that the club ownership did not wish to meet with the members of the Ticket Working Group whilst they were in the country. It was an opportunity missed to continue our work and further frustrates the process despite the best efforts and patience of those involved.

Whilst we will continue to abide by the terms of reference and do not intend to breach any confidentiality, it is worth us pointing out what our main asks have been so far. These are:

  1. Lowering of prices – Whilst we would like across the board decreases, we are not naïve enough to expect this to happen overnight if at all. However for us, ticket pricing as it currently stands is unaffordable. It is also unfair to have such high prices at a time of increasing commercial revenues within the club and the game. We believe that now is the time to reduce prices and reward supporter loyalty which has financially sustained the club for so long. It was with this in mind that we said to the club that the majority of tickets should be at an ‘affordable’ price. Much discussion has taken place on what affordable is but our view was this was around the £30 mark. We recognise this is an aspiration and something that may have to be worked towards over a period of time and have said to the club we would welcome seeing their alternative.
  1. Removal of categorisation – As supporters both home and away are aware, categorisation of matches unfairly disadvantages our away supporters and those away supporters coming to Anfield. Similarly, home supporters do not pay to see our opposition. They come to watch and support Liverpool Football Club. To pay different prices per opposition is something that supporters told us was unfair. We also believe removing categorisation would not only be fairer, but a first step towards recognising the problem of pricing and allow for price decreases across the board.
  1. More youngsters in the ground – The support at Anfield is one that is ageing. Worse still, there is no pathway for getting more youngsters into the ground, at an affordable price, regularly. This needs rectifying urgently, particularly if we want to retain any traditions and atmosphere inside Anfield.

 

It was good to see that many of these issues were reaffirmed in the Supporters Committee meeting and we hope that the decision makers at the club can see the strength and breadth of feeling on these issues. We will continue to push for these and hope that the meetings we have had, along with the Supporters Committee meeting, demonstrate the need for the club to take this action.

We note the comments made by Mike Gordon, around the economics and logistics of what the club could do. This has been the crux of many conversations with the club – that any such plan requires movement from the club in terms of how much they expect to make from ticketing. We believe that such a move, to lower their expectation, would be welcome and would reap both financial rewards elsewhere and other benefits to the club including improved atmosphere and sense of belonging. Logistics of what can be done and how are important but remain tinkering around the edges without tackling the important issue of price. 

The other initiatives mentioned such as a season ticket amnesty and use of empty seats have been discussed with the club and would further demonstrate a recognition from the club to find solutions. 

The owners made clear to the Supporters Committee that they have been discussing plans and will present these to us shortly. We look forward to seeing them and hope they have taken into account our conversations we have had with them so far, so that we can use them to continue discussing and working together to find a solution that benefits supporters. 

We will be convening a meeting with supporters shortly to update them on progress and of proposals presented by the club. Details will be published in due course. 

 

Spirit Of Shankly, Spion Kop 1906, LFC Supporters Committee



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