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Bend It Like Bedi

Sunday, 14 February 2016 | MYT 1:49 PM

Fan power

Liverpool might have lost two points against Sunderland after conceding two late goals last Saturday, but their fans made a huge point when they showed their displeasure over proposed higher ticket prices by walking out towards the end of the game.  

The whole episode embarrassed the club’s management who quickly reversed their decision to raise ticket prices.

They apologised for the distress caused and denied attempts to gain personal profits at the club’s expense.

 “Message received,” they said.

Liverpool also removed the categorisation, meaning regardless of the opposition, fans will pay the same price for tickets.  

During the Sunderland game, Liverpool were two up at the point in the 77th minute when an estimated 10,000 fans walked out to show their displeasure.

One of the most tweeted pictures was a banner that said, “without fans, football is nothing.” The picture of those words painted in red on a plain old white cloth summed it all up.

Liverpool conceded two goals after fans left. It was probably a coincidence, but it just goes to show what their fans are trying to say - you really are nothing without them. 

Many other English teams have now announced a freeze on ticket prices.  

Borrusia Dortmund fans also had a “trick” up their sleeves during a midweek cup away game against Stuttgart.  

They were angry that the most expensive ticket was 70 euros (RM327), making up a quarter of the tickets sold.

So fans missed the first 20 minutes of the game, they walked in and threw tennis balls onto the pitch so that the game had to be halted. 

“Football must be affordable,” read a prominent banner in the stadium.

Football has already been a business for too long now, not only in England but all over the world. It’s all about the money, money, money. OK, not only football but sports in general. 

Fans are called customers instead. The World Cup is all about commercials and getting the best advertising deals.  

Back to the Liverpool situation.  Their protest was against the £77 (RM463)  top-priced ticket in the new main stand next term.

It’s true that you need money to advance the club but do you have to do it at the expense of the fans?

Let’s get real - Liverpool and other clubs don’t come to Asia to meet their fans, they come here to get a quick buck and promote their merchandise to their customers.   

A few years back, Liverpool used to change their home jersey once every two seasons, but they have revised that to every season now. It seems to be about money.   

But thankfully fan power triumphed in the end. The tens of thousands of Liverpool fans weren’t walking alone on that day when they walked out.  

And they certainly have the backing of football fans all over the world.   

The views expressed are entirely the writer’s own.

 

 

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