Ian Ayre Meeting – The Minutes and Our View

 Last Tuesday Spirit of Shankly met with Ian Ayre, Liverpool FC Managing Director and Phil Dutton, Head of Ticketing and Hospitality, to discuss ticket prices for the 2013/14 season. Minutes of that meeting can be read here or downloaded below this article.

The Union maintains that the proposed increases are an insult to long-standing supporters, flying in the face of economic reality and adding further to the 1108% price increase, against a football wide average of 716%, Liverpool supporters have endured since 1989. So much for Lord Justice Taylor's Hillsborough report saying that "it should be possible to plan a price structure which suits the cheapest seats to the pockets of those presently paying to stand."  


Having discussed the proposed tiered pricing structure in detail, we believe that the Anfield stadium, as it presently stands, is not suited to the tiered pricing structure that the club has imposed. The Main Stand has obstructed view seats to be charged at tier two prices, with facilities throughout the stand best described as poor. The end blocks in the Paddock are to be priced at tier two in spite of facilities that couldn't even be described as primitive and sightlines that prevent supporters seeing the far corner of the pitch without standing. The lack of legroom in the Lower Centenary Stand has been a source of amusement and aching limbs since the stand was built, as the old Kemlyn Road Stand, in 1963.


Given the club's view that supporters in these seats will, at some yet to be determined time in the future, benefit from the stadium redevelopment, the Union has concluded that supporters are being asked to pay in advance for facilities & views of the pitch that still don't exist, the plans for which have not yet seen the light of day.


The Union is wholly opposed to any price increases and remains committed to the national campaign for cheaper match tickets. However, as a short-term compromise measure, we proposed that there be no price increases for those purchasing Season Tickets before an initial deadline. While the tone of the response to this proposal does not fill us with hope, we urge the club to give this option serious consideration.


When all is said and done, the proposed price increases will hit long-standing supporters hard. And for what is the club willing to risk losing a lifetime of goodwill? An increase in revenue that amounts to approximately 1% of the players' wage bill!


Given the relatively insignificant increase in revenue the price rises will generate, weighed against the disproportionate impact the rises will have on supporters' pockets, we can only assume that the club is driven by a wish to change the demographic of its match-going support by pricing an increasing number of long-standing supporters out of the game.


While the Union has an excellent working relationship with a number of the club's Supporters' Committee members, we must question the role of the Committee in the price increase process. Ian Ayre believes that the Committee was consulted. If this is correct, what was the view of the Committee? If the Committee was not consulted, is it going to say nothing while being name checked by the club? Two simple questions requiring equally simple answers.


Spirit of Shankly remains committed to fighting against rip-off ticket prices and will be looking to step up the protests that have previously focused solely on away matches. If you want an end to this never ending football ticket price bubble join your union and join us in working with supporters from clubs across the country to reclaim our game.


£nough is £nough


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