On Saturday, Liverpool fans stood and sang, calling the club’s owners greedy bastards and saying enough was enough after news was released earlier in the week that the club was raising top tier tickets to £77 next season. This weekend, they could be joined by fans across the league in a show of mass dissent by football fans.
Having watched Liverpool fans walk out on Saturday, and having seen the club quickly backtrack on their decision to raise ticket prices when faced by open revolt from a group of people integral to the club’s global brand, the Football Supporters’ Federation quickly convened meetings with supporters groups of all the Premier League clubs.
"The FSF will be convening a meeting of representatives of supporters’ organisations across the Premier League to discuss the next steps in the campaign," FSF chief Kevin Miles told the Telegraph today. "The Liverpool walkout very successfully highlighted the whole issue of the affordability of football and the clubs need to be made to listen."
It’s easy to point to new television deals and commercial revenue streams and wonder what difference £2M could ever possibly make to a club like Liverpool. The problem is, despite massive television deals and growing commercial revenue streams, the club turned a profit just once in the past six years—and that was a profit of only £900k.
If Liverpool are to stay complaint of Financial Fair Play regulations, then, that £2M could have some very real implications when it comes to signing new players. Players like Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who Jamie Carragher said he’d love to see at Anfield shortly after he finished explaining why he joined un the 77th-minute protest on Saturday.
Which isn’t to say the club can’t survive without the £2M more next season, just that on past evidence it wasn’t going to be money lining the pockets of the owners. It was money that would go towards paying for players—something to keep in mind the next time the club stops short of paying an extra million for a transfer or an extra £20k in wages.
If Liverpool’s walkout on Sunday can lead to ticket roll-backs across the Premier League, though, it levels the playing field once again. The club had argued that even if the £2M total didn’t seem like much for a club the size of Liverpool, it was part of a larger effort across all their revenue streams to keep up with the rest of the league.
If fans standing up can force all the clubs—can force the league collectively—to use things like the improved television deal to curb ticket price increases, then squeezing a little bit more out of the fans to keep up with the rest of the league becomes a non-issue for Liverpool. Hopefully the FSF can pull it off.