I don’t claim to be Alan Sugar, but my business knowledge serves me well enough to know – the more you produce, the cheaper the costs. This seems to be the mantra in all aspects of business, except football. A few weeks ago saw John Henry question whether the club would continue with its plans to expand the Anfield Road stand. The reason being that they would have to put up the price of the match tickets to be make it worthwhile.
I understand that the building work will be an expense, but match ticket revenue is not vital to the clubs existence.
TV revenue has put an end to the turnstiles as a major source of income.
We all know what happened last season when the club got it hopelessly wrong in their ticket price structure, leading to a mass walk out of fans in the 77th minute.
Is this some kind of vengeance by FSG?
WHY? Ticket prices are extortionate enough as it is – why look to increase it further.
This mentality is exceptionally short sighted. The next generation of Liverpool fans are already priced out of being regular match goers, where does the club expect the next generation of fans to come from? Or don’t FSG care as they’ll be well gone by then?
The expansion of the Main Stand has been an excellent addition to the ground; however rumours continue that the corporate side of sales have struggled. Despite being privileged to jump a 16 year Season Ticket waiting list, the £3000 (yes, three thousand pound) season ticket sales for the Main Stand are rumoured to have been a struggle to sell.
This appears to be the main factor behind the decision to halt the Anfield Road expansion.
FSG could best be described as having a ‘tolerated’ relationship with the fan base. Their drive to generate income appears to be their main goal, with minimal expenditure in transfer windows the fans have been very patient with their American custodians.
Several big name players have been sold, with Liverpool recently named as the club that has generated the most from sales this decade in Europe. With the sale of each top player, the ‘product’ quality is reduced, yet the ticket prices aren’t?
We understand that for some, the fees received made good business sense, but the product itself suffers.
Imagine SKY sold SKY Sports 3 for £500million to BT. This makes good business sense for SKY, and their consumers can understand that, but would the consumer be happy to continue to pay the same or even more, for an inferior product? I doubt it, so why should football fans?
WHY now? The team are currently on the crest of a bit of a wave, there is a real feel good factor around the team at the moment – did John Henry see this as an ideal opportunity to raise the subject of price increases, believing his product to be worth more now? Sadly, this type of PR disaster will only serve to damage the club, both on & off the field.
The timing seems to be linked to our performances, can you imagine the reaction of proposed increases if we were struggling!
We understand that Corporate is now, unfortunately, a necessary evil in todays game – but Liverpool Football Club is embedded within a working class city. The people from the city are the regular match goers and won’t put up with their match day being turned into the equivalent of a Theatre visit with the associated costs.
My view is that FSG need to seriously consider their next steps.
Which is the better option?
a) 5000 fans paying £100.00 for a ticket
b) or 10,000 fans paying £50.00 for a ticket?
For me it has to be option B.
The club could look to do this by creating more affordable tickets, therefore creating more match day revenue from associated sales and providing more support to the team on the pitch!
Controversial idea but, why not consider turning the Anfield Road into the first Safe Standing area, potentially clearing the whole Season Ticket waiting list, giving opportunity for kids to attend the game and making Anfield into a massive lions den for opponents!
This piece isn’t about promoting Safe Standing, I have been vehemently against it for years, but I am slowly starting to realise that it needs to be discussed.
Whatever happens, the club needs to think about its already tenuous relationship with its fans by increasing tickets, or blaming their reluctance to accept ticket increases on the lack of expansion. FSG need to be careful they don’t sever all relationships with the fans to chase a few extra, unnecessary £££.
Written by @lebigmc5times