Liverpool players “baulked” at £300,000-a-season cost of new Main Stand box

on 07.02.2016

Joining supporters in rallying against absurd new pricing structure, Liverpool players are said to have “baulked” at the cost of a box in the new Main Stand.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, February 6, 2016: Liverpool supporters protest with a banner "FAO FSG Enough is Enough" from the Spirit of Shankly group before the Premier League match against Sunderland at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It is not often that you will hear a Premier League player express concerns about money, such is the wealth available to them weekly.

But with Liverpool’s avarice owners looking to profit from the redevelopment of the Main Stand at Anfield, their greed is thought to have even taken the Reds squad aback.

After thousands of supporters leaft their seats 77 minutes into Liverpool’s 2-2 draw with Sunderland on Saturday, in protest of the new ticket pricing structure—with single tickets rising to an incredible £77—the Independent‘s Michael Calvin revealed a similar dispute within Jurgen Klopp‘s squad.

The club are believed to have offered players an upgraded box in the new Main Stand for an incredible £300,000 a season.

“When Liverpool’s players were offered first refusal on ‘an executive hospitality experience’ in a US-style ‘super box’ capable of seating 25 people in Anfield’s new main stand, they baulked at the expense,” Calvin writes.

“The sales pitch spoke of a ‘specially designed roof which will project a wall of noise from over 20,000 fans on to the pitch.’

“But the fee, ‘approximately’ £13,000 per person, per season, affronted even the multi-millionaires who are supposed working-class heroes.

“Allowing for wriggle room in the negotiating process—many first-team players currently share 10-seater executive boxes which retail at around £75,000 despite being officially priced at £100,000—that meant finding in the region of £300,000 a year. No deal. No way. No how.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, February 6, 2016: Liverpool Managing Director Ian Ayre as fans protest against ticket prices behind him before the Premier League match against Sunderland at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Calvin suggests that a similar box at Old Trafford retails at £175,000, while at Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium the most expensive package costs £150,000.

That even players are struggling to come to terms with the club’s greed is a powerful statement.

But what is more concerning is that, with such significant income no doubt flooding into the club due to these corporate “experiences,” that supporters are still asked to cough up extra for a plastic seat is bizarre.

With £8.3 billion of TV money being shared between Premier League clubs next season, the extra £2 million made per season by this increase is trivial.

Liverpool paid over 16 times that to sign Christian Benteke last summer, while James Milner is believed to earn close to four times that per season in wages.

While Fenway Sports Group can guarantee that this money will continue to flood into the club, such is supporters’ loyalty to Liverpool, that they are capitalising on this is repulsive.

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  1. This could well be the end for fsg the where in the wrong hands chants have started at anfield ,they are going to have to back down and quick before the murmurings become a roar

    • I’m not so sure that they will back down, I wouldn’t rule out the possibility that they see this as just an initial reaction and might even have expected some degree of criticism, it might be they think they can weather the storm in the belief that it will all die down and everyone will lose interest soon. I think a lot will depend on what action the supporters groups come up with next and the backing we give them, after yesterday I would expect that backing to increase significantly. It’s such a shame the owners (Henry and Warner) don’t personally attend the games but there’s no sign of that happening any time soon. It’s a lot easier to play hardball and remain immune from criticism when you’re on the other side of the Atlantic in your Boston office, I just wish they were here and we could put them in the firing line, I seriously don’t think they reaiise the scale of the problem they’ve created and I’m sure they absolutely don’t understand the resolve of our supporters, they will in time..

    • I doubt that anything will come from this. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t continue to voice disapproval.

      Every man and his dog whose views matter have said it’s well within our right. So many congratulatory messages from rival supporters expressing their admiration at our stand.

      It’s disturbing that those with defeatist attitudes think because it won’t change things, we shouldn’t bother.

      • It’s disturbing that those with defeatist attitudes think because it won’t change things, we shouldn’t bother.

        you mean the fans that the price increase will never effect
        and i can see this turning nasty the club as had time now to make a statement no statement means they think they can do what they want and the fans will fall back in line massive mistake

        • Jase, you and I and many others know that history is replete with examples when men who kept silent were eventually enslaved by the wickness of evil and the oppressor.

          One by one, they came… And if you didn’t speak up for them when they were taken away, who will speak up for you when it’s your turn?

          We are certainty not calling to get rid of some stifling crony above us. FSG certainly have done some good and some bad, like most owners. But, on this matter, they made a fundamental mistake of ignoring the little guy, who represent the SOUL of Liverpool Football Club.

          With their silence, you shall know, who will stand with you when the going gets tough. If one can’t speak up on the little things, why would they speak up on the big things?

          • You see joe what the overseas fans do not realise is what fsg do to us today they will do to them tomorrow
            one day we will have a game in say india the super rich will be welcome to come and watch the normal fan will have to sell a vital organ to gain admission

          • Oh hear we go again. The quote book he got for Christmas! Please, more. I love these.

      • A lot of the Sunday papers are reporting this as a ‘football’ problem as opposed to a ‘single club’ issue which is good, The Daily Telegraph has a great article under the heading “English Football Should Hang it’s Head in Shame” The demo yesterday might have been a unilateral stance but we’ve put the whole debate in the public domain and that’s good both for our club and football in general…

      • Hey Joe Bloggs. Speaking of defeatist, but for the change in mood inside the stadium, we’d be closer to the top four today.

    • I hope they stay because they can take us forward I don’t want the moaners to force them out.I haven’t got an issue with the people moaning about ticket prices that is their right but to walk out that isn’t right.

  2. I dont have one mate that can afford £13k for one seat for a season, nevermind 25 of them, and even if they could they are not LFC fans.
    I best start playing the lottery…

  3. Gaffe after gafffe after gaffe…zero accountability at the top.

    Seems the same way with the players on the pitch really. When FSG first came in about 5 years ago, I think most of us were willing to give them leeway expecting some mistakes to be made along the way since they were new to this.

    Not any longer though.

    • We definitely cut them a lot of slack, we all wanted and hoped they’d be good owners, maybe they still can be but they seem hell bent on making that increasingly hard for us, the honeymoon was over a long time ago…

    • I think it’s more a case of a disconnect between Boston and here. Zero accountability in that the likes of ayre and Gordon have not been at the receiving end of any review of their functions, responsibilities and role in a fair share of our transfer fiascos let’s say.

      • Part of the problem is that Gordon is part owner of FSG with a 10% stake in the company. That complicates matters further. No one can remove him no matter how bad of a job he does because he controls all the strings.

  4. Does anyone know how the £8.3 billion of TV revenue is divided next season? Is it split equally between the 20 teams or do teams that are shown more often on TV receive a larger slice?

      • Hi Ap, just wondering what your thoughts are on this latest issue.
        £77 for a ticket is indeed high for watching regularly but how does it seem for you? If these prices are lowered so locals can use them regularly what price ticket are you likely to have to pay for when you finally get to watch?

        • My stand on the issue is that there is a working ideal in Germany that can be followed. We are a far way off from that for sure and it is certainly utopian in a lot of respects, but we should try and make efforts to find a middle ground. As an overseas fan , I buy my ticket through my local supporter’s wing. That’s my best chance of getting an assured ticket and then being able to plan my travel sufficiently in advance to be able to afford it. I cannot given the exchange rate afford a ticket higher than 50 pounds. So ideally I’d like the cheapest possible ticket. But the downside of the local wing provided ticket is that I have no element of choice in where and what cost ticket I get. Bar hospitality, I could get the 77 pound ticket, or the cheapest one. So this certainly aggrieves me as well. I can’t make it to anfield in the future with this sort of pricing.

          But I recognise its a nuanced issue. I think the club is guilty of bad PR and some I’ll thought out timing more than a devious scheme. There is a disconnect between the ownership and the fans which I think is not conducive to running a football club. I hope they can come to the table and meet the supporters at least halfway and figure out a compromise. On the entire move per se, I am of the opinion that they introduced some good measures, but with the added no of seats and the new TV deal and ever expanding role of commercial revenue and diminishing role of matchday revenue in the economics of the club, they could very well have just maintained the freeze on ticket prices for another season or two.

          • Yes i understand how the price could seem high to you,
            I dont know the full breakfown but approx 15k seats are going in 1/3 are cheaper, 1/3 are the same price and 1/3 are slightli dearer meaning your chance of getting a cheaper seat are greatly enhanced whereas rhe 77 pound seats total 280 or something. I fail to see how rhis is ripping off the fans.

    • All I know is that according to the Premier League all clubs will receive aprox £100 million each, that accounts for £2 billion of the money. What happens to the remaining £6.3 billion I’m not sure..

      • Let that figure sink in, £8.3 billion !!!
        There are countries on the planet that are run on a smaller annual budget, it’s mind boggling…

        • The teams get a 50% split of the Sky/BT money (£5.2 billion) and they also get 100% split of the foreign TV rights (£3.2 billion) Either way you look at it, it is an obscene amount of money that should more than allow a reduction in ticket prices.

  5. They treat fans like ‘ customers’, maybe it’s about time we start seeing them like businesses.. Who pays money to see a bad show? The team has been crappy for a long time!

  6. The new tv deal is £40 million per team per season fro 10 seasons
    Some of the complaints from fans aren’t anything to do with the extra costs of SOME tickets. Fans generally moaning about the poor performances and results of the team, poor transfer signings and 25 years since we achieved a title.
    Some of the pressure groups want to have a bigger say on key decisions but can’t define or agree what they are what they are. some quote the German model of social ownership but are not able or willing to stump up the necessary money to buy a stake in the club or buy it right.
    They he owners to run the club how a group of fans deem appropriate but expect the owner pay for it all.
    Protests to remove FSG are just frankly childish nonsense. They own the club so unless or until the fans can find an owner rich enough to buy out FSG then give the fans what they want it is a pointless distraction. Some fans still “demanding” a new stadium on some forums yet want to complain about current price increases for some ticket.
    No sensible human being would want to own Liverpool because it would be impossible to match the demands and aspirations of some fans

  7. Please don’t get all high and mighty about the cost of corporate hospitality. That is taking it too far and distracting from the actual issue, cost to ordinary fans. Liverpool have to generate more match day revenue. Someone has to pay high prices. If not corporate tickers then who?

  8. “Liverpool paid over 16 times that to sign Christian Benteke last summer, while James Milner is believed to earn close to four times that per season in wages.”

    You highlighted a big reason (along with paying for the stadium renovation) why the club is trying to make more money.

    The owners aren’t taking money from the club, they’re recouping their investment by increasing the value of the club as a whole so they’ll make money when they sell.

  9. Jack there is no need to suck up to the players in regard to the cost of an executive box .Alot of our players earn a lot of money without actually delivering any benefit to the team Jose E being one .The club obviously wants to make as much as it can out of the executive seats and boxes.Non of our players would think twice about buying a Lamborghini costing £300,000 so stop thinking they are on our side regarding ticket prices .

    • Yes people are missing the obvious issue here, the amounts we pay players and the demands, we fans make, that Liverpool take part in this and pay what it takes to compete at the highest level. Regardless of whether money has been well spent or not, we demand that our owners spend.


  11. Lets not be at each others throats I understand that fans are angry but lets wait and see what the tickets actually cost next season.Obviously the aggrieved party are going to give us part of the story.This is Anfield are only going further increase the fury by jumping on the bandwagon not as though you will hear a balanced view from them.

  12. It’s obvious we need multi-billionaire Arab(s) as our owners, they have a love for the game just like us fans and unlike these Yanks.

  13. i dont think FSG want you to back down. Personally i think they want you to stop using your season tkt which would re circulate it to new fans who are coming from a wider area and who will spend more money at the ground. I hardly spend anything when i visit because i live locally and i literally turn up before KO and disappear after the final whistle. this also includes my wife. the club do not get anything extra from us. we are not good customers in the eyes of FSG i am in the main stand and the new development looks like a giant shopping Mall. A lot of the season tkts are held by locals who do not spend at the ground. Don’t forget the new stand is not solely intended for existing fans, it is to accommodate more corporate clients/customers. More seating for the everyday fan will come with the Anfield Rd development if that ever happens
    I cannot understand why they cannot repay the fans using the TV money to subsidise the prices. I sometimes give my match day tkt to my son who loves LFC with a passion. i feel guilty that he cannot get in. He is slowly losing heart in the club because he cannot afford the entrance fee now never mind the new prices. The poor lad passes the new stand each day and has already excepted its not really going to be part of his future

  14. Finally some sane voices. Dan Masi, B.RODGERS, Not Popular, itsmyview80 – keep up the good work. Don’t be shouted down by the shrill and righteously indignant. You are the fans we need, not them. Peace brothers.

  15. ManCity have Sheik Mansoor with Guardiola arriving. S#%m have Glazers with perhaps Mourinho on the way. Gunners have Billionaire owners and of 4/6 £40M players. Money talks and if we want to be in the Elite group then we need Elite Owners. We have the Right Manager but these owners are no match against the others above them. Fact. Thats the problem.

    • cost an average of £50 to go watch spurs play at city… not exactly all that different for the most part.

  16. Get me an owner who will only charge me £10 a game and buy us Messi,Neymar and Suarez or I will walk out at half time for the rest of the season.

      • OOooppps! forgot, he’ll just be another greedy rich american b45tard, oh well… there’s always the oil oligarchs of russia, or the arab states, no, china? what the’re all rich and greedy… best phone up the owners of the local car wash then and see what we can do…

  17. Sensible post the problem is that people are just looking at the two highest prices and jumping on the bandwagon.My advice is wait and see what it will actually cost to watch matches next season.

  18. Liverpool don’t play in the NFL. Liverpool isn’t in America, Not sure how your point is remotely relevant.

    If it is, it’s that Liverpool fans don’t want prices to become what they are in the NFL. That’s the whole point here.

  19. The club are believed to have offered players an upgraded box in the new Main Stand for an incredible £300,000 a season.

    Believed, suggested… so no facts then.

  20. It’s funny really, I hear and read percentages being thrown around, but without proper context they just don’t add up or make any sense… Something TIA are not even interested in clearing up.

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