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Roy Evans urges Liverpool to ‘listen to the fans’ over ticket prices

Former Liverpool manager Roy Evans believes the club will listen to the supporters over ticket prices.

COVENTRY, ENGLAND - Saturday, April 6, 1996: Liverpool's manager Roy Evans against Coventry City during the Premiership match at Highfield Road. Coventry won 1-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

A large number of fans showed their displeasure at the increase in prices for next season by walking out in the 77th minute of Liverpool’s clash with Sunderland on Saturday.

The Reds had been winning 2-0 at the time but went on to draw the match 2-2. Moves are already afoot within the club’s hierarchy – who cancelled Monday night’s question-and-answer session with chief executive Ian Ayre on their own television channel – to consider reviewing the ticket pricing structure.

Evans, who managed the club between 1994 and 1998, told talkSPORT: “The walkout was done in a very positive way without any hassle whatsoever.

“I hope the club’s response is as good as I thought the fans’ protest was. I’m sure Liverpool are sensible enough to make this not a big issue and to listen to the fans.

“It’s supposed to be a game for the fans. Whether you can afford tickets or you can’t afford tickets, it’s a game for everybody.

“I understand there’s got to be revenue, there has got to be stuff going in. The players are getting paid ridiculous amounts of money – we’d all take it by the way, don’t get me wrong.

“But at the end of it all you can’t just keep putting that load onto the fans.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - TUESDAY JANUARY 11th 2005: Liverpool's Jamie Carragher chats with team-mate Djimi Traore before the League Cup Semi-Final 1st Leg at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher joined in with the protest on Saturday and he insisted B£77 is too much to pay to watch a football match.

“I was at Anfield on Saturday when Liverpool fans took their stand about the club publishing a price list for tickets next season that will cost as much as £77,” Carragher said in his Daily Mail column.

“I walked out, along with another 10,000 or so, in the 77th minute.

“People have said to me since then, ‘It’s okay for you on your big wages, that’s why the prices are so high’. I was paid well, yes, but I was there for 17 years and in comparison to some of the other players who were in that squad, it was fair.

“That’s what you want ticket prices to be: fair. I know the increase will not impact on me but I also know plenty about my city – £77 is too much to watch a game anywhere but that price is particularly over the top in Liverpool.”

Carragher said the walkout was staged with supporters of all clubs in mind.

He added: “That’s what people need to understand about the walkout at Anfield. It wasn’t just Liverpool fans sticking up for themselves, it was Liverpool fans saying ‘enough is enough’ for every supporter across the land.”

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)

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp missed the match on Saturday because he was in hospital having his appendix removed but weighed into the debate at a press conference on Monday.

“When I heard about [the walkout], I was disappointed,” said the Reds boss.

“I’ve had a lot of things to do in the last few weeks, but now I know it is my problem too, of course.

“But everything I could say about this now would make it more complicated, because first of all I have to collect a few bits of information.

“What I know is everyone in the club has a big interest in finding a solution for this.

“We don’t want the people leaving the stadium before the game is finished.”

Klopp will be back in the technical area for their FA Cup fourth-round replay at West Ham on Tuesday night.

Further action is likely to follow when the Football Supporters’ Federation (FSF) hold a meeting of fans’ groups from top-flight clubs – but it is unlikely that any plans for a mass walk-out will emerge.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, February 6, 2016: Liverpool supporters stage a 77 minute walk-out in protest at ticket price increases and a £77 ticket, during the Premier League match against Sunderland at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Fans’ leaders are aware that such action might not work at some clubs and may instead look to target sponsors.

An FSF spokesman said: “The FSF will be convening a meeting of representatives from fan groups across the Premier League within the next couple of weeks.

“We’ll be looking to co-ordinate further campaign activity on Twenty’s Plenty, following the outcome of last week’s Premier League shareholder meeting, and find the best ways for fans to work together to bring down ticket prices.

“The situation at every club is different and no doubt we’ll be listening to a range of ideas – that might include ramping up pressure on sponsors, clubs or even match day actions.

“The outcome of this meeting depends on what supporter organisations across the country think would be achievable and have a meaningful impact.”

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