Liverpool developments show protests do work, fans shouldn't be afraid to make a stand

Anfield Pitch

Some fan groups are likely to protest more than others, but Liverpool's exodus on 77 minutes against Sunderland was at least a show these actions can be effective.

Approaching the 77th minute of Liverpool's encounter with Sunderland felt a little strange on Saturday. I've never heard chants counting down that particular period of the game, nor had I expected so many people to start heading towards the exits.

In all honesty, I expected a couple of thousand fans to justify a 'few disgruntled' fans headlines to hit the press, but when a quarter of those who attended headed for the exit, it became an unmitigated PR disaster for the club's hierarchy.

So much so that many newspapers, including The Times, are reporting there will be a review into the pricing structure for the season tickets next season that were announced earlier on in the week.

These included vast increases in ticket prices in the new Main Stand, as well as other areas in the ground. £77 for a match ticket and £1,029 are the headline figures, but there are gripes with other structures, as detailed below from tweets from the chair of supporters group Spirit of Shankly.

Prior to the game there were some mutterings that this kind of action will never make a difference, that they would somehow be an embarrassment and it wouldn't make a difference. The subsequent developments shown they have made a difference.

It has been a case of things bubbling under for a while. For too long prices have been too high but now it seems to have reached a breaking point - the thought of any man having to pay more to watch a football game seems to have been too much.

At the moment, it seems that unless you have charitable friends who are willing to lend you a season ticket, or you are in the fortunate position to have a very well paid job then you can't take your kids to the game, and introduce that next generation of football fans in the process. 

This wasn't just a fight for Liverpool. Their fans are personally unhappy with what has taken place, one would imagine that even those that stayed behind had some support for the reasons for the protest but for one reason or the other couldn't bring themselves to do it. 

But there are fans of other clubs who are unhappy with the prices they are charged, it seems like it's a tax on an emotional bond that some owners are trying to exploit. I'm sure there are fans from other clubs that have different issues they want to raise. 

Given that Liverpool set the agenda - to the point it was still being discussed on radio phone-ins last night - they got it in the public eye. It's not all for nothing, something is at least happening.

Football fans have the power to change something at their club if they really want to, it's just wanting to use it.

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