The fan walkout in Liverpool’s 2-2 draw with Sunderland could be the first in a series of demonstrations, a supporters group has warned.
Roughly a quarter of Liverpool fans left Anfield in the 77th minute in a protest against rising ticket prices. The question of whether the mass exit had an effect on Liverpool’s performances posed on BBC’s Match of the Day - the Reds were 2-0 up before the walkout but conceded two late goals.
Jordan Henderson dismissed that idea and spokesperson for Spirit of Shankly - the group involved in the planning of the protest - revealed further demonstrations are on the horizon.
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Jay McKenna was quoted in The Guardian as telling Press Association Sport: “We are happy with yesterday’s demonstration and we are pleased with the number of supporters who took part.
“The moment which preceded the walkout also showed the strength of feeling, with the very loud, audible chants aimed at the directors’ box.
“But the protest was aimed just as much at the owners because the decision of the prices is one made by Fenway Sports Group and the ownership of the club. It is a good indication that supporters are very angry at prices and this will just be the start of taking more action.”
£1,000 season tickets
Next season will see the introduction of the first £1,000 season ticket, while tickets to watch Liverpool in their newly-built Main Stand will rise from £59 to £77.
McKenna has identified high-profile games at Anfield against Manchester City and Chelsea, both taking place in March, as perfect opportunities for fans to express their frustration.
He said: “We have got Manchester City and Chelsea at Anfield so those two league matches - where prices are still going to be on the forefront of people’s minds - will be opportunities where we will discuss what action we take next.
“For us, it is unequivocal: this is the start. A walkout of Anfield is unprecedented - it has never happened before - and I can’t think of an occasion where it has happened in such numbers in another league ground in the UK.”
Carragher left Anfield
Liverpool hero Jamie Carragher also joined fans in exiting the stadium prematurely.
The former defender, who spent his whole career at Liverpool, actually supported rivals Everton as a boy but joined forces with those who cheered his name for 17 seasons.
It remains to be seen what action FSG will take following the demonstrations but, with thousands of fans leaving Anfield in protest on Saturday, it’s clear something must be done as FSG prepare to line their pockets from the Premier League’s £5.1 billion TV deal.