Protest By Liverpool Fans On Super Bowl Weekend? Who’ll Notice?

Posted: February 5, 2016

Updated: June 5, 2017

Liverpool Fans Protest

• Ticket prices leap higher
• Fans to walk out early
• US owners won’t notice

“Sire! The peasants are revolting!” said the title character rushing into the throne room in Brant Parker’s The Wizard of Id . He was perhaps expecting a rather more helpful reply from his majesty The King than the one he got, which was; “You can say that again.” It is a scene you can’t help imagining will play out over in Boston this weekend as the powers that be at Fenway Sports Group consider a response to the planned protest by Liverpool fans at their Premier league game against Sunderland.

It’s not that the fans don’t have a point. The club has put up its ticket prices making the most expensive seats in the best positions leap from 59 GBP to 77 GBP which, you have to admit, is a little galling considering we already know the Premier League will be giving the club a whopping 92,775,064 GBP this season for television and commercial rights. However the timing of the protest by Liverpool fans belies that these are people who follow and bet on sports in the UK and not the US at Bet365.

The protest by Liverpool fans will consist of them walking out in the 77th minute of the game, but someone should have pointed out that staging a protest on the other side of the Atlantic on Super Bowl weekend hoping to get noticed by Americans whose profit margin isn’t really dependent upon you is, let’s face it, sheer folly on a scale only perhaps replicated by the press in the US itself trying to goad Peyton Manning and Cam Newton into starting a race war in the Levi’s Stadium on Sunday.

Protest by Liverpool Fans over Ticket Price Increases

Sure, the board will be told, an executive or two might perhaps make a phone call just to say they have, but the idea that it’ll register in a manner the fans might wish is cloud cuckoo land. First few bars of the Star Spangled Banner from Lady Gaga before kick off on Sunday and most Americans into sports are unlikely to remember anything at all. Except possibly where the beer is. Between a cracker of a game and all those expensive adverts on US TV coverage the images of a protest by Liverpool fans making a strategic exit will simple fade as to nothing by comparison.

Jurgen Klopp Liverpool fans ticket prices protest Dortmund

Jurgen Klopp witnessed a similar fans protest in Dortmund in 2012 (Photo: Flickr)

Still, what do we expect of Liverpool fans? Certainly not a view of the big picture. They’re still reminding Jordan Henderson he’s not Steven Gerrard (a fact of which I am certain he’s fully aware already) every week, and wishing it was 1984 again. The timing of the protest by Liverpool fans just displays a lack of tactical awareness which mirrors that often seen on the pitch lately. Jurgen Klopp may have brought new hope to Anfield, but the light is still at the end of the tunnel some way off.

Those in the UK gambling news of this protest by Liverpool fans might change Premier League ticket pricing policies are almost as deluded as those taking part in this mistimed march out. The limited number of seats available in any stadium means the clubs can pretty much charge whatever they like and find takers, and with so many owned by larger corporate business interests that’s precisely what they do. However there is a cloud on the horizon even for these profitable greed machines.

US Owners Unlikely to Notice on Super Bowl Weekend

The average age of a Premier League match goer has been steadily climbing and is now 41, the increase in prices meaning the younger, less well paid fans, are simply priced out of the market. However in the UK the economic situation is changing, with this generation the first to know full well it will be worse off than the one before, their jobs less secure, their wages down, their cost of living up. Will these fans of the future be able to afford the prices even in their middle age?

Kop Stand Anfield Road Liverpool Supporters Walkout Ticket Prices

The Kop Stand expected to look like this in the last minutes against Sunderland

The Premier League likes to tell us that 13% of those attending games are children, and that 70% of fans will at some point take their kids along to a game, but those kids aren’t going to be able to afford to do the same when they grow up, and that’s even if we’re gambling news of this protest by Liverpool fans (most especially the boys from “The Spirit Of Shankly” and “Sion Kop 1906”, two supporters groups) will actually register on the US owners this weekend at all.

Bet365 is giving the Panthers 10/23 against the Broncos’ 19/10, both of which are better odds than the protest by Liverpool fans has of successfully reversing the price increase, a season ticket now set to cost some 1,029 GBP (that’s 1,500 dollars a season). It’ll only be a matter of time before local lifelong fans will simply not be able to afford attending this traditional British weekend sporting event, and whilst the Fenway Sports Group will probably never care, at least on any other weekend they might have noticed.

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