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From The Socialist newspaper, 17 February 2016

Liverpool fans score victory v 77 ticket hike

The Kop stand at Anfield stadium, Liverpool, photo by Jay Clark (Creative Commons)

The Kop stand at Anfield stadium, Liverpool, photo by Jay Clark (Creative Commons)   (Click to enlarge)

Dave Walsh, Liverpool FC supporter

Liverpool Football Club has backed down over ticket price hikes after thousands of fans walked out during a match.

Fenway Sports Group, Liverpool's US-based owner, had announced eye-watering increases. A season ticket in Anfield's rebuilt main stand would cost up to 1,029, with match day tickets up to 77. Supporters' groups were outraged.

After the 1989 Hillsborough crowd crush disaster and the cover-up which followed, Liverpool fans have known the importance of being organised to make themselves heard.

Earlier this season a protest took place before the side's game with Manchester United involving three groups: the Blacklist Support Group, the Hillsborough Justice Campaign and the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign. Liverpool's new stand is being built by Carillion, heavily involved in blacklisting trade unionists.

Walkout

To protest against 77 tickets, supporters' groups Spion Kop 1906 and Spirit of Shankly called for a 77th minute walkout during the match against Sunderland on 6 February. This call found an echo among fans and over 10,000 walked out.

Recognising the strength of feeling, Fenway Sports immediately backed down and apologised. It has frozen ticket prices for two years, and said the most expensive ticket will remain at 59.

This victory shows that working class people can get big results when we act collectively. Roy Bentham from Spirit of Shankly has received messages of solidarity from supporters' groups across Britain who are planning their own activities.

Sprit of Shankly, Spion Kop 1906 and the Liverpool Disabled Supporters' Association have arranged a follow-up meeting on 20 February to discuss a range of issues that affect supporters.

Supporters' meeting

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In The Socialist 17 February 2016:


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