Quote Originally Posted by Locutus View Post
I'm probably a little older than most on here and have lived local to the stadium. I have been to almost every game at Anfield for almost 40 years, from when it was the equivalent of 20p to get in. It is now 48 some games, you can do the maths yourself.

I've always been happy about our support in other parts. The more far flung the better. I am concerned a bit about local youths not being able to afford their 'birthright' of a place on the Kop. An important part of the appeal to me is the unique atmosphere springs form the local working class. The well-being that it creates feeds back into our community.

It costs me around 1000 a season to go to all the games at Anfield and that doesn't take into consideration the travel, food & drink. A season like '06-'07 cost me around 8000 going to everything home and abroad. Watching live football is no longer a working class past time if you live near one of the 'big' clubs.

Sky billions, far from expanding and enriching football, appears to have created football watching deserts near the big clubs. While clubs chase higher gate receipts from the matchgoing fans to pay the ever increasing wages of their heroes on the pitch ( thats where it goes). More locals are falling away from the game.

Inevitably their place is being taken by 'day-trippers' who can afford the 'once in a lifetime' ticket prices. The middle -classes too take up more of the tickets, especially for the prestige games. It leads to the mistaken belief that Out-Of-Towners are to blame, but of course they aren't. They are a symptom of a system that must squeeze as much out of the fans as possible.

FSG have addressed some concerns. They have a business model that buys 'up-and-coming' players and neglected stars and picked a manager who can work that system. They have also reduced prices for the 'hard to sell out' cup games so that parents (usually mums) can take kids to the game. However, premier league seats have steadily increased by two to three times inflation for every year since Moores sold to Hicks and Gillette. Every year that is except this last one which if they had would have broken the 50 ticket barrier.

50 is a figure that makes you think: Can I really afford this? In 2007 I watched us beat Barca at the 'Camp Nou' for 80 which is a little more than that. ( bad seats by the way) and I thought that was a little steep (pun intended for those in the know) joking that it was a 'once in a lifetime' experience.

How prophetic could that phrase be in these times of pay freezes and job losses. After 40 years in which I saw Shankly's Red men and the great man on the touchline (and in the kop), St Etienne, Olympiacos and too many great days and nights to list here, I might consider not going.

It is possible to run a world class league without fleecing the fans. Just look at the Bundesliga where you can watch European cup-winners and finalists for half what you pay here. Better football too most of the time. The problem here is that Sky has called the shots for far too long and their money has made some boardrooms very rich and they (and their equally rich and bought off governing body) don't have the desire to change anything.

I can only hope that the peak has been reached in prices and that our owners plan will bring both the success that we crave and the financial stability to, at the very least, maintain prices where they are. But I'm not naive, I know that global financiers from America didn't come here because they liked our atmosphere or the colour of our kit. They came because they could see the bottom line in a recession proof industry that has gobal market appeal.

Perhaps, in the future, fans at the ground will be completely removed and games will be played out behind closed doors and watched entirely on TV. Perhaps its only local fans like me that are doomed, and will one day be completely replaced by 'day trippers', corporate entertainment and middle-classes.

Whatever happens in the future and wherever I am, I know that I would want my team supported in the way that we have in the past. If that is by more people from afar then so be it. Maybe if our fans from outside the city take away something of us and it grows where they live, it is not Liverpool that has lost, but Liverpool that has grown.
Sky billions, far from expanding and enriching football, appears to have created football watching deserts near the big clubs. While clubs chase higher gate receipts from the matchgoing fans to pay the ever increasing wages of their heroes on the pitch ( thats where it goes). More locals are falling away from the game.
I'm not a sky fan at all but one upside is that it has enabled kids in far reaches of the world to watch live games and get involved. This is so important in places where kids have nothing. Absolutely nothing but imitating Mane or Fowler or Suarez or whoever on a dirt patch with a beaten up ball might be the difference between having a small hope in life or having nothing. If watching LFC on a TV somewhere in Kwa Zulu Natal inspires a child and gives it a pride then thats something - even if it did come via Sky!