Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Europa League: Price is not right for LIVERPOOL FC

Football - Shakhtar Donetsk v Werder Bremen UEFA Cup FinalRECENT POST: It's not just Rafa Benitez that could cost Liverpool FC a Champions League place  

NO Liverpool fan can be happy at the prospect of playing in the Europa League.
Accepting of it, maybe. But happy? Given the circumstances of why Liverpool are playing there - Champions League failure - it's doubtful in the extreme.

So you'd think the least the club could do is give the fans a fair deal when it comes to ticket prices, wouldn't you? Well you would think wrong.

Tickets for the game against Unirea on February 18 are £32.

Two days earlier, Everton take on Sporting Lisbon at Goodison. Tickets are available to season ticket holders for £21. Same city, same competition, £11 cheaper.

Putting predictable jokes about stadiums and quality of football aside, this is a serious point. Have the club totally lost touch with their support? Do they think fans will blindly pay whatever price they dream up for Europe's second-rate competition?

Factor in that the game is likely to be televised, and it's a recipe for a poor gate. No support, no atmosphere. No atmosphere, players less motivated?

One argument offered is demand. Is the decision down to simple economics? Unlikely. Everton attracted a crowd of around the 30,000 mark for their game with Benfica in the Europa League and a similar gate for their FA Cup game with Carlisle.

Liverpool pulled in just 31,000 for the FA Cup replay with Reading.

On that evidence it would seem the less valued the competition is, the less fans there are through the turnstiles.

It seems the club is shooting itself in the foot for a cheap buck when in the long term, cheaper prices, and therefore bigger gates, could help push Liverpool into the later stages of the competition.

The Daily Post & Echo have been informed of the discrepancy - hopefully they will take the club to task on it.