Here is FSG’s open letter to the supporters, it’s worth reading in order to appreciate the whole package being offered:

 

Dear Liverpool supporters,

It has been a tumultuous week. On behalf of everyone at Fenway Sports Group and Liverpool Football Club, we would like to apologise for the distress caused by our ticket pricing plan for the 2016-17 season.

The three of us have been particularly troubled by the perception that we don’t care about our supporters, that we are greedy, and that we are attempting to extract personal profits at the club’s expense. Quite the opposite is true.

From our first days as owners we have understood that serving as custodians of this incredible institution is a distinct privilege and as such, we have been driven solely by the desire to return LFC to the pinnacle of football. In the world of modern football, growing the club in a sustainable way is essential to realising this objective.

To that end, we have never taken a single penny out of the football club. Instead we have injected vast sums of our own money to improve the playing squad and modernise LFC’s infrastructure – exemplified by the £120million advance from FSG to build the new Main Stand. This massive undertaking was made in order to provide more supporters access to Anfield and also to produce additional revenue to help us compete financially with clubs that have greater resources. When it opens in August this year, the stand will accomplish those goals, thereby fulfilling a promise we made upon acquiring LFC in 2010.

We were strongly engaged in the process to develop the ticketing plan for 2016-17. We met directly with representatives of LFC’s Supporters’ Committee and along with LFC management, wholeheartedly agreed with major concerns raised, notably: access for local and young supporters; engagement and access to Anfield for local children; access to Premier League matches for those in Liverpool most challenged by affordability.

We believe the plan successfully addressed these concerns and are disappointed that these elements have been either lost or, worse, characterised as cynical attempts to mask profiteering in the plan as a whole. Rather, we prefer to look at them as the parts of the ticketing plan we got right.

On the other hand, part of the ticketing plan we got wrong.

In addition to the other elements of the plan we proposed price increases on a number of tickets. These pricing actions generated growth in general admission ticketing revenue on a like-for-like basis exclusive of revenue from newly-added GA seats.

We believed by delivering a vastly improved seat offering in what will be the newest stand in English football, concentrating the price increases on those tickets typically purchased by fans least sensitive to affordability, and for LFC to begin repaying the £120million advance from FSG for the new Main Stand that these increases were supportable even in the context of growth in revenues from the new Premier League TV deal.

However, the widespread opposition to this element of the plan has made it clear that we were mistaken.

A great many of you have objected strongly to the £77 price level of our most expensive GA seats and expressed a clear expectation that the club should forego any increased revenue from raising prices on GA tickets in the current environment.

Message received.

After an intense period of consultation with LFC management we have decided to make major revisions to our ticketing structure for 2016-17:

Removal of game categorisation – regardless of the opposition fans will pay the same price for matchday tickets.
The pricing of tickets will be readjusted to result in zero revenue growth from GA ticketing on a like-for-like basis.
Though individual ticket prices may move marginally from this season, we are freezing our 2016-17 GA ticket revenue at the 2015-16 level exclusive of newly-added seats in the new Main Stand.
The price of our highest general admission ticket will be frozen at the 2015-16 level – £59.
The price of our highest season ticket will be frozen at the 2015-16 level – £869. The lowest price reducing a further £25 from the 2015-16 level to £685, as well as all other tiers being frozen or reduced.
£9 GA seats will be offered for each and every Premier League match, an allocation of more than 10,000 tickets across the season.

We would hasten to add that the other initiatives announced last week in the 2016-17 plan will remain:

17-21 young adult concession – 20,000 tickets across the Premier League season available at a 50 per cent reduction for young people.
1,000 tickets to Premier League matches across the season will be given away free of charge to Liverpool schoolchildren based on merit, as recommended by their teachers.

As a sign of our commitment to this improved ticketing structure, we are further announcing that this plan shall be in effect for both the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons. For the next two seasons, LFC will not earn a single additional pound from increasing general admission ticket prices.

We believe we have demonstrated a willingness to listen carefully, reconsider our position, and act decisively. The unique and sacred relationship between Liverpool Football Club and its supporters has always been foremost in our minds. It represents the heartbeat of this extraordinary football club.

More than any other factor by far, that bond is what drives us to work tirelessly on behalf of the club and its future. We have great conviction in our world-class manager and our young, talented squad and know that in time the on-pitch success we all crave will be realised.

We look forward to sharing in that success with you.

John W Henry, Tom Werner, Mike Gordon

 

As distasteful as the walkout was I think it’s hard to deny the surprisingly prominent regional, national and international media coverage it achieved helped to bring about a swift and thorough response from FSG. They’ve clearly taken umbrage with being labelled as greedy and are seeking to nip that notion in the bud. You’d think, from this letter that FSG just selflessly pump money into Liverpool, asking for nothing in return. I can assure you they have enough income streams connected to the club to prevent them freezing to death on cold winter nights.

As for the revised ticketing structure, I know many will be going over the figures to make sure there is no sting in the tail somewhere. On the face of it, though, I think it could be used as a window of opportunity to put a more sustainable ticketing strategy in place. A freeze in ticket prices is not a reduction in existing high prices and this will be an issue for some. However, more free and lower priced tickets are being made available to younger supporters in the local area and these are the people we really need to be looking after so that is a positive. I suggest we use the two seasons with the ticketing price freeze to get all interested parties around the table to form a proper longterm pricing plan, as should’ve been done in the first place. If the fan groups approve the latest price plan, which I hope they do in all honesty (should there be no unseen catch with it), we can hopefully see the end to walkouts and such demonstrations.

 

Comments

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warrior18
Member

I have to say, i certainly did not expect this reaction from the owners, rather a silence and hope it goes away attitude. People will always be wary of the owners of their club and we’re no different but i must say i’m pleasantly surprised by this response, if it’s all genuine and with no hidden catches of course.

ezanih
Member

Red Uncle, FSG’s statement also seemed to affirm what Ian Ayre said – that the 77 pounds tickets only affected the best and most expensive seats and so, only affected the wealthiest ticket holders which overall (said Ian) did not even amount to 1% of the whole ticket sale. So I failed to understand the walkout by the general fans when the high price tickets only affected a minute number of fans. And make no mistake, FSG pumped-in millions of pounds almost every season from Kenny to Brendan Rodger’s 2014/5 season after we successfully made the CL and now under Jurgen. And that excludes building that new stand.
What I’m trying to say is why the majority of the fans are complaining when the high-priced tickets only affected less than 1% of the seats (the newest and the most expensive). Add to that we have inflation and rising prices and a declining world economy. Maybe there may be a few things I don’t understand about the local area over there at the Kop so perhaps you could enlighten me.

KLOPPite
Member

There is always a level of skepticism to even cynicism about the owners, as evidenced even in your comments about them not “…freezing to death…”
Of course they will want repayment of that zero interest £120m loan for the stand. But NO INTEREST. Of course they will proffer when it is open and they have more ticket sales, but that is only logical.
They seem to be unlike those crooks at ManU, the Glazers who have leveraged the scum to the hilt and take whenever they can and even when they can’t (couldn’t happen to a nicer club).

Huytonian
Member

I’m going to have to do a U-turn like FSG. I didn’t think the walk out was the right way to protest about ticket prices but I can see now that by fans making a dramatic gesture the problem has come to a speedy resolution rather than dragging on.

DB-99
Member

I hope the fans respond in kind to FSG’s response.

Koped49
Member

There may be bigger issues here, it’s about time clubs took on these blood suckers, the agents, they drain so much money out of the game. Player on huge amounts of money for do something a lot of guys do for nothing, or even pay to turn out for there clubs, all be it at a lot, less of a standard. But football all the same, I personally can no longer afford to go to anfield each home game, ad I live in another county. So it is not just the ticket price it is a matter of getting there buying something to eat and drink, last time I was able to go the ticket cost me forty pound fuel etc as I said and I got no change out £120.00. So well done the fans, but you also have to think of the owners, and I personally think the on we have are not to bad

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