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Published: 15:30 | 4/2/16

Liverpool fans plan stadium walkout

Supporters’ groups ask fans to leave Sunderland game early

Supporters' groups are urging fans to leave Anfield in the 77th minute of Liverpool's match with Sunderland in protest at ticket price increases.

The top-priced ticket in the newly reconstructed main stand has been set at £77, up from £59, and Spirit of Shankly and Spion Kop 1906, the two most prominent Liverpool fan organisations, have decided the time is right to protest against the ever-increasing cost of supporting a team.

Upon announcing the new pricing structures this week, Liverpool claimed that 64% of season tickets would decrease or freeze, and highlighted a limited initiative whereby local fans could buy tickets for as little as £9, but the very limited nature of these cut-price tickets has seen it being dismissed.

“There are some small reductions but the news overall is that prices are going up by quite large amounts,” a Spirit of Shankly spokesman said. “This is despite the fact that the club promised to work with supporters’ groups and take their views on board. In dealings we have had with the club the people at Anfield have always been reasonable and approachable, our frustration at these unnecessary price hikes is entirely with the owners. We believe the decision making here has come from Boston [where the owners, Fenway Sports Group, are based].

“There have been demonstrations at Anfield before, but never a walkout protest. It is something of a first and we have no idea how it will go, but one thing that is certain is that hundreds of supporters and season-ticket holders are furious about the prices going up again.

"If as many people walk out as have contacted us over the last couple of days the effect will be noticeable. We are obviously not taking this decision lightly, we are supporters of the club after all, but this is now a moment in time for fans to show how they feel about constantly being asked to fork out more.

"If people do not take this opportunity to register a protest we will be seen to be accepting of the price rises and the moment will have passed.”

Liverpool's chief executive Ian Ayre meanwhile has defended the new prices.

“What is affordable to one person is different to another,” he said. “With that in mind we tried to create a range of prices. We have listened to fans’ concerns and come up with some new initiatives, and we hope there is something for all.”

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