From walkouts to tennis balls Ger Deegan reports on a week in which football fans united against ticket pricing around Europe.
Last Saturday seen over 10,000 Liverpool fans walkout of Anfield in a boycott against the clubs scandalous pricing of tickets. Men, women and children were all united in one thing, one thought: enough is enough.
Growing up as a kid nothing would excite you more than going down ‘the match’ with Dad, to watch your local team play out an enthralling 90 minutes of football. 90 minutes that would make you forget about the burdens of life. Whether it was to relieve the stress after a hard weeks work or on the contrary, make you escape from the reality of not being able to find work, nothing quite beats it.
Families would meet up once a week, forget everything and roar to the gods in unison, no matter their problems they were facing outside the stadiums boundaries. An hour and a half of raw emotion.
Football prides itself on being a working class game, played by working class people. The fact that you might be able to go to watch Salford and shout at your butcher for misplacing a ten yard pass, is what makes this game what it is. The connection and rapport built up with a squad of 20 men who can ultimately decide what mood you are in for the rest of the week, is something special.
However, this fairytale is slowly coming to a miserable end. The passion for the game is dying, among professional players, who would rather gloat around in their flash new BMW rather than put their body on the line for the cause. The hunger doesn’t seem to be there anymore.
Since the influx of foreign investment into Europe what they’d like you to think is that the game is better than ever. These Sheikh billionaires and American business tycoons want us to believe that what they are doing is for the benefit of their chosen clubs. Bullshit. It’s nothing but a money spinner to fill their ever expanding pockets.
It’s gotten to a stage were these ‘professional football club owners’ (offshore investors) are getting so greedy and hungry in order to line their own back pockets that they are pricing the actual supporters out of the game.
Who gave you the fucking right to charge anybody £77 to watch a game of football? Who gave you the right to expect someone who slaves away five days a week in a factory to pay you £77 to watch a game of football? In their city? A football club, that they have helped build, through countless years of paying through the turnstiles. It’s sickening and it’s vile.
On Saturday afternoon, Liverpool fans made a statement. They decided, no. Not anymore. The 10,000 or so fans who walked out of Anfield in the 77th minute of their home tie with Sunderland have received plaudits all around Britain.
Jamie Carragher, (who ironically now works for Sky, a brand which quite clearly hasn’t helped the ticket pricing situation), was also in full support of his former clubs decision to protest.
Liverpool aren’t the only clubs in recent times who have displayed their anger with ticket pricing in football. Manchester City fans famously protested at ‘The Emirates’ a couple of years back with a banner stating, ‘£62, when will it stop?’. This was aimed at the £62 pound charged into Arsenals home ground for away fans in 2014. A banner which was also displayed by Liverpool fans that same season.
On Tuesday night, Borussia Dortmund fans also joined the long list of disgruntled, as they decided firing tennis balls onto the pitch during their sides 3-1 victory at VfB Stuttgart was the best way to get their point across.
A different approach to a banner one might say, but the point still stands. Fans are getting increasingly angry and by the looks of it, won’t budge until the ‘fatcats’ destroying THEIR game, either see sense or… hit the road.
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