Liverpool fans who were facing the prospect of paying €119 to see their team away in the Champions League semi-final have criticised the Catalan club’s extortionate pricing.
That high price will be reduced by Liverpool, who will subsidise travelling Reds by €31, reducing the cost of their tickets to €88. The club says they will recoup this by charging Barcelona fans €119 for their visit to Anfield.
Liverpool supporter group Spirit of Shankly (SoS) welcomed the discount but are apprehensive about their club’s use of ‘revenge pricing’.
Revenge pricing is a tactic that has been used by Manchester United in similar circumstances in previous seasons, most notably in their two-legged tie against Sevilla.
SoS said: “Spirit of Shankly understand why the club have done this, and appreciate the consideration shown for our support, but we are massively opposed to this type of arrangement.
“The reduction comes at the expense of the travelling Barcelona supporters. In effect, fans are being ripped off to subsidise other fans being ripped off. Two wrongs do not make a right.”
The cost of away tickets in European competition has been a growing issue in recent seasons and pressure from supporters has begun to take its toll, with UEFA admitting there was a serious problem and promising to address it back in December 2018.
“We know about the problem,” said UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin. “It would be good to do something to cap prices.
“It’s absolutely not correct that away fans are being charged five times more than the local ones.”
Back in 2018, Belgian club RSC Anderlecht were ordered by UEFA to compensate Bayern Munich’s away fans hit by the club’s price gouging after they were over-charged by €30. This took the away ticket price for that fixture up to €100.
In last season’s Europa League, Arsenal supporters were facing £79 away tickets in their away tie against Atletico Madrid. However, the club stepped in to help travelling Gunners, making sure they paid no more than home fans (£36).
Spirit of Shankly support the growing case for the introduction of away ticket price caps in UEFA’s club competitions.
“We do believe, however, that as a minimum this should reflect the current price of away tickets in the Premier League of £30,” they said.
“The subsidised cost of tickets for Camp Nou is still astronomical, and at a time of the season when fans need to find money to renew their season tickets on top of travelling for Premier League games.
“Success comes with expense, but that does not have to mean extortion – Barcelona’s pricing structure for this stage of the Champions League is an elitist joke. We ask that LFC, in future, are at the forefront of speaking up for the fans for a fairer price policy.”
Thanks to PA Images for the image used in this article.