Jamie Carragher has slammed Liverpool's ticket-price hike as unfair and said that every fan should be able to enjoy the best seats at Anfield.
The former Reds centre-back joined the protest against raised ticket prices—which are set to be as much as £77 each in the new main stand next season—during Saturday's 2-2 draw against Sunderland, when around 10,000 fans in Anfield left the stadium on 77 minutes, per BBC Sport.
Carragher, writing in his Daily Mail column, compared the Premier League's rising ticket prices to winning the lottery and not immediately looking after your family, and urged Liverpool to introduce fairer fees:
People have said to me since [the walkout] "it’s ok for you on your big wages, that’s why the prices are so high." I was paid well, yes, but I was there for 17 years and in comparison to some of the other players who were in that squad, it was fair.
That’s what you want ticket prices to be: fair. I know the increase will not impact on me but I also know plenty about my city—£77 is too much to watch a game anywhere but that price is particularly over the top in Liverpool. [...]
All this for the sake of £2 million for the ninth richest club in the world. [...]
The club say that £77 gets you the best seat in the newest stand in the country but why should that be an elitist thing? Why can’t the normal working man have the chance to sit there? It isn’t fair.
The Sky Sports pundit said the walkout "wasn’t a nice experience," but believes it had an effect on the club's owners, Fenway Sports Group.
Indeed, FSG are reportedly now carrying out "urgent talks" in an attempt to address the unrest with Liverpool's fans, per Paul Joyce in the Express.
The new ticket prices were revealed last week and saw the highest ticket price in the newly developed main stand at Anfield rise to the £77 mark from a previous high of £59. Meanwhile, the most expensive season ticket will, for the first time, be more than £1,000, per PA Sport's Carl Markham (via MailOnline).
The blame for the high prices was immediately put at FSG's door, but prices are rising all across the Premier League, and the Football Supporters’ Federation is now attempting to organise a widespread walkout of matches in protest, per the Guardian.
Despite the huge influx of cash each Premier League club is set to receive as a result of the new mammoth TV deal, ticket prices remain among the highest in Europe, per the Daily Mail's Ian Ladyman:
MailOnline Sport @MailSport
Premier League clubs have £8bn reasons to cut ticket prices NOW | @Ian_Ladyman_DM https://t.co/HDtzlgO5Em https://t.co/U6P4a3mwzZ2016-2-9 09:15:04
Per Markham, Liverpool's cheapest season ticket next year will cost £685. At Barcelona's Camp Nou, the lowest current option is £74—a £611 difference—to have the privilege of watching arguably the greatest front three of all time—Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar—play every other week.
Watching Pep Guardiola's superlative Bayern Munich outfit can cost as little as £104 a season, while even Real Madrid, a club renowned for its extravagance, offers a significantly cheaper £166 season ticket than the best value Premier League option—Watford's £232 per term, per Ladyman.
The discrepancy is baffling and, as Carragher rightly stated, the fans of Liverpool and all other Premier League clubs deserve better, fairer prices.