By North-west correspondent Alex Stevens
Liverpool have made a stunning U-turn on their controversial ticket price hike, the club announced on Wednesday evening.
In a remarkable triumph for supporters, the Merseysiders’ owners have written an open letter of apology and frozen current prices for the next two seasons.
Up to 10,000 walked out of Anfield at the 77-minute point last Saturday, in protest to increase the most expensive seats in the new Main Stand from £59 to £77 next season.
It followed an afternoon of angry chants against Liverpool supremos Fenway Sports Group, branding them “greedy b******s”.
Although nearly 6,000 supporters were present at West Ham for Tuesday’s FA Cup replay, which the visitors lost 2-1, there were once again a number of banners against Americans FSG.
Principal owner John W Henry and his partners were dismayed at the abuse aimed towards them and have scrapped planned price hikes.
They have also removed “categorising” games against the top sides, meaning prices will be the same for all fixtures.
It also sees season ticket costs held at £869, rather than rising to over £1,000, and the new structure will remain for the following 2017-18 season.
In an unprecedented move, Henry — along with partners Tom Werner and Mike Gordon — said a heartfelt sorry to fans, in a letter addressed to all supporters.
“It has been a tumultuous week and on behalf of everyone at FSG and Liverpool FC we would like to apologise for the distress caused by our pricing plan,” the letter read.
“The three of us have been particularly troubled by the perception we don’t care about our supporters, are greedy, and are attempting to extract personal profits at the club’s expense. Quite the opposite is true.
“From our first days as owners we have been driven solely by the desire to return LFC to the pinnacle of football.
“We have never taken a single penny out of the club and have injected vast sums of our own money to improve the squad and modernize LFC’s infrastructure.
“That was exemplified by the £120million advance from FSG to build the Main Stand.
“We believe the plan addressed these concerns but on the other hand, part of the ticketing plan we got wrong.
“The widespread opposition to this element of the plan has made it clear that we were mistaken.
“A great many of you objected strongly to the £77 of most expensive seats and expressed expectation the club should forego increased revenue from raising prices in the current environment — message received.”
It is a massive victory for people power, and the first steps in a growing nationwide campaign about ever-soaring ticket prices.