Liverpool: Stop taking fans for granted, says ex-boss Evans

Liverpool fans make their feelings known
Several thousand Liverpool fans walked out of Saturday's match with Sunderland in protest at rising ticket prices

Liverpool must stop taking fans "for granted", says former boss Roy Evans as the ticket row rumbles on.

Thousands of Reds supporters protested against planned increases in ticket prices at Anfield by walking out of Saturday's game with Sunderland.

"It's got to stop being all about money and go back to being a sport," Evans told BBC Radio 5 live.

"I hope Liverpool are big enough to work it out. It seems ridiculous that prices go up."

Evans, who managed the club in the 1990s, added: "They can't keep taking the supporters for granted.

"I hope it doesn't become a massive saga and that Liverpool Football Club itself realises it's the principle of the matter at the end of the day."

Liverpool cancelled a question and answer session with supporters and chief executive Ian Ayre on Monday night as a result on "ongoing ticket discussions".

Liverpool fans make their feelings known
Liverpool fans are protesting about a £77 top-priced ticket

Liverpool were leading Sunderland 2-0 before Saturday's walkout, but conceded two goals in the final 13 minutes to draw 2-2.

Fans started heading for the exits on 77 minutes, in protest at the £77 top-priced ticket in the new main stand next season.

Gareth Roberts, who edits The Anfield Wrap,external-link told 5 live: "The football really took a back seat.

"Ten to fifteen thousand turning their backs on the team is unprecedented in the history of the club.

"Fans who go week in, week out, feel like they can play a part in what goes on on the pitch, so to just walk away shows enough is enough."

He added: "It's really pierced the football bubble. It seems more than ever before people are saying the fans are right. Why should fans be taxed for their loyalty?"

The Football Supporters' Federationexternal-link says Premier League clubs now have enough financial clout to ease the burden on fans.

"I think we've reached a bit of a turning point," FSF chairman Malcolm Clarke told 5 live.

"Clubs could let everyone in for free all season and still have more money than they had last season with the current TV rights deal.

"People are beginning to realise the sheer size of the income being brought in by the new television deal.

"Fans are saying they should start to get some of the benefits because it wouldn't be a very marketable product without them."

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