Mails: Is Liverpool’s U-turn really a win?

Date published: Thursday 11th February 2016 2:55

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Cheers, Sunderland
In regards to the Anfield walkout and the boards subsequent reaction, I think the result of the game against Sunderland helped immensely. It could be argued otherwise but the protest seemed to destabilise the team and showed how important the “12th man is”. How many points would this cost Liverpool over the course of a season? Hopefully someone else can do the hard work and analyse this properly, presenting their findings to the mailbox.

Now to keep up with the mailbox theme, I will use a thesaurus to find a word no-one else knows and use it to make myself look clever:

Regardless, the boards response to the protest was fervent (it means heartfelt).

Seamus, Liverpool (Irish not a Scouser)


Victory comes at a cost
There was a graphic on Sky showing that the victory was actually going to cost the fans more for their season tickets as you would have all games raised to the categroy A cost. So instead of a season ticket for 2015/6 costing £1031 (6x£59+10x£53+3x£49) the 2016/7 cost is £1121 (19x£59).

So whilst the club have appeared to back down they have effrectively raised the price of your tickets for 13 games a season and taken another £90 off you.

Without wanting to sound negative or belittle the achievement is it really a victory or just a smaller defeat?


Don’t get carried away
I hate high ticket prices as much as anyone and think it’s great that Liverpool fans achieved what they did. However, it can’t be ignored that a big reason for their “victory” was that the overall loss to Liverpool FC’s earnings was relatively low.

It has been publicised that it was only 200 or so tickets that would be at this price, which means the loss per match for the club of switching them to £59 rather than £77 would be around £3600. It’s probably more than this because I imagine there were some more price points between those two that were also reduced, but with the amounts of money that football clubs make and spend, we can all see that this matchday loss is pretty much insignificant.

I’m not saying it’s not a big win symbolically because it is. A fan protest has caused a club to reduce ticket prices (or at least not increase them), which sets a precedent for the next time this happens at another club. This is massive.

However, if the ticket price increase would have brought in a significant amount of money, I’m not sure they would have backed down so easily. Also, it probably helps that Liverpool FC is in the midst of clusterf**k on the pitch.

What I’m saying is, don’t expect the results of this protest to set a trend quite yet.
Adonis Stevenson, AFC


Stand up for Liverpool fans
Following Liverpool supporter’s successful protest against the ticket prices rise, it is imperative that the fans of rest of the Premier League teams show support of this “win”. The best way I can think of doing this, is if all the fans at Premier League matches (and perhaps even the Championship matches) this weekend stand up and applaud at the 77th minute.
Peter (I still want Villa to beat Liverpool, it’s the hope that kills)


Walk out for Mignolet
FSG are awesome. When the next first shot on target goes in, can we all walk out as a protest against Mignolet?
Yorkie (lfc)


Are cheaper tickets bad news?
All the talk of ticket prices has brought several arguments to the table; the clubs can afford it, but why should they because this is a capitalist market, etc, etc. But has anyone considered that lowering ticket prices will make it LESS likely for the average fan to see their team? Hear me out…

Let’s take John Nicholson’s article. He says tickets should cost £5 – £15 for all regular tickets. Many fans welcome that it would seem, having read various articles. But has anyone actually stepped back and taken time to think about what that actually means for the average fan? For most clubs (correct me if I’m wrong), 75% are season ticket holders. That is already something of a ‘closed shop’, especially at the ‘super clubs’ (of which I am a season ticket holder). So if we reduce tickets to, say £10, I suspect no-one would fail to renew their season ticket because it would be ridiculously cheap. Therefore, no new fans would be able to get their hands on season tickets (and I know for a fact there are some season tickets held by people who have long since passed away, but have been passed to friends/family members). So you have reduced ticket prices and so made it virtually impossible for anyone ‘new’ to get a season ticket. Those who were priced out will never get back in. Is that really what people want?

Now, to the remaining 25% of seats available (of which a fair chunk go to away fans). If those tickets are now priced at £10 each, guess what, a multiple of the people who used to try to get those tickets at the old price will almost certainly go for the newly priced ones. Instead of 10 willing buyers per ticket, that will grow to 20? 50? 100? Fans from overseas, so called ‘day trippers’ and people who just fancy a cheap day out will jump at the chance of £10 tickets. “What shall we do with £10, go to the pub for a couple of pints or try to get a ticket for Arsenal vs. Tottenham?!” The lowering of ticket prices will perversely make it LESS likely for the so called ‘real fans’ to get their hands on tickets.

At the moment, if a fan cannot attend a game at late notice due to illness, social or work event, when they know they are losing £60, you can guarantee they will try to offload it and thus give someone new a chance to go. But with the proposed ticket prices, they are missing out on just £10? Not even worth the bother to try to sell it, just don’t turn up.

It’s true Premier League clubs can afford to offer £10 tickets, they could afford to offer free tickets, hell, they could afford to pay you to go, but that is completely ignoring the adverse consequences.
Dommy S


Leave us alone
Spurs fan. I am very much enjoying the season, but please can people stop talking about us. Pretend you can’t see us. Just replace “Tottenham” with “Liverpool” or “Stoke” or something else whenever we are mentioned.

In the next few weeks our fixtures go- Man City (A), 4 days later Fiorentina (A), 3 days later Palace (H), 4 days later Fiorentina (H), 3 days later Swansea (H), 3 days later West Ham (A), 4 days later A*****l (H). 20 days, 7 games, maximum recovery time of 4 days.

After that run we can see where we are. Right now, nothing to see, nothing to talk about, nothing been done.

Please, please, please. Leave us alone till then. On the 6th March there will be a chance to assess what our season could be.

Now go away
James, Spurs


Popular officials
Nick Miller’s piece on the fourth official made for good reading, even if the revelation that Messrs Robinson, Evans, Mourinho, Faria Poyet and Pardew can be incredibly odious is hardly earth-shattering.  What it made me wonder, though, is are there any managers/coaches out there renowned for having a good and cordial relationship with officials?

When there were allegations of racism surrounding Mark Clattenburg, The Secret Football wrote a column about him, describing his habit of referring to big players by their nicknames and everyone else by their surname, but also mentioning his use of wit to disarm an angry footballer. As TSF pointed out, it’s hard to be irate when you’re trying not to laugh.

The fourth official’s sideline presence is almost unique to football (“unique” in the sense that I can’t think of any others but I’m convinced I’ve forgotten something obvious), because other sports’ extra officials are usually required to oversee replays.  Despite that, there must be some managers/coaches that fourthers don’t dread working with.  Good officiating in any sport is a strong combination of knowledge/interpretation of the rules and rapport with players/managers.   As the excellent Pierluigi Collina profile pointed out, the best of the best referees get players to accept they are right even when they are wrong, and they wouldn’t be able to do that without a good working relationship with the players.

One thing I found from being involved in ice hockey is that officials do what they do through their love of the game, and that out of the heat of battle, most were happy to chat to players, coaches and fans alike.  Many are even happy to explain decisions to fans, providing there isn’t any hostility.  I can’t imagine Phil Dowd wanting to do that somehow.

Given that there are 10 matches in each round of fixtures, each requiring several officials from the same finite pool, it’s likely that clubs will encounter the same officials several times a season.  There must be some allocations that aren’t greeted with a mix of dread and contempt, so has anyone got any examples of what is effectively the opposite of Nick’s article to highlight?
The literary Ed Quoththeraven


Why update on injuries?
After reading the comments from Owen about the never ending Sturridge speculation it got me wondering why clubs release information about player injuries in the first place.

People generally seem unaninmous in their opinion that Sturridge’s situation has naff all to do with anybody but Sturridge and Liverpool.

Surely this is true for every player at every club? I don’t really understand what a club gains by saying ‘Our star player will be out for this many games’. Wouldn’t it be better to keep your opponents guessing? Likewise, wouldn’t it be better to pretend your player wasn’t back from injury, only for the opposing manager to see his name on the teamsheet on matchday, leaving his best laid plans in tatters?

Even away from the pitch, surely documenting the injury woes of a player in the press hurts his transfer value when you try to bung him to some other bugger in the league. So why do clubs do it? Is it a rule somewhere?

Dan (Incidentally, I feel like the headline vs the content in that article was easily Mediawatch worthy)


Why great players are usually crap managers
I read Rio’s words this morning and just wanted to say I’m tired of Giggs being touted for the United job (and mostly by his mates). Apart from having the charisma of a stuffed chicken and his top-flight management experience being limited to watching Fergie do it (because that worked so well for Robson, Ince, Hughes, Bruce, Keane, Sheringham, Neville and even McClaren and Queiroz) and a subsequent close-up view of two failing regimes (not sure how valuable that is), it’s ignoring one golden rule of management: great players tend to make crap managers.

The best managers tend to be people who were the top level’s more limited players and foils for others brilliance: no-nonsense defenders (Pochettino), base midfielders (Guardiola, Simeone), people that never even made the grade (Mourinho) or the more basic of attackers (Ferguson was a goal scorer but not exactly considered skillful). This is because they had to rely on their hard work and reading of the game to make up for what they lacked in skill and natural ability. Even Alladyce has a limited style that reflects his limited ability as a footballer but does enough to get you there.

In comparison, the more talented footballers will either tend to take their abilities for granted and get frustrated at others falling short (Hoddle, for example, was widely known for deliberately humiliating England players in training) and therefore pay less attention to detail, or they are unable to make that switch to the dugout for lack of personal glory (hi everyone in the warm, cosy Sky box).

Obviously there are exceptions – I don’t believe Savage could be Clough Mk II, Neville was the epitome of the hard-work-compensates-for-natural-ability player (although he is in Spain and I’d like to see him try again in England), Daglish didn’t exactly do badly – but anytime people like Giggs gets touted for the top jobs without any proper managerial experience I cringe.
David P, Manchester exile


Choking on cup romance
Have to agree with Flash551ft from this morning’s mailbox on the BBC coverage of the FA Cup, it has been slightly nauseating this season in the way they have tried to ram the romance down our throats. The matches they’ve shown have been pretty good without the need to force a narrative. The Salford ties earlier in the season were good but it was quite clear who the Beeb wanted to win.

In the 3rd round replay of Leicester v Spurs it was cringeworthy as Jonathan Pearce fawned over Leicester’s play, giving us biographies of each player, as all the while Spurs were outplaying the Foxes. And the interviews on the pitch at half time with Leicester players as if it was some kind of potential giant-killing (Leicester were – and still are – above Spurs in the league!).

And last night was similar. I love the BBC and their sporting coverage but this season’s FA Cup has been a bit off-putting.
Kevin G


Juan wish
I read with interest the gossip today about the yet (unsubstantiated) rumours of Jose taking charge of Man United and looking to sell Juan Mata

As a Chelsea fan who was delighted with the reception that Juan received when he was substituted at the weekend – I would love it if there was even the smallest possibility of us re-signing Mata if the above does come to fore.

We have never replaced the goals and creativity from AM since selling Juan, and required Hazard to step up massively last season towards the title. Oscar is just far too inconsistent and whilst on his day he can be fantastic – these days just do not happen often enough and it is often like having another defensive midfielder defending from the front. With Juan back in the centre and providing we keep Hazard on the left and Willian on the right – this would be much more balanced than what we have at the moment

It may be the only shining light to come from Jose taking over at United….
Stephen (Juan day it may happen…)


Simeone to Arsenal?
Having read your piece on 5 managers who could come to the Premier League it suddenly occurred to me. Next season our little league could have all of; Pep Guardiola, Jurgen Klopp, Arsene Wenger, Pocchetino, Jose Mourinho and of course Claudio Ranieri. That is eye-wateringly amazing. All those managers in one league?! Has anything more remarkable ever happened? I don’t think anyone is going to be able to predict what will happen.

The second thing that occurred to me in all the fuss about Pep going to Citeh (rather than replacing Wenger at Arsenal of course) is that Diego Simeone could well be the ideal replacement for Arsene. I am fairly sure that with all that lot in the league next season Wenger won’t be retiring at the end of this season but he could be marked to replace him at the end of next. His attacking style will suit us and he will re-introduce our old tough way we used to play.
JazGooner (probably getting a bit excited because of Super Duper Sunday coming up)


Postcard from China
Chinese football. The standard isn’t very high for reasons of general Chinese culture. The best players won’t get chosen unless they or more specifically their family have connections, which is practically everything Chinese,(in a country of well over a billion people if you don’t think they have quality here you are stupid), there is a feeling that this is changing, but it will take time to come to fruition.

A previous Mail said big money transfers recently have come from a big company, this is partly true, except that the company (suning) is government owned. The government is clearly trying to improve the league. I would guess with none other than financial and possibly social reasons… They want the World Cup and they don’t want to be left out.

The problem will come when they have already paid lesser names huge amounts they don’t deserve and realize it can’t be sustained if they want to keep attracting bigger names.(this is possibly a big maybe).

China’s boom has advanced far more infrastructure wise than it has socially, and it will be interesting to see how long these big(ish) names last. I for one no matter the money imagine Rooney surviving here.
Luke (in China) Chengdu


Talking s***
Relating to manager Steve Evans complaining about a decision he hadn’t seen because “he was having a wee at the time” – according to Private Eye, Michael Gray on Channel 5 came out with this genius commentary. “Steve Evans, the Leeds manager, missed the goal as he’d gone to the toilet. He had to ask his number two what happened.”
Rick Spangle

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