Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp insists that the current disillusionment showcased by fans towards rising ticket prices is also his problem as the club search for a satisfactory solution. As many as 10,000 members of the home crowd deserted Anfield in the 77th minute of a 2-2 draw with lowly Sunderland on 6 February as part of a pre-planned protest organised by Spion Kop 1906 and backed by fellow supporters group Spirit of Shankly.
Such a response was motivated by last week's announcement of a new pricing initiative that will see some matchday tickets in the Main Stand, the expansion of which is expected to increase the capacity by 8,500 seats, valued at £77 ($111) from 2016/17.
The highest season ticket cost will now be in excess of £1,000, and although those plans also confirmed that 64% of season ticket prices will be decreased or frozen in addition to a reduction of 45% on matchday tickets and a renewed focus on increasing numbers of young local fans, many feel that Liverpool have wasted the chance to introduce a more affordable system in light of the bumper £5.1bn television rights windfall that is set to kick in from next season.
Klopp did not witness the mass walkout against Sunderland first hand as he missed the match in order to undergo surgery following a bout of appendicitis. The German will return to the touchline on Tuesday (9 February) as his side visit Upton Park for an FA Cup fourth-round replay against Premier League rivals West Ham, and admits he was disappointed when he heard about the problem.
"It's not too easy for me to say much about it," Klopp was quoted as saying by the Liverpool Echo at his pre-match press conference. "I heard about this problem, of course, but I had a lot of things to do in the last few weeks.
"Now I know it's my problem too of course, but everything I could say about this now would make it more complicated because I have to first of all collect information. What I know is that everybody in the club has a big interest to find a solution for this. It's not what we want, of course. We don't want the people to leave the stadium before the game is finished. That's it. That's all I can say about this. When I heard it I was disappointed."
Liverpool had earlier scheduled a social media question and answer session involving both fans and chief executive Ian Ayre in order to address ticketing concerns on Monday evening, but the club have now cancelled those plans.
"LFC thanks fans for submitting questions for tonight's Q&A however due to ongoing ticketing discussions, this will no longer take place," the Reds confirmed in a short statement released via their official Twitter account.