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Clubs must compromise on ticket prices says Lyon president

09 February 2016, 21:30

Paris - Lyon president Jean Michel Aulas predicted Tuesday that market logic would prevail in the Premier League ticket price rift because full stadiums make exciting football, which in turn makes exciting and lucrative television.

"In football one of the fundamental elements is the presence inside the stadium of a certain amount of spectators," Aulas said, when asked his views on the 77 ($112, 99 euros) it will cost for the most expensive match ticket at Liverpool next season.

At Anfield on Saturday over 10,000 Liverpool supporters left Anfield in the 77th minute (to relate to the 77 ticket) of the 2-2 draw with Sunderland in protest at the hike in price.

Club great Jamie Carragher joined in and was pictured on social media posing with a fan outside the ground.

Also read: It's now or never for Leicester in this odds-defying season

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says the club's owners are keen to resolve the row.

"What I know is everyone in the club has a big interest in finding a solution for this," he said on Monday.

"It is not what we want, we don't want the people leaving the stadium before the game is finished."

Former Newcastle United striker Alan Shearer used his role on the BBC's flagship 'Match of the Day' programme to condemn clubs for raising prices.

For Aulas, club owners need to listen to rumblings of discontent from the terraces.

"When the price is right something happens when you get a full stadium, and that makes for better television and more television revenue," explained Aulas, who was attending a two day European Club Association ECA meeting in Paris.

"A balance has to be found. And if there is this reaction today from supporters groups obviously the club directors will realise it."

Aulas said he felt that there was so much money in England because clubs had invested, but that without the famously enthusiastic English fans they might see a turn around in affairs.

"They are lucky to have such massive television revenues," he said.

"Much higher ones that in other countries. However that's because they have invested in that. In the game, on stadiums, on the atmosphere and fans have a great deal to do with that atmosphere so clubs will realise it's in their interests to find the right balance."

At the same meeting AC Milan director Umberto Gandini also expressed admiration for the Premier League and its colossal revenue, but pointed a finger at the competitive roll commercial revenues had on certain clubs.

"It's an amazing league and has consistently high revenues. If you look how revenues are distributed at English clubs it's a situation of real equality," he said.

"Sponsorships and commercial revenues however are what makes the difference, it makes a difference to some clubs who want to compete but don't have maybe the same level of sponsoring.

Sky and BT Sport's blockbuster 5.14 billion domestic TV rights deal kicks in at the start of next season, with the sale of overseas rights, expected to be confirmed in the coming weeks, set to swell that figure to 8 billion (10.2 billion euros and 11.5 billion dollars) for the period 2016-2019.

English top-flight clubs broke new ground by shelling out 870 million on new talent in the 2015 close-season transfer window, a rise of four percent on the previous record, established the previous summer.



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