Liverpool hike price for Barcelona fans to subsidise own supporters at Camp Nou
Liverpool have taken a cue from Manchester United and hiked prices for away supporters when they host Barcelona in the Champions League semifinals to subsidise tickets for own fans travelling to the Nou Camp.
United increased prices for their quarterfinal tie with Barca when the Spanish club charged £102, which British media reported was the most expensive ticket to a United game outside of a final.
Liverpool have been allocated 4,620 away tickets priced at £103 (€119) for the first leg in Spain on May 1.
In response, the Merseyside club raised their ticket prices for Barcelona supporters travelling to Anfield to the same amount and will use the extra revenue to ensure Liverpool fans pay £76 (€88) for the first leg.
"All away tickets are priced at €119, which is in line with Barcelona's pricing structure for the knockout stages of this season's Champions League," Liverpool said in a statement.
"As a result, LFC will charge Barcelona supporters a reciprocal ticket price of €119 in the return leg at Anfield on Tuesday, May 7.
"The additional revenue from this higher ticket pricing will be used to subsidise Liverpool supporters for their tickets, reducing the price by €31 to €88."
Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu defended the pricing policy when contacted by ESPN FC.
"Let me explain how we organise our tickets," he said. "We have 144,000 members and we have the lowest-priced season tickets in Europe. The average is probably around €17 euros per match, because we want to have the lowest prices for our members.
"But, when we sell tickets, not against Manchester United, but against any team in La Liga or the Champions League, our prices are much higher because we have to compensate the balance of season tickets. That's the difference. We do it in all matches, not just United and Liverpool."
When asked if the club should take into account the cost of travel when setting prices for away fans, Bartomeu agreed it's something that could be looked at.
"We can do a lot of things in the Champions League to make it better, as a level of revenue," he said. "If we decided between all the clubs that there should be a price limit, of course we would be open and happy to do it.
"Also, our fans, our members, when they travel, sometimes they also tell us the same thing: 'Look how expensive this stadium is.' Sometimes, even more expensive than us! So, it could be a good idea to have the same price for all the fans of the different clubs when they travel in Europe."
Tottenham Hotspur play Ajax Amsterdam in the other semifinal with the final scheduled at Atletico Madrid's Wanda Metropolitano stadium in the Spanish capital on June 1.