As fans are still unable to attend the games due to the Coronavirus pandemic, there was trouble when it was announced earlier this month that additional games not covered by the existing broadcast agreement – which were initially shown at no extra charge after the project was relaunched – would only now be available at a price of £14.95 per game.
Over £100,000 and more was raised by Liverpool fans who boycotted the Reds’ pay-per-view Premier League game against Sheffield United.
Thousands of Liverpool fans refused to pay £14.95 for the Reds’ match against Sheffield United and instead donated to Merseyside’s groundbreaking Fans Supporting Foodbanks initiative.
Throughout the match there was widespread anger at the price imposed and what fans perceive as cynical opportunism is cynical opportunism: fans of all 20 Premier League clubs are constantly calling for a boycott of pay-per-view games, many donate the cost of a televised game or what they can afford to pay to food banks’ charities.
The new system came into effect last weekend after the international break, and Liverpool’s home game against Sheffield United was the first Reds game to be affected.
“A long and rewarding week is coming to an end,” he said.
Many Reds fans donated to a fundraising site set up by Merseysyside’s groundbreaking Fans Supporting Foodbanks initiative, which had a target of £10,000 and reached 10 times that amount early Sunday morning.
Dave Kelly, chairman of the FSF and Everton’s Blue Union fan group, praised all those involved and told ECHO that it was an example of fan activism at its finest.
“This week clearly shows fan activism at its best. I say well done, Reds & Blues in Merseyside and Manchester. To the fans in Newcastle, Leeds, West Ham and Villa who have stood steadfastly by the #BoycottPPV campaign.
“I am absolutely overwhelmed by the generosity towards the football family.
“The narrative is designed….. to feed the needy and not the greed of the corporations. We will sleep well knowing that fewer children will go to bed hungry tonight than last night.
“We thank each and every one of you who donated.”
Joe Blott, president of the Liverpool supporters’ union Spirit of Shankly, said before the game: “Reaching over £100,000 is just incredible.
“But the amount of the donations is not the only story.
“On behalf of Spirit of Shankly I would like to thank everyone who has donated so generously.
“It’s time for them to engage with the fans and give up their endless acceptance that we can be taken for granted.
“In the most compassionate way possible, the fans have once again clearly shown the depth of anger and frustration with the Premier League and the broadcasters that £14.95 is not acceptable to watch a soccer match.