Liverpool climb down over ticket prices for Manchester United Europa League tie

Exclusive: U-turn comes after questions from The Independent, and after more than 10,000 Liverpool fans staged a walk-out in protest at proposed price rises

Liverpool have abandoned a controversial ticket hike for next month’s Europa League round-of-16 first leg against Manchester United following the Old Trafford club’s decision to cut Premier League admission prices by 25 per cent for the return fixture.

After being asked by The Independent why plans were in place to hike the most expensive ticket price by £24 for the game, senior figures at Anfield moved quickly to change the pricing policy in order to stay in step with United.

A Liverpool spokesperson said: “The initial ticket prices for the game against Manchester United were set as part of a fixed process. We have since reviewed these prices and reset them accordingly.”

While Liverpool are finalising the new pricing for the Anfield game against United on 10 March, it is understood that a top-price ticket will cost £45, marking an approximate reduction of around 25 per cent on Premier League prices at the stadium.

Adult tickets for the round-of-32 second leg against German outfit Augsburg ranged between £27 and £35, but supporters attending the United game on 10 March were initially due to pay between £46 and £59 for tickets. That pricing scheme has now been ripped up by the club.

With more than 10,000 Liverpool fans staging a walk-out in protest at proposed price rises – subsequently abandoned by the club’s American owners – during the Premier League encounter with Sunderland at Anfield earlier this month, concerns had been raised about pricing policy for the United game by the Spirit of Shankly supporters’ group.

Despite the prospect of a capacity crowd in excess of 75,000 for the second leg at Old Trafford on 17 March, which will kick off at 6pm due to television requirements, United have resisted the temptation to amend their Europa League pricing strategy.

The club confirmed at the start of the season that they would reduce all ticket prices by 25 per cent should the team play in the Europa League at any stage this campaign.

A crowd of 58,609 attended the round-of-32 second-leg tie against FC Midtjylland on Thursday and senior figures at United have insisted that the 25 per cent reduction will remain in place for the Liverpool game.

Klopp said in his press conference, after the draw had been made, that facing United was the “cool” tie he wanted.

“Obviously it is not easy. But you can ask my staff, when they asked me yesterday ‘who do you want?’ I said ‘Manchester United’, Klopp said. “It’s great. We deserve these games.

“We had a good game when I was here when we played against them, but we lost 1-0. It was not what we deserved on that day, but we got it. 

“Life gives us the chance to make it better and that’s what we have to do, and what we’ll try. In this round, there were no easy games so we had no chance for an easy game. So we have United – cool.”

Tottenham, the third Premier League side in the round of 16, face a tough test when they take on Klopp’s old club Borussia Dortmund. 

Elsewhere, Gary Neville’s Valencia face an all-Spanish tie against Athletic Bilbao. Neville appears to have turned a corner at Valencia after struggling in his early time in charge at the Mestalla. They beat Rapid Vienna 10-0 on aggregate in the previous round.

Meanwhile, holders Seville travel to Basel and two previous winners clash as Shakhtar Donetsk come up against Anderlecht while Villarreal will meet Bayer Leverkusen and Sparta Prague face Lazio.