Owner apologises to fans

It is amazing how powerful an apology is - particularly if it is made quickly, sincerely and comes right from the top.

Last Saturday an estimated 10,000 Liverpool fans walked out of Anfield in the 77th minute of the match with Sunderland in protest at ticket price increases. Just four days later the owners (Fenway Sports Group) issued the following statement:

"On behalf of everyone at FSG and Liverpool Football Club we would like to apologise for the distress caused by our ticket pricing plan for the 2016-17 season. The three of us have been particularly troubled by the perception that we don't care about our supporters, that we are greedy, and that we are attempting to extract personal profits at the club's expense. Quite the opposite is true. The widespread opposition to this element of the plan has made it clear that we were mistaken... Message received."

It went on "We believe we have demonstrated a willingness to listen carefully, reconsider our position and act decisively. The unique and sacred relationship between Liverpool Football Club and its supporters has always been foremost in our minds, it represents the heartbeat of this extraordinary club."

Liverpool supporters' groups Spirit of Shankly and Spion Kop 1906 said:

"Although the last week has been a sorry tale in the recent history of the relationship between owners of LFC and the club's supporters, it has also seen both the best of what Liverpool FC supporters are about and the incredible power those same supporters have to promote change for the better at LFC."

There can be little doubt that FSG were influenced by the fact that the awful publicity the walk-out gained was detrimental to their carefully nurtured global brand which leans heavily on history and nostalgia. But, even so, the humility they have demonstrated is impressive. A little of the same wouldn't go amiss further south.

In fairness, ticket pricing is one area where Charlton are not open to too much criticism. According to the BBC Price of Football Calculator the price of our cheapest seat is 19% below the League average and the cheapest season ticket is 47% below. Last season (bearing in mind average prices and number of home goals scored) it cost just £4.68 per goal at The Valley compared to £22.50 per goal at Sheffield Wednesday. Sadly, that price will have increased this season not so much because of price increases but because home goals have become such a rarity.