Liverpool fan protest: Why are there no flags at Anfield tonight?

There will be no flags on display at Anfield on Thursday night for the Europa League clash with Atalanta, after supporters' groups announced a protest in response to rising ticket prices.

The absence of all flags and banners means there will be an unfamiliar look to Anfield on a big European night as Jurgen Klopp's side aim to gain an advantage in the two-legged quarter-final.

The decision to withdraw flags and banners for the quarter-final home leg comes after Liverpool announced a 2% rise in ticket prices for next season.

A statement from supporters' group Spion Kop 1906 on Wednesday read: "We are disappointed in the club's decision towards ticket prices for 24/25.

"In response, there will be no flags on the Kop for Thursday night's game. Unlike the club's own approach, this has been agreed in consultation with other fan groups.

"We will pay our respects to the 97 with Hillsborough flags only at this weekend's league match, as always with it being the closest game to April 15.

"There is still a chance for the club to hold some positive dialogue with the supporters' board in time for Saturday's meeting. Until then, the supporters have one message: no to ticket price increases."

Season tickets and member ticket prices at Liverpool have been increased by 2% ahead of the 2024/25 season.

In a statement announcing the ticketing updates last week, the club justified the decision as a result of significant increases in operating costs over the past years.

The price hike did not go down well with some and a joint statement from supporters' groups Spirit of Shankly, Spion Kop 9106 and Kop Outs asserted concern "that loyal fans, those that help to generate Liverpool’s famous atmosphere – adding to the commercial success – are slowly being priced out of regular attendance at Anfield."

Jurgen Klopp: I am pretty sure they will find a solution

Asked about the protest in his pre-match press conference, Jurgen Klopp tried to walk a diplomatic tightrope.

“That the flags are not there (is not a concern), as long as the people are there it is all good,” he told reporters. “But I understand the concerns and the discussions definitely. It is just a tricky one from my point of view. I didn’t even know until the press conference.”

Premier League Liverpool v Fulham Liverpool fans wave a Mohamed Salah 11 of Liverpool flag in the Kop end during the Premier League match Liverpool vs Fulham at Anfield, Liverpool, United Kingdom, 3rd December 2023 Photo by Mark Cosgrove/News Images Liverpool Anfield Merseyside United Kingdom Copyright: xMarkxCosgrove/NewsxImagesx

“There are a lot of good things that the club is doing like work for the community, but I understand 100 per cent where the supporters are coming from. I am pretty sure they will find a solution in these situations. It starts with maybe a protest and then there follows discussions and that is good.”

On how the protest might affect the atmosphere, he later added: "What we should make sure is that nothing gets between us and the supporters.

"In between the two big whistles, we just have to be Liverpool - that's what I'm asking for.

"It would be worse if only the flags would be in the stands and nobody else."

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