Liverpool supporters’ group Spirit of Shankly “have no argument” with Jurgen Klopp’s criticism of Anfield’s atmosphere but expressed concerns of the effect tickets prices have had on football fan culture.
Reds boss Klopp was not impressed with the home crowd during the Carabao Cup quarter-final demolition of West Ham in midweek and told fans to give their tickets away if they are not prepared to get behind the side against Premier League title rivals Arsenal on Saturday.
The Spirit of Shankly group, which was founded in 2008, admitted the atmosphere is a concern among supporters and is in talks with the club over how the situation can be addressed.
“We have no argument with Jurgen Klopp highlighting issues around the Anfield atmosphere, or lack of it, at times,” a statement from the group read.
“It’s something our fans discuss regularly, it is central to the club’s and Anfield’s identity, and something the most passionate among us are keen to protect.
“It is no accident that opposing teams, coaches and fans speak about the ‘Anfield effect’. We all know how intimidating the crowd can make it for visiting sides, how the atmosphere can be second to none – ask Barcelona, or (Borussia) Dortmund or (Manchester) City, or Arsenal last season.
“We do have concerns though about the lack of opportunities for young supporters to go to the game, catch the bug and preserve this decades-long culture of the Kop, and deep-rooted worries that our culture is being watered down by greater corporate offerings and out-of-reach ticket prices – echoed by supporters across the Premier League.
“We are in constant dialogue with the club to explore ways we can improve the situation, get more youngsters to experience Anfield and create the best atmosphere possible. Every game.”