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Chief executive Ian Ayre defends Liverpool's hike in ticket prices at Anfield

Liverpool chief executive Ian Ayre defends the club's new ticket-pricing strategy amid news that thousands of supporters are planning a walkout at Anfield this Saturday.

Liverpool chief executive Ian Ayre has defended the club's new ticket-price policy and described the planned walkout from supporters as "staggering".

The Merseyside outfit announced earlier this week that the most expensive matchday ticket next season will cost fans £77.

In protest, thousands of fans are planning to leave Anfield in the 77th minute of Saturday's Premier League match against Sunderland.

Two hundred of the tickets priced at £77 will be for six category A games, including contests against Manchester United and Everton.

"If you look at £77 as a ticket price and want to walk out on 77 minutes then it is everybody's right to make that decision, but what I would say to fans who are not sure and are thinking about it is 'read the facts'," the Daily Mail quotes Ayre as saying.

"£77 is guiding people in the wrong direction. It is two hundred tickets for six games a season - it is less than half a per cent of the total capacity. There is no reference to the fact that there are five hundred tickets for all the category C games at £9, all the free kids tickets, half-priced tickets for under-21s.

"Of course everybody would like the tickets to be cheaper, including us, but that's not an option for us right now. Someone said to me 'you're pricing fans out of the stadium'. How are we pricing fans out of the stadium if 65% of season tickets have flattened or come down, and 45% of matchday tickets have come down? I think it is staggering that people should walk out over that."

Liverpool are eighth in the Premier League table.

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