Football: EPL fans in S'pore have mixed feelings about ticket prices of friendly

Former Liverpool player Jason McAteer (left) and former Crystal Palace midfielder Andre Moritz announced that the two teams will play against each other at the National Stadium on July 15. PHOTO: STANDARD CHARTERED SINGAPORE TROPHY 2022

SINGAPORE - Fans of Liverpool and Crystal Palace were buzzing about their teams' participation at the Standard Chartered Singapore Trophy but had mixed feelings about the cost of tickets.

The starting price for the July 15 friendly at the National Stadium is $149. By comparison, it was $38 for the 2019 International Champions Cup (ICC) Singapore featuring Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur plus Italian sides Juventus and Inter Milan.

Opinions were split among the hundreds of Facebook users who posted comments on The Straits Times' page. Among those discontented was Mohd Farex Khan who wrote: "$149 for an exhibition game??? Definitely not worth it."

A 37-year-old Palace fan, who wished to remain anonymous, added: "I believe this pricing is targeted at the Liverpool fans rather than us. After all, the main draw is Liverpool and not Crystal Palace, unfortunately."

While others were initially taken aback by the price, they eventually changed their minds. Zulfadhli Abdul Kader has been supporting the Reds since 2005 and is excited to see them live for the first time.

The pricing analyst, 27, added: "The week after is my dad's birthday. He's also a Liverpool fan so it would be a good bonding opportunity. He's been supporting them for over 50 years and didn't have the chance to watch them before.

"In terms of pricing, it did deter me a bit because the prices are more steep compared to the ICC but it's a once-a-decade kind of thing."

Sport science and medicine undergraduate Grainne Ang, 23, is hoping the crowd will create an electric atmosphere inside the 55,000-seater National Stadium.

She said: "I always thought my first live football match would be at Anfield and I never thought I would be able to see them in Singapore.

"I really hope we can mimic the fans at Anfield when they sing You'll Never Walk Alone and that it can be as hyped as I see on TV though there will be some differences."

Palace fan Sharon Bremner, 46, is looking forward to taking her sons but is disappointed the Eagles will not hold an open training session unlike Liverpool, which is organising one on July 14 with entry at $39.

The Briton, who has been living here since 2019, said: "We went to see the Brazil vs Senegal match in 2019 and we really enjoyed that experience. Because of Covid-19, we feel we've missed out on so much because there haven't been any big events.

"Liverpool are a good team and will bring up quality of our game. I'm also excited to see other Palace fans because it'll be nice to see them in a place other than London."

Brendon Bainbridge, managing director of organisers Teg Asia, said they are aware of the feedback on the prices and noted: "There is a cost associated to organising high-quality international sporting events...

"Ticket prices are determined by various factors that organisers take into careful consideration, and these are the prices that have been set after much deliberation.

"The majority of the tickets sold will be in the bronze category of $149."

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