Liverpool fans raise £100k for food banks with boycott of Sheffield United PPV
Liverpool's game against the Blades was only available to watch for £14.95 on PPV, so fans made a statement
Liverpool defeated Sheffield United on Saturday, with a 2-1 comeback win at Anfield. There were no fans in the stadium, as has become normality during the pandemic, and the number of fans watching at home on television was likely not much higher.
The pandemic has ushered in a number of firsts in Premier League football, the majority of which have been accepted by supporters, even if the decision to ban fans from stadiums while allowing people in theatres is, quite frankly, absurd and perhaps even classist.
But the decision which has provoked the most anger was that to lock a number of games each week behind a paywall. Liverpool vs Sheffield United was one such match, only available to watch on pay-per-view for the not insignificant fee of £14.95.
A week ago Newcastle United fans responded to their game being on PPV by instead sending that amount to food banks in the city, raising £16,000 in the process.
This weekend, Liverpool supporters did the same in a campaign started by supporters group Spirit of Shankly. And incredibly, they have so far raised a total £100,000 for food bank charities thanks to their boycott.
It is worth noting that the decision to put matches behind a paywall has come from Premier League clubs, and not broadcasters Sky Sports and BT Sport, with all revenue going to the teams concerned.
With the recent backlash, it has been reported by the Mirror that the broadcasters now want the PPV scheme scrapped due to concern over how their reputations are being damaged by association.