Liverpool take on Sheffield United on Saturday night, but we won’t be covering it as usual.
Normally we would be live tweeting, while producing a match report, player ratings as well as other post-match content to talk you through what happened and analyse all the key moments.
But this weekend we will be doing none of that. The only legal way to watch this match in the UK is to fork out a £14.95 Pay Per View fee and, like so many others, we think this is completely unacceptable.
Of course, we know that the finances of football clubs have been hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak, and that the intention of this PPV charge – at least officially – is to help make up some of their lost revenue.
But they are far from the only ones hit. There are millions of people whose businesses have suffered greatly or gone under completely. Who have been placed on furlough or had their hours reduced. Who have been laid off and left without a job. Who are worrying about how they are going to support their families.
We believe that asking these people for even more money just to watch their favourite football team in action – something which may well be one of the few sources of joy in their lives at the moment – is simply wrong.
In light of this, and of the vote in the House of Commons which saw the majority of MPs choose not to provide free school meals for deprived children during holidays, we have decided to use the day to encourage people not to pay the PPV price and, if they can afford to, donate the £14.95 to Fans Supporting Foodbanks instead.
They have done superb work in providing food and resources to foodbanks in Liverpool, and have inspired other groups to do the same in more cities all across the UK.
Yes, football clubs are short on money – but so are the vast swathes of families across Merseyside and beyond who are struggling to work out how they are going to feed themselves and their children this Christmas.
If you’re thinking about paying the £14.95 premium to watch the football match on Saturday night, please consider supporting these families instead. There will still be plenty of match coverage from other great Liverpool FC outlets, so you can keep up with all the action while helping to improve people’s lives at the same time.
We’re very sorry for any inconvenience caused by our decision not to cover this match, but we think it is far more important to spread this message.
Hunger doesn’t wear club colours.