Liverpool makes "outrageous" demands to play in Hong Kong
Hong Kong - English football premier league team Liverpool was Wednesday accused of pricing itself out of the market making "outrageous" demands to play in Hong Kong.
A Hong Kong Football Association source told the South China Morning Post the team's planned exhibition at the Hong Kong Stadium in July had been scrapped because of the financial demands.
Liverpool wanted the association to pay a 1.5 million US dollars appearance fee, get exclusive television rights and half the advertising revenue from the match, the newspaper claimed.
The association, which has since booked fellow premiership side Tottenham Hotspur instead of Liverpool, would also have had to pay accommodation and air fares, the source said.
"This is outrageous," the newspaper quoted the source saying. "Hong Kong, as well as other parts of the region, has been severely hit by the financial meltdown, but Liverpool still want the world for their pre-season tour.
"They claim there are only two leading teams in the world who are able to attract fans fans in the region - Liverpool and Manchester United."
The source said Liverpool argued the organizers could charge 800 Hong Kong dollars (103 US dollars) per ticket for spectators to watch the team play a Hong Kong international side.
But he said: "I don't think fans in Hong Kong would be willing to pay an average of 800 Hong Kong dollars, not even 500 Hong Kong dollars, in these difficult times."
Liverpool will play matches in Thailand on July 22 and Singapore on July 26 in their closed season Asian tour. Tottenham Hotspur will play an exhibition match in Hong Kong on August 2.