Liverpool fans dig deep in Singapore

SINGAPORE - Liverpool supporters in Singapore had no hesitation in making a few financial sacrifices to see their team in action when the 18-times English champions arranged to play a friendly in the city-state on Sunday. Thoughts of frugal spending in the wake of a global economic slowdown and tightening credit markets were brushed aside as fans coughed up between S$88-300 ($60-207) to catch the second leg of Liverpool's pre-season Southeast Asian tour. "It's really all about how you manage your finances, you just have to make some sacrifices," said club supporter M.W Lim, a sales and marketing manager, who purchased 10 tickets for family and friends. "Come on, how often do you get to see your favourite team in action... up close and personal. If you're a Liverpool fan outside of England, this is an opportunity of a lifetime." Liverpool played in Thailand earlier this week and Sunday's match has also attracted fans from neighbouring Malaysia, but the organisers have been criticised in some quarters for not offering specially tailored packages for students or group purchases. BETTER PRICING "I think they should have had a special package for students," said 43-year-old police officer Shadikin Abdullah, who purchased three tickets. "For adults the price is okay because we are earning, but for students it can be a little difficult." Members of Singapore's Liverpool Fan Club said they would be passing suggestions on to organisers for future trips to the region. "We will definitely offer ideas to the organisers and the club on how they can better set the ticket prices the next time they plan to come out to Singapore," Mohamed Rasuul, president of the Singapore chapter of the Reds fan club, said. Despite the relatively high cost of the cheapest tickets, fans will take comfort from the fact they will be splashing out S$7 less than it costs to see Lady Gaga perform in Singapore in early August. However, the absence of captain Steven Gerrard, on trial in Liverpool after being accused of affray, has upset a few supporters. "What is Liverpool without Steven Gerrard, it's a good thing I didn't buy a ticket," 34-year-old risk analyst Emril Jamil complained. "I'm okay if the Spanish players play just ten or 15 minutes, at least you get to see them... but we want to see Gerrard."