The Fenway Sports Group have terminated their contract with Kenny Dalglish and whilst for some, their heads won’t be in the right place to do so it’s actually a good day for Liverpool fans to have a good long think about how they approach the future.
The emotional investment made by fans of football in clubs is has rarely ever been returned …but the feeling of being short changed is bitterly exaggerated these days by the unrelenting financial leeching that football clubs impose upon those that fund them. Ticket prices up, satellite subscription prices up, polyester shirt prices up, bottle of pop at half time prices up. Same small, crappy plastic seat.
Liverpool fans need to take stock of what it is exactly that they think they are supporting.
Moyes called Everton the people’s club and this simply serves to reflect a sense of community that still exists on Merseyside. It’s an echo if you like of what they called the ‘Blitz Spirit’ of London.
For those of you joining us late, the game has changed and nobody values your support or gives a stuff about you. Seriously, they don’t. You storm off in a strop and you are replaced in an instant. You’re a client reference number, credit card number with all but the last four digits asterix’d out. That’s all that you are. Getting in you in and out of the ground, communicating with you? A chore.
The upside to the money pouring in and everything going well is easy. The trappings of wealth and success bring problems that aren’t problems at all. What colour shall I paint my yacht? Should I buy an apartment in Monaco or perhaps St. Moritz? Shall I get, ‘Aguero’ on the back of my replica shirt or, ‘Kompany’?
It’s dealing with losing. Dealing with being hurt, sucking, getting beaten and looking like you’ll never win. Scratching together enough for the kids school uniform that requires talent.
Liverpool lost repeatedly this season. I don’t mean in the conventional sense, by conceding goals I mean as a club.
They bought badly and they spent heavily while they were at it. Andy Carroll seemed only sufficiently humiliated and thus motivated to get into shape physically and mentally by the time it was too late anyway. I could go through the others but it would be to no purpose, everyone saw what happened.
The Suarez business was deeply unpleasant to watch unfold. One of the greatest clubs in the world was hijacked by a tin pot victim mentality that whined and bickered until the owners, the paymasters reminded everyone that ‘normal people’, ‘balanced people’ were at best deeply uncomfortable with the whole business. And so, ‘…stop it!’
Suarez, whilst a talented footballer isn’t an honorable man. He doesn’t conduct himself in an open and honest manner. Like Drogba, he fakes, cheats and plays the ‘sportsmanship’ card to such an extent that no matter what genuine good he may ever do, the response will always be, ‘Yeah, but it’s Suarez.’
Dalglish surprised me that he went along with the siege mentality over the substandard players and Luis Is Innocent rubbish. He emotionally over committed to people that didn’t deserve anyone’s love. Dalglish’s post match interviews were cringe-worthy. Masterclasses in churlishness. Dalglish wrapped himself up and weighted himself down in the emotion of it all and it sank him.
The argument that the Carling Cup was worth anything was naive. The final itself was unremittingly bad viewing. The naivety displayed here though was eclipsed by the belief that Dalglish had that they were going to beat Chelsea and win the FA Cup too. Of course it didn’t happen and if two pots might in some surreal parallel universe have been staved off criticism of a lackluster season, winning one was no good to anyone on any planet.
For Liverpool fans this might be a good point to draw breath and think about their public image. Think about the future. Football clubs need money, nothing else. Just money. They don’t need petitions, supporters groups, tips on replica shirt design, letters to the chairman, or to have the name of their purely commercial operation dragged through the mud by extremists.
King Kenny bit the bullet for a whole heap of quite valid reasons and instead of grieving for someone that didn’t die, it might be a salutary opportunity to think about the best way to support your club, rather than feed the vanity of an emotional investment that’s worth nothing to anyone but you.