Just Say No, Kids (to Game 39 again)

Posted: November 6, 2010 in Football Campaigning, General Football Verse, Rants in my Pants

Out of the Frying Pan … ?

‘How do you know these new American owners are better than the last lot ?’ asked a mate.

‘They can’t be any worse.’ I said.

‘Err, have you seen what the new chairman’s said in his first interview ? Even Hicks and Gillett never came out in favour of Game 39.’

‘What ? Please, no.’

...into the fire ?

OK, so perhaps Liverpool’s new co-owner Tom Werner (pictured right with NESV supremo John Henry) was only responding to some stirring by an interviewer when he said yesterday that he would be in favour of English league matches being played in the USA or elsewhere overseas, but his lack of awareness of how strongly the domestic LFC fanbase would be against this idea is a  bit worrying.  Two and a half years ago when this idea was seriously floated, the then Liverpool Chief Exec Rick Parry quickly came out against it, and premier league owners like David Gold who did support the plan quickly became figures of hate.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2010/nov/06/liverpool-tom-werner-39th-game-abroad

Liverpool’s new owners must now be left in no doubt that supporting such a move would cost them dearly. I’ve done my bit by e-mailing them … errm … some verse on the subject. Don’t laugh – poetry really does frighten some people, and bad poetry frightens even more. I’m told that Mr. Werner has an English degree, so with any luck  my doggerel will give him the nightmares his pronouncements deserve !

It was one of my proudest moments when I heard (from a contact in the BBC ) how much this poem irritated Premier  League Chief Exec Richard Scudamore when he heard me ranting it on the radio in 2008. A few days later I was part of a Football Supporters’ Federation  delegation at Premier League HQ and we really seemed to rattle Mr. Scudamore when we suggested that the likes of Barclays would actually lose a lot of customers if the league they sponsored went abroad. Practically choked on his Evian he did. It was as if it had never occurred to him that we had that kind of economic clout and the anger to use it, and from that moment he seemed to back-pedal. Hit them in the ba**s folks, where it hurts (i.e. the banks), every time.

And to anyone  who thinks this is an over-reaction, well we should over-react to the slightest hint of this kind of bollocks.  Here’s the poem. It refers to the FSF petition from 2½ years ago. Hopefully we won’t all need to sign another one.

A GAM£ TOO FAR
So Scudamore, you’ve finally out-blattered Blatter,
At showing loyal local supporters don’t matter.
What matters is your fat cats, getting fatter
With their CRAZY GAM£ 39.

Treat the world like you treat our lower divisions –
Stifle their economies, their leagues’ ambitions,
Anything for your leading market position
While they say NO! to GAM£ 39.

We don’t CARE if you say there’s ‘market demand’
We don’t care for your jargon, ‘growing the brand’,
You’re stealing our game, and being rightly panned,
We say NO! to GAM£ 39.

What’ll be your next NFL-style notion ?
Franchises? No relegation, no promotion?
Silent stadia ? Ban all passionate devotion ?
That’s the spirit of GAM£ 39.

Platini thinks it’s a joke, FIFA think it’s naff,
The Asian Federation won’t have it at their gaff,
Journos joke and jibe, but it’s not just a laugh
Even the Mail says “No Game 39!”

I haven’t met one match-goer who likes your plan,
Unless they’re a fat cat sponsor or chairman !
Even my dog hates it, and he’s an armchair fan !
He says NO! to GAM£ 39.

Stick to overseas friendlies, tours & exhibitions,
Let’s overturn this greedy, grasping decision,
Please sign the fsf.org.uk petition,
Say NO! to GAM£ 39.

They expect us to lie down, to toe the line,
Continental ultras would resist ! Do we lack spine ?
But it’s a game too far, is GAM£ thirty-nine !
The resistance starts here – everyone – sign !

***********************

Together with the poem I’ve sent a bit of background about what happened 2½ years ago, to make sure Mr. Werner knows our feelings on the matter. I’ll let you know whether and how he responds !

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