Archive for the ‘Liverpool FC’ Category

The Cost of Loving

Posted: November 29, 2014 in Liverpool FC

price protest

Liverpool supporters protested today on behalf of those of us who are priced out of going to the match these days. The Spirit of Shankly supporters’ union has declared that there will be no flags on the Kop for their next home game, unless the club agrees to talks over ticket pricing. It’s a relationship on the rocks, but while there are ‘plenty more fish’ in the sea of willing punters for LFC, it was an ‘Amoco Cadiz’ scale shipwreck for me quite a while ago.


The Exploited

Posted: October 25, 2014 in Football Campaigning, Liverpool FC

Great to see the black flags of protest unfurled at Anfield today – on behalf of those of us who were long ago priced out of going to the match, as well as those who aren’t quite yet.



I don’t normally pay much attention to the Ingerlund football team, but I have to say that was classic and utterly class-less behaviour once again today from the clueless Roy Hodgson, as he desperately sought to deflect the blame for an uninsipring display by his team last night onto a young hopeful who came on as one of his substitutes. Presumably he felt this approach would play well with the anti-Liverpool sentiments of the majority of southern Ingerlund followers. Of course this all comes after the hapless England manager showed no humility whatsoever about injuring Liverpool’s other best young striking talent by failing to rest him correctly just a few weeks ago. That’s definitely the way to get the best co-operation from your colleague Brendan Rodgers and from all your players in future, Roy, you rank… errm genius of world football.

Comments will probably include:

“Well Woy got Fulham to a final, you know, so he must know what he’s doing!”

“Well he can make a decent attempt at saying ‘I thought we deserved better’ in six languages, you know. And he almost won trophies in some of those countries he’s worked in.”

“Well he’s got to be better than big Sam hasn’t he – and if the FA won’t have a genius like ‘arry, who else have we got?”

“Ryan Shawcross for England! I can’t wait to hear Woy talking about how the Wumanian wef wongly wepwimanded Wyan for a bit of gwappling that you’d see at any avewage set-piece on a wainy night in Stoke. ”

“That Marcus Stewart deserved a few caps for England, too. I like Woy ‘cos I like to think he would have picked Marcus Stewart. And Marcus Stewart wouldn’t have minded being under-Wested.”


Well played to those who marched in the London rain yesterday to protest outside Premier League HQ about the outrageous price of match tickets. This might seem like banging your own head a against a brick wall, but the parallel “Twenty’s Plenty for Away Fans” campaign has had some ongoing successes.

There’s no way I could afford to go to London myself yesterday, much less afford to go and watch my football team any more, but I’m told that the pub where the marchers gathered yesterday was charging an eye-watering £4.35 a pint. London has always been more expensive, and because of the exponential rises in duty rates, beer has risen in price more than almost anything else .. anything else that is EXCEPT FOOTBALL TICKETS!  When I first started paying full adult price to watch Liverpool on the Kop, it cost me the equivalent price of about three London pub pints. Now it would cost me the equivalent of about about twelve. But forget beer (if only I could) – relative to the cost of more typical items and essentials, watching football is now about five or six times more expensive than it was before the Taylor report.

The really depressing thing is that my own club, Liverpool, could still sell out a stadium twice as big as its current one, even if it raised its prices yet more. That’s why money men buy football clubs, and why the market won’t stop them – the market drives prices ever upwards. It was the market that stopped the obscene “Game 39” proposals  six years ago, when a supporter boycott of Premier League sponsors was threatened, but now, on ticket prices, ultimately only legislation can work. The supporters’ organisations surely have to mobilise their members to put more pressure on the politicians to act on this issue.

I haven’t written anything much about Liverpool’s form this season. Having seen the hero’s return last year, fulfilling the dreams of twenty years, I didn’t want to jump in too early to the ranks of the twittering classes who were questioning the form of the 2011 batch of signings, commenting that Andy Carroll can’t even run like a proper footballer or saying that Luis Suarez is actually quite naughty. I found the Suarez affair thoroughly depressing for a number of reasons, but it didn’t make me rush to my keyboard like the rest of the moronic  inferno.

Last season I managed a couple of quite detailed match reports, but I haven’t been going to the games lately – I can’t afford it. What I do know is that we’ve been missing last season’s best player, Lucas, and that I rarely enjoy watching Liverpool asuch while Carroll is on the pitch as when he is off it, a feeling which reached its numbing nadir with his despicable dive at Newcastle yesterday. I also know that I won’t shed any tears if either Damien Comolli or Ian Ayre, or preferably both, are swept away from the heirarchy for their ineptitude in their signings and in their handling of PR, respectively.

I know too that we were top of the form table at around this time last year(click to see that table), that we are bottom of it now (see below), and that the team that Kenny was picking  last Spring would have battered the team that’s playing now.  I know that shrewd punters are making a lot of money from betting against Liverpool in league games at the moment, just as much money as they made when Woy’s wisible incompetence began to tell last season. They know that it’s always worth looking at the form tables, but especially at this time of year.

On Match of the Day Two last night they showed a form table from 1st of January to 1st of April, with Liverpool languishing among the April fools, second from bottom. They occupy the same position  in my own table here, which is for the last 8 weeks only, but I think my table shows the committed punter even more about the state of play in this apparently unpredictable league. It shows clearly who will be champions, and probably who will finish second and third.  It shows who will finish bottom and  it shows one other team who will surely go down. It shows  3 Lancashire teams who are battling doughtily to stay up and one other midlands club that is plummeting alarmingly and is certainly worth an 11-1  punt for relegation.

It shows that apart  from that 3-0 game at Anfield last month, Everton have been decidedly un-distracted by the cup, and might well be in the Europa League next season whether or not they get to Wembley.  At the moment I wouldn’t back against them to accomplish either of those goals.

My table also begins the week that Cappello was sacked from the Ingerlund job – Spurs’ fortunes since then have been well documented, but this table makes their slide down from outsiders for the  title down to just a 50-50 chance of a CL qualifying tie even more starkly obvious.

April is the cruellest month, and can bring a chilling reality check in all kinds of ways. But it’s also a good month for shrewd punters. I’m putting my money where my mouth is and my bets today based on such form tables are: the tricast of 1st. United;  2nd City;  3rd Arsenal;  QPR to go down; Wigan to stay up. An outside bet of just a few quid on Villa to go down, because the odds should be 4 0r 5-1, not 11-1, though I tghink in all probability Blackburn will be the third team to go down with the already doomed Wolves and with QPR.

Meanwhile I’m afraid that Liverpool will qualify for Europe through their cup exploits only.

1 Manchester United 7 7 0 0 4 0 17 3 +14 21 3.00
2 Arsenal 7 6 0 1 2 0 16 7 +9 18 2.57
3 Manchester City 7 4 2 1 3 1 12 6 +6 14 2.00
4 Everton 7 4 1 2 4 2 8 5 +3 13 1.86
5 Fulham 7 4 0 3 2 3 10 7 +3 12 1.71
6 Wigan Athletic 7 3 3 1 2 2 8 6 +2 12 1.71
7 Newcastle United 7 3 2 2 2 1 10 11 -1 11 1.57
8 Bolton Wanderers 6 3 0 3 0 2 8 11 -3 9 1.50
9 West Bromwich Albion 7 3 1 3 2 2 12 9 +3 10 1.43
10 Chelsea 7 3 1 3 3 3 9 7 +2 10 1.43
11 Blackburn Rovers 7 3 1 3 2 2 9 10 -1 10 1.43
12 Swansea City 7 3 0 4 3 2 9 10 -1 9 1.29
13 Stoke City 7 2 2 3 2 2 6 7 -1 8 1.14
14 Sunderland 7 2 2 3 1 2 9 13 -4 8 1.14
15 Tottenham Hotspur 8 2 3 3 3 3 12 11 +1 9 1.12
16 Norwich City 7 2 1 4 0 2 8 10 -2 7 1.00
17 Queens Park Rangers 7 2 1 4 0 1 10 13 -3 7 1.00
18 Aston Villa 6 1 2 3 2 3 4 9 -5 5 0.83
19 Liverpool 8 1 1 6 2 3 8 12 -4 4 0.50
20 Wolverhampton Wndrs 7 0 1 6 0 3 6 24 -18 1 0.14

15 year-old Kevin Williams - died in police care at Hillsborough

Imagine waiting 23 years for an inquest, 23 years to find out exactly what happened to your 15 year-old son, how and why he died, when trained medics could have been working to save him if they had been allowed to.  Imagine suspecting that senior police officers did worse than nothing for your son, somebody somewhere apparently giving the order not to allow ambulances and their crews into the stadium to help the victims who were still alive after the cataclysmic crush at Hillsborough.  Imagine then being witness to what seems like a conspiracy  to cover up these mistakes.

Imagine being told for all those years that everything that happened in the last few minutes when you knew your son could have received better medical care was irrelevant, that the case was closed well before he breathed his last breaths. Imagine spending years taking the case to the European Court, apparently the final avenue for justice, only to be told, in an appalling Catch-22, that you are too late.  Imagine a mother who still fights on, even after all that.

So, after all those years, my thoughts today are with Anne Williams, with her decade-long ‘Hope for Hillsborough‘ campaign, as finally the House of Commons bows to ‘people power’ and reverses last week’s decision – there will, finally, be a Commons debate about the possibility, the hope, the mother’s anguished cry, the people’s angry demand, that Kevin’s death will finally get a proper inquest. Well played everyone who signed the e-petition, and especially everyone who has helped Anne in her tireless campaign.


The Reds Against the Mancs

Posted: January 31, 2012 in LFC Verse, Liverpool FC

I’ve updated this a couple of times since  I wrote it about ten years ago, for example all the Spanish-tinged verses from the Rafa Benitez era, but somebody pointed out how out-of-date it had become again.  So here goes again – this version is for Ian, who requested the update.

Please notice that about two thirds of the verses are in speech marks, as I imagine them to be a passionate rant by someone like Jamie Carragher himself, as he tries to educate and inspire any non-Scouse team-mates who are new to this fixture.  To be read aloud.

The Reds against the Mancs

It’s the battle of the East Lancs Road,
A commercial rivalry a hundred years old,
About shipping and spinning, silver and gold,
It’s the Reds against the Mancs.

It’s Melwood guile v. Fergie’s bile
How easy is that tw*t to rile ?
It’s his grimace v. the wry Scouse smile,
It’s the Reds against the Mancs.

“It’s like Catalans or Basques versus Real,”
Said red-hearted Carra to his new Spanish pals
“It’s more important than the ‘Mundial’
It’s the Reds against the Mancs.

“It’s viva Liverpool ! Andele, andele !
It’s Skrtel getting stuck into Rooney – Olé !
Let’s give Vidic & Ferdinand one hell of a day
For the Reds against the Mancs !

“Oh aye it’s  better than the best bullfights
When Stevie tackles those gobshites
Get into Neville and punch out his lights
It’s the Reds against the Mancs.

“F*ck their Shreks and Smiths & their treasons
This one’s for love, not  money reasons.
Let’s make it a habit, like we did for seasons,
Let’s tw*t these f*ckin Mancs.

“It’s about who needs to catch who  up,
It’s ding-dong battles in League and Cup
It’s when we needed him, Danny stepped up
For the Reds against the Mancs.

“It’s Flash Gerrard against Emperor Ming
It’s having dreams and songs to sing
Not letting the Dark Lord get your ring!
It’s the Reds against the Mancs.

“It’s the Enterprise v. the Clingons of course
It’s Star wars – can you feel the force?
It’s Red Rum against any other horse,
It’s the Reds against the Mancs.

“It’s usually at ungodly hours of morning
Thanks to Sky and police ‘warnings’.
The atmosphere is not heart-warming
It’s the Reds against the Mancs.

“It’s about a pedestal and pushing  them off it
It’s about passion and pride, not PR or profit
The moneymen know where they can stuff it !
It’s the Reds against the Mancs.

“It’s not Carlsberg versus Vodaphone,
It’s nick nack paddy wack, give the dog a bone
It’s Man United f*ck off home
It’s the Reds against the Mancs.

“It’s Pete Wiley versus Morrissey,
The Bunnymen versus Magazine,
Cast against the Stone Roses,
… OK, some you lose  to the Mancs.

“It’s about blinding vision, about silencing the noise,
Hymns about messiahs and very naughty boys,
And fleeting epiphanies of skill and poise,
It’s the Reds against the Mancs.

“It’s hearing “In your Liverpool slums !”
It’s “Posh Spice tum-te-tum-te-tum”
It’s boring refrains of  “Sign On ! Sign On !”
It’s the Reds against the Mancs.

“It’s ha ha ha, it’s hee hee hee
It’s Bryan Robson’s got VD,
If he comes too close he’ll give it to me –
It’s the Reds against the Mancs.

“It’s Georgie Best , superstar,
Pink frilly knickers and a playtex bra,
Bingeing and boozing and  crashing fast cars –
It’s the Reds against the Mancs.

“It’s the devil in the detail of your crest
Or a  Liverbird upon your chest,
For we are men of Shankly’s best –
It’s the Reds against the Mancs.”

It’s traditional rivalry, to which this rant belongs,
But could it be time to stop the worst of the songs?
Could it be nothing good ever came of two wrongs,
In the Reds against the Mancs?

Yes, both sides have mindless minorities of hate,
But stop the chants about Hillsborough or Munich ’58
No matter who does what to intimidate.
It’s the Reds against the Mancs.

It’s ‘nevra again’, it’s time to kick it out,
It’s engage your brain before you shout.
Only moral high ground is worth fighting about
It’s the Reds against the Mancs.

But when the moral ground’s claimed  by a US executive,
Or by a bleating bully whose moral vision is selective ,
Then it’s time to get a grip and get some perspective –
On the Reds against the Mancs.

We’ve both got our share of idiots who embarrass us all,
And sad dummies in the stands who know f*ck all,
But we’re not small-time clubs with our backs against the wall,
We’re the Reds against the Mancs.

It’s not about a bandwagon & jumping on,
When the bubble bursts they’ll be gone;
First ones off are the last ones on,
It’s the Reds against the Mancs.

It’s not about Hicks, Gillette or the FSG,
It’s not about a PLC or the Glazer family;
F*ck all them – it’s about you and me,
It’s the Reds against the Mancs.

Both cities  have suffered past neglect,
It’s been up to both clubs to earn respect,
Reap what you sow, cause & effect,
It’s the Reds against the Mancs.

I thought “they’ll never overtake us while I’m alive!”
But stats can change, and fortunes can revive,
It’s about nineteen and eighteen, three and FIVE
It’s the Reds against the Mancs !

It’s about your head, about your heart,
Your identity, history, your craft and art;
It’s 40 miles, but it’s worlds apart,
It’s the Reds against the Mancs.

Ding-dong! Super Danny steps up and scores for the Reds against the Mancs last Saturday, helping send United crashing out of the FA Cup.