I sat down last night and watched the Official History DVD of Liverpool FC for the umpteenth time.
After a miserable few days with media ‘exclusive’ after another on the turmoil at Anfield I needed to take a trip down memory lane when Liverpool FC was laced with real heroes. The tough times of the 1930′s – the George Kay managed team who made it the 1950 FA Cup Final (only to miss out on the trophy). The first Liverpool team in 1892 – nearly all Scottish – and all owners of fantastic moustaches.
The day in 1959 (December 1st) when Bill Shankly arrived at our club and shook the club at the foundations and began a level of football excellence and success which has remained relatively constant for nearly half a century. From that day Liverpool became a sporting institution with one simple goal – to win trophies.
“I wanted to build Liverpool up, in to a bastion of invicibility.”
The immortal words uttered by a legend of a man who guided our club for 15 years.
What struck me most whilst trawling through the Liverpool of yesteryear was the lack of any real discussion on the Liverpool board, the directors, or the owners for that matter.
Surprising that Tom Hicks then has felt the need to issue statements publicly rebuking the manager of our club. Nearly all of our supporters were pleased with the promise when the two Americans landed at Anfield – the new stadium plan and the money promised on team improvements, coupled with long overdue desire to re-market our club as the global brand it is.
Clearly the media have over-egged the amount spent in the summer – Liverpool made a number of high profile sales in the summer months – coupled with our run to the Champions League final – it is questionable how much money has been spent out of the pockets of the Americans. In fact, how much has been spent out of Kop Football Ltd to be exact – these two American’s are not paying for the Melwood paella themselves remember.
So the media chatter of the week continued – Rafa appeared furious that he is not being allowed to begin contract discussions with players he can snag on free transfers – the Americans told him to concentrate on ‘coaching the team’ – Rafa responded suggesting they don’t understand the European transfer market and in an attack on their knowledge of football he said ‘We don’t have a draft system here’.
All good points. The American owners may know plenty about their sports ‘franchises’ but they now nothing about our great game. A game that Liverpool are one of the world’s greatest at.
For the Americans to suggest they will be over in the middle of December is simply not good enough.
Not good enough at all.
The fact they have so much faith in Rick Parry appears even more worrying. The man, who will possibly be late for his own funeral, should be sorting this mess out and reminding some people that Rafa Benitez is the man we expect to be in charge of running the club and developing our future squad.
(From L-R: Happy, Dopey and Grumpy)
The problem here is one of ego’s. The American’s like to appear in control, and Benitez is like a caged lion. Rick Parry lacks the skills to be able to act as a broker between the pair.
The jibes from both Benitez and Hicks that are being played out in the media need to stop. It is not the way our club has ever been run. If Rafa thinks there are deals that can begin to be sorted then the board need to stick by their promise to ‘back the manager’.
Both Hicks and Gillett appear to have turned their American and Canadian ‘franchises’ in to also-rans directly because they have been too involved in the technical side. They have said numerous times they nothing about our sport. They should leave it in the hands of the expert.
They have benefitted from huge support from the Liverpool fans since their take-over but unless they do the right things now concerning the best manager we have had for nearly 20 years then they could be in trouble.
Managers come and go, Directors come and go, Players come and go. My love is for the club - Liverpool FC – and not any individual.
We stand on the precipice of a great team becoming an outstanding team. If two American men don’t get themselves booked on to a first class flight over here very soon then they will have failed in their promise to ‘respect the great traditions of our club‘.