To Strike Or Not To Strike, That Is The Question
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The message boards are lighting up like a forest of Christmas trees. The online generals are planning campaigns and rallying troops and throughout the civilized cyber world, the natives are most definitely becoming restless.
Hicks is at it again . . .and again and again
Today’s press reports are all saying the same thing: Tom Hicks is reportedly trying to put in place a financial package to refinance the debt, secured by loans with RBS, by approaching another bank to fund him buying out his own debt and at the same time, buy out his partner, George Gillet.
You have to admire him, just a little, don’t you? It is certainly a very imaginative move to seek finance from a bank to buy yourself out, which is effectively what Tom Hicks is doing. He and George Gillet have put Liverpool up for sale and now, it would seem, Hicks is looking to buy it from himself!
In this edition I am not going to even attempt to look at the issue of LFC being up for sale and the various scenarios that exist. Others will do that and the speculation will reach fever pitch before too long.
What I want to do is look at the possible actions being encouraged and promoted by many Liverpool supporters, most of which entail boycotting LFC in one form or another.
Last night I had to watch the Europa league game from the comfort of my own living room. I had tickets but due to an accident that closed the M6, I was unable to get to the ground in time and so, once I was able to get to the next exit, I turned around, headed home with my Son and arrived back just as the match was about to kick off.
At least I was able to watch it, although I was gutted at not being able to see it from the Lower Centenary stand, where I would have been able to enjoy the special atmosphere which is revered around the world.
Of course, there I am wrong because, whatever the reason, Anfield was half empty and there was no atmposphere, except for that created by the away supporters.
For the purposes of this article I want you to completely forget the ownership issue. Yes, I know it is impossible but, just for a few minutes I want you try really, really hard.
Think back to your first match at Anfield. Close your eyes. Picture it. Hear it. How did you feel? Excited? Nervous? Awestruck?
Of course you did. You felt all of those things. The atmosphere is what makes us and our footballing home one of the most special sporting cathedrals in the entire world. Without it we are just simply Liverpool Football Club.
But WITH it, we are The MIGHTY Liverpool Football Club. We are so great because we play with 12 men and it is so often that 12th man that makes the difference. So often it has been the factor that has turned defeat into victory.
Last night we had to make do with 11 Vs 11 and even then, only just, because Steaua Bucharest had the edge in terms of noise and support for long spells in the match. While we were being outplayed on the pitch for much of the first half, our fans were being outplayed in the stands, too.
Is that what we really want? Is it what YOU really want?
The current boardroom situation is a real storm, that’s for sure and there are times when the future seems dark. So dark. But we need to hold our heads up high and not be afraid. Our dreams have most certainly been tossed and blown and we have been walking through the wind and through the rain now for so long, it seems like there is no end in sight.
BUT, once we desert Anfield, we are walking alone. Our Team is walking alone. Our opponenets gain strength and we weaken ourselves and before long, we will end up in mid table obscurity. Alone.
Now, people are suggesting we walk away. People are suggesting that we do, indeed, walk alone without hope in our hearts at all.
THAT is not the Liverpool way.
By all means, stop buying the merchandise. Stop subscribing to EST. Stop buying the refreshments inside the ground. Forget the match programme. Become financially minimalist and hurt the owner(s) financially, by all means, but do not hurt our team and ourselves in the process.
Just don’t do it. The legend of Anfield is immortal. Once that immortality is lost, once the aura has gone, it may never return.
The attraction, for Hicks and Gillet, is not the income generated through ticket sales. No, it is the potential merchandising revenue. It is the commercial products that are the attraction to them. THAT is the lifeblood we have to shut off, not the noise, not the passion.
When Anfield is full and when we are singing, as with one giant, deafening voice, it is THE most special place in our known world, that world where LFC are mighty, where LFC are the greatest team the world has ever seen.
But half empty?
That is when Anfield is just a football ground. One little ground in a world of thousands of anonymous football grounds.
Half empty, it is not a stadium, it is just a football pitch surrounded by some stands.
How would you have felt on that day when you first went to Anfield if it had been half empty and quiet? Would that day have been as special?
No, it damned well would not!
If Anfield had been half empty on that day, you would have been robbed, deprived of one of the most special days and one of the most special memories of your life.
On that day, all that would have happened was that you would have gone to see a football match in Liverpool. You would not have gone to experience one of the greatest atmospheres you could ever imagine.
Think long and think hard before you boycott.
At the moment, our players need all the help they can get. Don’t take that way from them. Please!
Maybe we need an additional anthem. Perhaps one of the old protest songs from the sixties “We Shall Overcome” or “We Shall Not Be Moved” (‘ . . . . .Just like a team that’s going to beat the greedy yanks, we shall not be moved’)
That’s it for now.
Over & out.