Friday, 29 December 2017

Reaction to Van Dijk

So to be honest, I wasn't expecting Liverpool to do anything in the January Transfer Window. I had expected Emre Can to leave and possibly Coutinho as well but didn't expect the news that came up recently. Having taken myself off social media for a while, I still managed to have people mail me of the news. Of course anything on the internet can be made up so you always look to the reliable sources. It was true. Virgil Van Dijk is finally joining Liverpool in the new year. Hes there on his instagram with a Liverpool jersey and I am pinching myself.

Is he an improvement on what we have already? Yes. Is the price tag questionable? Time will tell. Although with today's market very few footballers are worth that.  Is this the answer to all our problems? Hate to burst people’s bubble but no. 

I switched on to a fairly well known Liverpool YouTube live feed where they were reporting the news and giving their reaction. I switched off fairly quickly. The auld “where are the FSGOUT crowd now” seemed to be a common theme. Rather than celebrating together some were still looking to create a divide. Like as if this was bad news for any Liverpool supporter or that one side should be happier than the other. These were the same people who talked bout Klopp not wanting to spend huge money and the “FSG model” and not buying our way to success like city,  Chelsea and united. That in their eyes would be cheating. If you want a sugar daddy, you are a plastic... right?  These were the same people who laughed at the money spent on Pogba. But to hell with that now, that didn’t seem to matter now because Fenway finally did come to pay and we finally got Van Dijk. Those opposing these owners have always wanted proper investment in the team and on the stadium, while those supporting the owners talked of “we won’t buy our way to success”, “Klopp had built a squad at Dortmund hardly spending any money”, “They are adhering to financial fair play”. Suddenly none of their own arguments mattered but yet lets have a cheap dig at "FSG OUT". 

We saw in the summer the ridiculous amounts of money spent on the likes of Neymar and Mbappé and how the price tags of some of the most sought after players has reached a new level. It’s getting out of hand. Whether we like it or not, this is what football is becoming and with the revenue from commercial and TV deals ever increasing, it doesn’t look like stopping. This in my very opinion has forced FSG’s hand to dig deep. There could be a number of ways of looking at this. The Americans stand to gain a lot of money from the TV deal and have plans on selling Coutihno for a large amount either in January or the Summer. I don’t think I’m too far off the mark with thinking that. 

Either way, yes, this is a great signing and a surprise to me and many others I would imagine. This is a step in the right direction and could be seen as a show of intent (about f**king time), or it could be another false flag. It would be naive of us to think one signing clears up everything else and the 7 years of under achieving. You can be sure that if we spend that on a central defender, that the United's, the City’s and the Chelsea’s of the league will have no problem forking out that and more on players. They have been doing it for quiet some time already. It’s football nowadays. It now demands that amount of money spent on one top player. I think many would agree we have a lot more to do in improving the squad than our rivals. Bringing in players like Mané and Salah and now Van Dijk is one thing, but keeping the key players we have is another thing. With that said I for one look forward to seeing Van Dijk in a Liverpool jersey and wish him the very best. 

Sunday, 24 December 2017

Billy Hogan " Need more revenue from ticketing"... ticket U-turn me arse

Do not dismiss the recent remarks made by Liverpool managing director Billy Hogan. All the talk of liaising with the fans and working together is bullshit. They know the fans stance on this. They knew when they tried to flog the £77 ticket. In my opinion the £77 ticket was a façade, a scam and was there to soften the blow for end of game categorisation which would see a larger amount of tickets increase.

"The price of everything in football is going up" Hogan says. You don't say. So is the money you guys are making. What a great time to be an owner of a football club. All the commercial revenue and TV deal money sky rocketing out of the stratosphere. This is why they keep rejecting Amanda Staveley. So why is Hogan hinting at needing more revenue from ticketing?

Hogan was speaking at a recent meeting with senior club officials discussing ticketing with "invited" supporters at a fans forum earlier this month.

"So we have to look at all areas of revenue to continue to compete, but in case of ticketing the goal is to work together with this group collaboratively to find ways to address the issue and ANY INCREASE does not necessarily need to come from general admission tickets". He went on to say "There has to be more revenue from ticketing". I look forward to what Spirit Of Shankly have got to say about all of this.

Some of the FSG supporters are supporting the comments made by Hogan deeming this necessary for us to compete with the big clubs. While they claim they don't want a sugar daddy owner, it seems they have no problem with coughing up more as a fan. Is there no give and take in this relationship?

Few weeks back we saw Glazer, Henry and Kroenke all went for a lovely meal, discussing the TV money no doubt. Like flies swarming over a hot stinking shit.  Earlier this week it was reported how Premier League clubs are seeking to improve on the staggering £5.14bn current domestic television deal when the next round of bidding for rights takes place.

We remember Henry's comments made shortly after the Main Stand had reopened that "Further expansion of Anfield was in doubt due to ticket prices.

Meanwhile FSG have been dragging their knuckles on committing to "phase 2" of the expansion of Anfield.  My response to Hogan and FSG, is if you want more revenue from ticketing, get more seats... expand. The demand is there for a bigger and better Anfield and one expansion of the Main Stand is going to cater for this.

And again my questions to everyone who supports this club... does Liverpool deserve better and do the fans deserve better?

Other interesting views on the subject
KopTalk - "There has to be more revenue from ticketing"

Saturday, 16 December 2017

Is the juice worth the squeeze

Is The Juice Worth the Squeeze? The Argument on FSG.

For a long time, I have been part of a disheartened Liverpool fan base, Disheartened with Gillett and Hicks and not impressed with the current owners FSG. Troubles with finances, troubles on and off the pitch. It’s consumed me as a supporter so much so that the football has played second fiddle for a long long time. We have settled for the bare minimum and thanked Henry and co for it. They have been left off far too many times and delivered on very little. Indirect comments made that others would have bounced on and held them accountable for. Completely immune from criticism on the basis of a fictitious and unfortunately the wide belief that they saved us. In my opinion, to support this club is to truly care for it and not just for 90 minutes of a game and to be tuned in and not naïve and accept little or nothing from our current owners. But more on that later. 

The FSG OUT label

I hate the term/label “FSG OUT" because it sets us apart from the rest of the fan base, it tars everyone who wants the best for the club and believe we wont achieve this with the current owners as clueless plastics who will blame everything on  and off the pitch on FSG. To want us to achieve is deemed as a plastic fan. And even when logic suggests that all that is simply untrue, it still does not stop those who are besotted, obsessed and have it in for people like myself, in believing it to be true. Whether you like it or not, I am a Liverpool fan and there’s not a damn thing anyone can do about it.

The Divide within the fan base

As a fan base we have seen many divides, even within those opposing Fenway Sports Group. I have never seen as big of a divide as there is now. On a personal front, I have found it to be soul destroying and demoralizing in entering into conversation or debate over Henry, Werner and their buddies with those who think they can do no wrong. It has brought out the very worst in people and yes, that includes myself too. My approach to those on social media has been questionable at best and has sometimes questioned the sincerity in anything that I have put out there on YouTube, on our podcast and on Twitter. I am man enough to say I have been naive when it has come to all this and how I would be questioned, misquoted by any of my reactions to those on social media. Neither facts or logic have prevailed. It has usually resorted to the worst of the worst getting personal and trying to instigate a reaction from you that you will later regret. I took that bait so did others and we have been played off each other. People got personal and mentioned my family before I ever did. As much as they were wrong, I was wrong too. No excuses and I am sorry for this.

Trip to Liverpool/Break away from social media.

The last 2 months, I have taken a break from everything social media as I felt its been more anti-social than anything else. I took my father away for a weekend to see a match and became a fan again of the football and less about the politics that has ruined football in general. It was a much needed break and I haven't been in Liverpool in a while. I was amazed of how the city has developed and grown since I was last over. It is an amazing city and don’t believe there’s anywhere like it. I was in the heart of the Kop where a stranger, a fellow Liverpool fan, regardless of where my dad and I were from, helped him up off his chair each time he wanted to stand up.  Singing at the top of our lungs "You'll Never Walk Alone" and the "Fields of Anfield Road" along with the rest of our fans, was quite possibly one of the most emotional part of my recent visit to Liverpool. I didn't feel alienated from the fan base which I have quite often felt on social media. There was no bullshit over nationality and your right as a Liverpool fan or right to declare yourself a Liverpool fan. There was no bullshit over someone questioning your loyalty as a Liverpool fan. There was absolutely no bullshit at all. And there's the difference between reality and (anti-)social media. No one stopped me walking into the Kop and asked for my passport to see my nationality. No one questioned my loyalty nor did I question theirs.

No one wants FSG to fail

Of course, I would have preferred that the owners who took over the mess from Gillett and Hicks had been the right ones and I would have preferred that they would be as passionate about Liverpool as I have been and our fan base have been but I don't believe that to be the case and even though I have given them plenty of opportunity to redeem themselves, and they have had plenty of time to do so, I don't believe that a leopard changes their spots. They are waiting for the new TV money deal and they are only interested in the money they will eventually make when they sell this great club. I have no doubt in my mind that we as a group have been right and have been dead on the money about John W. Henry and FSG. 

Let Common Sense prevail

The question remains, was the juice worth the squeeze? We were only pointing out what we thought most fans knew already. The answer is it hasn't been worth it. Was it worth all the hassle and the social media nonsense? Nope. Despite what the cretins on social media may suggest, I have had more stress from doing this than anything. I can wholeheartedly understand why a Liverpool fan wouldn't want to get involved in any FSG out movement (if you can call it a movement) with all the hassle people have been getting for it.

Was the juice worth the squeeze for those opposing anyone anti-FSG and their methods they have used in challenging people opposing FSG? Nope. I have yet to talk to someone and have them present to me anything logical or relevant where I have come out of the conversation, thinking that person has a point. I think we all came out of those conversations dumber and wondering why we wasted our time. Could these people not have their say without resorting to personal insults? I have some respect (not much) for those who don’t hide behind an alias or a make up profile to voice their disdain for me or anyone who agrees with me about the owners. Those usually using a fake identity or someone else’s are somebody who exhibits sadistic type behavior behind the veil of internet anonymity where they have unfettered access to an online playground wherein they can act upon these dark tendencies without the normal restrictions that real world face to face social environments prevent. I’d imagine these people are very unhappy in themselves but if their anonymity was taken away,  I pose the same question, was the juice worth the squeeze? I doubt they would want to test that.  I doubt very much that they can say or anyone looking at them say that the time and effort they put in was all worth it. Highly unlikely. The people that hide their identities have a lot more to hide than those who don't and have a lot more to lose. Lets say if these people did shut me up permanently if that's what they are trying to achieve here, what would it achieve when others are turning on FSG too? In the grander scheme of things, I will be a small cog in a big wheel. In this group I was part of a team. It was never a one man show. So in either case, whatever side of the argument you are on, and in whatever way you have presented your side of things, I believe none of it was worth the effort of the arguments and bickering online. The latest nonsense is people posting up peoples addresses and photos of their house and trying to effect their livelihood, What's that about? What are you trying to achieve by that? Validating your point of view by being a dick? If you cannot have a conversation about football and back what you believe to be true with some facts and figures and resort to that, you don't belong in a football stadium and you need to avoid conversations that would demand some sort of intellect and maturity. Shit gone crazy. It is extremely hard to keep your composure when dealing with that carry on. If you react to it, you are in danger of behaving like them. Another reason why I needed to step away from all of this. That's social media for ya. 

Now back to Liverpool. I don't want to go against the fan base and I think if there is to be any protests of any kind against these owners, then the majority of Liverpool fans need to approve of it and support it. I think the only way the majority of the fan base will go against FSG is if it hits the fans pockets and they have another PR Blunder. At that stage it maybe too late to do anything. With talks of Staveley and co being close to a Newcastle United takeover, I feel it would be a lost opportunity for this club. I believe she cares enough about Liverpool to want the proper owners at this club rather than a Chelsea season ticket holder having Liverpool's fate in his hands and handing the club to a bottom of the barrel deal. From my visit to Anfield, yes, the Main Stand is amazing. Outside the main stand is amazing. The new Liverpool store is amazing. However, the rest of the stadium is completely overlooked and over shadowed and not to the standard of a top 4 premier league club. While the football of late has been brilliant and Mohamed Salah has been certainly been the signing of the year, do we have any faith in the committee to do the right thing in the upcoming transfer windows and in keeping our key players and bringing in the right players? Do we have faith in the owners to do right for this club? Certainly up till now we have no reason to put such faith in them. Too much has gone on with this crowd that would suggest that they cannot be trusted. We have learned from very early on through the emails that were going back and forth to FSG shown in the court documents that they are only in this for themselves.  

As for this group Fenway We Come Not To Pay and myself and my involvement in "FSG OUT", I am perfectly happy sitting back for the time being and being a Liverpool fan. I am not sure I want to waste my time and energy getting involvement in anymore crap online, egos and dealing with all that again. I would be perfectly willing to partake and get involved in a protest against these owners as long as it was done properly and had the right people involved and a good amount involved in it otherwise I don't see much point in rehashing over the same things and doing it on social media. I'm not here for my ego or for anyone else's

Common Ground

In closing, what every Liverpool fan, whether its local or worldwide need to ask themselves is this;
  • Does Liverpool Football Club deserve better?
  • Do the fans deserve better?
If the answer to both questions is yes, then we should all want more from these current owners and in failing to get that, get owners that will better represent the club and us the fans. It is that simple. We as fans have the right to hold these owners accountable and maybe a plane over Anfield wasn't a great idea and maybe a one man protest didn't have the desired effect but the worst thing I could think of is not doing anything at all.