Can I bring myself to walk away?

Since the age of four years old, I’ve been a Liverpool fan. There was a brief time where my brother bought me an Everton jigsaw (and he claims a kit that he has a picture of me in but I’ve never seen) but overall my soul was saved by my Gran.

I joke of course. While there are some absolute scumbags who follow Everton (as there are all clubs including my own), Everton are a great club. Forget the fans you don’t like, think of how much “Everton in the community” have done for the city.

For all the “banter”, I respect the true Everton Football Club.

As a Liverpool fan I dislike Manchester United but I respect them also. Again, same deal with good and bad everywhere but you can’t argue with how they overcame our record of 18 titles.

They were successful at a time when the financial rewards were at their greatest and that’s why, no matter who they buy now or how much they spend, you can say they didn’t earn that right.

With this modern day social media generation, it’s easy for certain fans concerned only with “winning the argument” to hide behind their avatar and mock the dead to score points to their heart’s content and so it’s easy to get caught up in thinking these morons represent their club, they don’t.

As such, while I’d rather it didn’t happen, you can live with it and carry on supporting your club.

What about when the league and clubs within it will do anything to “win” though?

History and tradition are important, if what you achieve is not celebrated or remembered, regardless of the context and only new achievements matter then what is the point of anything? Logically the modern achievements age and become history and are therefore null and void by this way of thinking.

And yet, that’s exactly what people like Sky Sports want you to think, that only what happens now matters. Why? Simple, they have a financial stake in you only caring about “The Premier League”.

They have no respect for the history of the game and neither it seems do our own F.A. as they gleefully accept the blood money of whatever human rights abusers want to buy into our league regardless of the cost to the purity of the game.

I say our league, it’s clearly their league now. Every attempt has been made to take the game away from the working classes and sadly in many cases they’ve succeeded.

Manchester City and soon to be Newcastle United are the culmination of what happens when you don’t respect how someone becomes champions, only that they do.

How I would have loved to have been able to have written this with Liverpool winning the title against all the odds. I can hear the cries of “10 points” even before I finish writing it. Facts are unimportant to some.

What is also unimportant it seems is the idea of the Premier League being turned into a public relations whitewash exercise by murderers and those that would see children forced into slavery for entertainment. Try telling people about this and apparently, we only care as Liverpool didn’t win the league. Sad. It also doesn’t explain why others from other clubs are also saying the same thing.

Since 1985 we’ve been called murderers (even those of us not born) and people have used it as one up-manship and now we see the true colours Actual murderers and child slavers are buying up the Prem and all the team’s fans involved can do is make excuses for them

It won’t end here. When the FA accepted Abramovich’s dubious money they put the world on alert that there is a way to try your hand to get into the English League. It’s why I will always hate Chelsea, they began this process.

The logical next step was someone selling out to the likes of Abu Dhabi and Manchester City couldn’t wait to throw away their tradition –  a tradition they had built since 1894 – so desperate where they to get one over on their local rivals. All the trophies bought in the world will never come close to what Manchester United earned, and that’s coming from a Liverpool fan.

So can I walk away? Should I walk away?

If I stay am I just part of a broken system and feeding it to continue to its logical conclusion of more human rights abusers buying in to give teams who can’t earn their right at trophies an easy fix?

If I walk away from Liverpool though, am I making it easier for “the bad guys” to win?

In 2017, I went to Prescot Cables v City of Liverpool. It was the preliminary round of the FA Cup. From a financial point of view, the travel, the Indian meal before the game and all the ale after it came to a bit more than the price of a match ticket for Anfield (£55 for me in the Upper Kenny Dalglish Stand).

We arrived at the game and walked into what can only be described as the away “shed”. It was boss. Former Liverpool and Everton fans singing and cheering together, no bitterness and all were welcome.

City of Liverpool wear purple to signify this fact, the combination of red and blue obviously making purple. The “purps” came away with a 2-2 draw from an extremely entertaining encounter.

I never went again because I said to myself as much as I loved it that City of Liverpool weren’t the club I’d followed all my life, Liverpool Football Club were.

Liverpool since then have done very little wrong and given me some of the greatest moments I’ve had following the team. In a vein attempt to upset Liverpool fans, some City fans will call us hypocrites saying that Standard Chartered are “money launderers”.

The truth of the matter is a bit more complicated than that (unlike with UAE). Standard Chartered were found to have not done enough to prevent money laundering, their practices were reviewed and they were fined. The FCA are keeping a very close eye on financial institutions now and the issue seems to have been fixed. It’s important to stress at no point were Standard Chartered guilty of money laundering themselves.

If the FA did the same with their pathetic “fit and proper” test for owners for the Premier League there would be no issue, but they don’t and the reason they don’t is because they are not held to account by a similar governing body.

The game is dying and every time a side that sold out to human rights abusers wins, it dies a little more.

With my team on the brink of back to back European Cup finals, I should be delirious but as I’ve always said I’m not just a Liverpool fan, I’m a football fan.

So can I bring myself to walk away and is it the right thing to do? The only answer I have for myself at the moment is, I don’t know but I seem to be getting closer to that reality each passing day.

Don’t worry though whatever I decide, Liverpool are the real death of football because bitter arl fellas taught their kids that Liverpool can’t win at any cost and I mean any cost, including it seems the league and soul of the game itself.

One thought on “Can I bring myself to walk away?

  1. As I have been following your dilemma on twitter, and while reading this, and because I consider these issues myself, I keep thinking of a semi-parallel debate amongst people who care about animal rights/welfare:

    There was a time almost all makeup, personal care, and household cleaning products were made by companies that test on animals. Anyone who is opposed to animal testing and cruelty (I am one) could not buy these products, and it was very difficult to find alternatives. Boycotts of companies that test on animals were popular, and therefore effective. Some big companies stopped animal testing in response– for a time. When people went back to buying (and becoming attached to) Company X’s products, and the issue felt somewhat resolved, a lot of companies resumed animal testing without people noticing.

    Eventually, however, there was a huge surge in popularity of products sold by companies that emphasised organic and cruelty-free ingredients and manufacture; availability of these companies’ products as they entered the mainstream also increased. Even people who didn’t care about animal rights found it to be easy to choose cruelty-free products, found them often superior, and began demanding it. With online shopping, indie merchants and brands exploded. I bet you can guess what happened next.

    The big animal-testing companies bought up as many small, indie brands as they could get their hands on. There was a huge market there, waiting to be relieved of their money. Some brands still operate(d) somewhat “independently”, and could decide for themselves if they would continue on as they had been doing, accepting only greater promotion and access to mainstream markets, and some handed it all over to the parent companies to take care of, and retired early, I guess. This meant that some brands that made their name on being cruelty-free were now being tested on animals.

    This made choosing cruelty-free products a little more complicated than it had been before. And this is the debate:

    Some people feel that if Formerly-Indie/Still Cruelty-Free Brand A is now owned by Animal-Testing Parent Company X, then Brand A should be boycotted because the money eventually funnels up to Company X, and therefore directly funds animal testing.

    Some people feel that buying Brand A is still a vote in favour of cruelty-free; when Company X looks at their bottom line and sees that Brand A is making them a lot of money, it sends a message to Company X that cruelty-free is still what people want.

    I think both arguments have merit, and I make my choices idiosyncratically based on a number of factors on a case-by-case basis. I do tend toward total boycott, though, because I know it’s 100% sound; however, I do also believe in positive reinforcement, which I think is what the second point of view is after. A company won’t notice or know why people *didn’t* buy Cruelty-Free Brand A vs Animal-Tested Brand B, but they will have a good idea why people *are* buying A vs B.

    I don’t know how I will feel about supporting Liverpool in the Premier League a year from now, as a year ago I did not know I would feel like I do today. What I suspected when the Premier League was invented, what I suspected when Chelsea was sold, what I dreaded and feared when City was bought, these are different things than what one knows is now actually happening.

    For now, I am still thinking Liverpool is “Brand A” and still worthy of supporting because they do not at this time support human cruelty. A pound for Liverpool helps them fight Abu Dhabi FC(s), maybe not win, but fight it at least. We have seen this is so this very season. I do not feel it is effective to “punish” Liverpool, who are valiantly maintaining the integrity of the game, because City and Newcastle benefit from human cruelty; I will walk away from watching their fans celebrate and our “fans” congratulate them for being owned by human rights abusers on twitter far, far in advance of walking away from the club. If the club is ever bought by human rights abusers, I will at that time have to decide if I walk away or stay and fight it. I don’t know this now, and I don’t have to know this now, it’s hypothetical. Right now I trust Liverpool supporters more than any in the League recognise and use their power for good, but that could change in the future too. I will decide then, based on what I see is or isn’t possible.

    As a political activist, or even someone who simply advocates compassion and non-violence, we are impatient. Lives are literally at stake every day. I have never learned to drive, so I don’t support wars for oil or oil barons. Does this save anyone’s life in the Middle East? No. But I’ve stuck around and kept using my words and lived by example, and I’ll tell you what, there are a lot of (vegetarians and) people who have gone car-free in the world because of me. Does that save anyone’s life in the Middle East? Still, probably no. But maybe. “We have a chance, and if we have a chance we should take it”, and if we can’t succeed, let’s fail beautifully.

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