Should We Stay or Should We Go? TTT Reacts to Potential LFC Sale
Free article – which type of future owners would be acceptable?
While absolute confirmation of a potential sale is still up in the air, most of the noises suggest Liverpool could be sold, whether that will be during the World Cup or over a far longer period of time is still unknown.
Paul ran an article and poll on last week, to see what people would want and accept from new owners, and sought explanations from the TTT community on their views.
My own personal reaction was one of sadness, because FSG have been incredible owners, arguably the best in world football, despite what some foghorn trolls might tell you on Twitter. The other instant reaction - to the prospect of being sold to a nation state - was anger and a sense of helplessness. I voted ‘stop following Liverpool’, rather than leave the sport altogether. Because I’d watch Llandudno or Conwy in the Welsh League, or FC Halifax when I get chance…
And then I read some of the replies below from the TTT faithful, and I’ve changed my mind. Instead of stopping following them, I’d just protest the new owners as often as possible. Outside the ground, inside when possible and relentlessly online. Hopefully as fans we’d make their intended sportswashing the most embarrassingly pointless and expensive exercise in football history. Anyway, read below to see the nuance and variation, as just a small examples of the comments in an incredibly good discussion.
I grew up in a household where my father had an Anfield season ticket via a work colleague, I recall reading Match, Shoot! and getting the News of the World Football Annual at the start of each season, where all kick offs were 3pm. My love of Liverpool never waned over the more barren years.
I stayed up to watch Espana ’82 aged eight, Mexico ’86 and drinking under age on an art weekend for the semis of Italia ’90.
Football changed to me as I got older, and during my time at art school Monday night footy was on in the boozers then head off to the clubs, and revelling in graduation for Euro ’96. By the time I got to Brisbane Rafa was leading a team on the up and ex-pat Scousers would meet in the Pig n Whistle for various kick off times.
As married life and kids came along it changed, almost irrevocably so under two cowboys and Hodgson; some of the players and even the kit was shit. I barely watched England at this point too such was my disassociation by being abroad.
From near extinction to be where we are now is an almost unrivalled lazarene turnaround, with Klopp, Hendo the public cornerstones of it. Many players have contributed too, many still pulling on the red jersey each week. So it’ll be hard to leave this all behind.
As players age out, Salah, VvD and perhaps even Millie, over the next few years, should we be sold to a distasteful entity then it’ll be easier to step back if my attachment decreases over time.
My social life doesn’t revolve around as much football anymore, so this won’t suffer. But the such glorious highs we’ve had may not be enjoyed as much by knowing blood stained filthy lucre printed by human rights abusers were behind such success.
Whilst not perhaps Persil white, Liverpool Football Club has virtues we like to uphold, many in opposition to those of areas of the Middle East, where I hope, even as hard businessmen FSG can see our future custodians as having similar values.
Maybe not cold turkey but a slow ebbing of interest should we fall into the wrong hands.
There is nothing that can stop me supporting Liverpool. But I can choose to stop going, to not buy LFC merchandising, to express my dissent, to join any protests and marches and demonstrations. But I can't withdraw my support of the football side of Liverpool FC, the team and the manager (unless it's Hodgson!).
Meanwhile, those who continue to attend Anfield can choose to show their objection to any developments within the club that they find unacceptable. Liverpool fans are not slow in demonstrating what they think in no uncertain terms, and have proved themselves capable of making the atmosphere surrounding the issue very toxic indeed, and of making any regime so distinctly uncomfortable that they begin to question whether it's all worth it.
I do feel confident in thinking that a takeover by any organisation that is not acceptable to the fans would not just get tacitly nodded through, even approved of, delighted by and defended, by matchgoing Liverpool supporters in the way that City's and Newcastle's did and do. Maybe we're just not as desperate as them for their hour in the sun. After all, we've been in the sun so often for so long we've had sunstroke.
It is very difficult to stop supporting your team. A team you've almost certainly followed as both man and boy. Especially when you've brainwashed all your kids into supporting them too!
This season outside of Liverpool I barely watch any football. The game is being ruined and brought into disrepute on a weekly basis by multiple parties. It is hard to watch such rubbish where you no longer have any idea what the rules are or who is manipulating them.
The nation states are not interested in sport. The competitive struggle on a level playing field that should underpin all sport. I stopped watching athletics after Ben Johnson's infamous 100m sprint win . The realisation that you are watching a sham contest broke my interest.
The world is a hypocritical place, I have watched 4 close City mates find numerous ways to justify City and their owners.
I only see one solution, a total revolution within football but ESL showed there is zero leadership within football to make that happen.
I despise the nation states so much that I'd prefer Utd to win the league than City in a close race-that is how desperate the situation is!
Lets see what happens and how we contort ourselves to keep following our club!
I voted to stop supporting the club, a stance I have held for several years on the basis that I don’t believe a nation state has any business owning a sports team. The Soviets and other Communist states tried a form of this years ago and it didn’t really work, political interference and drug cheating causing endless problems. The Economist, a magazine to which I subscribe and respect normally, this week carries a flawed editorial on the lines of ‘Qatar ain’t so bad, y’know’. The piece is full of flawed logic and equivocations and is unworthy of a publication which is normally full of outstanding journalism. The line that disappointed me most? That many of the attacks on Qatar were driven by racism and/or Islamophobia. Is there anybody now who doesn’t resort to this pathetic type of response when questioned or criticised?
I like to think I’d be able to stop watching, but the bond is too strong I think so I said I would carry on supporting reluctantly. To be honest, I feel I am doing that now to some extent. Not because of anything Liverpool or FSG have done, but because of City, Newcastle and other state-owned clubs. I just don’t enjoy the direction football is going in, and sadly Klopp and the sound team he’s assembled feel like an outlier. I don’t ever see myself stopping supporting the club, but I definitely feel that I’ll continue to feel more distance from the game as we get more and more of this type of ownership model.
Just watched Infantbraintido vomit Qatari paid bilge about the racist west. You couldn’t write this shite. Same shite UAE and Saudis trotted out about Klopp. The new narrative is obvious ‘it’s not that we’re misogynistic, homophobe fascists its the west are racists’. Thing is you’ve now joined a democratic debate about democratic values. The reason people want to move to the west is because we are democracies. I don’t give a fuck if you’re not democratic but I’m not going sit by while you cloak yourself in my democratic values and claim racism.
Fascists don’t get to live with those privileges. Fascists are by definition racists. And if you then try to buy my cultural life and you don’t share my democratic values I’ll call you out for it. If you don’t like it then I’m not going to apologise for democratic free speech. An alien concept to fascists I know. In short I’ll walk away from Liverpool if they were sold to fascist petrodollar mafia states.
Is there any validity to the argument that we’re guilty of cultural intolerance by not wanting Saudi type owners?
I don’t think there is - at the end of the day, it’s not like issues such as equality are geographical - it’s a case of right and wrong.
That said - it is worth noting that the last time the World Cup was played in this country, it was illegal to be gay in England. Tolerance isn’t a national value in England, because for most of history we have been violently intolerant. It was a process to get to where we are now - and other countries may well be in a different place in another 56 years.
That’s said - where Saudi and Qatar are now is wrong in a way that is very harmful to lots of people. And - actually - life without football would certainly open up space for something new.
So, after all that rambling, if a Saudi type owner comes in - then I’m out.
I voted to stop watching football altogether.
I grew up watching all the football I could get my eyes on.
- Saturday morning, Gazetta Della sport,
- Saturday afternoon: listening to the 3pm English league games,
- Saturday night: MOTD,
- Sunday morning, my own match!
- Sunday afternoon, Italian football.
- If I could, go out to see the premier league super Sunday game,
- Monday night football
A bit obsessed! A love of playing and watching as much as I could.
These days I almost only just watch Klopp's Liverpool. Some other big games here and there, I'll watch the odd WC game but generally speaking just the reds.
I've absolutely loved the last 5 years watching this fast entertaining team, full of nice, down to earth players (no dickeheads, some achievemnet in the modern era) built within it's own financial means go toe to toe and sometimes beat a team that has clearly cheated.
Be it the corruption at UEFA, FIFA, the excessive gambling adverts, the financial doping, the sportswashing and the predicable defending of those regimes by weaponsied fans and some "journalists" (see Manchester evening news), the lack of scrutiny from pundits and most journalists and self interested TV (LIV golf threatens Sky Sports golf while Newcastle being taken over by the same regime boosts Sky Sports subscribers. Guess which one Sky critisizes more...) and the abuse of those journalists that do dare to question the human rights records and funding of these regimes , I just find it all sickening.
Not to mention the #FSGOUT loons or those that respond to a happy birthday message to Fabinho or a new contract for Curtis Jones with vile abuse. YNWA eh?
FSG have been very good owners. They've made some mistakes, big and small but for the most part corrected those mistakes. I'd have prefered if they paid for the stadium themselves which is within FFP rules with their return being the increased value of the club rather than taking a loan. That extra 120/150 million could have made a signifcant difference to our transfer kitty but being an investment fund, that's just not how they operate.
If UEFA had made FFP stick, or the Premier League concluded their now 4 year "investigation" into City punished them for their owner paid sponsorships, FSG could compete. With FFP as good as gone and the Premier league caring more about glamour than fairness, FSG feel the time to go is now.
In conclusion, if Liverpool FC get taken over by a state that is me done. My only involvement will be to join any protest against said owners.
Perfect timing for this article and question, Paul. I was grappling with the morality of football in relation to the World Cup until a couple of hours ago (and genuinely trying to understand the facts and alternative perspectives) - when Infantino’s diatribe pushed me over the edge. I will not be watching.
For me personally, the key consideration for the World Cup, supporting Liverpool under new owners (and, in fact, living my life) comes down to one simple question to ask myself: Does this compromise my values? The compromise can be one single item or an aggregation of things which individually may not take me over the line, but collectively do.
Things that would cause me to walk away from LFC would be if the purchasing entity directly or knowingly supported killing of individuals, currently supports Human Rights abuse without a plan to change its position or had corruptly obtained the wealth to fund a purchase. Clearly some current Premier and Champions League opponents fall into this category. I desperately hope that FSG do not choose to sell to new owners that would cause me to end a 40 year relationship with The Reds, but hard as it would be to walk away, it would be even harder to walk away from my values.
In my mind the team that I support carries my colours and beliefs into the world. That means I want, and expect them to represent my values. Managers like Shanks, Kenny, Rafa and Jurgen very clearly did or do that. Difficulties in following the team came not from poor results but from poor values. My commitment to the club was sorely challenged by the 'leadership' of Hodgson who had no appreciation for the essential underlying values of the club and thought it existed to support him! .
Were we to be sold to an Oligarch like Abramovich or a State, pretty well any state as there are so few honourable ones anywhere, or a milking machine like the Glazers or anyone more interested in sportswashing than honourable competition then I am out.
I have been lucky to overlap with a team that has been moulded by men who were great men in addition to being good at their job, to walk away from football as it is 'developing' is becoming an easier and easier option.
Like any love affair it will be sad to end it, but better that than hanging on watching everything that made it precious decline into the dirt.
Not sure I could stop supporting the Reds and watching them play, even if Liverpool FC were sold to completely inappropriate owners. But can certainly sympathise with those of us who would. You are stronger than me. I guess I am an addict of sorts. I have always looked forwards to watching us play. Gotten up at wretched hours to see us play. Been seen running down the street wrapped in a flag and scarf on the odd occasion (2005, 2019, 2020) ... in America. Have had my flag up in my office at work for 2 decades.
I delight in this generation of Reds. Klopp, Pep, Mo, Ali, the big Virge, Robbo, Hendo, Trent, Milly ... and miss Mane. So excited for Jota, Diaz, Elliot, Diaz, Carvalho, Diaz, Nunez, and Diaz to become the next generation. It has been 5 years of poetry in motion. We have been a true pleasure to watch. Not sure I could give that up cold turkey. The way FSG has come in, helped to rebuild us, help to reignited us ... it would take me some time to truly turn away. And if we had truly inappropriate owners, I'd probably be watching the protests, hoping the city of Liverpool and groundswell of unrest, would lead to the club passing into better hands.
The results of the poll
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial
Subscribe to The Tomkins Times - Main Hub to keep reading this post and get 7 days of free access to the full post archives.