It was nice to be one of those who were asked by the official LFC website for our views on a year that has seen Liverpool fans fighting for the whole of the 12 months. (“An historic year in review”.)
Early in the year much of that fighting was with each other as the off-field troubles were increasingly ignored in terms of the part they undoubtedly played in the on-field troubles.
That fight was “won” by those who wanted a change of manager, but many of those were left in despair at the name of the man brought in as a replacement.
The despair has clearly been shown to be well-founded, the last time we started this badly we got relegated, and that was more than half a century ago and well before Bill Shankly’s arrival.
In the middle of this dreadful season came a glimmer of hope however. If the debt wasn’t killing the club during the reign of Hicks and Gillett the three years of boardroom infighting certainly was. But what most fans didn’t know was that with just weeks left of the 2010-11 season to go Hicks and Gillett had been forced by the bank to sign away their control of the club to new chairman Martin Broughton.
Liverpool fans fought for their club, Hicks and Gillett lost. With days left until the bank took the club over, and after a bitter last-minute fight from the outgoing owners, Broughton sold the club to NESV, now known as Fenway Sports Group (FSG). The biggest part of the debt was paid off and the club now had owners who like each other – there are no guarantees about how it will all turn out, but there’s hope, something we’d started to think we’d never have again.
As the year draws to a close the supporters have been fighting to be heard in their desire for an urgent removal of the current manager from his post. And it now looks like their voices have been heard, finally there is some recognition in the mass media that whatever problems the manager inherited or had to work round he’s added far more to the mix. There are even hints that the owners know he’s made many of this season’s problems for himself and is continually adding to them. His comments about fans not being supporters were a particular low point of his time in the job.
With all of this fighting, with so much happening, it was quite a challenge to keep to brief replies. So this is the long version.
Continue reading A year to remember, a year to forget