Parry: English football has moved on

Rick Parry was sounded out by BBC Radio Five Live about Liverpool’s progression to the semi-finals of the Champions League, despite missing captain Steven Gerrard.

Parry said about the victory over the two legs: "I don’t think this is about Steven Gerrard, this is about Liverpool Football Club.  Steven wasn’t with us last night and we proved that we can cope. Yes, of course, Steven has made it clear that he wants to win trophies, we’ve made it equally clear that we do too.  We hope that he will be with us in the future and winning more trophies but Liverpool is much bigger than one player."

Gerrard is still linked to Chelsea practically every day, despite still
being under contract at Anfield and having issued a denial last month. Parry is also obviously beginning to tire of the speculation.

The Liverpool Chief Executive then went on to talk about how big an achievement this has been: "It’s on a par with just about anything we’ve achieved in Europe. It’s the first time we’ve been in the semi-finals for 20 years and everyone is delighted."

Italian football has had a week that has seen its reputation tarnished, with incidents at both Champions League games that have taken place in Italy this week coming after incidents in domestic fixtures at the weekend. Parry was quite diplomatic when asked for his views on this: "Some of the Italian commentators at Anfield last week said they had to acknowledge that in 20 years English football had moved on an awful long way since Heysel, and perhaps Italian football hadn’t and still had a little way to go."

What has also changed in those twenty years is the dominance of English Football on the top European club competition. When Liverpool won the trophy in 1977, they started a run of victories for English clubs that was interrupted only once until Liverpool won it a fourth time in 1984. Hamburg of Germany were the team that broke the run.

English Football Dominance – 1977 – 1984:

1984 Liverpool
1983 Hamburg
1982 Aston Villa
1981 Liverpool
1980 Nottingham Forest
1979 Nottingham Forest
1978 Liverpool
1977 Liverpool