Reds striker Djibril Cisse has made it clear that he will not allow the local hunt to use his land for their purposes.
Cisse, also known now as The Lord of the Manor of Frodsham, was requested by the League Against Cruel Sports to not allow hunting on his land. He confirmed yesterday that their request was successful: "I will not permit hunting on my land," he said.
Djibril became the Lord of the Manor of Frodsham recently when he bought a house in Frodsham for £2m. The previous owner Raymond Longster sold the title along with the estate. The title goes back to the times of the Domesday book.
Longster was a huntsman himself, part of the Lancashire hunt, and used to allow hunting to take place over the land of the Ridge Manor estate. Lord Cisse is happy to hunt out goals for the Reds, but not happy with the idea of hunting on his nine acres.
Certain types of hunting are still legal, despite the recent changes in the law, and the Cheshire Forest Hunt were hoping to get Djibril to join them in their hunting when the season starts in September.
The Cheshire Hunt aren’t happy with the League Against Cruel Sports (surprise surprise), their "Joint Master", Richard de Prez said of Djibril’s predecessor: "Mr Longster was part of the Holcombe Hunt in Lancashire but he used to invite us to use Ridge Manor and would hunt with us on those days. We planned to write to Mr Cisse in due course, as we do with all landowners, to see if we could come to a similar arrangement."
Mr de Prez said that if Cisse wanted to join their hunt he’d be "very welcome".
A spokesperson for the League Against Cruel Sports, Wanda Wyporska, spoke of their organisations happiness at Cisse’s decision: "The League is delighted that Djibril Cisse has banned the cruelty of the hunt from his land. The Cheshire Forest Hunt has said that it intends to shoot foxes next season and we welcome the fact that this slaughter will not be taking place at Ridge Manor House."
Djibril is only 23-years-old, is wealthy because of his own abilities, not because it was handed down to him, and so doesn’t follow the traditions of many land-owners in Britain. Wyporska hopes that Cisse’s example will rub off on some of the other wealthy land owners in the country: "Cisse has set a wonderful example to other landowners and to fans in saying no to this cruelty."
Although hunting with a pack of dogs is now a criminal offence, the new laws do allow foxes to be shot after being "flushed out" by a maximum of two dogs. Drag hunts are also still legal – where the dogs chase a scented trail.
As far as de Prez is concerned, he’s still hopeful of changing the mind of the Reds number nine: "The hunt will abide by Mr Cisse’s decision, we are not going to go where we are not welcome – but I would like the opportunity to introduce myself to him."
In fact de Prez claims he was going to be kind to Djibs by waiting until after the Champions League final in Istanbul next week before approaching him: "It is a shame the anti-hunt lobby has seized on this now, as I had no intention of discussing it with him before Liverpool’s important match next week."
According to reports, Cisse’s new home has views of the Mersey Estuary and Frodsham Golf Course and has six bedrooms and four bathroooms. If he does decide to take up horse-riding, he’s got three stables. If he’s still bored he can make use of his ballroom, tennis court or indoor pool. He’s got room to for six cars in his garage, but if he doesn’t want to drive them himself he can hire someone to do it, and they can live in the chauffeur’s cottage that’s on his land.
The Lordship of Frodsham title has passed through many hands since 1086 when it was recorded in the Domesday book, members of the Royal Family have held it at various times, including Edward the Black Prince, who was the Lord in the middle of the 14th Century. Cisse is the first footballer to hold the title as far as we are aware.
Cisse was bought by Liverpool from Auxerre for a club-record £14m last summer. A horrific broken leg put his season on hold last October, but he defied the odds to get back into the side again last month. He made his first start on Sunday, and scored twice. He dedicated his goals to the fans and to the medical staff that saved his leg. He is now raring to go and is hoping to start in Turkey, so he can dedicate more goals to the staff and fans.