Liverpool’s takeover is legendary manager Bill Shankly’s latest philosophy on betrayal


A mural on the back terrace wall of Anfield’s red brick Sybil Street perhaps best sums up the image of Liverpool as a people’s club. He portrays Trent Alexander-Arnold alongside the words: “I’m just a normal boy from Liverpool whose dream has just come true”.

The creation also recognizes the food bank work that Alexander-Arnold has ardently supported and it is this kind of connection to the soul and struggles of a working-class community that many Liverpool fans feel their club is different. It helps that Anfield is at the heart of such a place.

“One thing looks different at Liverpool compared to the other teams,” wrote one of the creators of YouTube channel Redmen TV, to which nearly half a million people subscribe. “It’s that people buy into the culture of the fan base. So many out of town fans are helping the same causes that we as Liverpool fans do.

Trent Alexander-Arnold’s mural on Anfield’s iconic red brick Sybil Street

This feeling that Liverpool have a socialist core goes back to Bill Shankly, of course.

“The socialism that I believe in… is that everyone works for each other, everyone helps each other and everyone has a share of the rewards at the end of the day,” Shankly said.

Former club general manager Peter Moore said in an interview with El Pais last year that “when we talk about business matters we ask, ‘What would Shankly have done? What would Bill have said in this situation?

“Almighty Christ. No, don’t do that, ”would have been his response, regarding the latest initiative from Fenway Sports Group (FSG), the US owners of Liverpool.

Bill Shankly's socialist values ​​would not have been in line with Project Big Picture

Liverpool owner John W. Henry has previously been criticized for his intention to use the leave program

Bill Shankly and John W Henry had opposing philosophies on the subject of Liverpool

It’s the move, led by FSG’s John W Henry and Manchester United’s Joel Glazer, but rejected by the Premier League yesterday, to incorporate the decision-making power of top clubs and a much larger share of revenue, into the Big Six. .

In the world Project Big Picture wanted, the richest needed to earn four times as much base income as the lower league teams. There would have been more TV revenue for Liverpool, with clubs being allowed to sell eight games on their own platform, to the detriment of smaller clubs, for whom the collective broadcast deal would earn less.

More Leicester, Wolves and Everton hammering on the elite door. The payoff was to be more money for clubs in the lower divisions, although Premier League clubs big and small should be discouraged.

Glazer, bleeding United to dryness while presiding over excruciating decline, is an easy target. But the fact that the FSG has not squeezed dividends from Liverpool should not mask a model of decision-making that points to greedy and greedy capitalism, and not the socialism the club claims to represent.

Manchester United supreme Joel Glazer (right) was at the forefront of the project

Manchester United supreme Joel Glazer (right) was at the forefront of the project

It has been four years since they withdrew a new, highest-priced £ 77 match ticket, with Henry apologizing for the ‘distress caused’. It was last year that they tried (unsuccessfully) to trademark the city’s name, likely to the detriment of many independent traders.

The name “belongs to the city of Liverpool and its people,” said fan group Spirit of Shankly, which bears the Scottish name for very good reason.

This year, Liverpool have attempted to claim taxpayer-funded holiday money, despite making a profit of £ 42million. Another U-turn. Earlier apologies. History tells us that no club forever preserves a socialist or capitalist philosophy. No club is entitled to suggest that it is on a higher moral basis than all the others. Identities are fluid. They change, depending on who is in charge.

Gavin Buckland’s brilliant book about Everton’s title-winning team in the 1960s, Money Can’t Buy Us Love, reveals just how ruthless this club was, run by entrepreneur John Moores. Yet 40 years later Everton are the ‘People’s Club’, with a community program that has left Liverpool with some catching up to do.

John W. Henry apologized to Liverpool fans after trying to brand the city's name

John W. Henry apologized to Liverpool fans after trying to brand the city’s name

The city of Liverpool itself, moreover, has not always been socialist. He was conservative and unionist until the 1970s. Yet FSG’s desire to wrest control from the collective and place it in the hands of the few richest races against everything Liverpool FC represents to millions of fans. . Jurgen Klopp was described by France Football a few years ago as the “hero of the working class” of Liverpool.

There was a video last week of him singing Imagine of John Lennon in his office, to mark what would have been the singer’s 80th birthday.

So Klopp might be interested to know that when Shankly’s moment came to appear on Desert Island Discs, the book he chose to take with him as a castaway was The Life of Robert Burns by James Back. Burns was “one of the first socialists,” Shankly observed.

“He didn’t think God made people unequal. He believed that everyone should share the work and the rewards.


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