Friday, February 22, 2008

You've never sung it like that before

It's possible that the song "You'll Never Walk Alone" was getting a bit stale at Anfield. It used to bring goose bums (die Gänsehaut in German) to my skin when I was younger and standing on the Kop.

But its effect declined over the years.

My last burst of going to match regularly was back in 2001 and great days they were. Meeting in the Birkey a few hours before the match, buying bottles or cans to drink in Bernard's people carrier; into the Albert to laugh at the miniature Ron Yeats before scurrying across Stanley Park with a take-out trying to walk quickly and drink at the same time.

We rarely got in for the You Never Walk Alone and I didn't miss it.

A few times they would play it at Rot Weiss before the game and it got just as good a reaction as it would at Anfield and I had a bit of nostalgic Gänsehaut.

Before the Inter Milan match (only the new middle class wanker supporters just call them 'Inter' cos they've read a book on football history) there was the longest rendition I have ever known. It usually fades out shortly after Gerry Marsden (over the Tannoy) has sung the last line followed by a self-congratulary round of applause. However, this version on the video here carries on for ages and must have had an effect on the Milan players because they were shit and we won 2-0. Roll on Moscow.

Weight lifting Olympics



This, to my mind, is the perfect sporting/comedy Youtube clip -basically because it's less than 30 secs long and made me laugh out loud.

Viral marketing at its best...and I've fallen for it.

Friday, February 08, 2008

A trainer you can trust


This is Michael Wigham esquire. One of Newmarket's finest upstanding licensed trainers and always suitably attired for a day at the races. Yet incredibly Mr Wigham faces a record fine of up to £30k for breaking the non-triers rule for the second time in the past six months. Where's the justice?

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Sons of Shankly

From the Sons of Shankly - Well my mate Mike sent it to me so I stuck it on the blog.

You may or may not have heard of us. But here’s a little bit about who we are.

To do exactly as it says on the tin. A Union for all Liverpool Supporters.

A voice that represents us all. A platform for us all to stand together and fight for what we believe in.

It is early days, and more details of how the organisation will grow will appear over the next few weeks and months. But the catalyst for our formation…..

We want Tom Hicks and George Gillett out of our club - why?

THEY LIED & HAVE JEOPARDISED OUR CLUB FOR THEIR PERSONAL GAIN

They promised that all loans would be would be secured against their own personal assets.

THEY LIED

They have taken out a loan of £350m. £105m has been secured against the club and £245m against Kop Holdings - which owns 100% of Liverpool Football Club and has only one source of revenue: The Club.

So, regardless of the smoke and mirrors, Liverpool Football Club has to pay all of the interest on all of the £350m.

The interest payments alone for this debt will be around £30m each year. All of which will be payable by Liverpool FC - more than enough to wipe out the club’s operating profit.

Gillett and Hicks have only taken out this new loan over an 18 month contract. This is very unusual for a deal of this size; three years is the usual minimum term. Wall Street analysts believe that this is because they had difficulty in getting the banks to lend them the money. Which raises questions about:

THE STADIUM

£60m of that loan has been earmarked for starting construction of the new ground.

There is no funding yet in place to complete the stadium, nor has planning permission been granted for a 71,000 capacity. Existing consent is for 60,000, with any increase depending upon improvements to transport and car parking. With no underground car park, the new plans have less car parking than the original 60,000 design!

If they can’t borrow again in 18 months then they cannot complete the stadium. How can they pledge now that the stadium will be built? In the same way they pledged it would be well on its way to completion twelve months ago - by misleading us.

So do they actually intend to complete the building of the new stadium?

Should Hicks & Gillett get the loan to actually build the new ground, the additional interest payments will be £25m per year.

This will leave Liverpool Football Club to shoulder annual payments of £55m in interest alone. Which begs the question:

WHERE WILL THE FUNDS COME FROM FOR TRANSFERS?

When they took over, Hicks & Gillett promised to back the manager in the transfer market.

From the two transfer windows Hicks and Gillett have owned the club for, Benitez has spent £48.5m on players, and recouped £33.5m in player sales. A net spend of £15m. This is the up-to-date figure that includes the purchase of Skrtel and the sale of Sissoko.

The club brought in around £30m from the run to the Champions League Final last season alone. On top of this there is the increased TV money the club has received.

Where is the money Gillett and Hicks have backed the manager with? They’ve lied to us, they’ve manipulated the press, and some people have believed the spin. We won’t.

In reality, after all the talk about money and Snoogy Doogy, the manager has spent £15m in the last two transfer windows. How is that backing him in the transfer market?

It is about time the real picture was painted for all Liverpool fans out there.

They promised to respect the club’s heritage, history and traditions.

THEY HAVE LIED AND LIED.

They asked to be judged on what their actions. Well they have failed to make a start or produce the funding on the stadium, the major reason why David Moores looked for investment, they have failed to back the manager in the transfer market. They have not put one single cent of their own money into this club and they have undermined the traditions of the football club and the office of manager.

They have, however, managed to create huge debt for LFC to pay off without any end product.

How, exactly, is the football club in a better position now than it was twelve months ago under David Moores?

After the Sunderland game, we staged a 15 minutes stay behind protest at the end of the game. We intend to do the same again.

During the protest, Steve McManaman commented on Setanta that the Americans had backed the manager in the transfer market, secured their new loan bringing money into the club, and we should all forget about it and move on. We don’t blame McManaman, a fair number of good Reds have been won over by their spin, so why shouldn’t a blue?

So it’s time to spread the message and get the real goings on from within Anfield to a wider audience.

It’s about time the truth was exposed.

Hicks and Gillett have to be forced out of Anfield before they wreak more havoc.

Keep a look out for sonsofshankly.com which will be going live in the next few days. We’ll be handing out flyers at the match with details of any future events.

We’ll announce any future meetings on our website, everyone invited, all opinions welcomed.

Please send this announcement on to everyone you know. And keep an eye on our website for further updates and how to get involved.

The next meeting is scheduled for The Olympia at 12pm on Saturday 16th February - before the Barnsley game.

The Olympia
99 West Derby Road
Liverpool
L6 2AF

Everybody welcome - See you all there.

“Liverpool Football Club, Is In The Wrong Hands”

“The socialism I believe in is everyone working for each other, everyone having a share of the rewards. It’s the way I see football, the way I see life”

LIVERPOOL SUPPORTERS UNION
“Sons of Shankly”

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Munich, Munich 58

"Eight of them died so they charged them five grand in the Munich TV rip-off" to badly paraphrase a Liverpool song sung in the days before it was bad form to taunt the opposition in such a vulgar way.

The story that is emerging is that Manchester United tried to charge the BBC 5,000 to show pictures of a Munich Air Disaster Tribute to be held at Old Trafford on February 10 in honour of the players who died in the fateful crash in 1958.

The club had already come under criticism for allowing a memorial mural to be sullied by the inclusion of their kit sponsors on the artwork and while the fee for the TV coverage is a piddling amount both decisions appear to suggest the club is quite happy to get some commercial leverage out of the tragedy.

Personally I don't really care about the disaster. It happened ten years before I was born and affected families of people I will probably never know. There are similar tragedies (wasteful deaths) happening every day of the year around the globe which fail to get the publicity they deserve and none will receive the media coverage of this event.

It would be interesting to know whether part of Man United's kit sponsorship deal included a clause stating the commercial logo should be part of any commemorative mural.

I have to admit to two anti-Manchester United events in my life. Confessing to them now does not feel to bad in the light of the club's effort to cash in on the disaster themselves.

When I worked as a betting shop manager in Huddersfield part of the job was to mark up the prices for any football match taking place that evening - correct score, half-time/full-time result and match odds, that type of thing. United were playing 1860 Munich in a European game but I could not help myself writing '1958 Munich'. Nobody noticed, by the way, but they were never the brightest bunch in Sheepridge. It was still wrong.

Anyhoo, (as my favourite blogger says) the next occasion came a couple of years later. After the independent company I worked for in Liverpool was taken over by Stanley Racing, I found myself confronted for the first time in my managerial career (managerial obviously used loosely) by a security manager.

To an honest lad like myself a security manager was just an annoyance and basically only gave me more paperwork to fill in and this particular bloke was a patronising, overweight ex-policeman who treated everyone as though they were a criminal and more to the point probably paid more than me for doing fuck all. To make matters worse he was a Man United fan.

He turned up one day to show me how to operate the new combination safe. It was hardly a difficult task to spin the wheel on the safe to one number between 1 and 100, twist it to another in the opposite direction and then back to a third chosen combination but he felt he had to pratonisingly show me.

"Right David," he said. "Give me a number between 1 and a hundred."

"Nineteen," I said.

"Great and another,"

"Fifty-eight"

"Well done and just one more"

"Eighteen."

Perhaps only Liverpool fans will get the last reference.

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