After my last post, I was pretty bummed out to see that the comments degraded from intelligent dialogue to another excuse to slam Hicks and Gillette. I know that there are supporters groups that want them out. I know that there are supporters that are planning to boycott matches and buying official club merchandise in a bid to hurt the club financially to the point that the current owners have to sell. Will I be joining them? Absolutely not.
Being "across the pond," I guess people would like to believe that I would jump on the anti-yank bandwagon and burn my jock strap along with everyone else. The thing is though, I really have trouble subscribing to the notion that any group that claims to support the club, would be out to hurt it. I suppose this is an ends justify the means philosophy. It sort of reminds me of the abusive spouse that comes home in a rage while asking, "Why do you keep making me hurt you?" You may be comfortable in your hypocrisy, but I’m not.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m no fan of Hicks or Gillette. I believe they had good intentions when they came into the club, but made some mistakes and acted foolishly. Unfortunately, their on the job training hurts us all. They claimed to understand the heritage of Liverpool FC and it’s no surprise that they really didn’t or else they wouldn’t have bought the club in the first place. I say that because if they had understood the club, they would have understood the supporters and among others, the English public.
What pains me the most about the anti-Hicks and Gillette sentiment is that it doesn’t really stop at the owners. More often than not, it’s “Yanks Out!” and something derogatory about Americans. This leads me to believe that maybe the real problem has nothing to do with any mistake that Hicks or Gillette could have made, but that the biggest mistake was that they are Americans trying to own an English club. Whether it’s our non-existent foreign policy, anti-war sentiment, or being bitter over trying to turn Boston Harbor into a huge cup of tea 240 years ago, most people in the world just really don’t like Americans, especially the English. It must really piss people off that foreigners from that little colony across the pond are buying the biggest clubs of YOUR sport in YOUR country. I think if this was a simple case of “owners aired club laundry in public,” it’d be over and done with, but because it’s Americans, the issue keeps being rehashed over and over, which really is a bit insincere. If you don’t want club issues made public, quit talking about them. Quit buying newspapers that print them. You know, not everyone that prints papers in England is a Liverpool supporter. Hard to believe I know, but bad press sells more papers than good press. Just like I get more comments when talking about Hicks and Gillette than I do when talking about how Torres and Kuyt are doing in the Euro.
If you’re a real supporter and really one of the best fans in the world of the best club in the world, you already know that times of adversity are when your team needs you the most. Quit dwelling on the past and start thinking forward. This is when they really need you in the stands, wearing their kits, singing their songs. Do you think players like Fernando Torres who thrives on fan support would stick around if he looked up to an empty Kop after scoring a goal? I would think not.
So friends, I’ll be watching every game I can this season while rockin’ my new Torres kit because the words, “you’ll never walk alone,” do mean something to this Yank. I prefer to think of the positive aspects of this club. If you think for one minute that I’m going to fall into the rut of raking mud and destroying it, while calling myself a supporter, rather than hoping for a league title, you’re dead wrong. I don’t expect to have changed any minds or validated any opinions, but at least you know where I stand.
I can already feel the flames and hear it now, “stupid yank, not a real fan, you don’t know anything,” blah blah, whatever. You know where I stand. And I already know where you stand. So if you want someone to write negative things about the club, maybe you’d be more comfortable at a Manchester United blog.