The Merseyside Derby is also known as the Friendly Derby, due to the fact that hostilities between the two sets of fanbases generally remain on the pitch, not off it. Indeed, whether Red or Blue, Scousers as a whole tend to share a left-leaning political ideology, and a sense of solidarity when it comes to big life and death topics.
As has been the case countless times over the years—most visibly in shared support for the Hillsborough Disaster—Reds and Blues are once again standing side by side when it matters the most. In this case, the clubs are sharing a joint initiative to raise funds for the victims of the recent earthquake in Syria and Turkey.
“Both sides will donate signed matchday shirts from the fixture to be auctioned off in support of the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) Turkey-Syria Earthquake Appeal,” Liverpool said in a press release.
“Everyone associated with both clubs has been left deeply saddened by the destruction and huge loss of life as a result of these earthquakes.
“After Monday night’s game, first-team players from the two sides will sign their match-issued shirts and auction them off with the help of LFC Foundation.”
The press release goes on to state that the funds will go directly toward paying for urgent medical care, shelter, and food and water for the victims.
It also urges supporters to donate to DEC directly.
Premier League players will also wear black armbands in support.
Although this is a great initiative (the donations, not the armbands), it feels as if more can and should be done, especially given the urgency of the relief efforts. Victims of the earthquake should not have to wait around until Monday night (plus however long it takes to auction off the shirts) to get relief from the clubs.
Moreover, these are funds that are coming from Liverpool and Everton supporters, and not the clubs themselves. If the clubs wanted to send more than “thoughts and prayers,” they could pony up some cash themselves, or at least agree to matching a certain percentage of the donations raised.