Manchester City as they currently exist are little more a public relations distraction for a human rights-abusing nation state, an attempt to make people think of talented players and Pep Guardiola’s flowing football when they hear the words Abu Dhabi rather than oil wealth and slavery. They have few fans and less history. And, for most neutral fans, they’re the clear choice to win the Premier League.
So we wanted to know what’s so bad about Liverpool, in the eyes of everyone else, that across the length and breadth of England and around the globe, everyone else seems to be rooting for said PR distraction for a human rights-abusing nation state to beat them to their first title in nearly three decades. And, as we’re part of a large network of club sites, we went and asked a few of them. This is what they told us, starting with Leicester City, Newcastle United, and Manchester United.
Jack Lee - Fosse Posse (Leicester City)
Personally, I’d much prefer a Liverpool win, and can’t wait for Leicester to do their bit to finish off the title race on May 4th. I’m for anyone but Man City these days, but I also always like to see new names on trophies—and you’d think that’s something most Leicester fans could get behind. But that doesn’t feel like that’s the case. Part of the problem is that with their history of success, expensive stars, and Klopp’s ability to find excuses when things don’t go their way, Liverpool don’t make for a very loveable or believable underdog.
Beyond that, many of the complaints amongst Leicester fans seem to be about certain tendencies within the Liverpool fan base: perhaps if we heard less often about how many European Cups you have, there’d be more pity about the lack of recent league titles. There’s also a distinct element of schadenfreude with Liverpool never winning the Premier League, and fans are loath to lose that and our bragging rights as real underdogs who have won it one more time than they ever have.
Bryan Nelson - Coming Home Newcastle
Liverpool absolutely deserve to be where they are with a chance to take down Manchester City. Some might even think that Rafa would be willing to hand them their upcoming match on a silver platter, but that’s simply not true and any fan who is thinking that way is just crazy.
And for Newcastle fans, they mostly want to see their team be the spoiler. Look anywhere on Facebook and you’ll see Liverpool hate left and right from the fans. Mainly it’s about how they’d never stop hearing Liverpool fans talk if they won a title. A lot fans have a historical strong dislike towards the Merseyside club and want nothing more than to see them lose, now and always. In particular, many are still bitter over the 1996-1997 season (Liverpool gave Newcastle their final loss of the season and they went on to finish second), and it feels a bit like if we can’t have one, no one else can.
So while I can personally say I wish Liverpool all the best in their title challenge, I can’t say that many of my fellow Newcastle fans feel the same.
Colin Damms - The Busby Babe (Manchester United)
Manchester United and Liverpool are without a doubt the two biggest clubs in the history of English football, and it would take decades before anyone else catches up. Manchester United only overtook Liverpool in league titles because they were lucky enough to have Sir Alex Ferguson for over two decades of unprecedented, sustained success.
That being said, Reason One I don’t want them to win the league is because what scares me about this Liverpool team is the possibility that they can go on their own run of success now under Klopp. I wanted Jurgen Klopp to be Sir Alex’s successor in 2013, and again a year later when David Moyes was sacked, because he brings a passion and energy to his teams that is rare to see from managers today. So many are focused on a system rather than establishing a culture of winning. He’s been given the time and resources to build a team he wants. It’s clearly worked, and with the age of the squad and key players he could build a team that will challenge for trophies every season for the foreseeable future. Now, if he delivers silverware, Liverpool’s stars likely won’t leave like many have in the past.
So, with the first reason being fear of what will follow once the first title is won, the second reason I don’t want Liverpool to win the league is because of how unbearable it will be interacting with Liverpool fans once they’ve actually won the league. One of the things I love about sports is the almost certainly irrational emotional investment fans are allowed to have in their teams’ rivalries, and this great rivalry in particular is just at another level of competitiveness for these two historic cultures. Much of my intense dislike of Liverpool is fuelled by the legacy rivalry between them and Manchester United, one that will ideally never end. However, Liverpool really only have the 2001 cup wins and the 2005 UEFA Champions League as major accomplishments in my lifetime. I’ve never had to live in a world dominated by Liverpool, and I’d rather not start now, especially while United struggle to carry on their own historic successes.
I want United to always have an edge over their rivals, in history and on the pitch, and the road back to the top will almost certainly be tougher if Liverpool win again.