Day: July 11, 2012

New Direction for Supporters Direct?

It is clear that there is a conflict of interests running throughout English football. A conflict that lies between the different ways in which fans and owners see ‘their’ clubs. It is inherent in the running of a football club as a commercial organisation as opposed to a club’s community and social function. This was a key issue of the Supporters’ Direct Conference on 07 July, an issue which poses more questions than answers. Gabriel Marcotti set the tone early on in his keynote address. Calling on fans to be the  ‘vigilant watchdog’ of their clubs’ governance, he highlighted the many interests involved in football, a significant amount of which do not have the best interests of the individual clubs at heart. He said to the assembled delegates,’It is the fans who pay the wages, so without you there is no football club, clubs are nothing else but colours and fans.’ To be ‘vigilant watchdogs’, however, fans need knowledge on which to base their judgements. Marcotti identified that there is not enough detail in the public domain for fans to judge how well their club is doing financially. His solution was complete financial transparency on the part of the clubs – the publishing of all financial transactions on line as is done in the States. The concern is that private owners, despite frequently wanting to be seen as the ‘saviours’...

Read More

Liverpool FC Has Something To Take Pride In

The last nine months or so have not been easy for Liverpool Football Club. Winning the League Cup couldn’t paper over the cracks in the playing side of the clubs affairs, with a disappointing Premier League performance being enough to end the return of Kenny Dalglish. Since then, though, things have been a little more optimistic looking. The appointment of Brendan Rodgers as manager has a hint of risk about it, but early impressions have been of an intelligent man with a thorough understanding of the scale of the task ahead of him and the weight of history that the club carries, whilst rumours of, for example, the impending departure of Luis Suarez have proved – thus far – to be no more than hot air. There remains a little uncertainty around Anfield, but the club will at least start the coming season with at least a little of its poise regained. This week, however, we have seen a very positive announcement from the club when it confirmed that it would be entering into Liverpool’s gay pride festivities next month. Such a decision is unprecedented for a club the size of Liverpool. It has been confirmed that the club will not be sending any of its players to the carnival. This is somewhat unfortunate, but it is probably not surprising when we consider that the team is on a pre-season tour of...

Read More