Tag: Liverpool

The Bizarre Rituals Of Mutual Loathing

The FA Cup may well be the oldest football cup competition in the world – a fact that television viewers will doubtlessly be reminded of around three hundred times over the next seventy-two hours or so – but football supporters that don’t have to habitually wipe rage-induced spittle from the corner of their mouths could well be forgiven for approaching this weekends fixtures in the Fourth Round of the competition with a degree of trepidation. The draw for this weekends matches was as kind as it was unfair to the Football Association. A flagging competition needs a “big” match in each round, and it got it in the form of a trip to Anfield for Manchester United. But this match is more than just a renewal of old rivalries and an opportunity to claim a place in the last sixteen of a venerable – if somewhat grubby, these days – cup competition. We don’t need to go over the Suarez affair or Liverpool Football Club’s terrible handling if it yet again. That much is, outside of the red half of Liverpool and the madder elements of those of the opinion that political correctness has gone mad, a given. What is, however, perhaps worth reflecting upon is the extent to which this particular football match, to be played by two national and international institutions, and which should be a showpiece...

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After The Dust Has Settled On Liverpool

At least, we might pause to reflect, they didn’t choose to take the matter any further. The small matter of fuss surrounding the charges brought against Luis Suarez finally started to recede this week, after several months of headline-hogging. It passed with a final round of brow-furrowing from two sides of a debate that has become so entrenched as to resemble a First World War battle reconstruction, with the bloodhounds of the press finally being released after Liverpool and Suarez issued public statements themselves. This isn’t, however, a matter which is going to completely blow over. The already fractious relationship between Liverpool FC and Manchester United, which had finally been showing signs of starting to thaw in recent months, has seen any lasting vestiges of detente blown away, and the return of Suarez from his suspension may yet become a celebration of noble ideals and solidarity which have, over the last few weeks, become tarnished in defence of the indefensible. If the now infamous T-shirts worn at Wigan just before Christmas are anything to go by, such an eventuality would come as no great surprise. We are not going to go back over the verdict of the commission yet again. It has already been done here, as well as almost every other website, newspaper and podcast in the land. Suffice to say that, if we hold it up to anything like reasonable scrutiny, it seems...

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The Suarez Report: The FA’s Commission Finally Has Its Say

At one hundred and fifteen pages and a little over forty-four thousand words – getting on, for the purposes of comparison, for two and a half times the size of Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto – at least no-one can argue that the Football Associations independent commission into the allegations of racist language levied against Luis Suarez wasn’t thorough. It is now twenty-four hours since the full report was released by the FA, and the new year means that rigorous analysis it in the mainstream press may be delayed by a couple of days. The full results of the enquiry were never going to please everybody, of course, and the delay in and timing of its release was unhelpful in assuaging those of a Liverpool persuasion who felt that that this was the summation of some sort of conspiracy against their club. Was the timing of its release, they may contend, deliberately timed in order to The report itself does, however, demonstrate reasonably clearly why the panel reached the guilty verdict that it did, if the reason for the length of the ban is somewhat muddier. The proofs and burdens of the case are made very clear in its introduction. “It is not for Mr Suarez to satisfy the Commission that he didnot breach the Rules.”, it says, “Rather, it is for the FA to satisfy us to the required...

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An Extraordinary Statement From Liverpool FC

On the details of the case itself, we will have to see the full details of the FA’s investigation before passing any comment. We can, however, say with a degree of certainty that the reaction was as hysterical as might have been predicted and that oil has been poured onto an already raging fire by an official club statement from Liverpool Football Club itself which the club may yet come to repent at leisure. There can also be no doubting that the disciplinary action taken against Luis Suarez after having been found guilty of misconduct, regarding “using insulting words towards” Patrice Evra during the match between Liverpool and Manchester United in October, was far from lenient. An eight match ban is a lengthy one, although it is worth pointing out that trying to draw equivalences between this verdict and others from the past (and especially, in the case of John Terry, whose name has been thrown around as if the allegations made against him have any bearing whatsoever either way on this case) would appear to be barking up the wrong tree. After all, if the FA are as blindly incompetent (or, as some are claiming this evening, somehow under the influence of Alex Ferguson) as many Liverpool supporters seem to think this evening, then who is to say that previous judgements that they have passed down were all correct,...

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The Despicable Kelvin McKenzie

The road to redemption from Hillsborough has been a lengthy and painful for many, many people. Hundreds of people lost family members or friends on that day in April 1989, and the feeling that the establishment was closing ranks in order to cover up the truth behind what exactly happened to result in the deaths of ninety-six innocent people has been a bitter pill for those that survived or have otherwise had to live with their loss to have to swallow. After twenty two and a half years, however, it was starting to feel as if change was in the air. On an emotional evening at parliament, a vote to release all government documents was passed, meaning that we may finally get to learn a little more about what was going on inside the corridors of power all those years ago. Those that died that day can never be brought back but perhaps – just perhaps – the road towards closure has finally started to become visible in the distance. For everything, though, the deniers remain, spreading their poison and seeking – whether to protect themselves or merely for their own amusement – to cloud the waters surrounding the disaster, and their patron saint is the wretched, despicable Kelvin McKenzie. McKenzie was, of course, the editor of The Sun at the time and it was under his instruction that...

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