I have to start by saying I think Liverpool’s a great place to live. I’ve no intention of leaving and wouldn’t swap it for a return to the North East, not for a minute. Other people appear to like it too, it’s increasingly a tourist destination, with the river, nightlife, national museums, the Beatles and the Grand National all playing a part in attracting visitors.
Our Liverpool guests, Peter Hooton, rock singer and leading light in the Spirit of Shankly union, and Neil Jones, a Reds-supporting football writer, have dealt with some of the on-the-field issues affecting their club, who began the season hoping for the title but now have to settle for being just one of a cluster of clubs vying for fourth place. But let’s stop the pussyfooting: what do the fans really think of the owners? What, come to that, do they think about the lad who threw the beachball, whether cheating is OK provided it delivers the title and who will win Sunday’s match against Sunderland? And what do we think of Peter’s band, The Farm?* …
Your club has an immense history, with triumph and tragedy, glory and disappointment, but what would Bill Shankly and Bob Paisley have made of the current owners and their impact on LFC?
I think they would be horrified at what is happening. One of Bill Shankly’s most famous quotes is ‘At a football club there is a holy trinity- the players, the manager and the supporters. Directors don’t come into it. They are only there to sign the cheques.’ The problem with these cowboys is that they have run out of cheques; in fact they never had any in the first place!
Neil:It’s the million dollar question I suppose, I’m sure Shankly in particular would have plenty to say. He was a man who despised any interference from above, so he would not take kindly to some of the stunts pulled by the current owners. I’m sure he would be very much behind the supporters’ union which bears his name.