Viet Nam News
by Paul Kennedy
Around 200 men from Liverpool travelled to Spain in 1933.
They were ordinary, working class lads. Many from industrial backgrounds like coal miners, or dock workers, who headed south to fight in the Spanish Civil War.
At the time, the UK government wanted nothing to do with troubles in Spain where General Francisco Franco was hell bent on ruling the country with a fascist iron fist.
Despite the ban on Brits helping out, the Liverpudlians, along with many other working class men from other cities in the UK, went anyway, picked up their arms and fought side by side with soldiers who they couldn’t even speak the same language as.
They had no real reason to be there other than they believed it was the right thing to do. No doubt most, if not all of those fighting, had socialist tendencies and strong anti-fascist beliefs.
Liverpool as a city doesn’t go down easily without a putting up a fight. I’m sure the same can be said for many working class residents of towns in England.
But from personal experience, I can safely say, hell hath no fury like a Scouser scorned.
Take the Hillsborough disaster of 1989 for example. At the time, and for many years that followed, the authorities said the reason the 96 Liverpool fans lost their lives was of their own making.
Bucks were passed from those in power to the fans at the game. The people of Liverpool refused to accept this. They refused to go down without a fight.
Years later the truth finally came out. The supporters who attended the ill-fated FA Cup semi-final in Sheffield were completely blameless and now, rightly so, those in power who lied, cheated and covered up the despicable actions must face the music.
On Saturday Liverpool supporters staged another powerful protest, albeit on a smaller scale.
In the away end at Vicarage Road for Liverpool’s match against Watford, a number of banners could be seen spelling out the following:
“Scudamore’s £5,000,000 greed”
Others worked out exactly how many season tickets you could buy with that amount of money (VND149 billion) and how many families on low income could be fed. For the record it’s 56,180 weekly shops for foodbanks and 11,662 Premier League season tickets.
The banners referred to the amount of money football clubs were being asked to chip in to give a golden handshake to outgoing Premier League Chief Executive Richard Scudamore.
The barmpot plan was hatched by Chelsea FC Chairman Bruce Buck who reportedly asked each top-flight football club to pay £250,000 (VND7 billion) as a leaving present for Mr Scudamore.
Scudamore has already earned in excess of £30m (VND893 billion) with his basic salary of £1m-a-year, excluding bonuses.
It is understood five were against the idea and it has now been stated the money will be paid out of a different Premier League fund.
Those in power said the golden gift was: “In recognition of the outstanding work Richard has carried out over the last 19 years.”
I have no doubt Richard’s work was outstanding, and the Premier League is the greatest division in world football. But wasn’t that his job? Wasn’t that exactly the reason why he was paid an astronomical amount of money in the first place?
Supporters groups were not happy, and one from Liverpool FC suggested there are far better ways to spend the money. Imagine what good that amount would do to help grass-roots football in poor areas of the country?
In 1895, at the height of the bleak winter of inactivity in the port of Liverpool, Everton Football Club donated £1000 (VND30 million) to relief agencies and set up food kitchens to help 12,000 people.
It was necessary at the time and money well spent. Everton FC made the gesture, I’m sure, because it was the right thing to do.
But is it right to pay an extremely rich and well off executive a gargantuan amount money for no other reason than for doing his job?
I don’t think so. In fact the only person I believe would agree with such a crackpot gesture is General Francisco Franco himself. — VNS