ANGER: A banner declaring the death of Liverpool Football Club is tied to the gates of Anfield Stadium. AFP/VNA Photo
It’s been a week like no other.
I never thought I’d find myself in total agreement with former Manchester United defender and all-round Liverpool hater Gary Neville, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Prince William and always-annoying TV presenter James Corden.
All of the above, and a lot more on top, had the guts to stand up and speak out against the ludicrous notion of a European Super League.
After the idea was suggested to form this breakaway league that would allow rich owners of football clubs to get even richer, all hell broke loose.
Fan protested, shirts were burned, angry banners created and even T-shirts worn by players themselves opposed to the plan. Football fans of all teams united, desperately worried that the game they adore so much was falling apart.
Thankfully, after just a few days of concern, common sense prevailed. First Chelsea backed out, then Manchester City, and finally the rest of England's so-called big six said they wanted no part in the scheme.
But despite their dramatic U-turn, I fear the damage has already been done. The plan itself was so out-of-touch with reality, it just shows how little fat cat owners of big football clubs actually care about supporters.
John Henry is a prime example.
When his company, Fenway Sports Group, took over Liverpool Football Club, I was delighted. Investment was made, the team improved, extensive work was carried out on the stadium, and eventually, success came with Liverpool winning both the Champions League and Premier League in successive seasons.
But behind the scenes, there were some cracks appearing.
Henry first caused angst among the supporters when the club increased season ticket prices. Then at the beginning of the pandemic, he tried to furlough staff and went cap in hand to the government to ask for financial help.
And then of course the ridiculous Super League.
Thankfully, again due to fan power, ticket prices stayed the same and the furlough plan was scrapped. But it does show how despite coming across as Mr Nice Guy, Henry has a ruthless streak running through him.
On Wednesday he took to social media to apologise to supporters for his latest misjudgement and ask for forgiveness.
I’m not sure 1) if he’ll get it, and 2) if he actually deserves it.
I understand sports are far different in America than England, but I really don’t think John Henry does.
This isn’t over. Henry clearly isn’t happy with the US$2.8 billion fortune he has amassed, and despite being 71 years old, he seems to want more.
In his two and a half minute apology, he referred to Liverpool as a family and ended his statement by saying: “It’s important that the Liverpool football family remains intact, vital and committed to what we’ve seen from you globally, with local gestures of kindness and support. I can promise you I will do whatever I can to further that.”
Problem is John, it was your greed and lack of humanity that almost destroyed that family.
You may own Liverpool Football Club but you work for me. Me and every other supporter who loves their team more than you will ever know.
The Super League may be gone for now, but there will be another plan in the future, a different scheme thought up by fat cat football club owners who feel they must get fatter.
And when that does happen, and it will, once again, it will be the fans who suffer the most. — VNS