Monday, 12 April 2010

LIVERPOOL FC: Please mate, can I have my football back?

"ALRIGHT mate, can I have my football back?"

Having a kickabout as a kid, there were plenty of times I had to brave the wrath of the bitter bloke who lived on his own and got too protective of his garden gnomes.

It was a daunting task to go and knock for the bright orange Trophy 5 footie – but it had to be done for the good of the game.

Now I want my football back again – only this time I don't know where to knock.

Supporting Liverpool these days feels like someone's stuck a knife in the ball. Sometimes, someone turns up with another one and we have a game – like against Benfica.

All of a sudden, it's just how you remembered it. Floodlights, banter, laughs, good football, great goals, another cracking European result and a couple of bevvies.

Then the ball's gone again. We're back to the half-baked, half-arsed, nearly-but-not-quite version of the game. Like when someone turned up at the park with a Shoot 5 (those crap flyaways for a nicker from Eddie's shop round the corner).

You could still have a game, but it wasn't as good (those mad banana shots were funny at first but the novelty soon wore off).

The novelty of Tom Hicks and George Gillett wore off a long time ago. But like a fart lingering in an old settee, they're still here three years later.

Their ownership casts a permanent shadow of doubt over the club that is affecting everyone - fans, players, manager. Everyone.

They turned up clutching a shiny Adidas Tango, wearing a pair of Puma Kenny Dalglish. Everyone took a look and thought, 'Here we go, these lads can play'.

Yet it turned out they couldn't even kick a ball. And when they went up for a header they closed their eyes and missed it.

They didn't even know the rules.

But they weren't the only ones who took their eye off the ball.

Rick Parry and David Moores asked them round for a game in the first place – and they'd never even seen them play.

They only had to ask – plenty of people knew their game.

Now Hicks and Gillett have hidden every footie in the shop. We can't even have a game of headers and volleys. And until someone turns up with a load of money, we're stuck playing knock and run.

I'm not getting excited about a Chelsea fan who's worked for British Airways becoming a non-executive chairman (or some such trumped-up sh*te) at Anfield.

And I'm not excited about 'Barcap' looking for a buyer for Liverpool Football Club.

Because to my mind, to put it bluntly, Hicks and Gillett are taking the p*ss out of us.

Just when it looked like the big boys would send them packing back to their own park, they've dug their heels in.

£600m? Why would anyone pay that for Liverpool Football Club in its current state (£237m in debt and looking for the same again and more for a new stadium)?
An extension from RBS on the deadline fans thought might flush Hicks and Gillett out is just the downer we didn't need.

And come the summer, if the third bank to tout Liverpool round the globe looking for a buyer can't find a billionaire born yesterday, it will be Rafa Benitez and Fernando Torres taking their ball home.

And frankly, who can blame them? This isn't what they signed up for. So what's the answer? Well that's the really scary bit...

No-one seems to know.