IT seems clarification is in order. I suppose I must have subconsciously known it when penning a piece on Suarez and Evra that even going near the subject of Heysel was going to provoke reaction.
I decided to go with it, to be brutually honest, not for sensationalism’s sake but because I genuinely saw a parallel in one element of the history of the two eras in terms of Liverpool Football Club.
What I was drawing comparison with was the weight of media negativity towards the club and its support. I’m old enough to vividly remember the Heysel era.
In the days and weeks that followed it there was column after column printed, and talking head after talking head, after half baked sociology guy hauled before cameras to explain what was wrong with ‘us’ (Liverpool fans) as people.
It felt relentless and unfair on the vast majority of our supporters who would never have done anything to endanger other fans.
In retrospect it was reasonable to expect the torrent of negative coverage in 1985.
People had died, and football generally was rightly under the microscope.
At the time, I’ll confess, it felt overwhelming. I wasn’t sure if I felt guilt by association or angry defiance in that ‘we’ as LFC were all being tarred with one brush.
The comparison to now ? None, really apart from in this sense – I don’t recall the club coming under such intense negative scrutiny and criticism at any time since then, until now.
Of course the subject matter is very different but there are parallels in terms of the width and breadth of the media coverage. That’s all.
My point is that I felt ‘shame’ was being foisted upon us, en masse, and not in a proportional way. Of course then Liverpool fans were being labelled murderers and now it feels like we’re being tagged as racists.
Being called a killer is one thing, but being associated with racism has a very very nasty stench to it too, and a not inconsiderable historical implication to it to boot.
I don’t need reminding that there are sensitivities involved around Heysel, (especially by supporters of other clubs) but that doesn’t make the subject taboo, or for a subtle observation to be taken out of context.
I’ve read some of the comments at the end of my piece and most seem confined to the ‘you can’t go there’ variety. Why can’t I ?
Why can’t we talk about Heysel? Those involved in that fateful charge in Brussels carry the shame and guilt of Heysel with them. Forever I hope.
I don’t. Liverpool supporters as a wider group shouldn’t either.
That’s not to say we don’t take responsibility for what was done in our name, or that we shouldn’t have taken the lead in lending whatever assistance we could to grieving families of those that never came back.
It is correct too that we should remember and honour their dead as we do our own.
If I have mis-communicated the point at which the comparison begins and ends then hands up.
I thought I was clear in saying that ‘Heysel was about life and death. It was more important than an argument between two millionaire athletes, and the loyalties of two warring tribes,’ that I was not in any way comparing the severity of the two incidents. I was talking very personally about the way the two eras made me feel. That was my confession.
Well said Rob, I think the one that took most issue with you over even daring to mention Heysel is a manc anyway so nuff said there then.
You were very clear in your original piece and anyone who didn’t understand the clear explanation in the 1st piece chose not to.
Pretty much what I was going to say. There was no lack of clarity in the original piece, so anyone who took it the wrong way did so on purpose.
I suppose I’m the said Manc that took such such issue by Dave’s reference above, I wasn’t alone though and I very much doubt Rob would have felt the need to post about in a new blog were it just me.
That said, I respect the fact Rob is man enough to acknowledge that maybe he shouldn’t have used it, if not unequivocally so.
Only one question and it may be rhetorical, any consideration that LFC have brought some of the media attention on themselves? In an age of 24/7 news the slightest controversial story is going to get inches and when its potential audience is millions, then those inches become pages and features. It’s something we have all live with.
Crip, Your comment that “the slightest controversial story is going to get inches and when its potential audience is millions, then those inches become pages and features” is slightly disingenuous. The mainstream ‘media’ pretty much chose which stories to turn into campaigns and which to let go.
You could take, for example, the different attitudes to and coverage of “Suarez PROBABLY said a racist word 7 times” (deport him/scum of the earth/racist scousers) to “John ‘caught red-handed on You Tube saying “you black c**t”‘ Terry” (brave/courageous/stoic/heart on sleeve).
Liverpool certainly had no power over how these two stories were so comparatively different that you’d think Suarez was actually caught planting a burning cross in Evra’s front yard – rather than found guilty of PROBABLY saying the Spanish ‘negro’ (pronounced Negggro not neeegro) 7 times.
Or, take, for example, a certain other club not too far from Liverpool, where a certain manager has spent his career bullying journalists to such an extent that they would rather cower in front of him than criticize him, or his players – for fear of being banned from press conferences ad infinitum.
Much of what the media covers is driven by the media itself, as those at the top ‘decide’ what is newsworthy and everyone else follows for fear of being left behind.
I agree that the mainstream media does pick and choose it’s stories but it tends to pick the ones with mileage and they were spot on with this one. We’re still discussing it as passionately months on from the event. You’ll notice the comments section and see any blogs posted in the last few months that have covered this subject have generated more comments and hits than any other.
The difference between the LS case and JT is that the latter has become a matter for the Crown Prosecution Service and that has limited, if I understand correctly, what exactly the media can report and comment on.
It is my strong belief that there have been structural and organisational failures within LFC that has result in some of the statements and actions in the aftermath of the actual event and judgement. There is an excellent comment in Rob’s previous blog by Reds4Life that demonstrates how LFC could have taken some of the heat out of the situation (it’s towards the end if you care to read it).
As for SAF bullying journalists…well I think this case demonstrates that MUFC are VERY fortunate to have a manger of his standing and longevity and if his tactics ensure journalists give him and MUFC a degree of respect when reporting, well you’ll not be surprised that I don’t see that as a bad thing. Are you right to be resentful? Probably so and who knows in time if KD is around long enough he may have that same impact, would it bother you at all then?
In closing, the media might choose the story to follow but it’s only because they know we will follow it. Had we not, they would have dropped it a long time ago.
Crip, not to go over old ground as i am completely fed up with the whole bloody thing, however i have seen many Man U fans like yourself lecturing Liverpool on what they should or should not have done.
After all they (you?) point out Suarez was found guilty by an independent panel etc. And this is my point they never mention that the FA have a 99.5% conviction rate. As near as makes no difference you are guilty as soon as you are charged.
Let me ask you this. Do you have no concern over a conviction rate of this level?
Would you be happy to face a (so called) court with a conviction rate of 99.5%
This whole thing has been a bloody farce from start to finish and i am angry with my club but not for not being contrite sooner but for failing to tell the whole F****** media to do one.
Firstly I think that comment I referred to was made by an LFC fan.
Secondly I am very concerned about that conviction rate when I first heard it reported. Though what concerns me more is the PL clubs accept this and don’t challenge it further though I don’t know under what framework the FA bring charges and thusly convict and this would need to be investigated further than simply taking the headline of 99.5% conviction rate. I would LOVE to know what 0.05% cases actually were not guilty, just for novelties sake if nothing else.
Thirdly I point out LS was found guilty of using certain language and not that of being a racist and that Evra in his own statement says he does not believe LS to be a racist.
Fourthly, I also take into consideration that it is one mans word against another’s and I don’t take Evra’s version to be gospel and I suspect the real truth is somewhere in the middle.
As for telling the media to do one? I’m not sure what that would have achieved.
You’re right that the media has certain restrictions upon what they can and cannot say about Terry’s case, but you missed my point slightly.
Suarez has been demonized for PROBABLY saying something.
Terry is, in the face of reporting restrictions on the actual case, being eulogized for his bravery, stoicism etc.
As for Ferguson’s tactics, yes he’s shielded your club from a lot of flak, but again my point was that the media do not ALWAYS pick the story with the most mileage – the Rooney “granny shagging” had far more mileage in it than it got.
In a similar vein, virtually none of the media picked up on the sheer hypocrisy of Rooney’s “red card” tweet of a fortnight ago.
I don’t resent your club for this, but the spineless hypocrites who write the back pages of our national ‘news’papers.
As for what happened in the immediate aftermath of the allegations, you’re right – we did things wrong, and the most stupid thing was half a dozen people immediately sticking their oar in, instead of going through proper channels.
As for comments sections – especially in those newspapers, if you wiped out half the comments from low-lifes looking to score cheap points, removed all the faux moral posturing, and looked for sensible comments from people like yourself wishing to actually, debate the issue, we’d be down to half a dozen posts per article.
I accept there is a basis for an argument that this hysteria is based on something LS only PROBABLY said and I can appreciate the bitterness on that basis, given it’s not conclusive even if there is a leaning one way or the other.
However one thing I’m not totally sure is that LS has been demonised. My concern is there is a perception that he has been by LFC fans and certainly some journalists have banging the drum as loud as they can on this matter and while I’ve not read every article in relation to this affair, I genuinely would be interested in reading those that you feel support this statement.
As for “granny shagging”, personally I don’t see the mileage in it all. Maybe for the tabloids and it got it’s share of space there but certainly nothing beyond that. I can’t imagine Sky/BBC bringing in commentators to offer opinions on Rooney’s sex life.
I do agree our media does however have a tendency to go after the foreigners than the nationals of the country on any matter, maybe they just happen to be considered soft targets. Reading the press you’d think only the foreigners dived.
As for Rooney tweeting, I really wish he wouldn’t. I love him for what he does on the pitch but I really wonder if there’s anything in the space between his ears sometimes.
***”It is my strong belief that there have been structural and organisational failures within LFC that has result in some of the statements and actions in the aftermath of the actual event and judgement.”***
Your comment as regards what LFC might have done differently in the immediate aftermath of the Suarez-Evra confrontation – by which I assume you mean they ought to have displayed greater humility and sought to apologise earlier in the cycle – is, I think, at least partially answered by the fact that the original charge against Suarez was that he’d called Evra a “n**ger” multiple times.
Innocent mistranslation by Evra or otherwise, Suarez, Dalglish and Commolli left Mariner’s room under no illusion that the nature of the allegation against Suarez was that he’d called Evra a “n**ger” multiple times. It’s not difficult to imagine the level of consternation such an accusation would have generated and it helps explain, I believe, why LFC did not at that stage extend any olive branches.
Now, suppose Evra had translated “negro” as he should have done (“black”) and relayed this to Mariner. Given Suarez is openly admitting to using “negro/black” it’s entirely possible that in such a scenario a constructive discussion could have ensued there and then. After all, in such a counter-factual there is no longer a dispute about what is being said, only the motivation and meaning behind it. I’m not claiming this would necessarily have brought this episode to a swift conclusion, but the chances of some form of rapprochement – either in Mariner’s room or later – are infinitely greater.
What has never been made clear is precisely at what point Evra came to understand that he had mistranslated “negro”, and further when he or his legal team communicated this LFC so they were aware of the nature of the charge against their player? I would really like to know the answers to those questions. Depending on the answers, they could go at least some way to explaining why positions remained as entrenched as they did.
Remember that once the accusation was made and the parties failed to resolve their dispute in Mariner’s room, his report has to include reference to Evra’s accusation, an FA enquiry is inevitable and the legal process takes over. You’re not going to have a situation where the defendant is making favourable overtures once a formal legal process has launched; that’s called prejudicing your case and the legal teams in both cases would have been counselling their clients accordingly.
You make some valid points and I’ll admit during my thought process I hadn’t actually considered the reaction of the LFC management when they first were informed the word was nigger and then later corrected to negro. I can certainly see the anger, consternation & skepticism that would have initially generated.
However, in terms of doing things differently it wasn’t actually the need to be humble and apologetic, I think KD should never have had to answer questions on the matter. He’s the manager not the PR exec and a neutral but supportive statement should have been issued and all further questions referred back to that statement until the matter was resolved.
As for the whole process, I don’t think it also helped that Evra’s claims ended up in the media. I strongly believe players and managers should NOT speak to the media in the immediate aftermath of the game. Certainly in this respect I think MUFC made one mistake in allowing Evra to do so given they knew about the allegation. Once it got out into the media it became messy to deal with and something the FA should look into preventing in future cases.
I don’t think the statement from the club helped post verdict, especially when it attempted to discredit Evra, while I appreciate there would be anger within the club, surely the PR department would know better?
In the end though none of us know what happened and we don’t have the evidence and it would be remiss of us to take a hardline stance either way simply because it would not be an informed choice but simply an emotive one.
You can’t comment about Ferguson bullying the media without admitting Dalglish does the same thing.
As a slight aside – has Ferguson ever apologised, for anything, in his 26 years @ OT?
On the bullying issue: a friend of mine had an interesting experience recently. He, like me, was so incensed by an article written by Martin Samuel ( which, as usual, was profoundly anti-LFC ) that he sent him an email asking why he never criticised SAF. MS sent him a reply in which he stated that he was not allowed to criticise SAF. I challenged my friend on this, not believing that he got a reply. He was adamant and went on to tell me that MS also stated that if he or his colleagues did criticise SAF then their ‘copy’ would not go out. Sounds daft, I know, but not so daft when you remember that the chief football writer at the Daily Mail is Matt Lawton , an avid United fan. We also know that SAF is not averse to banning newspapers or reporters who dare to criticise him.
That’s quite an allegation and since this communication was done via email I’m sure I’m not alone in wanting to see this email, can this be arranged?
Unless it’s about thousands of people singing Hillsborough songs.
Sorry, being ‘tribal’ again.
Crip, I don’t think we should have to live with it and I hope that TAW and other independent news sources can eliminate the current sensationalism in journalism by showing that you can be successful without mouthing off like that cunt Piers Morgan.
Maybe you’re right, maybe we shouldn’t have to live with it, I just don’t see the alternative. With so many media mediums, with so much hours and pages to fill and with so many qualified and unqualified people clamoring to put forward their opinions there is little choice but to have it shovel fed down our throats.
For years tabloids have lived off sensationalists stories and it’s no surprise they had the highest circulation because as much as people resent it, they also crave it.
How we react to it is entirely our call.
On that note, it’s fantastic to see TAW increase its output and I hope that it may continue for a long time. I would love to see match reports from a part of TAW staff.
Crip, your supporter base celebrates Heysel with relish.
Your supporter base has prominent members who sold baby clothes celebrating Heysel.
Your players sang about Heysel in Moscow.
Heysel is one of your supporter base’s happiest touchstones.
You make t-shirts, songs, chants and whole exultant celebrations over Heysel.
So why the hysteria now?
I can’t speak for others, only myself. I condemn any MUFC “fan” who has sang and mocked LFC fans about Heysel/Hillsborough as I condemn any “fan” who has sung and mocked the Munich tragedy.
I can’t understand why anyone would do that, I don’t relate to it at all on ANY level.
bobby, i don’t think those actions are representative of uinited fans and to pretend that they are is disingenuous. Every single football fanbase has a section of degenerates.
When virtually a whole stand is singing songs about Hillsborough they must be a bloody big
set of degenerates
The only way a large, prominent and persistent section of Manchester United supporters could exult more in Heysel, would be if they re-wrote the lyrics to Kool and the Gang’s ‘Celebration’ in tribute to it.
So tell me again, why has Guttman caused such spluttering outrage amongst the ranks of the Heysel Celebrators?
Now of course, not every Man Utd fan celebrates Heysel or approves of those songs, chants, t-shirts, baby bibs, and Moscow jigs. That goes without saying.
But I ask again, when your supporter base has celebration of Heysel at the core of its culture, why are you outraged by this, rather than the Heysel celebration at the heart of your support?
I’d be more outraged about MUFC fanbase rejoicing it Heysel/Hillsborough then Rob’s comment and I have argued and countered them in the past. I can’t speak for them. You’re more than welcome to address them yourself though I can’t say from the previous blog’s comments section that there were fans who were celebrating Heysel while condemning Rob.
As for coming in peace, I don’t think I have anything but, I’m not here to goad or incite. I actually enjoy the site and it’s more engaging to debate/argue with fans of the opposition than those of the same mind. Allows for a broader perspective.
Yes of course, not all Manchester United fans celebrate Heysel and delight in its celebration. I’m certainly not accusing any of the reasonable Man Utd fans here of doing that. We as LFC supporters also have a section that says and sings things that most of us don’t approve of.
My questions are really to those Man Utd supporters who have been spluttering with rage because of Guttman’s references to it.
Once again I repeat – I don’t hold all Utd fans collectively responsible anymore than I’d want all LFC fans held collectively responsible for the views of a section of them.
But for the frothing at the mouth brigade turned lunatic by Guttman’s piece, I’d suggest you direct your ire elsewhere.
Come in peace and discuss is the message I guess.
anyone who didnt have the brains to understand your last article can go and fuck themselves it was spot on and was representative of most liverpool fans that i know mindset on this fucking farce
Rob … Thanks for the clarification. Although not necessary for me, as I saw the comparison you were trying to make .. but recognising that others didn’t, and clarifying will, I hope, stop the over reactions of some.
And I agree … We should be able to talk about Heysel, open discussion, respecting everyone’s point of view is good.
just as I disagreed with your comments earlier this week, I agree with your comments today.
May we all be able to have dialogue about any subject, with calmness and respect.
Good read Rob. Some of my mates are “losing it” over the Apologies issued.
I have tried to bring up the fact that the club suffered MUCH worse after Hysel and that this is a storm that we can come through in a few weeks.
NOBODY likes to talk of it or bring up any response when I do. The club is FAR bigger than a player and the anti-Liverpool media will go away until they can drag another piece up. This is NOT the club selling out or anything like it.
Keep up the great work on this site and the Podcasts!
The point is quite simple Crip, as much as the false indignation of fans from other Clubs is bloody palpable, the fact is LFC and our fan base are treated with far more undue disdain than many other EPL Clubs.
Bare in mind If you will, the racist remarks that have passed without much attention paid in recent years, compared to this subjective incident.
Imagine If you will, the press interest if it were Liverpool fans who sat atop of the “Hooligan Chart” for 2011 according to the Home Office reports? Do fans even know where their collectives sit in the table? Probably not, but you would if LFC were top as it would be on the backpage of every Redtop in the Country.
Now, for arguments sake, a fan who reacts angrily to being tarnished a “yob” due to some Home Office information has every right to do so should they feel completely innocent of the accusation – are they then seen to be “overreacting” and “bringing it on themselves”?
The culpability may belong elsewhere, alas when a perceived ‘group’ of people are involved in anything, the blame is laid squarely at the feet of the entire group, not just those who were actually involved.
By the by, it was Manchester United who sat atop of the “Hooligan Chart”; with arrest numbers almost triple that of their nearest challenger…I guess that makes them all a bunch of yobs.
I’m not sure I can agree that LFC and it’s fans are treated with more disdain than others. I as a United fan certainly don’t see it. Sure I “hate” LFC in so muc as I am a United fan but I don’t have any impression of LFC fans being more yob-like than any others. I don’t see how being a fan of a team would define your characteristics.
In terms of comparisons, I think they’re near impossible to do. Not only because each situation is unique and each reaction is unique but also because how things are reported is so different today from say even 5 years ago with the advent of Twitter/Facebook, the greater access of the masses to the internet and all it’s wonderful delights.
I do agree that certain journalists (and possibly publications) may have agenda’s they wish to pursue, some just see legs in a story and decide to pursue it, others may link previous events and misdemeanors, perceived or otherwise to create something sensational because sensationalism means more viewership and readership which in turn means more ratings and circulation.
We can all act and think how the media would like us too or take a step back and open our minds a little.
Well said rob ,
I’m sick to death of the stigmas carried around since heysel.
Yes those who made that charge were responsible for their own actions but not the sole cause.
Look at other factors as well the grounds suitability for one , it was said to have not been safe even back in 80,s standards . Even think back to 85 when juventus were awarded a penalty for a foul 10 yards outside the box.
But let’s look at uefa and Italy as well . 2006 Italy lifted the world cup the same year it’s top teams were all found guilty of corruption and deducted demoted and disgraced how can you fix a game with out instructing players , this said , how the fuck were Italy in the competition?
Lets go back a little more
Police officer shot dead outside an Italian match Serie A’s response
Weekend games cancelled
A little later inter v ac Milan semi final CL game , moped thrown onto pitch flares fired between rival fans
Serie A’s response a few token games played behind closed doors . Same situation a year before
Now one a little earlier 1984 Rome
It was a time I was a red like my dad and most of my family .
I went and saw 7 of my dads good mates off to Italy we met them in the seven stars pub on great homer street , my dads local. The lads were all in good spirits drunks but happy drunks no trouble causers amongst them but well able to look after them selves.
I can remember jumping around my living room with our black and white portable tv above my head when Joe Fagans team held old big ears aloft much to my baby sitters despair.The next day news filtered through about scenes of carnage in Rome after the game then bad news a day later 2 of my dads 7 mates had been stabbed ,all 7 beaten up other similar stories I was told by my dad.
Did Uefa / FIFA act ? No they never.
During the 80s I can remember uk teams being particularly dominant aberdeen Celtic rangers everton villa forest arsenal spurs liverpool . In my opinion it was quite convenient to blanket ban all UK clubs pretty much the same as platinis mission to render uk clubs impotent by cutting finance to them with his FFP baby . The picture is bigger to me far bigger I don’t for one minute feel you liverpool fans should carry any guilt for heysel .
The bunch of corrupt bung taking idiots presiding over our game should .
I only wish most of my evertonian friends would see this and stand together with you .
I miss the friendly derbies
No need to explain again, I read and understood your sentiments perfectly easily yesterday. Unfortunately the mouth breathers amongst the population can’t read very well, and understand even less. As Will Shakespeare was once heard to utter…fuck ’em.
What do you personally gain from constantly picking at this sore? Why do you lurk on this site?
I’m not even sure what to say this question….
Firstly I’m not picking at any sore, merely responding to blogs that were posted. If I was the one initiating those blogs you may well be able to level that at me.
As for lurking, I do nothing of the sort. I’m openly posting and engaging. I can only infer from your question you don’t approve of my doing so?
FWIW, I’m glad Crip is here. He’s a lucid, amenable commenter who seems to be prepared to discuss anything in good faith. Yes, he’s a Manc, but after 10 years in the blogging business myself, I can tell you there’s nothing more tedious than an echo chamber.
I thought you made it clear in your previous article.
I think it is right that you have cleared it up for those who misunderstood and you didn’t disrespect anything about Heysal. You wrote about it with the right level of sensitivity.
In my eyes, what you wrote was fine, relevant even. Many understood, a few obvious didn’t get it which is understandable.
Great work anyway
The weight of media negativity is nothing new. A stereotypical viewpoint of Liverpudlians has always existed within the British media based on an innate British sentiment towards the Irish. During the 80s, the city was singled out as an obstacle by a ruthless government intent on imposing major societal change in Britain. During this period the strong ideological viewpoint of the city that had been built over time was intensified and, following robust reactions to perceived injustices, its status as a pariah city representing everything that was wrong with Britain became established. The stereotypical viewpoint prevalent throughout British society amounts fo a form of racism (or ‘scousism’). This has been institutionalised to the extent where Liverpudlians have not only been marginalised in the social sphere but mistreated by government, police authorities, the media and the judiciary.
Is right …it is regional racism …You can no longer mock minorities,gays ,disabled so lets make the scousers the niggers for the new millennium… What do you call a scouser in a tie ? The defendant Ho ho ….. Anyone in here from Liverpool tonight ??? Here’s a tenner go and buy a house…. Ho Ho…..complain and you’re denounced as humourless Big laughs for the white middle class bleeding hearts who would die rather than a tell a racist gag but splutter in to their Pinot Grigio at another section of society being debased
It happened to me a few years ago. I was in Blackpool at an Xmas party with my grandchildren. Once the DJ heard my scouse accent he never let up with his snide comments about Liverpool and scousers. As I eventually got up to leave with my wife, daughter and grandchildren he announced “Hey up, the scouser’s leaving. Watch the car park”. I had had enough at this point and shouted, deliberately loudly, “That’s just not funny”. The manager heard me, came over and asked for an explanation. I told him what my complaint was and , in fairness, he went straight over to the DJ and I could see him giving the clown some stick. As we left, my grandson turned to me and said “What did he mean Grandad, watch the car park?” I told him that it was slippy and we had to be careful. How sad, lying to my grandson. He was seven at the time.
As a port city and historical melting pot, Liverpool does have an inherent insularity and detachment from the rest of the country which sees it isolated in its own nation state. Liverpudlian solidarity and its propensity to protest against perceived injustices have given rise to a proud defiance often misinterpreted as arrogance and belligerence. Its anarchic, anti-authoritarian stance and independent culture and attitude have often clashed with the puritanical ethos of many in the rest of Britain.
And I hope the lazy imbecilic half wit who chose a crumbling ruin of a stadium with weeds and trees growing out of its walls as a European Cup final venue feels shame for evermore also
Peter Robinson, one of the greatest administrators to grace the game, went over to Belgium well in advance of the final and was shocked by what he saw. He declared the stadium unfit for purpose but was of course totally ignored by UEFA.That is not to excuse the behaviour of a vile element of Liverpool fans that night.
He also expressed great concern over the choice of Hillsborough for the second year running but he was ignored by the ‘amateurs’ at the FA. He was a man of great foresight, unlike Bert Millichip who oversaw the greatest tragedy in British football, only to be rewarded with a Knighthood several years later. Is it any wonder why LFC fans are so cynical about those in authority.
“Being called a killer is one thing, but being associated with racism has a very very nasty stench to it”
You make it sound as though racism is a more severe charge than murder.
Surprised that you felt a need to clarify this Rob, felt it was perfectly clear in the original article what you meant by comparing the two. Anyone who has taken offence has probably either not read the article properly, or wilfully misread it.
You say “being associated with racism has a very very nasty stench to it” but you have wrongly stated Evra thinks Suarez is racist and you believe Evra “was cheating when he reported [Suarez] for multiple racist abuse” without the evidence to support such a serious claim.
So it’s only your decision to associate yourself with misinformation and serious unsubstantiated claims against someone found to have been the victim of racial abuse.
Evra lied to the referee, that’s a form of cheating.
Get back to your Ovaltine, Claire, your repeated use of ‘misinformation’ is becoming bloody boring. Here’s some misinformation, “he called me n***er 5 times, ref.” Oops it was not actually the nastiest ‘n’ word it was ‘negro’, the Spanish for black. On the other hand I could have confused it with the Italian word ‘negro’ which literally translates to ‘n***er’.
EENIE, MEENIE, MYNIE MO! For f***s sake, Patrice, which one was it?
Never mind the panel has put the three words in a hat for you to draw out . We have a winner. It was ‘negro’ and he said it (counts on fingers ) 7 times. Misinformation my arse.
…..Evra wasn’t alleging Suarez spoke English… he was repeating in English something what he said in Spanish…..
The fact he didn’t understand it accurately initially doesn’t prove he fabricated the allegation. If you honestly think it does then, like Rob, you shouldn’t really complain when people catch a whiff of the very very nasty stench of racism.
I haven’t had Ovaltine for ages!
I prefer a milky hot chocolate, and I don’t mean that in a racist way.
No evidence? true but you are happy to have a young mans reputation sacrificed on the word on one guy who, i will not call him a liar merely point out he appears to change his mind a lot. equally without any evidence what-so-ever.
No audio evidence! No video footage proving the crime ever took place why?! Evra says ” you can see it clearly he Suarez says a certain word to me 10 times” Where is the evidence? Don’t come on her talking shit! Just because two Idiots and Fergie’s bum boy found LS probally guilty doesn’t mean he is! Anyone who thinks it’s correct for someone to be tried and convicted in this way are scum plain and simple!
To help you, no one piece of evidence needs to be conclusive proof. All evidence in the report is used to conclude if it was more likely than not to have occurred. Video evidence helps them to do this by corroborating Evra’s account and undermining Suarez’s.
What “way” was Suarez found guilty? I think the verdict was correct. I’m probably “scum” then.
“Fergie’s bum boy”? That’s a bit homophobic!
And that makes it ok to ruin someone’s reputation? If so that means Suarez and anyone with a brain can treat the verdict with the contempt it deserves? “Fergie’s bum boy”? Yes homophobic sorry if I offended anyone on here. Can you share the evidence with me that tells us all little Patrice was telling the truth. I had a look through the report and couldn’t find it. I wonder why?
I remember Heysel and the guilt by association was almost unbearable , many British fans had created mayhem across Europe in previous years and had “got away with it”! But not that night. On that terrible day it was Liverpool, us, the reds, that were there! No matter how many excuses/ reasons we come up with , ticketing, Rome in ’84, the stadium, UEFA, it was the actions of fans of our club that led to the death of thirty nine people. We are not all to blame we are not all at fault, but the people directly involved were Liverpool supporters, this was the lowest point our club , european football and the city had sunk to and we bore the brunt of criticism from the worlds media. We should remember Heysel for what it was a terrible black day in footballing history and not an opportunity to score points over local rivals or make excuses and shift all blame.
Surprised you felt the need to write this to be honest Rob. Your first piece in my opinion was absolutely outstanding. The comparison with Heysel i understood, Liverpool fans are being tarred with the racist brush now, every single one of us by some people. A real overreaction from some on here.
First of all I want to thank Crip for reading my post.
Secondly, I just want to again highlight one thing.
We failed from the outset to deal with this allegation in a manner which could have not only protected the reputation of Liverpool Football Club but actually enhanced it.
Irrespective of Evra’s claims, the simple truth is if there was a policy in place for employees of Liverpool Football Club to follow when an allegation, any allegation, which has the potential to harm the reputation of Liverpool Football Club is made we either failed to follow it or there isn’t one.
We could have initially made a strongly worded statement that we take any allegation of any nature against one of our employees very seriously and we will conduct our own internal investigation and cooperate with the relevant authorities.
Any queries from this point on should have been referred to a legal department.
The club could then have reminded anybody that any statements made in reference to this case which have the porential to harm the reputation of Liverpool Football Club will be heavily scrutinsed and the appropriate course of action will be taken.
Where was our cultural expert testimony or research?
Where was our understanding of what the panel may be constructing against us and how would we best refute it?
Expectations and behaviours.
We failed to control these two key elements throughout the process which exposed people like Kenny to situations he should never have been in. That man is my idol and should never be put in that position again.
We had plenty of opportunities to control the message but we failed.
Hard to accept but something we need to accept.
No excuses here.
claire > The fact he didn’t understand it accurately initially doesn’t prove he fabricated the allegation.
he understood it perfectly. that’s why he said ‘black’ when he told the ref on the pitch. the ‘i couldn’t bring myself to say n****r’ claim was so obviously a concoction by him and the f.a. to explain the anomaly when you can see in the evidence given in the report that he had absolutely no problem saying ‘n****r’ when he told alex ferguson in the dressing room and then again when he went into the refs room to make the complaint.
Reds4Life – Hard to accept but something we need to accept.
i think LFC’s biggest mistake was overconfidence. no corroboration no case to answer, seemed to be the clubs attitude. they seemed oblivious to the f.a.’s 99.5% success rate in conviction and that idea of ‘probably’ would suffice to arrive at case proven and a guilty verdict.
Good post Reds4Life.
Where i disagree Rob is that post Heysel the levels of genuine disgust were high and not only because 39 people had died but because of the proceding decade of unremitting football violence.
There was also a major class divide between commentators and the fans and also though unsurprisingly we took much of the flak,there was also a general attack on all football culture.
This time a lot of it felt like hot air.
As painful as it has been,the fact that three simple apologies appear to have closed the story down shows just how much was driven by faux outrage without major substance to drive it on unlike post Heysel.
Overall there has been some major losers:
The anti-racism cause is damaged by some of the lice that crawled out of the woodwork and also by the apparent feet of clay of some the movements leaders.
Us obviously mainly from the clubs incompetent handling of the case.
The media in particular the print medium,they may not realise it but the stench of fear and desperation at their decline was written all through the story .
Finally the fans.
The most depressing thing I heard on the podcast this week was Earl’s story of the young mixed raced lad who no longer thought Anfield was a place for him.
Now that is a true loss.
So, what we’ve got here is more ‘yeah, but…’ stuff.
I posted some long winded thoughts about your article.
To your credit Liverpool fans you seem to have read them and credit to the site it was left up and taken in the spirit that it was written in.
I want to make five very clear points.
1. In no way do I think Liverpool fans are in any way more racist than any other fans. They are my uncle, my cousin, my best mate and some of my wifes family. Half of my city are LFC fans for gods sake. They may have different mentality about football but thats it. It stops at football.
2. The media have not tagged Liverpool fans as racist. The fact that the Rob feels they have only underlines the over sensitive nature of his perspective. The media sensation has come about by how Liverpool football club have handled the Suarez/Evra incident. They have handled the situation badly. I have explained why i think that.
3. If you suspect a comparison between media treatment of this and Heysel might be in bad taste the likelyhood is that it is in bad taste. To try and explain the comparison before (and after) making it does not justify making the comparison. Hence the backlash. Even if the comparison was in good taste (which it was not) I and many think its a flawed comparison.
4. Some events require that football matters are set aside and the right thing is done.
I think Liverpool FC look to have got it right now. A bit late but they got there.
My reason for posting was for you to see the other side of the argument and it seems that many have. Some will never agree thats life.
Issues like this have to be dealt with in the right way. If it is handled badly you can see the wave of bile its sets off on twitter, facebook ect.
That might not matter to a 40year old fella in London but when you are a Dad with a mixed race lad in a Liverpool School you dont want issues getting ugly around a race topic.
Hopefully its all done and over now. We can all move on. LFC want to move on, ManU want to move on. The FA want to move on.
My post is not about football thats the whole point ,but yes im an Evertonian and i came across this on an EFC site. I felt I had to post. I regard this as a non football issue but a massive social issue.
5. If LFC went down your path of us against the world it doesnt move on and that is not a good thing despite your romantic notion of the idea.
William Kidd > The media have not tagged Liverpool fans as racist.
was it not claimed that the booing of evra was racist. did they not try to portray it as him being booed because he made a complaint about suarez. the truth was something different. did the coverage of a man utd fan racially abusing a stoke player match the media outrage in the tom adeyami incident? they may not have succeeded in tagging us as racist but they have given it a very good try.
@ Pete Craven.
Which media claimed the booing of Evra was racist?
Why do you think LFC fans booed Evra?
In fact if you booed Evra then tell me why you booed him?
I’ll be the first to say that I dont think it was racist to boo Evra. It was tribal. Its was your man vs their man and you vented on their man. You put Tribal loyalty before what was right and wrong. But what everyone else saw was the guy who had been wronged being booed. That is not right.
In England a black player should not have to listen to anyone make refrence to his colour at work or in sport especially during an argument. Thats what I think and thats what the FA rules say. If you disagree with that then please say. We wont have any need to talk again.
I dont subscribe to the ‘grass’ argument. Evra is right to say something. Again if you think thats not the case and Evra was wrong to complain please say and we need not talk again.
I dont know what was exactly said. Neither do you. I take my stance from the FA tribunal that was held. If you dispute that tribunal then ok take that stance and be held in contempt by reasonable people. The FA did not ‘frame’ Suarez.
For the record I’d say the FA punishment was harsh and I’d like to think that Suarez wasnt racist.
But if there is no remorse shown or contrition then people start to wonder why?
The band wagon of tribalism gets going and then there comes all sorts of denials and then their is a race for victim status and finaly we have an us against the world situation being talked about.
Well thats not the right way. Not when you look at the decent path. Thankfully your club has taken that and moved on.
-I take my stance from the FA tribunal that was held. If you dispute that tribunal then ok take that stance and be held in contempt by reasonable people.-
I would say that it is anything but reasonable to be tried by a court that convicts all but 0.5% of the cases it brings. Your description of yourself as reasonable is laughable, idiot? maybe. Sanctimonious prick? Definitely but reasonable ? No. The Spanish inquisition and your average lynch mob have similar conviction records.
The reason is probably that in the overwhelming majority of cases, all the evidence is in the public domain and guilt cannot reasonably be disputed.
The Suarez/Evra case was obviously more complex due to the lack of video evidence or witnesses to the words that were actually exchanged, so a more detailed investigation was necessary – looking at consistency of statements with known events, analysis of conversations with third parties after the match, body language, cultural and linguistic issues and so on. I don’t think the high conviction rate indicates a stitch-up.
Well said William. It is sad that tribalism and blind loyalty has taken precedence over decency, honour, respect and dignity.
I understood what the author was trying to say with his original statement, but I thought it was an ill-thought out comparison. It came across as more of the paranoid “everyone’s out to get us” rhetoric used as a prelude to yet another aggressive assertion of Luis Suarez’s innocence and yet another character assassination of Patrice Evra, based on little more than the fact that the former plays for Liverpool and the latter plays for Manchester United.
Whatever people’s opinions on what was actually went on (and very few indeed know for certain what or wasn’t said), the fact remains that Liverpool FC’s official response to serious allegations on this sensitive subject was unprofessional, irresponsible and has set a tone that is making a lot of people very uncomfortable. That is where the majority of the criticism stems from.
But I think enough has been said on this subject already so I’ll just conclude by saying that I am glad to see a more reasoned tone to this latest piece.
william kidd – Which media claimed the booing of Evra was racist?
just about any journalist that commented (that i read) made out that the boo’s were because evra had made the complaint that lead to the hearing. not one of them had the bollox to say it was actually because we believe him to be a liar. they claimed that because of the guilty verdict we had no right to boo because it would deter other players from making similar claims in the future. suarez has been branded a racist, whether he is or he isnt, we were booing the racists accuser, suarez is a racist, so the booing was racist.
william kidd – I’ll be the first to say that I dont think it was racist to boo Evra. It was tribal.
well i wish you were working in fleet st.
william kidd – But what everyone else saw was the guy who had been wronged being booed. That is not right.
again no one in a position of influence in the media has seen it any other way. there has been enough written on websites like these, so we dont need to go over again the gripes of LFC and its supporters regarding the hearing and the report. but to simply say that evra is the man who has been wronged is missing the point of the boo’s. we believe suarez is the one who has been wronged. quite frankly i couldn’t give a toss what everyone else thinks. ive read the report, seen the evidence and its my opinion that evra is a liar and suarez is innocent. and i reserve the right to voice that opinion on here, elsewhere and at the match without being told that im wrong to voice it.
william > In England a black player should not have to listen to anyone make refrence to his colour at work or in sport especially during an argument.
you posted some good stuff on here william but from that comment it is obvious that you haven’t read the evidence in the case. that fact that the spat was conducted in spanish changes what is acceptable and what isnt. you dont agree? well you’ll have to have to take that up with the independent panel because the fact it was in england is irrelevant. thats why they employed linguistic experts. experts who clearly said that in some contexts the term used by suarez does not make reference to skin colour. the term ‘negro’ the spanish word for black, not the english word referring to race can just as easily be used to refer to a white man with black hair. if they had spoke in english fair enough but they didnt. once evra chose to use spanish as the language to instigate the spat, surely suarez has the right to speak it in the way he is used to.
william kidd – Evra is right to say something. Again if you think thats not the case and Evra was wrong to complain please say and we need not talk again.
of course he is right to complain if he believes he has been racially abused. but if you read the evidence a good case can be made that he knows he hasn’t been. but unless you read it there is no point in me reeling of the reasons. as i say you are still under the impression that a man in england speaking spanish cannot say the word ‘negro’ without it being racially offensive.
william kidd – I take my stance from the FA tribunal that was held. If you dispute that tribunal then ok take that stance and be held in contempt by reasonable people. The FA did not ‘frame’ Suarez.
For the record I’d say the FA punishment was harsh and I’d like to think that Suarez wasnt racist.
But if there is no remorse shown or contrition then people start to wonder why?
im sorry william but that is as big a crock as the stuff ive read in the papers that ive referred. we do believe that the f.a. framed suarez. and the fact that he shows no contrition is purely down to him sticking to his story. it might will be tribalism, i’ll admit that if suarez was an arsenal player then theres a better than good chance i wouldn’t have read the report and i’d be as ignorant as every other ‘reasonable person’ who felt they could comment without actually seeing for themselves what it was that the fuss was being made about.
if there were witnesses, if there was film/audio footage showing what evra claims. if there were no if and buts about evras evidence. if there was balance in the way the panel interpreted seemingly contradictory evidence from both sides and if the linguistic experts said there is no situation in which a spanish speaker can say ‘negro’ and it have an amicable or conciliatory meaning then i would hold my hands up and say, luis suarez bang to rights. but thats not how it is so i have a right to voice an opinion and not get to worked up over ‘reasonable people’.
william kidd – Thankfully your club has taken that and moved on.
so have i but we are talking about things that have happened in the past.
I’m an Israeli and and LFC supporter for nearly 40 years. In a discussion I had at a different forum over the Suarez incident I argued that songs like “sign on” or “in your Liverpool slums” are at least as racist as calling a player Negro. One response that I received was that I do not understand the context and that scousers themselves are not really offended by those songs (or other anti-scouse chants) and consider them to be harmless (and rather amusing) banter.
Since I hardly get speak with Liverpoolians I would appreciate your take on the matter. Anti-scouse songs and chants – racism, bigotry or harmless banter?
Note that I’m not referring to Haysel or Hillsborough songs, only to expressions that would degrade scousers based on the place they come from.
Thanks for your inputs.
Fair play to ye all.
Think its all been said, its make your own mind up time.
Only one fella went ‘playground’ on me and that was the one calling the FA the ‘Spanish Inquisition’ so its hardly counts.
Good to see its all difused now. Love the banter, love the rivalry. Lets keep it tribal cas thats why we love it.
Just hate race being an issue. Thats all.
I compared the ‘conviction rates’ of the FA to the Inquisition not their behaviour, seems you read comments almost as well as FA reports