THE Sun and Liverpool. You know the story. If you don’t, you should. The Hillsborough Independent Panel’s report 13 months ago brought it all back: four days after the disaster a front-page report with the headline ‘The Truth’ relayed a series of lies about April 15, 1989, including scurrilous claims that Liverpool fans had urinated on police officers resuscitating the dying and stolen from the dead.
It led to a boycott of the newspaper on Merseyside. A boycott that still exists. A Don’t Buy The Sun Campaign runs to this day – stickers and posters are on display at every Liverpool fixture, a Don’t Buy The Sun concert has toured the country.
Awareness may not stretch the length and breadth of the UK, into Europe or worldwide, but in Liverpool it’s hard to plead ignorance. Feelings run high to this day, and most are aware of that fact – particularly those working in the media.
With this in mind, the news today that an organisation bearing the city’s name – The Liverpool Press Club – has a President, David Wooding, who works for The Sun on Sunday is staggering.
The Liverpool Press Club may be little more than a backslapping excuse for a drink. But Wooding – a ‘Liverpool FC fan’ according to his Twitter account – uses it as validation, describing the title on his public LinkedIn profile as being ‘honoured by his home city’.
He also claims to have been ‘unanimously elected’ on his own website – yet several members of the club have tonight confirmed that a) they were unaware Wooding was the President b) they certainly didn’t vote for him.
At least two members have resigned from the club since learning of Wooding’s position and more are expected to follow.
Allowing Wooding to put his name to what, on the surface at least, appears to be a position of power in Liverpool is naïve, insensitive and crass.
The Sun’s lies blackened the name of Liverpool – the people, the city and the club.
We ask that Wooding’s position, and exactly how he was ‘elected’ is clarified by Liverpool Press Club. And we ask that powers-that-be at Liverpool Press Club, whoever they may be, recognise their mistake, strip Wooding of his title and no longer allow him to justify the uncomfortable duality of his position at The Sun on Sunday and his claims to be ‘a Liverpool fan’.
Excellent stuff. I agree completely.
I remember raising a similar point a couple of months ago when I heard him on Richard Bacon’s BBC radio 5live show.
It was not long after Suarez’s infamous bite on Ivanovic & Bacon asked him about it (despite him being on to discuss politics).
Wooding claimed to be “speaking on behalf of Liverpool supporters”.
I didn’t listen to anything else he had to say. He certainly wasn’t speaking on my behalf & I very much doubt he was speaking on behalf of any like-minded LFC fan.
Just tweeted him at @DavidWooding asking him to reconsider his position as President.
Not a true fan and not a true son of the city .Just a bit of a knob really
Linda McDermott,radio merseyside presenter and LFC fan is recent ex president,last year I think,of the Liverpool press club would be good to get response from Linda Mac or radio merseyside.
This sounds a very petty and personal situation and a shameless attempt to further entrench TAW as for the people and relying on ignorance and blind fury to do so.
Are we supposed to believe that the whole list of writers for this website would refuse a job at The Sun if offered and needed? Especially given that several of them already work for the newspaper’s parent company News International.
The Times is funded by The Sun and as such it’s a hard separation of the two when you’re counting up your morals in relation to pay packet. Just as it would be ridiculous to criticise Tony Evans, Rory Smith or others for their News International employment it is also lame to do the same with David Wooding, someone who both those men work with and share a paymaster with.
Let’s get to the point, David Wooding is someone the author of this piece doesn’t like. He doesn’t like his politics and this remarkably flimsy reasoning is poor and shouldn’t be on TAW.
Hillsborough is not to be used as a weapon and unfortunately that happens, both by mindless opposition fans and Liverpool’s own. Want to tarnish someone? Try something like this.
It’s opportunistic and morally questionable. It’s the kind of piece which means to anger and lead a mob and make a man’s life miserable, not because of who pays him – because that would cast the net uncomfortably wide – but because the nameless writer of this piece doesn’t like him.
Since when did TAW become a teenage angst platform? Hopefully the majority of Liverpool supporters who haven’t got out of bed the wrong side this sunny Merseyside morning will see right through this and see it for what it is.
An article about a Liverpool Press Club very few have ever heard of or care one bit about and a personal attack hiding behind the cloak of Hillsborough.
Are we supposed to believe that the whole list of writers for this website would refuse a job at The Sun if offered and needed? YES
The Times is funded by The Sun and as such it’s a hard separation of the two when you’re counting up your morals in relation to pay packet. THE BOYCOTT HAS ONLY EVER BEEN IN RELATION TO THE SUN
That filthy rag is owned by the same people as S*y, yet you don’t see people looking to boycott that. If you’re going to do it, at least do it for every business associated with it, including those that keep it going with adverts. Heck, you might be able actually achieve some payback by a mass campaign against the biggest payers for page real estate.
You need to focus on who said what for whom, and not where they worked at the time.
That said, the club is a business and getting the biggest daily rag on its side will only help wash away the poor people and bring in further revenues.’
I’m assuming the S*n is still the biggest selling daily rag, and that’s almost a quarter of a century after their lies. It just goes to show, people aren’t interesting in news, they want to jerk off onto a photo of a 17 year old’s tits.
Good lord you could not be more wide of the mark if you tried, The S*n was the perpetrator of those scandalous lies. Pathetic attempts to try and expand that to justify that rag and the idiot Wooding by constructing a strawman argument to include anything that has Murdochs slime on it is a typical of the S*n apologists, of which you appear to be one.
TAW is spot on and Liverpool press club need to get it rectified now.
It is so sad that such people exsist in life. The press club should declare all their staff and each of those should be transparent and declare their history of employment and allegience. Wooding to me appears to be a plant by “the scum” to ebb away at their foothold in Liverpool, who ever employed this man should be held accountable for the insensative actions, and if Wooding witheld his past he should be dismissed without a second thought. The hurt that this trash caused still runs very deep and will never be forgotten, the press club should hold thier hands up and admit it`s mistake, otherwise they should feel the full brunt of the Liverpool people.
I’m sorry, but you’re completely wrong in my opinion.
Firstly, I can’t claim to speak on behalf of anybody working at TAW, but I can speak for myself. I am a jobbing actor and have been for the past 6 years. Such is the nature of the industry that I am constantly looking for my next job, my next bit of income.
I struggle to live week by week, let alone month by month. It is an incredibly tough profession and one that I have actually been relatively successful in. But relative success doesn’t pay the bills. Right now I’m in a situation whereby I don’t know if I’ll be able to pay next month’s rent and I may need to move out of my flat.
I bring all of that up to point out that my morals could be understandably compromised in relation to my pay packet. However I have instructed my agent to never, ever put me up for any job that would involve me representing the S*n. It’s a position I will stick to rigidly, in spite of my financial situation. So I could well imagine every single member of TAW’s writing staff would happily refuse to work for them.
As for the oft trotted out line about “if you don’t buy the S*n you shouldn’t read The Times or own Sky”, it’s a nonsensical argument used to muddy the waters. As TAW have responded to you, the boycott in the city has only ever been about the S*n. It is not about attempting to hurt Murdoch financially or, indeed, about Murdoch’s involvement.
The boycott is about one specific paper which deliberately, and without any substantive evidence, besmirched the name of the city of Liverpool and the innocent people who lost their lives at Hillsborough. It is about standing up for what is right and proper and refusing to allow a rag that should know better from peddling and perpetuating lies.
This piece is not about “making a man’s life miserable because of who pays him”, but because of the “newspaper” he works for, what it represents and what he is supposed to stand for.
There should not be anybody left in the country, if not the world, who does not now know the real truth about Hillsborough. And yet there remain some who deny that truth. Who cling to the notion that Liverpool supporters were somehow to blame. That is down in no small part to the outrageous lies printed in the S*n and repeated since.
That David Wooding is allowed to claim to represent the city of Liverpool and Liverpool supporters whilst working for a rag that attempted to denigrate this strong and proud city is a disgrace. To point that out isn’t “teenage angst”, it is right and proper.
I love The Anfield Wrap because I don’t always agree with everything that is said. It features a range of voices and arguments such as you would find in your local after the match. But this article was very deliberately written not by one individual writer, but under the banner of the entire TAW team. Quite rightly so. On this issue I’m certainly happy to say they speak for me.
David Wooding cannot represent both a city and a football club AS WELL AS a newspaper said groups utterly despise. Nor should he be allowed to.
But to state that the boycott has only ever applied to The Sun isn’t actually to answer the fundamental problem that O’Brien was more or less driving at. I’m sure he wouldn’t actually deny te truth of that fact. The real point, though, is whether the boycott makes much sense at all without being widened to the other NI properties. Who are we kidding here? The bogeyman ‘The Sun’ didn’t actually do anything wrong. It isn’t capable of doing anything wrong. It’s a title, a property, not a human being. Surely we need to address the actual people responsible? Mainly MacKenzie – and fair enough, he’s targeted well. But also, surely, Murdoch? He employed MacKenzie in the first place. It was with his close direction that the really unpleasant tone and content of the paper was fostered. At all times since the headline went out he’s been in a position to take steps to make amends – at all times he’s refused because of financial interest. He’s a major villain in the episode. Can anyone really deny that? And yet people prefer the easy demonisation of a non-human institution to the difficult and genuinely self-sacrificing task of a properly meaningful boycott. In some respects I can’t blame them – anything for an easy life – but don’t pretend that the stance is a real statement of principle, because it isn’t.
It is a bizarre situation when a group of people set the parameters of a rule to suit and then expect all to fall into that and those who don’t are hunted down, abused and people actively try to harm their personal and professional life.
RATHER THAN SHOUTING IN CAPITALS or getting upset, dramatic, or starting a who supports LFC the most argument, let’s have some logic. Just because things have been believed to be the rules for so long doesn’t make that correct and LFC fans shouldn’t feel they need to follow an agenda set for them.
To name someone a Sun Apologist shows how far and ridiculous this has come, with most half educated people knowing the origin of the ‘apologist’ jibe and inappropriate nature of it.
What The Sun did was unforgivable and has therefore not been forgiven but we cannot forget there are very few people involved at that time with that newspaper who are there today. The ones who are are generally swinging around the top of tree, such as Murdoch.
It’s not argued that the man responsible for that front page was Kelvin MacKenzie and his boss was Murdoch. MacKenzie continued as editor for a further five years is widely believed, because Murdoch has said so, to have been his favourite editor.
Murdoch wheeled MacKenzie out to apologise when the heat grew but did not discipline him, in fact he continued to be one of the longest serving editors of ‘pop’ reporting there has been, and at the time Murdoch made him the best paid.
The success of The Sun enabled News International to financially underwrite their other business, such as The Times. Murdoch cannot be seen as blameless in this and few Merseyside people would argue in his defence.
Therefore to simply say The Times is different doesn’t completely wash, you work for them you take his money and the money which comes from people buying The Sun. If it were not for The Sun then the loss making Times would not still be in existence, it’s not a clean surgical removal between the two and if applying the more stringent moral test it’s simply incorrect to make a sweeping separation.
Personally I would hold not one thing against any Anfield Wrap writers who have, do or will work for Murdoch. I feel that’s their choice and if they want to make a distinction between The Times and The Sun then I accept that too, but it’s the refusal to accept anything else which grates and has been going on for too long.
If TAW didn’t have any connections with Murdoch and News International and The Times didn’t have a good group of Scouse writers then I’m sure people wouldn’t try and make so clean a cut. Same as if Sky Sports wasn’t something of monopoly.
David Wooding actually does the vast majority of his work for The Sunday Sun, so if anyone wanted to be pedantic on his behalf with that then they could, but it wouldn’t matter in honest morals because just like The Times it sleeps in the same stable.
Everyone’s morals and how they place rules on those are personal and just like I wouldn’t criticise Tony or Rory, I feel it’s become dishonest how Hillsborough and, yes, sometimes even The Sun boycott is used to suit.
I also completely respect the right of people to let the moral divide on News International fall where they want it to, it’s all personal and if you want to disagree and dislike a man you’d never heard of before this article and who had no impact on your life then that’s fair enough.
What isn’t, in my opinion, is trying to harm his career and encourage abuse and that’s when these things look personal, especially when posted anon. There’s a reason TAW tweeted his Twitter handle and of course he immediately started getting abuse.
The Liverpool Press Club started as a drinking club in the 1800s and in all honesty is just a continuation of that. He was voted into that position after he got his current role with The Sun, which was only last year, and those who voted for him will know his background. It’s THEIR club and if that’s what they choose in majority then that’s THEIR choice.
Yes, we can disagree but when does it go too far? Because if people are going to abuse him personally over the internet and try and have him removed from his position then that for me would say they are the most radical haters of the Murdoch empire and I can’t sit that ardent feeling comfortably aside dismissing any issue with getting paid by people buying The Sun.
LFC TV (the actual club!) have just employed a lady who writes for The Sun, is the next step to abuse her and try and harm her personal and professional life? Are you going to try and get her sacked next, perhaps encourage a rabble to swear at and abuse her over Twitter?
If the answer to both of those questions regarding the lady is YES (and unfortunately it has to be to be if this isn’t simply something more personal) then I wholeheartedly disagree, but that’s where it ends. Sometimes it’s perfectly fine to disagree and accept that, and perhaps some need to learn there are more pertinent battles than haranguing someone like Wooding.
Finally, I’ll take it at word value that some wouldn’t take a penny from The Sun even if starving, but there’s little way of proving that.
I don’t agree with the argument that “if you’ve done any work for a Murdoch company you’ve been paid for by people who buy the S*n” and that that money is therefore tainted.
I did the tour of Blood Brothers, the producer of which is Bill Kenwright. Have I worked for Everton? Am I less of a Liverpool supporter for doing so? I certainly wasn’t paid the same wages as the Everton players.
What if any writers from TAW take up a job with the Sun?
Remove them from the site.
What of anyone working at LFC with connection to the Sun?
Remove them from their job.
And make a point of checking CVs in future and ensuring the mistake isnt repeated.
As for giving such people abuse. No. Unlike the rag in question, lets keep our dignity.
If it iis true LFCTV employ a drab from the Scum then it should be bombarded . Anyone who buys any of NEws Internationals. Stable or has a Sky sub lines the shit house Murdochs pockets
@Jonathan O’Brien – I would expect anyone involved with The Anfield Wrap to turn down work from the Sun, yes.
I am a freelance Graphic Designer, mainly working in advertising and like Adam Smith above, I have instructed my recruitment agency that I will not do anything for The Sun. This could potentially mean that I cannot work for the many companies that have accounts with The Sun as in my line of work you are often shifted around different brands and jobs whilst you are working there.
But I will not buy that rag, allow it in my house, or have anything to do with it. The only other companies I would not do any work for on a moral basis are payday loans. So you can see the regard that I hold The Sun in. It might seem petty but every time I go to a newsagents or supermarket I take time to cover the Sun up with a bunch of broadsheets (I’m fairly certain it’s typical readership are put off by the big words). If I stop them selling one newspaper every time I do that, it’s worth it.
This is an important issue. This is a big deal. Liverpool football club must be kept away from The Sun in any way possible.
I’m not professing to speak for anyone else here, but this is how I see it.
The boycott was against the S*n from day one, a boycott started by families, survivors and those who supported them.
The boycott will stand at least until the families the survivors and those closest to them tell us en masse that the boycott is over. I personally can’t see any way that would happen, but I for one will be led by them, not by people probably using fake details on the internet.
So if anyone is trying to tell us to end the boycott, I’d say they’d be better directing their ideas to the groups set up to support and campaign for the families and survivors. I can imagine the response they’ll get but there’s no point cutting those people out in an attempt to end this boycott.
So, the boycott of The S*n stands.
As far as extending it is concerned, some people do extend their personal boycott beyond that one title, as is their choice. How far they go in that extension is, again, also their choice but there are difficulties in knowing exactly where to draw the line. The list of organisations, publications, programmes and other products that are linked in some way to the originally boycotted title is huge and is probably not a list regularly maintained in any easily usable form.
It’s far more effective to say “Don’t Buy the Sun” and put that slogan on stickers than it would be to say “Don’t Buy the following list of products, watch any of this list of programmes, view any of the channels on this list, buy any of the DVDs listed below, read any of the following books or buy any of this related merchandise; check this website for the latest list…”
Focussing the boycott on one title has made it extremely effective.
That’s certainly the case in the Merseyside area, to the extent that The S*n has tried various tactics during those 24 years to try and bring an end to the boycott. What they failed to do was make any kind of unconditional and full apology until it was far too late, and only then as a result of being shamed by the HIP’s report.
I’ve seen and taken part in many a debate on the idea of extending the boycott and where the line should be drawn and it’s one that I’m sure will keep coming up. In my view it’s best, it’s most effective, being aimed at one title – for one thing it avoids any confusion. Extending it – in my view – would weaken it.
But the point that seems to be being missed in the comments above, perhaps deliberately, is that wherever the line is drawn it is always drawn somewhere the other side of that one title.
The boycott goes on and, however wide the boycott should be, The S*n is part of it. Wooding knows this.
Nobody who supports Liverpool FC or knows why that boycott began should be knowingly doing any work for that title.
It’s not unusual for that title to use quotes bought in from elsewhere, or provided by publicity agencies, and to pass them off as their own, as if they’ve interviewed that person or had that person write a column for them. People have found themselves unwittingly made to look as if they’ve been working for the rag, or unwittingly been made to look as though they endorse the rag. Sometimes it maybe could have been avoided, or should have been followed up in some way to distance themselves from it, but I do have a certain amount of sympathy in *some* cases.
However, there’s nothing unwitting about how Dave Wooding gets paid by that title to do that job, or how he has used that press club to try and legitimise that position.
I’d like to thank contributors to the comments section of this article for maintaining a (largely) thoughtful discussion and avoiding the lazy pitfalls that descend into the usual Internet squabbling and name-calling.
I welcome debate that both provokes thought and contributions that have required thought.
I love the politics, the insight, the group chemistry and the humor of the podcast and I like that this is carried over onto the website.
I wouldn’t write for The Sun.
One down, twenty odd to go.
Hes a disgrace working for the sun newspaper and having anything to do with lfc disgusting
Just saw Mr Wooding on BBC News reviewing the papers and thought how can a Scouser work for The Sun? So I googled him and found this thread.
My emotional reaction was as stated and having read the arguments above it remains that. Yes, Murdoch is ultimately responsible and my personal stance is that I don’t buy ANY News International products, but it was also The Sun that published those lies and I couldn’t in all conscience, work for that rag and condemn any Liverpool fan who does. Wooding must (if he hasn’t already) resign from any position associated with the city of Liverpool – or resign from The Sun.
Just watching Sky News,David Wooding is on,how as a scouser work for a scum paper like the S*n,I’m a Evertonian and I’m shocked by it,this fella needs people to give him loads because he was only hired in the first place because he was from Liverpool!