NEIL ATKINSON was joined by John Gibbons, Rob Gutmann and Jim Boardman – with Rory Smith of the Times joining in on the phone – as they looked towards a season defining fixture against Shitcoat and his minions.

Music this week from The Sugarmen and The Ragamuffins.

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  1. robin crimes

    Found the first section fascinating. It’s an interesting debate and nice to hear it debated rather than reading about, or listening to, the same old sound bytes / cliches. I agree with John Henry’s quote last year that ‘a bigger ground isn’t a magic wand’. We all know JWH isn’t a fan pleaser to extent he’ll splash money on a project that doesn’t have economic merit. I kind of see him as prudent, shrewd but also as someone who is happy to please the fans if he can, without damaging the business side. I like him.

    What I’m trying to say is, the extra seats will be nice for fans to get more access. It’s good for the area that the club is engaging in a process that will kick start the regeneration on a wider scale and it’s good that even if all tickets were £50 (which is highly unlikely) then 15k extra seats will bring in £15m a season more for the books and FFP. So, it’s a win win for FSG to want to make this happen. FSG though, will benefit too. They’ll loan the stadium redevelopment costs against the club, probably pay it off over 10 years, then when they come to sell the club their asset is worth considerably more. I know people don’t like that kind of talk but my view has been from day 1 that Liverpool need FSG. They need to be more corporate if we want success (and it’s my opinion the fans definitely do want it). Liverpool is the golden ticket. A huge brand that’s been under exploited and fallen from grace as a result. FSG’s vision was always a winner. Build the brand, become sustainable, improve the team, bring success and then get out with a fistful of dollars but leaving the club in perfect health. It’s mutually beneficial. Always was. The stadium is just a part of that vision. No new stadium, just modest low risk redevelopment. Point being, the fans access and regeneration are just a happy side effect, surely.

    To finish, I like shiny new stands filled with more people – football’s about atmosphere for me but the reality is gate revenue isn’t where the money is. The extra it brings can be got a lot easier elsewhere. Just get another sponsor. It’s not the be all and end all like some people think. An official online streaming is more lucrative and a lot cheaper. And to those people saying it should be more – it’s ok for you fuckers to walk home after the match having a laugh with ya mates. Try getting you car out of a housing estate in Everton with 5 thousand others. Anfield can’t cope with another 25 thousand people on matchday. The romantics don’t mention that aspect. So, the increased capacity is brilliant all round for everyone (except them 2 grannies in Lothair Road) but it certainly isn’t (to quote Rob Guttman) the ‘Holy Grail’ that’s gonna win us the league (as we’ll see in a fortnight).

    P.s I get asked for tickets all the time. I get them a lot too. I put a status on Fb saying I have them and then no one wants them (obviously at face value). People don’t want to pay £96 for a pair of tickets when they can watch it in the pub and spend a tenner. Demand may drop when supply is more fluid.

    • I dont’ get why everyone is so sure FSG are just out to make money. They haven’t sold the Red Sox when they could have turned a tidy profit by now. Seems to me that they just like the challenge and prestige of expanding their sporting empire. After a slow start they have started to show that they are up there with the best in this business and I am sure they are enjoying the ride. After all if you were them and had already amassed enough money to live extremely comfortably and keep a young good-looking wife happy what else are you going to spend your time and business skills on?

      The business model they have put in place is looking better and better with each emerging talent or expensive flop at Spurs so I reckon we should be pretty grateful as supporters. Because if they feel the love at Anfield they are not going to go anywhere. Why would you? it is good as it gets.

      • robin crimes

        I’ve said from day 1 they’re here for 10 to 12 to years as I stand by it. I agree they’ve never sold a sports ‘franchise’ but look at their backgrounds and the nature of their business. They don’t take dividends which is also a clue to their intentions. Good on them. They’re what we need.

        • 10-12 years maybe, but that is a decent amount of time in football ownership, and not the optimum amount of time if you were just out to make a quick profit.

          Just read Henry’s Wikipedia page (suggests he dropped out of college to play in a couple bands, so maybe the guys could get him on the rider) and there wasn’t much there to suggest to me they plan to sell us any time soon. Seems as though they have only sold franchises to upgrade and there is not much room to upgrade from liverpool.

          There will probably come a time when they get tired of managing their empire and could look to sell us off but in terms of motivations for ludicrously rich businessmen buying sports clubs, with the exception of childhood fans, I think theirs are pretty sound (which is kind of what you were saying anyway isn’t it)

          • Yeah, I’m all in favour of them. Have been from day 1. The only argument left against them is in the transfer market but even that looks a daft argument now. Especially when you look that instead of Demsey we got Sturridge. If they want to take a stand against extortionate prices in football then I’m in favour of that. More so if they can take a stand whilst we win the league. It doesn’t make sense to sell Liverpool quickly. Like I say, 10 to 12 years is the optimum.

            To look at their real motives though you have to go back to the summer of 2010. They’re looking at the nightmare unfolding at Anfield. What were they thinking? Were they thinking it’d be great to build Liverpool back to what they once were – what a challenge! Or are were they thinking – hang on, the Glazers have bought Utd for c£700m with money that wasn’t even theirs so it’s risk free, they applied corporate principles to the club and it’s currently valued at c£1.5bn (today (no idea what is was then)) on the stock exchange with about £350m of debt (again, as of today). It’s a cool £1.2bn profit with more to come as the debt lowers. So, did they look at what opportunity was there for them? Did they look at LFC and think, as it’s only £300m we could pay cash and save on interest. They’re under marketed, they’re under performing, they’re badly run and therefore they’re a sleeping giant rife for reawakening. Of course they did. There’s only one reason for that and it’s not the thrill of the ride though they will love that aspect of it too. We’re the equivalent of a blue chip investment. As safe as a Govt bond. It’s mutually beneficial though. Both the club, the fans and FSG come out winners (if their vision succeeds).

            Just finally, there’s always a reason for ownership. Chelsea are not just a toy to Abramovich. Read up on his past. He can’t stay in Russia because tomorrow it could change and he could be thrown in jail for life. His money could be reclaimed by the boys that run Russia. The millionaires in all the volatile regions are investing in one commodity they know is safe and guaranteed to return a hefty profit – London property. RA went one better and bought Chelsea. The primary motive though was a high profile for protection. Sheikh Mansour and the UAE in general are looking to build for the post oil era. Sport is an area they’ve targeted. So, there’s always a motive.

  2. robin crimes

    Another P.S Did Jim Boardman say people need to come on holiday to Anfield? Fuck that, I don’t care what the ground looks like in a few years I’m off to Ibiza.

  3. Dr Steve Peters…..

    I saw him for a few sessions, now my hair has that salon look, salon shine.

  4. … oh and I’ll be mightily pissed off if Vladimir Putin launches a nuclear war just as we’re about to win the league (sensible hair style or not!).

  5. Neil, please don’t talk over the top of the person you are speaking to just because you can’t bare the fact they have a different opinion to your own. It’s rather rude, even if they’re your mates.

  6. Lee Stafford

    Great show lads, loved the heated debate at the start! Never had Neil pegged as a sarcastic fucker with his quip about The Beatles…wasn’t really necessary in the context of the debate but made me laugh all the same!!

    Anyone catch Brendan’s presser? That fella is cool as you like and sleeping like a baby by all accounts?! I can understand why because he gets to spend time with the lads almost every day whereas we are left counting the days/hours/minutes until kick off. I don’t want the season to end but the wait between games is agony (with injections of TAW to pass the time), although long waits is something we won’t have to deal with as much next season thankfully.

    Regardless of what team The Moaning One (who is making a concerted effort to a massive bellend at every opportunity) puts out I honestly think Brendan will send our lads out onto the Anfield pitch with fire in their bellies to destroy them, roared on by a crowd who are just as hungry as the team for success.

    I hope with a few minutes left on the clock we’re winning at least 5-0 and Torres manages to sneak a lucky consolation goal. I’d love our fans to remind him of what he left behind with our original version of the Torres song that shakes Anfield one last time….

    Not because we miss him by the way…but because I think he badly misses the love he used to receive from us and will remind him very loudly that no amount of silverware in another teams colours means the same as it does in ours…just ask your old pal Stevie!!!!!

    Come on lads!!! 3 more points!!!!


  7. That’s exactly how i want it to Pan out also Lee,

    The Torres chant,

    My all time chant number 1.

  8. Quite a good show this week, Neil playing the role of Devil’s Advocate quite enthusiastically. Agree 100% with what Robin has said above, it’s all about access..forget routing a railway track and that nonsense, how about a decent park and ride, and then a decent amount of marketing to let people know it exists.

  9. …and some decent fucking barbers around anfield !!

  10. Well fuck. Fuck mourinho and his alladycian tactics, what a waste of football talent.

    Must be like a nightmare for poor Stevie. Chin up though boys, maybe the blue boys can take a couple of points from city. We are still top of the league and in the hunt!

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