IN the wake of Jürgen Klopp’s moment of feeling “alone” last Sunday, when disappointed Liverpool fans exited Anfield with a full 10 minutes plus stoppage time to play, there has been plenty more comment on these pages — and elsewhere — about the Anfield crowd and the atmosphere in general that accompanies the Reds’ home games.
While the exodus triggered by Crystal Palace’s late-ish winner has re-sparked the debate, for me it’s nothing new; something of a red herring as part of the crowd discussion. Plenty of reasons and excuses have been proffered for this “disloyal” early dart; flight times, preference for a pint, bus queues, warm cars….to name but a few, but no-one has suggested that fans react in this way — and always have done — to a crushing late goal, because of acute disappointment realised in a misleading show of dissent. Not everyone who makes for the gangways at this critical point in proceedings is disinterested, half-arsed or neutral.
For many, conceding that crucial goal ruins a weekend and it’s just too much to bear. We’d all like to be able to count to 10, but how many of us have walked out the house in the midst of an argument and slammed the door on the way out? At the root of is pain; and underlying the pain is passion.
Klopp might well have felt alone but among hundreds of fans leaving at that precise moment, many will have shared his distress. Those consoling pints will be been downed in one, bus conductors eyeballed with a snarl and many a car dashboard battered to an inch of submission. By home time a fraction of the sadness has worn off but the cat still gets it.
If I was Klopp I would be more concerned by what preceded the communal exit and by what he has experienced of Anfield thus far. I’d have felt more alone for the 81 minutes of, now commonplace crowd disengagement, which came before Palace’s winner. Hopefully, it won’t be long before his outspoken nature references the awful backdrop against which his players have to perform week in week out.
Last month, I wrote that Liverpool is the nation’s most dysfunctional club — with the supporters a facet of that. Valid arguments in response were put forward to suggest Newcastle, Leeds and other clubs in boardroom or financial turmoil at least rivalled us for that dubious honour. In the stands though, Liverpool FC and Anfield stands alone as being almost beyond repair.
The crowd at Anfield is a putrid mix, but as far as those in attendance go, in reality it is nobody’s fault while at the same time being everybody’s fault. If there is a collective to blame, it is Liverpool Football Club, whether that means David Moores, Rick Parry, Hicks and Gillett or FSG. This isn’t or shouldn’t be a Scousers versus Wools versus Tourists issue. Instead, this is the legacy of the club’s own short-sighted making, which can be traced back 30 years.
With a much bigger ground — a la Barcelona, Real Madrid or Manchester United — we could fit everyone in and, in theory at least, be one big happy family. At Anfield though, and the new corporate-filled Main Stand won’t change a thing, it is total exclusion and zero inclusion for a new vibrant generation; one which could generate an atmosphere that is lacking in the extreme.
We can’t fit everyone in, so when the Premier League tourists — happy to pay for their once-a-season £50 tickets or vastly inflated prices sourced from agencies and greedy local touts — turn up in seats vacated by our old mates who have already jibbed it, or our kids who have never lived it, then anger, resentment, and depression fill the air. These people have been actively targeted, marketed and encouraged by the club to fill a local void that has been created by those rising prices, costly memberships, “loyalty” schemes abused by a touting culture and online ticketing to the exclusion of sales made to local people at the ground.
The well-heeled international and middle England visitors — attracted by the notion of a “Twelfth Man”, a swaying Kop and You’ll Never Walk Alone — are probably wondering why we’re dressed as wannabe mountaineers or sartorial relics of the 1980s and not head to toe in Red and White, while playing guitars, singing our heads off and cracking jokes. It is the most awkward juxtaposition of people imaginable. Where else in society would you see such jarring of personality? We’ve got nothing in common with them, they’ve got nothing in common with us and it creates a bad vibe. Sorry, but it’s true.
It’s important though to make a distinction here between tourists boasting no real connection with City and Club and the more empathetic, longer standing out-of-town support Liverpool has always enjoyed; those who live and breathe Liverpool FC to the same extent as any born-and-bred Liverpudlian.
The team, currently, isn’t good enough to bring any common bond. Klopp’s charisma, universally loved by one and all right from the outset, isn’t enough to bring about any group hugs on the terraces. It is early days for Klopp. If he ever manages to bring such a diverse a group as the Anfield crowd together, it will be greatest managerial achievement since Bill Shankly turned second division also-rans into Champions.
At the risk of sounding too parochial and overly superior, us locals, we lifers who have watched and fought for Liverpool FC down the decades, have been through the lot — together — with this club. While thousands of our comrades have been priced out and our kids never considered or encouraged, those of us that remain feel like we’re a last bastion of everything the club once stood for.
Committed fans who went everywhere, week after week, defending and representing not just the name of our club but the City and the community we exist in are fast becoming the pariahs. Liverpool as a City and as a football club has always welcomed visitors — we like to show off, be warm, to protectively send a positive message out beyond the boundaries — but now we’re swamped in our own home by a new cult. A breed that wanders the Liverpool streets in a weekend trance, without any true affection for the City we play in or any real understanding of an advertised Liverpool terrace culture that is dying on its arse.
Now, here’s the thing about us — the majority of locals. We’re not perfect either. We’re a bunch of miserable, hard-to-please old bastards. When the Kop was seated in 1994 we were 21 years younger. Those of us with the key of the door, we’ll never be 21 no more. We’re 42 now. Some of us are 48 — the average age of your Kop season ticket holder.
We’re too mature and embarrassed to sing and chant; to get behind the team consistently; to scream and shout at the ref and opposition for 90 minutes. We do our best but, yes, most of us are past it in that sense. I reference the Kop, but the same applies to the majority of Main and Centenary Stand patrons, too. I won’t include the Anfield Road End in this as it is already bereft of any real local presence.
Remember too that 48 is an average age; some Kopites, who have witnessed St John, Yeats and Shankly, as well as Barnes, Dalglish and Suarez, are a lot older than that. They’re liable to turn up in a “funny” mood. It could go one way or the other, but you can guarantee Simon Mignolet is getting it in the neck.
In days gone by we’d have retired gracefully from the middle of the Kop to cast our critical eye from the outer reaches of the famous old terrace or the stands at the side. We might have picked and chosen our games and turned up when we felt up for it. Have a look at attendances in the 1980s and 1990s. Gates went up and down like a fiddler’s elbow, reflective of the importance of the game. Now though, there is nowhere for us to go; no room for match-by-match manoeuvre. It is the football equivalent of locked-in syndrome.
Perhaps you can understand the “entertain me” attitude, the aggressive folded-arms stance, and at least some of the moans and groans from people who once offered unconditional support every week. We’ve seen an awful lot of football over the years — probably too much in some cases. You’re probably thinking we should fuck off and make way for someone fresh?
No. Sorry. This was our birthright. It might be a while yet before we’re forced to ask the last remaining Scouser to turn out the lights on the Kop.
I might be slightly less angry on all of this if I was sure my space, and those of thousands of others like me, were to be taken up by younger supporters in our former image. The tragedy is that our local young fans — the right ilk to fill that void and infuse the ground with the energy it needs — have got used to watching Liverpool on television. They have been systematically frozen out by a deliberate price-driven policy to discourage teenagers going to Anfield in groups. And, very few fathers have been able to afford a pocket double-whammy through the inflexible structure of ticket access and concessions for children.
A generation for whom Liverpool still means everything has already been lost. Once the Anfield elders finally go by the wayside, sadly there will be another EPL tourist, another passionless neutral, another vacuous middle Englander in our place not someone who, like us, grew up with Liverpool posters on their bedroom wall.
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I have said it before and will say it again..
To cut the geriatric crap that is flodding Anfield and other grounds..
Bring back safe standing….
Football, technology and society as a whole has evolved enough for us to be able to handle this..
Liverpool more than any other club will carry the biggest weight behind this debate.
Of course we do not forget the tragedy but it serves more of a purpose if we take it, learn and evolve..
Its time and we are ready.!!
very much agree and a pay as u go Kop too
I absolutely HATE watching football sitting down…
At the same time, standing in a swaying Kop was a terrifying experience. One eye on the match, and one eye on the barriers.
I agree; safe standing is the way to go and should be seen as a tribute to the 96. We should lead the way and inject Anfield with venom. I disagree with some of the ramblings above. I have sat among scousers at Anfield and they are to blame as much as the rest. Extending Anfield as we are is short sighted. We need the centenary further developed and the Anfield Rd end fully redeveloped.
I’m surprised that on purely commercial grounds there’s not more of a push for safe standing. The Kop end should be safe standing. It would almost double the capacity. It would restore the legend.
The real concern is the eradication of the mid table acceptance of crap that our last mid table chumps Rodgers and Pascoe brainwashed the weak into
So, what you’re saying is that 120 odd years of raucous and initimdating atmospheres AT EVERY GAME was completely wiped out in one season by Pascoe and Rodgers instilling a mid table mindset?
But it wasn’t 120 years of raucous and intimidating atmospheres AT EVERY GAME, was it???
That’s pure shite, mate. I started going in the late 70s, and the atmosphere could be awful back then too, and that’s with a fucking great side that could batter just about anyone, a side full of legendary players we still talk about today.
But with today’s fixation of crowd control and 42,000 reds sitting away from their mates, you end up with what we have now. A mass of individuals. The solution is simple. Fuck off with the assigned seats in parts of the grounds, and let people queue on the day with their mates and sit/stand together. You still need a ticket, but it’s for an area or zone, not a tiny piece of plastic.
The missing generation will be the undoing of the premier league in the end. The club’s have got high on their own supply and think the game is invincible in this country.
“Look at the money and viewing figures” they’ll say. Living in the moment is great and all, but looking further down the line, who is going to fill those seats when the current generation of bored Kopites shuffle off this mortal coil. Thier kids may have went as a dad and lad when younger, but because of the price they might not have got the addiction. Then when you get a little older and have choice with your mates as a 16/18 year to try go the match they either can’t get seats together or are priced out. So they still don’t get the bug. Then they have kids and still can’t afford it. But cause of the failure to look after them as kids it means they won’t go with their kids on a Dad and Lad ticket. So it’s another missing generation.
The TV and foreign bubble will pop eventually and they’ll be no local generation to keep the game going.
Given the price of tickets, it’s highly unlikely that there are a significant number of neutrals attending any game at Anfield. The vast majority of the crowd are passionate LFC fans irrespective of whether they are locals or visitors, old or young, male or female. In fact, some of those who have saved up and made long journeys for a once in a lifetime trip to Anfield are far more excited about being there for a live match than some of he season ticket holders.
So, given that everybody (or at least the vast majority) is passionate about LFC and wanting to see them win, surely it make senses for everybody to do whatever they can to make it more likely that the team win. And I would humbly suggest that making a lot of noise, singing, cheering, clapping and generally doing everything you possibly can to be positive about the team and individual players is far more likely to create a positive outcome than sitting there expecting to be entertained, criticising individual players and/or harking back to days gone by.
My son plays under 17 football for our local club. The parents, like me, and friends who watch are only ever supportive and positive in what we say on the sidelines. Indeed, any one who is negative or criticises and individual player is reprimanded by the coaches. Which is absolutely right: imagine what it might feel like as a young kid to have people on the sidelines criticising your mistakes, sighing in exasperation at a poor touch, and generally telling you that you’re not good enough. How can that possibly help a kid play better and in turn help the team? Many LFC players are only a year or two older than my son and his teammates and yet the Anfield crowd regularly gets on their backs. And that will most likely have the diametrically opposite effect to what the fans presumably want.
In my work life, I do a lot of business coaching. One of my colleagues, who coaches very senior executives in major organisations, used to be an elite professional sports coach having coached two international rugby teams. His number one piece of advice for other coaches is “focus on the good”. In other words, focus on things that are going well and then underperforming areas will be improved through confidence, rather than picking over all the things that are going wrong and making the client or team feel bad about themselves. Interestingly, one of my observations of JK in his first few weeks is that he seems to focus on the good also.
If we can all just be encouraging and positive, turning from doubters to believers as JK said, then the team is likely to play better and we get to see our team win.
FOCUS ON THE GOOD
I’m an out-of-towner from Belfast, who grew up with my Liverpool born grandad who was mental for Liverpool FC, and therefore, so was the rest of my family.
I don’t make a lot of money, so I get to see the Reds play at Anfield once in a blue moon. I last went to Anfield in April, to see us play QPR. Me, my dad and brother. Went for a few pints in the town then headed to Anfield. I was buzzing and ready for 90mins of singing, never mind watching football. In fact, I was looking forward to the whole crowd thing more than the football to be honest. I was left disappointed. We sat at the Anfield Road end, and the only real singing that went on was during You’ll Never Walk Alone, at the start of the match. Apart from that, the entire ground was eerily quiet. I sat beside a Scouser, started to have a chat with him about the crowd. He was in agreement over how shite the atmosphere had become. At one stage some guy further up the terrace started off Poor Scouser Tommy, and I was ready for it! But as soon as ‘shall I tell you the story of a ….’ he gave up. My heart broke. I sing every bloody song imaginable around the house on a match day and drive my misses crazy, yet I can’t do it at Anfield? If you feel embarrassed about singing at the football, then something is seriously wrong.
I don’t care what social group you belong to; if you’re at Anfield, the chances of you being a Liverpool fan are quite high. And you’ll probably be human too, possibly – so there’s a good chance you possess a tongue. START SINGING!!
Can’t wait for some sycophantic journo to ask Klopp about the wonderful atmosphere at Anfield for about the 100th time, and he replies with, ‘actually, it’s a bit, how you say, shit?’
Imagine coming from the Westfalenstadion and then having to deal with the introspective, paucity of Anfield. Enough to put you on the blueys.
Anyway. The QPR match. Steve Gerrard 88th minute winner.
Have you lot got nothing else to maon about? Eh? Mmmh?
Yeah you lot from TAW and them snivelling shits for the Anfield Index. Feckoff!
“Ooh I’ve got a blog, Oooh I’m on Twiter, Oooh I’ve written some shite aren’t I a big red, Ooh I’m on a podcast”. Get Fecked!!!! You shower of shite!!!!
Fuck off, Bob.
Why read it then you fuckin bellend
How many of these international tourists, neutrals or well heeled middle Englanders do you think attend a game? You make it sound like there are fucking thousands of them.
Lets assume there are even as many as 5,000 at a game – what the hell excuse does the other 40,000 inside the ground have?
FSG haven’t a clue have they? Seriously though they haven’t.
‘I know lets put some Mr Nobody in charge of LFC and see him feck up the only opportunity LFC have of winning the league in the last quarter of a century’.
‘Oh what’s that? He’s starting to struggle now that the best players have been sold and the opposition are all back on track. I know bring in two other no marks and Gary fecking Mcacallister!!’ Jeeze……
And don’t get me started agin and you pointless blogger/podcasters!
Ooh Mario Balotelli would be a good signing. Ooh Emre Can is really good ain’t he……….
pub lunch Lisa?
whether you leave in anger or any of the other reasons listed it doesn’t really make a difference to the team on the pitch. All they see is the back of hundreds of reds fans. Literally turning their back on them. If they see that every time we’re 1 down with 10 to go, you can kiss goodbye to any chance of a late comeback.
Feel angry/frustrated and just want to storm out and shout at the cat? Direct it at their players. Direct it at the ref.
Sucking the ball into the net? The current atmosphere is almost enough to blow the ball away from it.
Great article man!
Now i could be wrong but heres my opinion:
A) the young generation doesnt care: too many distractions! What did we have to distract us?? Im 43, you know what i mean…
B) the way the game makes money now is tv and online so
C) make the grounds smaller !!! Access reserved for locals only, maybe a couple thousand seats for every one else , priced at premium rate that includes hotel and other tourist amenities.
Just a thought…quality not quantity like.
Mike, I like the article and feel as though I fit into the “more empathetic, longer standing out-of-town support Liverpool has always enjoyed; those who live and breathe Liverpool FC to the same extent as any born-and-bred Liverpudlian.” However, I think it is important to point out that a small, but vocal group that loathes any out of towner can easily marginalize such a fan to the subdued observer, and make him appear to be nothing less than a passenger in the crowd.
I may not know every word to every song, or have watched a game at Anfield ( I have now), but don’t ever tell me I am not a true fan of this club, as many did on my inaugural pilgrimage. I am not from Liverpool, I am from Portland, OR. I grew up next to, and was coached by a gentleman from Liverpool from ages 5-15. He fed the hunger in my life to learn the game, to understand the game, and to yurn for the game – a mighty task in mid-80’s America. I remember always asking his son – my friend – if he had the score fax every weekend. I remember watching game tapes his brother sent over every week, same games over, and over because football wasn’t on tv. I loved Steve Nichol, and of course the King, as he seemed to direct from a perch, but took a bite whenever someone disturbed his orchestra. When football was on tv, and we were lucky enough to get Liverpool game, only God himself (or school) could keep me from watching it.
As the internet emerged I would check the LFC website, the Echo, the Guardian, and BBC Sport almost hourly if possible in the school library to get any morsel about LFC. Since the time I could afford it, I had a .tv membership, even if just for highlights. Now, that the premier league is on every week I absorb every match I can, getting up at 4:30 nearly every week to watch our Redmen. I skipped school on that fateful day in May, when we stood as under-rated, under valued 5 time champions of Europe. Not to mention, being partially concussed after hitting my head on the ceiling celebrating Alonso’s penalty.
I’m roughly the same age as Stevie, I wanted to see him play. In 2008 I made my pilgrimage, not against a league giant, but I saw two legends score against Middlesborough, and heard Anfield ring. I felt like a kid on Christmas that morning as I prepared for to hit some pubs and see the match. It should have been the greatest day of my life as a Liverpool Fan. Instead I was treated to “Tell Hicks and Gillett to fuck off,” “Yanks ruining this club” and “how could you be fan, you’re from America, don’t you only watch baseball?” I wasn’t there to take a teenagers seat, I wasn’t there to steal a seat from a local fan. I was there to watch the team I’ve loved for my whole life and partake in the legendary atmosphere. Instead, I was made to feel like I should sit there, enjoy the match, and fuck right off after. Which, was the exact opposite I felt throughout my two day stay in the city. So, when I hear this shit about tourists ruining the ground, I have no doubt that many are just the passengers who want a story, but many are marginalized true fans, and I think, maybe its time to take a look inward. Open up to the world of fans outside Liverpool, and invite them to participate. I’m not saying the crowd should become the plastics of Chav$ki, and that there are not legitimate concerns about cost of tickets etc… but just take a look at those around you, you might find a true fan with a fresh face in the crowd who had the misfortune to be born halfway around the world, and just wants to feel like he’s part of the living breathing voice of this club, if only for 90 minutes.
If you’re not from Liverpool please stop coming to anfield. Simple. You are the problem. It’s you. Go away.
Paul Nuttall, is that you?
I’m from Belfast and received similar treatment from ‘locals’, so much so that I intended not to return to one of my favourite places on the planet. Skip a few years and the birth of my third son (another born red). As he grew he moved from teletubies to power rangers to LFC. After requesting a trip to Anfield from Santa, I of course ensured his letter was posted and hey presto; off we went. My son loved the atmosphere and the crowd sang well that day, and we have been back on several occasions since. As for born and bred scousers – If you took the ‘travelling’ support out, would you fill Anfield? Or better still; would you be able to afford the price of a decent player?
Good post Scott, I have loved Liverpool since the very early 70’sl ucky man that I am. Made it to a few away games back in London in the late 80’s when you could just rock up and pay at the gate. Had many good experiences and a few nasty ones (Chelsea, take a bow, it’s in the genes with that mob). Never been to the old ground but I will one day soon. Gonna take in the whole place, the museums, pubs, docks, the whole kit and kiboodle.
My take on the whole “shite atmostphere” etc .. Well I can’t help feeling that FSG have (and are) really missed a trick here. Right now what have we got to distinguish ourselves from any of our (financial) betters ? Nothing, right now. There should be a priority committment to putting us back on top of the supporters perch at least. Noisey, creative, cranky, funny, vicious, witty I believe the potential is there. It’s the 100th monkey syndrome solution. We don’t need nor ever will have 50,000 raucous maniacs in the ground. Demographics and finance have made that impossible for now. What we could have is say 5-7,000 at the kop end and maybe 2-3,000 at the Anny Rd end … young fellas, mates, buy in at the gate on the day, standing, letting rip and they will bring out the maniac in all the Mike Nevins and the rest of the 48 yr old average etc etc .. season ticket holder.
FSG could do this, it ain’t rocket science, they could and they should and then see the old ground rock again … smiles will come to the craggy mugs that make up the majority and you know what ? The value of their product, their brand will rocket too …
Make it so
Make the Kop locals only, standing and £5 on the door. Maximum of 3 games on the run as it will be oversubscribed. Concessions for those on benefits. Free entry for kids. ( they can sit on fathers shoulders). A few local players mixed with the world’s best, a charismatic manager with euro pedigree and the even our comrades in Anfield cemetery will start singing again.
That’s LFC…modern footy changed it. It needs bringing back.
I’m only interested in the atmosphere and not particularly bothered about the leaving early thing. The atmosphere’s gone though. As we’ve seen, there is a chance for it to return if it’s a huge game but overall, without drastic change, there’ll be 200 or so fans at the back of the Kop singing.
The first thing I want to mention is the football crowd. I remember football in the 80’s well, and fondly. At the time, football was considered a working class game. I’m sure it wasn’t solely working class but that was how it was perceived. Although I’d give anything to return to the Kop of the 80’s the Taylor Report recommendations were necessary. Fans couldn’t continue to be treated like lepers and the Kop couldn’t continue as it was. In hindsight, I’m surprised they were implemented so late.
Around the same time BSkyB arrived on the scene and football of the 80’s was suddenly a thing of the past. Not only did it become more sanitised but more accessible to everyone. Prior to that, I remember people used to say to me, urgh, you like football? I’m more into rugby, whilst looking down their nose at me. These people now follow football. I think another important change is the change in Britain over this period. In the 80’s you were clearly either working class or middle class. In the 90’s these divisions started to blend together to the point we’re at now when there is no class except long term welfare claimants versus people who work.
I mention that because I can’t find a better way to say what I want to say which is, singing at football and the tribal aspects that go with it is usually from a certain ‘type’ of person of which I’m definitely one. I’m sure many of the old middle class types sing at football occasionally in the same way they sing in church on a Sunday but it doesn’t have the same aggression or pride in the way it’s delivered as say, I deliver a song. I don’t believe they look at away fans as ‘the enemy’ in the same way I do. I think it’s important to point out that I’ve absolutely no desire to fight with the enemy but I don’t like them coming to Anfield and taking the piss (which probably means out singing us in this day and age). I still hold tribal beliefs to an extent.
My lads 12 and has been going to Anfield a fair few times a season since his first match in 09 when we beat Hull 6-1, the day of the protest outside the main stand and the they don’t care about Rafa chants. I got him tickets for the Bournemouth match recently, completely forgetting that I would be working in London that week. So, I said to him, choose a mate who hasn’t had the chance to go to Anfield yet and he can have my ticket for free and my mate will take you up. He said, I don’t really want to go. I was gobsmacked. I thought about how I felt about going to Anfield at his age. It was exciting as hell. Then I thought, who can blame him. Why would he want to sit in the Centenary and watch a match when he can watch it at home. Some may be appalled at that but what’s in it for him? What’s the buzz? At that age, my buzz wasn’t about seeing the team or players it was only the atmosphere of it all and I don’t just mean the singing. It felt edgy going to a match. For my lad he might as well go and have a picnic at the zoo because it’ll feel more edgy.
Due to become increasingly embarrassed about how long my comments are I’m gonna post 2 in the hope it doesn’t look so bad. To conclude this, football has changed. Society has changed and as a result football crowds have changed. It’s a spectator sport. We go and watch superstars plying their trade. Don’t get me wrong, I think football today is excellent and captivating beyond words but we go to watch a performance in the same way some like to go and watch Swan Lake at the theatre.
Regarding Anfield, the crowd has changed to the extent I don’t think we’ll ever see singing outside of big occasions where the 200 or so at the back of the Kop are backed up by the rest of the crowd because everyone’s adrenaline is so high. There are though, plenty of people around who still feel they want to sing and get behind the team. The clue is in the away support. A lot of young lads are choosing away games as their way of following Liverpool. They can make a day of it, have a few beers with mates and stand together at the match – the way it used to be. A lot of young lads don’t see the point in sitting at Anfield on their own in a sanitised environment and spending a large chunk of their wage to do so. I’ve said before, a lot of tickets end up in my hands and they’re getting harder and harder to shift (at face value, obviously). Young lads certainly don’t want them but when I have the odd away ticket to sell the demand is huge and all from young lads. Point being, young lads can still get tickets but it’s not something that appeals so much.
My view is, forget the other 3 stands. They’re finished. We need to look at ways to change the Kop. Only the club can do that. I mentioned on another comment about my mate (who’s extremely passionate at LFC) who meets his Liverpool family at the game. They don’t want to sing or stand. They want to carry on the tradition of meeting up at Liverpool games and watching the spectacle. This is what the Kop is made up of now. They’ve had their season tickets for 30 odd years and won’t give them up anytime soon. It’s only gonna get worse too.
Around me on the Kop, it’s mostly the old working class lads who are now in their 40’s and 50’s. They definitely sing at the big games but it’s difficult at most games. We hear the singing in the standing section but there’s a break in the singing before it reaches us. That means if you sing, you’re more or less on your own. If we were with mates then it wouldn’t bother us that much that’s it just us singing. It’s a bit weird on your own though and actually feels a bit flat. It’s disjointed and too spread out, as in, the ones who want to sing are dotted around unlike the away support.
If they were joined up, with or without their mates next to them, the singing would return. What can we do about my mate though and his relations. The only thing I can think of it to accept standing in the whole of the Kop (standing is absolutely a key factor in singing, hence why on the big games when the crowd refuse to sit the atmosphere can still be good). My mate may say, I’ve had enough of it on the Kop. I don’t want to stand. The club could facilitate the swapping of season tickets for the numerous people in other areas of the ground that do want to stand and have flags blocking their view. They won’t do it though. It’s too much hassle for so little return in their eyes.
So, even at today’s prices, we could get young lads in the ground but it’s not worth it to sit on your own in silence. They’d be more inclined to go if they knew they’d be singing and standing, even if that meant not standing with mates. We need help from the club. If we don’t get it then let’s stop mentioning things like the 12th man or the atmosphere at Anfield because it’s becoming a source of embarrassment. Despite the changing crowd, there are people who want to sing but they’re becoming fewer and too spread out. The only saviour is to take steps to unite them in a smaller area as happens at away games.
We might has well mourn the absence of rattles,rosettes and top hats with Joey Jones is King on done in baco foil letters- it’s the past.Football is no longer the be all and end all of anyone’s existence
Speak for yourself mate. It’s a huge part of my existence and I’ll make no apology for that. I’ve seen a lot of your comments Drake and they all seem to be saying ‘stop trying to change anything, just accept this is how it is’, or a ‘just move on attitude’.
In my view, there’s no one worse than someone who a) accepts everything and b) wants everyone to be, and think, the same. A good atmosphere, though unlikely, is possible if enough pressure is applied and what’s more, would be beneficial in so may ways especially to the team, to the supporters and to the ‘brand’ if we’re gonna be honest about it. You’re happy with / accept the way it is. I’m pleased for you. I’m not though, but please, fuck off sneering at anyone who wants dialogue in the hope it can lead to change.
Spot on, the soul of the club has been priced out, the cranks who sit in front of me in the kop are from Norwich and bring pack lunches, the women criticizes every touch and shouts ‘hell fire pool’ every 5 minutes. Never felt so alientated in Liverpool than at the match, hardly hear scouse voice. Every time I shout or swear the fella in front turns round and looks at me incredulously, its fucking shite tbh glad have started selling my ticket saves me money and don’t have to deal with these mutants
Great article Mike and good comments Robin! As much as I find the regular ‘early darters’ annoying they are not the most frustrating match goers for me. There seem to be an ever growing number of incredibly negative and cynical fans in the ground who really don’t seem to want to be there and have no patience with our players. There have always been the moaners but I’m not sure it’s ever been as bad as this. I don’t think it can be a coincidence that our home form is so patchy given all the mass sighing and groaning at every misplaced pass. These same people also fume whenever we try to play out from the back much preferring us to pump it long even on days when we have little height up front!
To sum up, I don’t get why I should go to home games and feel like I’m stupidly naive or overly positive just because I want to SUPPORT the team. We have a lot of new/young players who need our encouragement. Save the slagging off of your latest boo boy for the pub!
tHISE WHO DONT KNOW THE WORDS…BVRING YER IIPADS/PHONES AND GOOGLE EM AND START TO SING. iF SOEMONE BESIDE YOU GIVES YOU A LOOOK, GIVE THEM ONE BACK AND SHARE THE LYRICS. ffs THIS AINT DIFFICULT. aND AS A PREVIOUS POSTER SAID. THEYES 40+ THOUSAND SO ITS NOT JUST THE OUT-OF-TOWNERS. OOOPS CAPLSLOCKS!
Yes Mike, you are being a moany old git. But I am broadly sympathetic – just concerned that as careful as you’ve tried to be in delineating the match-day fans and visitors to the city you still risk potentially alienating a whole load of potentially great fans and you give those who don’t want to listen to you the perfect excuse.
I’d rather have my cake and eat it. I ‘d rather Anfield be accessible and the best weekend gig for any 15-25 year old Scouse. But I want every single fecking “EPL tourist” every single fecking “passionless neutral”, and every single fecking “vacuous middle Englander” converted to a rabid Red by the end of any match.
Till then Mike you’re going to have to get up off your Victor Meldrew’d arse and smart up your support !