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Slipperduke

The Camden Cad
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
4,333
Location
North London
Is it nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune or to take arms against a sea of troubles and, by opposing, end them? A question posed 500 years ago by Hamlet in Denmark was emphatically answered this weekend by club director Tom Hicks Jnr in Liverpool. It seems that, when your only opposition to those slings and arrows in your in-box is to grumpily fire off an email that reads, and I paraphrase for decency, "Blow me, Duckface. Go to hell, I'm sick of you," suffering them is certainly the nobler option. Mind you, Hicks' opposition certainly ended something. The resulting outcry brought the only moment of dignity from the American cabal since they rolled up on Merseyside. Hicks Jnrs' resignation.

Football is an emotional sport and some fans can be particularly vindictive. The advent of internet messageboards and radio phone-ins has given a very public platform to the kind of borderline illiterates whose green-inked scrawlings would only ever be aired in the wastepaper basket of their local newspaper. But what makes this story all the more compelling is that the email in question wasn't even a nasty one. It was the perfectly fair observation that Rafa Benitez's first priority should be on the team, not debt reduction. It was a rational expression of concern. Things must be really bad in the boardroom if something this benign was enough to tip Hicks Jnr over the edge.

It has been almost three years since the Americans arrived at Anfield and in those three years they've managed to break almost every promise they made. They promised a new stadium. There is no new stadium. They promised that the club would not be laden with debt. The club is over GBP250m in debt with annual interest payments of around GBP30m. They promised to respect the traditions of the club. They emailed a supporter and called him 'Duckface'. In these three dark years, Liverpool have won absolutely nothing. Their last trophy was the FA Cup in 2006. They currently sit in 7th place in the Premier League and, if they don't qualify for the Champions League, they'll be forced to sell Fernando Torres, arguably the best striker in the world. All things considered, it's not really going very well, is it?

Liverpool fans have every right to voice their concerns about the way that their club is being managed. On and off the pitch, it's an absolute shambles. But while no-one can realistically guarantee success and silverware in an industry as bonkers as football, a bit of class shouldn't be too much to ask for. Football supporters are constantly squeezed for cash, either in rising ticket prices, frequent releases of new replica shirts, online subscriptions and all sorts of other paraphernalia. They pay their money and, within reason, they are entitled to their comments. Hicks Jnr could have done anything with that email. He could have answered it sensibly, he could have passed it on to someone else, he could even have ignored it. Replying with foul-mouthed petulance wasn't just rude, it was stupid. His response has become a metaphor for this ghastly era and it supports the widely-held perception that the only commodity they have for the fans is contempt.

No-one will particuarly miss Hicks Jnr. He has shamed the club, shamed his father and shamed himself. What a pity for Liverpool fans that only one American is clearing out his desk today. Their sea of troubles continues to swell.
 

MK Shrimper

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 6, 2005
Messages
52,348
Football is an emotional sport and some fans can be particularly vindictive. The advent of internet messageboards and radio phone-ins has given a very public platform to the kind of borderline illiterates whose green-inked scrawlings

They always say you should write what you know eh?
 

EastStandBlue

Life President
Joined
May 29, 2005
Messages
15,481
Hicks' position has now become untennable in my opinion, Not that it wasn't any less in jeopardy than it was before his son went beserk. I think this will prove to be the precursor of him cutting his losses and selling up... Whether it be to an Arab Prince or his partner in crime Gillete.
 

Yorkshire Blue

Super Moderator⭐
Staff member
Joined
Oct 27, 2003
Messages
36,168
Location
London
Am I the only one to feel short-changed to discover that Hicks Jr didn't actually use the phrase "Blow me, duckface"? I am seriously considering neg repping Slip for misleading me. I was most disappointed to find that the actual phrase used was far less innovative than comparing the fan's facial features to an aquatic bird.

Also, where is that famed Scouse sense of humour?
 

Thorpe Groyney

Open your mind
Joined
Nov 20, 2008
Messages
2,389
Location
Surely it's plain to see?
As a subscriber to The Guardian's Fiver, I was interested to see their take on it this evening .....


If the Fiver was forced to apologise and resign every time we sent an ill-advised email to recipients who found them objectionable, production of the world's most tea-timely newsletter would have ceased moments after its maiden excursion more years ago than we care to remember. Luckily, our audience is more tolerant than Liverpool supporters' union Spirit of Shankly, who showcased the fabled Scouse sense of humour by swooning like Victorian ladies overcome by the vapours when a board member from "their" club responded to a series of emails from a disgruntled fan by inviting him to "Blow me, *face".

The carefully worded email sent by Tom Hicks Jr, Dallas-based businessman and adult son of Liverpool owner Tom Sr, prompted howls of faux outrage and wounded indignation from Spirit of Shankly, who despite all their protestations to the contrary, were almost certainly beside themselves with delight that a fan had managed to prompt such a juvenile response from the Liverpool boardroom.

Having called for, and subsequently secured the resignation of Hicks Jr, who has since apologised for sending the email, SoS posted a statement on their website this afternoon. "Spirit of Shankly welcomes the resignation of Tom Hicks Junior from the board of Liverpool FC and its parent company," it chirruped. "This club has standards – on the field, off the field, on the terraces and in the boardroom." As luck would have it, the group made no mention of its own standards, which are so low that last year's end-of-season party climaxed with this rousing ditty making fun of the Munich air disaster [http://guardian.chtah.com/a/tBLS10iA...CTFSgWNG/fvr20.

While it could be argued that the raucous, mob-handed celebration of a plane crash in which 21 people died is considerably more offensive than some dumb Yank losing his rag and sending a chippy email, it's interesting that SoS chose not to disband or call for mass resignations from among their own rank-and-file [http://guardian.chtah.com/a/tBLS10iA...TFSgWNG/fvr21] in the wake of the notorious sing-along.

The Fiver is as wholeheartedly in favour of football fans sticking it to The Man as the next beret-wearing promoter of people-power, but we find it bewildering that the high standards expected from all connected with Liverpool FC "on the field, off the field, on the terraces and in the boardroom" evidently don't apply to those most anxious to see them rigidly enforced.


Proof, if needed, that glass houses in Merseyside have a very short life expectancy.
 

Matt the Shrimp

aka Harry Potter
Joined
Oct 27, 2003
Messages
19,929
Location
Lewisham, London
Brilliant effort from the Fiver. I am slowly being reminded how utterly insufferable Liverpool fans were when their team ruled the roost in the 80s. Long live Hicks & Gillett!
 

Smiffy

SZ Drinking Champion
Joined
Oct 27, 2003
Messages
16,335
Location
Vanarama National League (Loan)
Brilliant effort from the Fiver. I am slowly being reminded how utterly insufferable Liverpool fans were when their team ruled the roost in the 80s. Long live Hicks & Gillett!

Only some Matt, only some.

IMHO as a closet Scouser of some 25 years, the sooner these yank *******s **** off back across the pond, the better. Not only for Liverpool, but for football as a whole.

One of the worlds greatest clubs has been almost brought to it's knee's, due to foreign involvement, with no passion at all for the game itself. Whilst some will argue, all this money being pumped into the English game is great. The other side of it tells a different story...
 

TrueBlue

Save Our Southend
Joined
Oct 26, 2003
Messages
22,507
Location
Hockley now on loan to Rayleigh
Only some Matt, only some.

IMHO as a closet Scouser of some 25 years, the sooner these yank *******s **** off back across the pond, the better. Not only for Liverpool, but for football as a whole.

One of the worlds greatest clubs has been almost brought to it's knee's, due to foreign involvement, with no passion at all for the game itself. Whilst some will argue, all this money being pumped into the English game is great. The other side of it tells a different story...

One Love
One Team
Pride Of Essex
Southend United

and that's tattooed on my arm for a reason Lee you need no other.
 

Yorkshire Blue

Super Moderator⭐
Staff member
Joined
Oct 27, 2003
Messages
36,168
Location
London
One of the worlds greatest clubs has been almost brought to it's knee's, due to foreign involvement, with no passion at all for the game itself. Whilst some will argue, all this money being pumped into the English game is great. The other side of it tells a different story...

Yeah, blow me duckface Benitez
 
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