The season is over and done with and we can all take a collective breath in order to gather our thoughts about what’s to come. I’ve written in the past about the fact that I am falling out of love with the sport, largely thanks to Manchester City’s financial doping without recourse alongside the arrival of Saudi Arabian ownership at Newcastle United and the likelihood of Qatari owners taking over Manchester United. Last season was the culmination of all that, with City almost certain to win the Champions League and complete a treble proving that money can buy you anything and cheats do, in fact, prosper. For the rest of us, the depressing thing is that football’s tribalism is too rampant to mean that anything will be done about, such is the extent to which supporters are happy to laugh at the demise of their opponent’s club rather than stop to think about what it all means for the future of the sport. Add into that the mocking of tragedies for ‘banter’ and it’s all too much.
A sportswashing project just won the FA cup, and may be on their way to a treble, after facing 115 charges of financial malpractice.
— Banks (@KobiiBanks) June 3, 2023
It would be really nice to be able to just focus on football when the season re-starts, but I think we all know that that’s not going to happen. City will be just as powerful a force next time around, with what’s happening at Old Trafford and St. James’ Park simply adding to the idea that it is not a fair playing field any more. There are definitely some Liverpool fans, perhaps even people reading this piece, who are totally fine with the idea of a murderous regime owning the Reds. The manner in which people twist themselves in knots to suggest that John Henry and the rest of the FSG crew are ‘just as bad’ as a nation state, all to justify being ok with the club being bought by human rights abusing owners is immensely depressing to me. The moment that Liverpool becomes a sports-washing club is the moment that I am completely done with football as a sport. To too many people, it isn’t about what happens on the pitch that matters as much as the transfers taking place off it, which is incredibly messed up.
People Care More About Players Than Trophies
Those that have followed the careers of players like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo will have known for years that there are some extremely odd people out there. There are many, many supporters who don’t follow a club but instead look out for the players themselves, shifting allegiances as the players transfer from place to place. For Liverpool fans, the first real time that we’ve experienced that came with the arrival of Naby Keïta, at which point a wealth of new supporters began following the Reds simply because of the player himself. Unfortunately, many of them were quite toxic in nature and didn’t really understand even the basics of following Liverpool, often referring to supporters that wanted more from Keïta as ‘bin dippers’ and other offensive terms, simply because they’ve seen others use them and knew it was derogatory without really knowing the context. For them, it didn’t matter whether Liverpool won anything, just whether Keïta player in the matches.
Streets wont forget how naby keita used to take bernardo silva for a walk everytime they met
— #NK8 (@HendersonHater) June 3, 2023
Of a similar vein are those that are far more interested in Liverpool signing players and spending money than they are in the club actually winning things. Ask them about the summer of 2019 and they won’t tell you about how they celebrated the club’s Champions League win, rather just how little transfer action there was. They will tell you all about Liverpool’s disappointing net spend under Fenway Sports Group, not the fact that we’ve won every single trophy that there is to win bar the Europa League and Europa Conference League. To them, it doesn’t matter that we’ve been successful on the pitch, but that we haven’t spent hundreds of millions of pounds without bringing any money back in off it. It is a mentality that I will never be able to understand, given that the only thing that I’m interested in is Liverpool winning trophies. Of course I wish we’d invested a little more in recent years, but I wouldn’t swap any of our trophy wins for a new signing and I never would.
What Will Be Will Be
When it comes to transfers, very few people are willing to just wait and see what happens. Instead, every tweet about transfers from a ‘journalist’, no matter how reliable, gets a reaction. People in the media know this, of course, which is why Liverpool’s transfer business is such major news every day. Within an hour of Paul Joyce tweeting that the Reds were going to confirm the signing of Alexis Mac Allister in the coming days, it had garnered nearly 400 comments, 1,000 retweets and 7,000 likes. Compare to a tweet about Everton’s transfers and you can see why far less reliable people than Joyce have made tweeting about Liverpool and transfers their stock in trade. When it is announced that the club are withdrawing interest in Jude Bellingham, toys are thrown out of prams left, right and centre before anything’s actually happened. Get linked with a player such as Manu Kone and there are pieces written about him within hours and some fans will be furious if we don’t sign him, even if the link was never real.
Liverpool optimistic of completing a transfer for Alexis Mac Allister this week, as reported by @_pauljoyce. Sources refer to a key meting today to try and wrap up deal. #LFC have always been confident. Fee will be officially undisclosed, but told it could be just UNDER £45m.🇦🇷 pic.twitter.com/EKDtZp0ZOC
— Ben Jacobs (@JacobsBen) June 5, 2023
I would like Liverpool to sign a number of players this summer. I think we need a new centre-back, a right-back that can cover Trent when he’s injured and at least three midfielders. I wouldn’t be averse to us signing a new forward and, if Caoimhin Kelleher is sold, a new back-up goalkeeper will be a must. I will care about the players that we sign when we sign them. If we end up not signing them then I won’t care a jot. All I’m interested in is the success of Liverpool Football Club, not whether a specific player signs for us at any given moment. If the club decides that Bellingham is too expensive and laying out that much money on one player isn’t a clever thing to do then so be it. If they change their minds and sign the Borussia Dortmund midfielder then I’ll be happy with that, too. Ultimately, I’ll never understand why people get so upset about who arrives at the club and who leaves when the only thing that matters is how it pans out on the football pitch. For now, I won’t be thinking about a whole lot this summer.