Walking Alone.

06Oct14

The long term survival of a species depends on good genes being handed down through generations.

Unfortunately true Liverpool Fans are on the endangered list.

For years fledgling supporters were introduced to the club by more experienced fans. They went to their first game with family members or older friends who taught them the songs (You’ll Never Walk Alone doesn’t finish till after the second chorus) and how we behave (we applaud the opposition goalkeeper when he arrives at the Kop) and why we don’t buy the Sun.

This system of older more experienced masters passing down their wisdom to novices has been successfully used for thousands of years by craftsmen, clerics and artists. Now, this time honored practice is in danger of disappearing and with it the future of our once great club.

Fanzines like the excellent Red All Over The Land and campaigns like Reclaim The Kop are doing their best to rescue our future but they are fighting a losing battle. It’s a battle being fought against the club itself.

I watched my first game at Anfield sat on my father’s knee, sharing his season ticket seat in the old Kemlyn Road stand. The last game I went to was a very different experience.

I failed to get a ticket in the lottery that is the two and a half hours hanging on the phone on the first day of sale when half a season’s tickets are sold at once. That’s despite paying to join a ridiculous official LFC “members” club. My only option was to buy a corporate ticket.

That meant I paid around three times the price of a normal ticket just to get a normal plastic seat in a part of the ground (Upper Anfield Road) that I used to buy a regular ticket for. The only difference was that I got a free program and before the game I got to sit at a table upstairs in the Sandon and wait my turn to be served bad food.

The club is conning us all by describing this as “corporate hospitality”.  Most of the fans being ripped off in this way are not business people trying to impress clients or close deals, they’re just people who can’t get a ticket any other way.

All of the people at our table were attending their first game. They were all looking for an authentic matchday experience. The experience they got was one of Liverpool Football Club’s short-sighted greed.

They were all good people but they had no idea. It’s not their fault but they were an embarrassment. An ex-player who scored a very important European goal in the 70s was on hand as a “host” at the Sandon. One of our new fans (an adult) getting his program signed by the player excitedly announced to him, “I recognise you from LFCTV!”. None of them knew that the Sandon was the birthplace of the club and hadn’t heard of Gerry and The Pacemakers.

Call me a dinosaur if you want but this special club, this unique city and it’s people are being mis-represented. The current owners of Liverpool Football Club are treating “fans” like “customers” and in doing so, they’re eating their young.

Craic on!

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