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Stop moaning! We’ve got a bus and a new stand!

Transfer deadline day is usually a bit of a non-event if you’re a Liverpool fan. Yesterday was no exception. While Chelsea were splashing £34million on David Luiz and while even Spurs stumped up £30million to sign Moussa Sissoko, Liverpool fans were treated to an announcement on the official club website of the new Anfield 917 bus service. Supporters were able to “celebrate the launch of the new service” which will run direct from the city centre to Anfield, up to every 10 minutes on match-days. I shit you not! EVERY TEN MINUTES! This my friends is what it’s all about! Jim White can shove his yellow tie up his arse as far as I’m concerned because we, WE, have a new bus! Jose Mourinho, who knows a thing or two about parking buses, must be shitting himself!

There were no last minute incoming signings. Of course we never expected any, but transfer deadline can be a fun, hopeful and sometimes eventful day, providing you don’t take it too seriously and turn up at Melwood to protest on your own about the way the club is run. That protest flopped for so many reasons but I can’t help but think that Martin, the lad that stood there on his own with only the security guard on the gate to talk to, is a legend and that one day, when the knockers of the Fenway We Come Not To Pay fans’ group stop laughing, they will look back and think that Martin was actually right.

NOTE: From this day forward, I insist that across the various KOPTALK® communities and platforms, that on transfer deadline day, as well as bantering about things like the Babel Copter and Jim White, we will now ask “Has Martin turned up yet?”. I will NEVER let you be forgotten, Martin!

Whether you agree or disagree about someone’s views, you have to admire anyone that stands by their beliefs. He could have turned away with his tail between his legs but he stood proud and expressed his right to protest. The thing is guys, nobody listens, as Frank Underwood explains in the brief video below.

Now before you caps lock me to death, I shall add that I don’t think they listened to the 77th minute ticket pricing protest. I firmly believe that the owners were advised well in advance that a backlash would follow and were happy to u-turn. Do the maths. The outcome was more beneficial for the club in the long run. Don’t confuse me with someone that gives a shit though. The only time I protest about anything is when I see more chips on my sons’ plate.

Someone – a no-one – recently suggested that I was involved with Fenway We Come Not To Pay. That of course isn’t true. I’m not involved with anyone but myself. I have been very successful with KopTalk. I write this editorial from my laptop from a bar overlooking the Mediterranean sea in Albir, Spain. I don’t need to waste what little energy I have arguing over millionaires and in some cases, billionaires. I certainly aren’t going to get caught up with the peasants that bully and troll others on social media either. If I’m going to protest about something, it will be about something worth protesting about. A closure of an A&E unit at a local hospital for example. To put it bluntly, as much as I still love Liverpool Football Club and football in general, I’m not going to lose any sleep about the owners. I’m also not going to lose any sleep over what these fans’ groups think of each other or even me come to think of it. Those that have spent years hating on me and spreading all sorts of nonsense about my website aren’t sinking this ice old Magners and won’t be knocking off for the day in a minute. I write this editorial because the internet, and especially the Liverpool FC online community, would be a very boring place without me.

I’ve spoken up over the years and I’ve learnt all it does is create enemies. If you’re not a part of a self-appointed LFC clique (not that I have ever wanted to be) then you will be hounded and belittled. If you’re an out-of-towner, you’ll be laughed at even more. You will achieve more if you are truly independent but my advice to those involved at Fenway We Come Not To Pay would be to jack it in. While your hearts are clearly in the right place, who are you actually fighting for? Nobody cares unless it hurts them in their own individual pockets. I doubt you want to make a living from what you do (I didn’t set out to do that BTW, it just turned out that way) so is it really worth the hassle? After all these years, I can turn the internet off tonight and not have to potter about with all the nonsense any more. I’m very fortunate. I made the negativity and hate work for me. I remain because I have so many friends and followers that enjoy my work and I enjoy interacting with so many die-hard Reds every day. This is my life. Why on earth would I want to waste my time arguing over a bunch of numpties kicking a bag of wind around or owners who can’t be arsed to turn up and support their team … ahem, investment [unless they’re opening a new stand or are about to fire someone]. None of them give a shit about us mere mortals. We should only care about each other. Fans should not be clashing over people that only care about furthering their own agendas. Us daft fans … well we want what’s best for the club, it’s just that we all have different views about how to achieve it. It genuinely hurts me when I see fans continually arguing over the owners. That in itself, fans battling left, right and centre, proves something is wrong. We – the owners and the fans – all need to sing from the same hymn sheet. Until we do, the club will continue to plateau.

I ran my mouth online when I was younger and passionate but I as I grew older, and fatter, I realised that the game has changed. I only care about my fellow fans now. I don’t see any Steven Gerrards or Jamie Carraghers at the club to idolise any more. The only person I trust at Anfield and who keeps me interested is Jürgen Klopp. FSG finally got something right!

We are very fortunate to have such a good, honest man running up and down the side of the pitch like an absolute nutter. It’s how every one of us would behave … well, most of us, and admittedly I might need a crash team on standby but I’d give it my best shot if I was the manager! I can still run after ice-cream vans put it that way! He is the nearest to us that we could ever wish for and trust me, he’s the only one that will fight for us. This doesn’t make him immune from criticism though. This ‘Trust in [insert any new manager’s name here]’ guff that is trotted out is a load of nonsense. Nobody knows whether he will bomb or succeed, but he will try his best. Just as the others did before him, including Brendan Rodgers and Roy Hodgson. Their best wasn’t enough but you’ll forever see certain individuals mocking them because their faces and characters (no pun intended!) didn’t fit. Don’t get me wrong, I never rated either of them, but I don’t need to resort to name calling etc. Let it go, guys. It’s boring.

‘He did it in Germany so he’ll do it here’ line is another one that gets right on my tits. If he hasn’t realised yet, he soon will: The Premier League is not the Bundesliga. There isn’t a couple of clubs competing in England. We’re ‘obsessed’ with transfers Jürgen because this is the English game and because we’re sick to the back teeth of seeing others advance so much that clubs that were once seen as smaller than us are now considered our new rivals. Although I’m not having a pop, the boss has shown some naivety over the loan system in England and also the domestic cups. This isn’t criticism, I think he’s absolutely great, I just think it shows he’s maybe not got the English game worked out fully just yet, but he will. His recently prickly attitude this early into the season with the national press is also a sign that he’s not used to the obsessive British media and attention. This is England. Not Germany. This is Liverpool Football Club and not Borussia Dortmund. Let’s stop comparing them.

The owners pulled off a coup to land him but rightly bloody so. So they should have. We are Liverpool Football Club, or used to be. Such standards were the norm. My fear is that he will be gone within 2 years if he is expected to work miracles. I think we have a real chance with him. I just hope the club gives him what he wants and that the fans remain patient.

I read an article earlier titled ‘Jurgen Klopp’s Dortmund falls victim to modern football’. It made me think about Liverpool FC and what happens next. According to The Liverpool Echo, Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City & Manchester United had a combined net spend of approximately £450million this time around on transfers. Liverpool had a net spend of minus £10million i.e. they made £10million. Some people will tell you net spend isn’t important. Maybe that’s the case. I dunno. I’m a football fan, not an accountant. But those clubs with a bigger net spend seem to do better than us. That’s all I need to understand.

You can argue about the pros and cons of FSG for as long as you like but you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to see that the most successful clubs in the Premier League have spent a lot of money. Liverpool haven’t but that’s because Liverpool are not as successful as these clubs and I don’t think we will be, until we have owners that can compete with them. Sharing such a view shouldn’t, by default, make you anti-FSG. I don’t hate FSG, I just don’t like them very much (yet). I’m grateful to them for making the club profitable (oh look, I am an accountant after all) and for building that new stand but find me a player who’s going to sign for us because of that. It’s what’s in the club’s trophy room and what we can put in their bank accounts that matter.

‘New Liverpool signing Marco Reus has explained that he turned down a lucrative transfer to Manchester City in favour of a switch to Anfield as a result of the Merseyside club’s new main stand. The 27-year-old, who rejected a package that would have netted him a basic salary of £200,000-a-week at The Etihad and instead took a pay cut to join the Reds, explained his decision. “The main stand at Anfield sealed it for me,” said the German international. “This is a club that is going places. I’m convinced that this club can now recruit the best players out there. It has always been a dream to play in front of such a structure. Everything about the deal was just right.’

FSG may not have taken a penny out of the club but they don’t need to. With the amount of players moved out this summer, either sold, loaned or released, plus having not actually spent any of the new TV money (can someone tell me where it is? no, seriously), the club will have enough coin to pay for the new stand itself at this rate. They won’t need any bloody investment from China! Jokes aside, the fact that we have moved out some of the deadwood can only be a good thing and if you’re dreaming of FSG exiting any time soon, it’s worth noting that the club is now in a great financial position for a sale. Just sayin’.

The manager and not the owners, has chosen not to sign certain players. If he has opted not to sign a left-back for example, that’s his call. It shouldn’t be used as an opportunity to have a pop at the owners. I actually believe the money was there for him to spend. It may be a decision that comes back to haunt him but right now, everything’s cool. Every man would like a wife like Jürgen wouldn’t they? He won’t spend for the sake of spending. This is exactly what the owners want and if you were them, maybe you would feel the same way. Let’s be honest, if we finish outside the Top 4, they won’t care whether we finish 6th, 7th or 8th. The difference to them is minimal. To us, it’s everything. They’re just trying to do it all on the cheap. Why? Because this is their long term plan and when they sell the club and pocket trillions and zillions of dollars, you’ll soon realise why they never took a penny out of the club. It’s their style. It’s what these types do. It’s business. We have to accept it. If they purchased a huge superstore like Tesco they’d appoint Arkwright from ‘Open All Hours’ as their CEO and hope for the best. In my opinion they’re not much better than Gillette and Hicks who came unstuck due to the collapse of the global financial markets (hey look, I’m an accountant again … well I think that’s what happened anyway), they’re just smoother and smarter. They will exit but only when John’s ready.

It’s so glaringly obvious what their plan is that it makes it so disturbing that some ordinary Liverpool fans can’t see it, unless of course your name is Martin or Sean or Lee or Greg or John or Andy. Look, I can’t vouch for these guys with regards how they conduct themselves online. I have no idea what they do or do not believe with regards the owners. I just know they don’t like them very much. That’s up to them. I don’t wanna get caught up in their battles because I prefer a quiet life, but what I will say is this. At least they care enough about the club to speak up, whether they’re right or misguided. Sadly they don’t have any pals in the media so their voices are quiet ones. If the owners had the passion and felt the frustrations of these guys, we’d storm the Premier League. You don’t need to sit on a committee, wave a flag, own a season ticket or be born in Liverpool to be considered important or worthy. As long as you have the club’s interest at heart, that’s all that should matter and those lads clearly do. Take my advice guys, kick back, let it go. Enjoy watching the good old game again for 90 minutes and don’t get caught up in the politics of it all. This is exactly what Roy Evans told me a few weeks ago. Don’t let the modern game spoil your support of the club you quite clearly love. You don’t need to justify yourselves to anyone, just as those who don’t share the same views as yourselves don’t need to justify themselves to you. It’s a shame you can’t all get along. Notice how I didn’t say ‘we’ … that’s because I genuinely couldn’t care less any more about what others think. We’ll always have different views, that’s what makes football so special. All I care about is my fellow supporters. I’ll always support every Liverpool side that is deployed and every player in it on match-days (even 5-yard .. it’s a KOPTALK.TV joke, move along if you don’t understand). I have a soft spot for Jürgen and an ever harder spot for Linda (don’t worry, I’ve got plenty of Aspirin) but there’s not many people at the club worth getting your knickers in a twist over.

FSG aren’t the best but they’re not the worst. I just wish John Henry could at least pretend to care. It doesn’t take much effort to comment on the outcome of a game on Twitter does it? Jeez, even I tweet ‘Absolutely gutted!’ following a defeat just to convince my members that I’m hurting. I know I’m fat but I’m not stupid. I know what people want to hear. The difference is, I give a shit about the people who support me and who make it all possible.

The window has closed. Nothing’s going to change now until January at the earliest, unless of course Amanda Staveley is going to serve up a Chinese. If not, I’m sure Tom Werner and Co. will keep us fed with plenty of positive news regardless of what happens between now and 2017. I look forward to what happens next but more importantly, I look forward to watching Jürgen Klopp at work.

YNWA

Duncan Oldham
KOPTALK® editor

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