The fickle nature of football fans of which I am a coin carrying member is at its kernel capricious, uncertain and even emasculating at times to both man and woman accordingly. It is something so mercurial that it can only be rivalled by the fervour, distain and passion we demonstrate for our chosen club. However, this volatile nature can on occasion be very destructive. In some cases it can even be exploited coercively by the few who have their own Machiavellian interests to promote. These few who have been succinctly described recently as “professional supporters” will usually conceal their aim of unsettling players, managers or even entire clubs for the abject logic of ‘clicks’.
Who we support is a simple matter, in my case it was a birth right. My Da’ gave me no other option. In other cases it’s who your friends support or potentially a myriad of other reasons. Whatever the origins of your loyalty, your club is your club and it’s with you permanently. This life long bond brings with it certain responsibilities namely, to support your team regardless of how difficult it may get. This is the cornerstone of support, its gives your club a foothold from where all other things may blossom. Each and every club is founded on this sense of belonging emanating from its assembled masses. In some cases this feeling of belonging allows us to think we have an inherent right to castigate vociferously when we think we may know better. Opinions are what make this game beautiful and interesting but opinions not reliant on facts are just words assembled together in a vain hope of seeming informed.
The resentment shown towards FSG and LFC in general during the last two successive transfer windows is a typical example. FSG, Our current owners, should not be an enigma or a riddle to anyone (Churchill Reference). FSG’s manifesto is obvious and they have been candid about how they do business from the outset. This in no way however should allow them to be autonomous from criticism about their transfer policy specifically. I personally don’t agree with much of it but this strategy must be allowed to mature before we cast our final verdict. I admit they came in with all guns blazing (6 shooters probably) and splashed the cash giving us a sense of anticipation about the future. The harsh reality is we have failed to secure any of our major transfer targets at this juncture, namely Keita and VVD. It’s my opinion that FSG should be given some recognition for remaining fastened to their values be they moral or fiscal. A cold detached assessment must be that Liverpool are bucking the permeated understanding that only sheiks and oligarchs can succeed. They did give Jürgen Klopp a 7 year contract that conceivably is worth 100million pounds. Money well invested?
Should we progress and have a successful season, FSG will disappear from all mentions regarding Liverpool. If we fall short, I have no doubt accusing glances will be cast towards our owners. This notion of blame which may sit with some supporters will then only propagate gloom. Allowing a corrosive atmosphere like this to emerge during any dark time or even slight mishap will serve only to undermine the club and we true supporters who are in it for the long haul. The season will have setbacks of some description but remaining steadfast in our support is what we will do regardless of the detractors.
Admittedly I fell into this fickle mind-set at the end of last season. It was my opinion that Liverpool would and should have recruited last winter and now with the benefit of hindsight they should have. However, the club achieved its goal of CL qualification on a shoe string. So the end justified the means at the season’s culmination.
Glancing forward and with Champions’ League group stage qualification looking promising our expectations as fans will grow exponentially as compared to last season. The opportunity now presents itself where we have all of the attributes that any world class player wants to see at a prospective new club. The massive funds and glamour the Champions League realises translates into LFC having the ability to compete for the signatures of polished diamonds, players who are the finished article and at the top of their profession and not hoping to find a rough gem while expecting for Herr Klopp to add the final polish. The latter stages of the summer transfer window will present the opportunity for FSG to fulfil their long term goals and spend the right amount on the right player regardless of the fee.
At Liverpool F.C, the club and fans alike need to revive the marriage of yester year when both entities were symbiotic and in harmony. The mantra is “doubters to believers”, the truth is we have never stopped believing. Never once did I not believe that we would re-emerge as a club who is considered amongst Europe’s elite. It has unquestionably taken longer than we had hoped but sustaining our renewed position of determined and respected challengers for many years to come will prove to be the real challenge.
Will my opinion change as time progresses – probably but it will be my own assertion detached from others dubious judgements. Will my fickle nature as a fan continue –definitely, but I won’t be naive enough to expect greatness to reappear overnight.