The convenience of supporting football: Why the establishment made friends with the game

WHEN football hooliganism was at its peak, culminating in the Heysel Stadium disaster in 1985, the game appeared to have played into the hands of the British government. Repeated incidents during the 1970s and 1980s meant football was already considered to be a pastime for louts, an outlet for working class yobbery. The government, led […]

Only in Liverpool

JÜRGEN Klopp has his legend, his place in Kop mythology. Whatever happens over the next few weeks, be it gallant failure in the Premier League title race and Champions League final in Madrid, Liverpool have their moment, a comeback that outstrips Saint-Etienne (1976-77) and Istanbul (2004-05). Just how much this drama was carved out of […]

It was all too convenient to blame Liverpool for its own tragedy

FOOTBALL sunk to its lowest point in the 1980s. The Bradford fire, the Heysel Stadium disaster and Hillsborough. In a five-year period, death and destruction rained down on the game, while attendances slumped to their lowest point since before World War One. In 1986, the average first division attendance was below 20,000. Hooliganism was rife […]