Embracing football’s new Industrial Age

FOOTBALL, as a business, grew out of the industrial revolution in Britain and certain parts of Europe. Hence, the early winners in the game were mostly from industrial cities and Europe’s infant conurbations. In England, the early growth was in the north and the midlands, two areas that really fuelled the development of the nation’s commercial prowess. As industrial Britain declined in the 70s and … Continue reading Embracing football’s new Industrial Age

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 a keep ‘em awake firework display, Barca capitulating for the … Continue reading Only in Liverpool

Commentary Box: A Passion Play

LIVERPOOL is a passionate football city, that’s what we are told. Liverpool Football Club’s fans are, arguably, the most ardent of any supporters in Britain. It is a devotion that has been built over many years, from the Shankly era, through the cultural highs of the 1960s and, in spite of the disasters of the 1980s and the city’s economic decline. But the club has … Continue reading Commentary Box: A Passion Play

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 and getting worse. The game in England was a mess … Continue reading It was all too convenient to blame Liverpool for its own tragedy