I’m not the only Oxford fan watching the goings on at Liverpool with a shuddering sense of foreboding. George Dugdale’s critique of their fans booing and the parallels with our own experience is more eloquently put than I ever could.
Then I watched this pile of utter bollocks. Someone somewhere (@mikejeffersL4, it seems) thought it was a good idea to gather together a series of barely recognisable “eh? eh? calm down, calm down” Scouse celebrities and cut together a six and a half minute tirade of threatening abuse aimed at Liverpool owners Hicks and Gillett.
This kangaroo court of Ricky Tomlinson, that bloke from Cast, a bloke who could have been in The Farm, thingy from what’s-it-called and several less recognisable media types are trying to bounce the owners of Liverpool out of town via Scousepower. And via YouTube.
Now, we little Oxford fans know a thing or two about this. Firoz Kassam – yeah, I’ll say his name – was a man who promised a journey and through gross incompetence and wanton self-interest, stripped us of our dignity (and more importantly our league status).
Out of frustration Oxford fans voiced their anger, got organised, and then took action. The bravado felt good, the action felt good, we weren’t victims anymore.
But this ignored the reality that Kassam still owned the club and the stadium. Now, if you own something, and someone wants it and that person starts abusing you in order to get it back, do you a) have a moment of self-realisation and hand the goods over without question. Or, b) grab hold of the thing more tightly and resolve never to hand it over to the bunch of twats hollering abuse at you.
And so, when Kassam did hand over the keys to the club, he maintained a price for the stadium that was clearly unreasonable. But he had no reason to sell, so why should he drop his price? Because you shouted at him? I don’t think so.
The Merry takeover had some money behind it and along with parachute payments we were OK in the first season in the Conference. But the tactic of abusing the man with the power put us back at least 18 months thereafter until the Thomas/Wilder revolution rolled into town.
Only when Kelvin Thomas took over and looked at ways of working with Kassam, looking at his motivations and finding a mutually beneficial solution was progress made. Kassam is not the spectre he once was, he’s even co-operating. In time the stadium will be sold and he’ll be gone. But it’s done through reasonable negotiation, not stamping your feet and crying about the unfairness of it all. Especially if it’s done in the name of Emlyn Hughes, John Lennon and a great sense of humour.
A bunch of media morons hollering abuse at Liverpool’s owners will have no impact on Hicks and Gillet. In fact, if I were them, I’d sit on this club for as long as I possibly could; partly to see if they can generate a profit out of a sale, but also through sheer bloody-mindedness. Well done that bloke who may have been on Brookside, well done indeed.