Like many Liverpool fans, on the last day of the season, I was hoping a certain team from Manchester would not win the Premiership.
But no, that team was not Manchester United.
The prejudice that some Liverpool fans have against United will click in at this point and they will start calling me a ‘traitor’, or not a ‘real red’ etc.
But I don’t dislike any team simply because of who they are. However, I do dislike a team because of what they are. So this has been a bad season for me because as well as City winning the Premiership, Chelsea won the Champion’s League.
Let me explain. Think back to the days when Liverpool dominated in Europe. It was because LFC was a superbly run club. It rose to dominance because of good overall management and good team managers.
Since then, other clubs have done well for the same reasons. Arsenal deserved their period of prominence. A very well run club and an excellent manager. Manchester United rose to being the pre-eminent club because (Glazers apart), it has been organised superbly, with the best manager.
What happened to Liverpool in the meantime? The club never managed to replace Bob Paisley.
Even worse, David Moores took over, brought in Rick Parry, and it was stagnation. By the 1990’s when Manchester United had developed marketing/retail outlets all over The World, Liverpool had a solitary club shop in the centre of the city.
So, no, I don’t feel jealousy, towards United, or Arsenal when they do well. I admire them. Any resentment is reserved for the people who so badly mismanaged Liverpool over many years.
But what of City? Or Chelsea? This is where what they are comes in. These are clubs that were going nowhere (except towards bankruptcy in Chelsea’ case). Then they were bought as rich mens’ playthings.
Neither club has been run on any kind of sound financial footing. They are the Del Boys of football. He was a loser who became successful by chance. One thing only meant they won major honours last season, and it was not a history of good management. It was money.
Where United and Arsenal became wealthy because they were successful, Chelsea and City have become successful because they are wealthy.
And where will this take football? The Premier League could move towards a Scottish situation where one club will win the title year on year because the rich kid who owns it will simply spend to do so.
While Manchester City fans might relish the thought, it would, in the longer-term, be bad for football and ultimately the Premier League. If a race is a foregone conclusion, then eventually many people stop watching it.
image: © 401K