Thursday, February 08, 2007

Les Habitants de Liverpool

I wasn't going to talk about the Liverpool takeover this week, because it's one of those subjects that I just don't know enough about to have a truly informed opinion. Same goes for the debacle that is Italian football at the moment. (Of course, this same principle doesn't prevent me from spouting off about the England team, but I figure I can't be any worse than Steve McClaren there.)

For the record: I'm cautiously optimistic about the takeover -- the club clearly needs an injection of funds -- although I'm not thrilled by the idea of Liverpool (or Man United, for that matter) being owned by Americans. And there are a lot of articles out there saying essentially the same thing. This one, though, really got under my skin.

Look, I know that plenty of Americans (and Canadians) can be snotty about soccer. But it doesn't help your cause to be snotty and condescending right back. Just because George Gillett and Tom Hicks aren't English doesn't mean they don't understand how a club can be "an emotional force in the lives of countless people." You want to talk about "a sporting institution steeped in history, personality and passion"? Gillett owns the Montreal Canadiens, for god's sake.

In conclusion: Shut up, Henry Winter. You just made me defend a couple of American tycoons. (I'm pretty sure they can take away my Canadian citizenship for that.)

If they sell naming rights to Anfield, though, all bets are off.

3 comments:

Jones said...

Yeah, sports fans here totally sit around talking about share prices instead of plays, and no one has any history or passion for their team except Yankees fans (because THAT'S the prime example in (North) American sports of soul over money. W. T. F.) And it's totally no problem when beloved and historic clubs move, everyone just shrugs and waddles down to McDonald's.

I know I shouldn't even care what some random dude thinks, but some English people seem to take the fact that pro sports are organized differently in other places as some kind of indication that foreigners lack normal human emotion and literally make sacrifices every day to the alter of the almighty dollar or something, and I'm not sure if that's as smug as it is retarded, or vice versa.

Jen said...

You know what else drives me crazy? All the people going on about "OMG HE CALLED THEM A FRANCHISE" like this means he thinks Liverpool is no different from your local McDonald's. Newsflash: In North America, "franchise" also gets used as a synonym for "club." There is not necessarily any sinister context. Like, there's a reason why the team's star gets referred to as a "franchise player."

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