Imagine that you, as a fan, decided to drop your club an e-mail asking about potential signings. You wrote the e-mail in good faith and asked questions about the amount of money the manager had, would it be bolstered by additional monies raised by selling deadwood and the long term investment. You then copy an article from the Liverpool Echo arguing that Benitez shouldn’t have to manage the debts brought on to him.
Imagine your surprise to the receive a response to that e-mail from Tom Hicks Jr, who launches in to a foul mouthed tirade with the fan and invites him to “Blow Me F@@@-face. I’m sick of you.” The e-mail was also addressed to “Idiot”. This story broke on Saturday evening, but had been doing the rounds all day until the British media picked it up and ran with the story.
Suddenly and shockingly, Liverpool fans had finally managed to pin down the arrogance that they have had to deal with over the last 34 months since Hicks and Gillett saddled the club with £350 million worth of debt. Cue all manner of critical articles began to appear and the Spirit of Shankly fans group rode in to quite rightly demand that Tom Hicks Jr resign with immediate effect. They correctly pointed out that Hicks Jr’s position had now become untenable.
So this afternoon, he finally resigned with this statement by numbers: “I am very sorry for my harmful words. To the fans and club, please accept my sincerest apologies,I have great respect for Liverpool Football Club, especially the club’s supporters. I do not want my actions to take away from the club’s future, therefore I am resigning from the board.”
Now this for me makes things even worse, because he’d denied it for nearly 48 hours, so can anyone actually take a word he says as honest? He abused a fan, who made a valid query and then denied it calling the fan a liar. Only when the criticism became so vocal and major newspapers began to cover it did the story change to the truth. Yes, sometimes fans can give as much abuse but the e-mail was polite and simply wanted some points answering.
At no point did that justify Hicks Jr’s actions, which if anything simply smack of deluded arrogance. The spoutings of someone who has spent too long living in an ivory tower with nothing but disdain for the fans of the club his father and business partner have crippled with debts.I have a lot of sympathy with the fans over the way the club has been weighed down with so much negative equity.
Yet this mess has now come back to haunt the Spirit of Shankly group as this footage of their end of season party has now surfaced.Now at some point someone, somewhere has to get a grip of this situation. The last 48 hours were bad enough for Liverpool Football Club, but this video could complete unravel all the good work that S.O.S are doing to try and fight the Hicks and Gillett regime at Anfield.
If anything it’s all so depressing to see the same level of vitriol celebrated over something a hell of a lot more offensive than an e-mail from a silly little man. Celebrating the deaths of anyone is beyond reproach. Now is anyone from Spirit of Shankly going to make a statement or resign over this? Can Liverpool’s name be dragged through the mud anymore?