Why I Agree With Alan Davies that Liverpool Should Play on April 15

In this Internet-fueled world, we are led to believe that we have never been so free. Free to get our information from wherever we want and apparently free to voice our opinions in ways that simply were not possible before the invention of the World Wide Web. This was great news for soccer fans. Now there were spaces for us to discuss our clubs and to speak directly with fans all over the world. The plethora of opinions would lead to greater understanding between fans and the Web would be used to have debates that were free from external moderation.

At least that was how it was meant to work.

This week has seen yet another example of the way that soccer has fallen prey to the disease that appears to be seeping through into every facet of our lives. It appears that there are still subjects that you are not allowed to have your own opinion on, subjects where straying from the accepted view will lead to abuse from all over the world. The latest, and possibly greatest example of this in soccer was brought to the surface this week through the words of comedian and actor Alan Davies.

Davies, an Arsenal fan, has his own soccer podcast. In last week’s episode he dared to suggest that Liverpool refusing to play on the anniversary of the Hillsborough Disaster was not correct. At no point did he disrespect those who had died, nor did he trivialize the horrors of that day. In fact he said that that was one of his worst days as a football fan. Yet because he dared to suggest that Liverpool should start to play matches on April 15th he has been subjected to abuse and even death threats from mindless individuals on Twitter and Facebook.

Some of the comments sent his way were disgusting and, if precedent were to be followed after the Liam Stacey/Fabrice Muamba case then, I would dare to say that some were verging on the illegal. Whether that is the case or not is not the point. The point is that if the Internet is to be a force for good then there needs to be a lessening of dogma and a real freedom for people to put across opinions and a respect for those opinions even when you disagree. So I will start.

Alan Davies is right. Liverpool has every right to ask for their games not to be scheduled on the 15th of April. What they do not have the right to do is to expect that their request is granted perpetually and at the expense of others. This weekend Chelsea will have to play their FA Cup semi final against Spurs on Sunday, just 72 hours before their Champions League match against Barcelona. There is little doubt that an extra day of rest before that game would be helpful. However due to the Sunday being the 15th, Liverpool has to play on the Saturday.

I am not going to pretend to understand what it must have felt like to be at Hillsborough that fateful day, or what it must be like to lose a loved one at a soccer game. I understand that there is still a deep sense of loss and injustice amongst the Liverpool community and that those feelings are not going away. But I also feel that there can be little better tribute to those 96 who were lost than to play soccer, to continue on the great tradition of success that exists at Liverpool and to honor them by playing the game that those who died that day went to see.

The horror of that day will not be lessened by playing. The injustice of the situation and the issues that still persist regarding what happened then and in the aftermath will not be forgotten. Justice will still be sought by right thinking people whether a game is played or not. Abusing those who simply state an opinion will do more harm to the campaign for justice than any soccer game can.

Editor’s note: Alan Davies later apologized for his comments by saying, “The tone I took on the podcast was inappropriate for this subject. I support the campaign for justice for the 96 [victims]. I said the Hillsborough disaster was the worst event in modern peacetime history. I was on a terrace listening to a radio as it happened. Many disagree but I feel that the Liverpool v Everton semi-final could be played on Apr 15. Apologies to those upset by that situation.”

Unfortunately, Davies didn’t help his stance by later joking on Twitter that he was going to buy a scouser fancy-dress costume.

Davies did make a goodwill gesture by donating £1,000 to the Hillsborough Justice Campaign. However, the donation was rejected by the HJC, stating “Whilst we accept his apology, we would prefer that he genuinely tried to understand why the decision never to play on the anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster is so important.”

67 thoughts on “Why I Agree With Alan Davies that Liverpool Should Play on April 15”

  1. In a time when footballers and football clubs have so little connection with their local community I’d have thought that people might see it as a rare positive that LFC say “we won’t play today because we as a club are doing something much more important, showing our respects and attending the yearly services/whatever that are held in memory of 96 people who died while watching our football club play a game”.

    Perhaps you’re right, perhaps it’s more important that LFC play a game of football that day.

    Saying “other clubs don’t do this” isn’t a good argument imo, I’d argue “why aren’t other clubs busy doing something in memory of their fans/players lost in other their tragedies such that they do not have time to play a game of football on that date?”

    1. I don’t see it as one being more important than the other – simply that playing a game on that day does not mean that those who died are being forgotten or that people have given up the search for justice.

      1. But if the club are spending the day at services and what-not they are not going to be able to play a game that same day. So it is a case of what’s more important: Spending 1 day a year taking part in something that is clearly very important to their fan base, or playing a match that could easily be played another day.

        They don’t play on this day not because Hillsborough happened, but because the club spends that day doing “stuff” for their community (because Hillsborough happened). Playing a game on that day DOES mean they aren’t able to do that. It’s nothing to do with forgetting people/the search for justice, although that does make it much easier to argue this point of view by ignoring the real reasons they ask not to play a match on this date I suppose.

        1. I know that there is always a Hillsborough memorial service on the day and I do agree that it is important that the club remember those who lost loved ones that day.

          It becomes an issue when it affects other clubs – Chelsea in this case.

          1. Poor Chelsea. Only 72 hours rest. Get over yourself and realize that Chelsea having to play on short rest is nothing compared to what those families have had to go through.

            Some things are more important than a game.

        2. How long do you think LFC will be able to sustain this stance? Another 23 years? 50? 100?

          At some point every single person who was genuinely affected that day will be gone and the public backlash, right or wrong, against repeated disruption of the schedule and perceived favoritism will grow.

          I’m not saying it should happen immediately, and I understand why emotions are still raw today, but when the day comes that public sympathy beyond Merseyside evaporates completely (for rescheduling), would you not prefer for the club/community to be in control of any change? Rather than have future requests to reschedule games on the 15th simply denied? That would be pretty undignified in my opinion.

          1. I think it’s very harsh to say ‘repeated disruption of the schedule’. People are acting as if Liverpool just came out with this request at the last minute; they request it at the start of every season way upfront. FA Cup semi-finals don’t always fall on that weekend –
            2011 – 16th/17th April
            2010 – 10th/11th April
            2009 – 18th/19th April
            2008 – 5th/6th April and so on…

            If there are league fixtures that fall on the 15th, then they’re scheduled way in advance anyway so Liverpool are scheduled either side of it. Doesn’t put anybody out in the slightest.

            I really do think people are reading into this a lot more than they should. If any other team requested something, that’s good for them, it wouldn’t bother me at all because it really wouldn’t affect me or my team in the grand scheme of things.

          2. “I think it’s very harsh to say ‘repeated disruption of the schedule’”

            That’s why I prefaced it with the qualifier – “right or wrong”

            It may be harsh and it may be wrong and out of proportion, but many people think that way right now. Like it or not, more people appear to agree with Davies than disagree. Imagine the reaction 20 years from now when the public perception of endless mourning in Liverpool is even more entrenched. The pressure on the FA will grow and you can bet they’ll eventually capitulate.

            Do you not think it would be more dignified for the community to have “moved on” of their own accord than to have been bullied into it?

          3. But what has it got to do with Davies or anybody else for that matter? Liverpool are the ones it happened to so they are entitled to respect that date however they see fit. If they chose to play on that date in future then that’s their choice. If they choose not to play then that’s their choice. What is this pressure on the FA? And who will be bullying Liverpool into making a change?

            The fixtures are incredibly complicated to put together before a new season. Every team is paired with their nearest ‘rival’ amongst other considerations from the police – just so happens to be that Liverpool have a request for the fixtures to not put them on the 15th. Doesn’t put any bodies nose out of joint because it’s done and dusted so all we see is the finished fixture list. The last time an FA Cup semi-final fell on the 15th was all the way back in 2006/07 and Liverpool were knocked out by the third round. Even the time it happened in the Champions League it wasn’t a massive issue. If UEFA didn’t insist on changing the rules on when games can and can’t be played to avoid taking the spotlight off their own competitions and maybe if they didn’t draw out their competitions over such a long period we wouldn’t be scrambling to fit fixtures in quite so much in the first place. There was no reason Chelsea couldn’t have played on the Friday… Blame the FA and ITV for that one.

    1. It was different with him. Cohen blamed Liverpool fans for being responsible for the Hillsborough Disaster, which was simply untrue. Davies stated an opinion that he thought Liverpool should play on April 15. Big difference.

      The Gaffer

        1. Neither person deserves to receive death threats aimed at himself or his family. With Cohen, if I remember correctly, he didn’t share any evidence of any death threats that were received. Davies RT’d the ones he received and acted more transparently.

          The Gaffer

          1. I’ve never believed Cohen’s claims and he’s never provided any such evidence.

            There is nothing wrong with what Davies said. Anyone threatening him should be prosecuted.

            But I also don’t see the big deal of Chelsea playing 72 hours apart. This happens all the time with scheduling. They’ve shelled out hundreds of millions to have a squad with depth, right?

          2. As a Liverpool fan I am continually dissappointed (in reading peoples ill informed comments and at some of our own so called fans), Mr Davies is entitled to his opinion, and he is entitled to voice that opinion, anyone who makes threats should be prosecuted. But Mr Davies should get his facts right, Liverpool do not refuse to play on the anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster because they want the day off, for the last 23 years there has been a memorial service held at Anfield attended by the entire club, Hillsborough victims family members and supporters, If Mr Davies is soupset about the disadvantage this puts Chelsea at then he should take it up with the FA, Why are both semi finals held at Wembley? because the FA have to pay for the white elephant, why do Chelsea have to play on Sunday evening ? The FA have sold the semi final to ITV, so they have decided to make Chelsea play on that date at that time, otherwise we both could have played on Saturday at different venues, or Chelsea could have played on Friday evening. As for it now affecting other clubs, why dont Chelsea rip out their seats and re-install the terracing, Hillsborough has already affected every club.

      1. Cohen is at it again on Goal.com. He stated that he has not changed his opinion on Hillsborough, but despite that he is being objective when he states that Liverpool should play on April 15th. What a scumbag. How does he keep getting an outlet to spew his drivel.

  2. It was a ridiculously overblown situation. If anyone has actually listened to the podcast they would realise that he was not disrespecting those that died in any way (it is very similar to the Jeremy Clarkson strikers should be shot comment last year)

    Why is someone not allowed to raise a legitimate point about Liverpool playing on Hillsborough, I am going to the Chelsea semi-final on Sunday and there is a minutes silence there as well for no reason. As a Chelsea fan who remembers LFC blaming Chelsea fans for the Heysel disaster I dont appreciate LFC forcing us to have a minutes silence for Hillsborough.

    I feel very sorry for everyone who lost someone at Hillsborough but find it intolerable how much the scousers go on and on about it.

    1. what an absolute load of rubbish. LFC forcing you to have a minute’s silence? beyond ridiculous to even suggest that.

      You feel very sorry for everyone that lost someone at Hillsborough? That’s just the difference, you feel sorry. You don’t feel anger, you don’t feel injustice you don’t feel loss, you don’t feel heartbreak.

      You feel nothing close to what those people feel so of course you find it ‘intolerable’. Intolerable that those families have lost someone dear to them, at a football match, and don’t truly know even how or why?

      You’re pathetic.

  3. I dont have any problem with what alan said. I also dont have a problem with Liverpool not wanting to play that day. its a terrible tragedy. it really is, and im sorry for any person who was directly affected by it. but if I had to choose, id choose to play on the day.

    is it an American thing to think that playing on that day would honor the victims? As an American, i am under the impression that most Americans would consider playing on that day and holding a ceremony would be a good way to honor the victims.

    1. They don’t play on that day so that the club staff can attend events held in the city on the anniversary. It really would be pretty simple if bloggers stuck to the facts.

      Every year you see photos of the slub staff at the ceremonies etc. Couple years back you may remember a reserve player made the news when he was seen laughing/joking during one of the memorials they attended and was booted out of the club pretty sharpish iirc.

        1. The Hillsborough Memorial Service will take place at Anfield on Sunday 15th April, 2012, and will be shown live on LFC TV.

          In the interests of safety, we ask all those wishing to attend the Memorial Service to please obtain a ticket in advance.

          The service will commence at 2.45pm prompt; however access to the stadium will be available from 1pm.

          Tickets can be obtained free of charge by phoning the Ticket Office on 0843 170 5555 (overseas 0044 151 907 9399), by postal application to Liverpool Football Club Ticket Office, PO Box 204, Liverpool, L69 3JF or by visiting the LFC Store at Liverpool One or the Ticket Office at Anfield.

  4. The thing is Mathew, when you are dealing with sensitive topics, tone is often more important than substance as Davies has himself admitted, so it’s disingenuous to suggest that he said nothing offensive.

    As a Liverpool fan, on the substance, I actually agree with you. I’ve never thought blocking that date out indefinitely was either tenable or reasonable, however I’ve learned that when it comes to emotive subjects that have taken on a level of religiosity, you won’t have much luck persuading people they are wrong by mocking and belittling them.

    When someone pours gasoline on a fire, as Davies has done, the unhinged come out on both sides of any argument, so I’m not surprised to see impotent death threats and vile insults from Liverpool fans any more than I’m not surprised that the same tired old myths about “drunken ticketless fans” being to blame have started to appear too. You can’t poke a hornet’s nest and expect anything else. It’s totally predictable.

    If people genuinely want to persuade LFC or the FA to change their position on this, then a degree of restraint is needed. Your article is the right tone in my opinion, but it only takes one insensitive jerk to get people wound up and defensive.

    1. Jerry, I completely agree with you. I think to be honest that was the point that I was more concerned with making – that we need to have a reasonable debate and those on both sides need to stop with the mud slinging and the reactionary abuse.

      Sadly, there does not appear to be the space for this to happen.

      Thank you for the feedback.

  5. I heard Alan’s comments on the podcast and found nothing offensive in them. At some point in history Liverpool will one day have to accept to play that date again. We cant get to April 15th, 3012 and they’re still not playing. I don’t know when it will be time but I cant understand all the abuse Alan took though in this age of mindless morons with keyboards I guess I can. United play on the Munich day and its always done with dignity and class and perhaps Liverpool can emulate that. (incidentally I support Arsenal).
    The FA havent helped anyone by putting Chelsea’s game late on Sunday – Alan’s comments were actually based on Chelsea having to play so late before their game with Barcelona.
    No-one (other than that fool Cohen) would ever laugh at Hillsborough and belittle it but I do feel that one day they can carry on – it can be a time for remembrance and public dignity rather than being forced to play a game.

  6. Unbelievable that this article was even published by this site! I’m assuming that writer is American and is unaware of the FACTS from Hillborough and some of the comments considering the anniversary is coming up are disrepectful. I would call for the writer disclose his fan loyalities too as that would show his motivation behind writing an article like that designed to cause offence and cheap dig at another clubs expense. It is due to ignorance from the likes of the fans posting in this page, the writer of this article, Mr Davies and this website allowing this article to be published 23 years later that lies and disrepectful comments about Hillsborough continue to be perpetuated and maliciously spread to cause offense to a rival football club.

    Here the bullet point facts:

    * Alan Davies cursed in his comments, was disrepectful and as an Arsenal fan on that podcast had no reason to even comment on a competition his team are no longer involved in. Was a cheap shot from a very unfunny comedian to try and disrepect the dead and another football and their supporters. He also mentioned unrelated comments to do with the Heysel disaster. Two totally unrelated events and not even to be discussed in the same breath as Hillsborough.

    * Before any disrepectful smart asses mention Heysel only connection between Heysel and Hillsborough is the way liverpool fans and English football fans were viewed before that point and during that point. Important to note LFC fans were never known as hooligans. During that time frame West Ham, Chelsea, Tottenham, Birmingham, Millwall, Manchester United, Leeds and Cardiff fans were known as the ones with the most notorious hooligan elements as well English national team fans who caused the majority of issues in the football at the time. Liverpool (like at Hillsborough) complained about state of stadium and segregation before the game and UEFA rejected there concerns. Juventus fans threw objects at Liverpool fans and they were charged in retaliation. Feeble fences were unable to segregate fans, touts sold tickets in that area. UEFA refused to hold an offical enquiry as to cover up the matter. Sad that many had to die due to violence that could have been avoided if UEFA had done their job properly. Liverpool have a plaque at stadium honouring the Juventus fans have died and have many tributes to Juventus and their fans since then including when we played them in lead up to 2005 Champions League win.

    * The reason Liverpool never play on that day is because their is a memorial service held at Anfield every year on that date which is attended by clubs staff and playing squad as well families of the dead

    * The tragedy happened at an FA Cup Semi Final. Liverpool complained to FA prior to the game taking place about crushing at previous games at Hillsborough, ticket allocation and placement of LFC fans. FA disregarded that complaint and were involved in the cover up afterwards. This is a fact per the Taylor Enquiry and asking not to play on that day due to FA having blood on their hands is the least that FA could do under the circumstances.

    * There is on going enquiry now to uncover the truth and sealing documents surrounded the issues. The 96 that died as martyrs (which included one Spurs fan going to the game with his friend) meant that safety in Football grounds not just in the UK but worldwide in top flight football. This something the writer, Mr Davies and other fans being disrepectful to this request by LFC and its fans and families of those died should remember. With this in mind it is right that the club not play on this date especially since the full evidence hasnt been uncovered. Nobody has been held legally responsible for tragedy so to say they should ‘just get over’ is very rich if you havent lost a family member; friend or loved one unjustly.

    * Taylor Report laid the blame at the hands of the Police, Sheffield Wednesday football club; Local council (who didnt have a valid safety certificate in place for the stadium) and the FA… not Liverpool fans yet were part of smear campaign by the above and the Media. Lets not forget the Murdoch/News International enquiries happening now which have uncovered years of collusion between Murdoch/News International and the police & conservative party/government.

    * Political landscape at the time with Liverpool a Labour/Left wing/socialist/union stronghold and a Conservative/right wing/contraversial government and the way other cities especially down south and in London looked at Scousers.

    * Despite all of that Liverpool asked for the date to be moved prior to Chelsea even making it to the semi finals as they had already qualified.

    What is there not to understand about the above if you have an ounce of human decency? What happened on April 15th changed football as we know it and could have happened to any football fans at the time. Having attended matches in the 80’s it was poisoness, aggressive, racist atmosphere at games that put me off attending live football matches again until 8 years ago. Football fans were treated to poor conditions and treatment by goverment, police and owners and as the birthplace of football this situation was due to implode at any point at any major game.

    What should be debated is why have police set a 1230 kick off time for the game knowing tens of thousands of scousers will be desending on London for the game? It was against ESPN UK’s doing they wanted a later kick off?

    Or why Chelsea and Spurs are playing at 6pm the following day when ITV wanted an earlier broadcast time? Or why couldnt the FA schedule the game for Friday evening with the police yet are happy for fans to drink all day on a Sunday but not a Friday when they will be coming straight from work?

    When stupid decisions are made like this by various authorities it worries me greatly about the organisation of the forthcoming Olympics in this country and the cock ups the police forces and government made last year during the riots and I feel like lessons of the past havent been learnt…

    1. Kopite, the author is a Sunderland supporter who lives in England. The site is based in America, run by me — a Swansea City supporter who grew up in Wales, and still has family in Liverpool. Obviously, you don’t know the history of this site, but I was the one who wrote a very controversial article a few years ago that outed a US disc jockey because he blamed Liverpool supporters for the Hillsborough Disaster.

      Your claim is out of order — that … “due to ignorance from the likes of the fans posting in this page, the writer of this article, Mr Davies and this website allowing this article to be published 23 years later that lies and disrepectful comments about Hillsborough continue to be perpetuated and maliciously spread to cause offense to a rival football club.”. EPL Talk has never been disrespectful in regards to Hillsborough. The article is an opinion piece by one of our writers saying that he agrees with Davies that Liverpool should have played on Sunday. Nothing more.

      The Gaffer

  7. I used to check this blog all of the time for the EPL TV schedule. Not any more, sorry The Gaffer but Matthew Duncan is an idiot.

    1. Arsenio, you’re entitled to have your own opinion as Matthew is, too. Just because you don’t agree with someone shouldn’t be a reason to not visit a site, but again, it’s your choice.

      The Gaffer

  8. I know all of that Gaffer… (bar info on the writer being from Sunderland) which is why I am suprised you have let it be published or let moderated comments to appear which are borderline offensive.

    Furthermore the writer should know better than keep on rehashing tired cliches and comments at an emotive time of the year. Why not have an article talking about the truth of Hillsborough as clearly many of your readers are clearly still ignorant to the facts. Or lets talk about why FA/Met Police scheduled the kick offs at Sat 1230 or Sunday 6pm? Completely illogical on numerious ground. Alan Davies had no right to discuss anything to do with Liverpool or Chelsea being on podcast that had nothing to do with either club.

    1. Kopite,

      Fellow Liverpool fan here. There will always be people that will be ignorant of Hillsborough because they choose to be, or they have some sort of inherent bias against the club. I think you need to ease up here, as the Gaffer has done an awful lot to educate American football fans about the events at Hillsborough and why it’s such an important day in history.

      I’m sorry, but I also don’t see other “borderline offensive” comments here. Just people who respectfully disagree.

    2. Kopite,

      The comments aren’t offensive, and the writer is entitled to his opinion. If it was disrespectful of Hillsborough, I wouldn’t publish it.

      Here are just a few of the many articles EPL Talk has written about the truth of what happened at the Hillsborough Disaster:


      The Gaffer

  9. A Premier League squad is capable of playing 3 days apart. In years gone by, teams were sometimes playing on a Saturday for example and then again on the Monday and they just got on with it.

    Barcelona are playing at 9pm on Saturday 14th in La Liga and then again 3 days after the Champions League clash. The game they’ve got then is against Real Madrid so it’s not exactly an unimportant match considering how close La Liga is looking at the top… and then 3 days after that they’re back to play Chelsea again in the return leg. I’d say they were some pretty important fixtures but I’ve not heard them complaining.

    If we were still living in the ‘old days’, the semi-finals would have all kicked off at 3pm on Saturday afternoon across different stadiums but seeing as they’ve all played to the demands of the TV companies over the years they can’t now decide they don’t like aspects of it. It’s called tough luck.

  10. Clampdown: I think you need to readback over some of the comments. Here is one from Average Joe “Why is someone not allowed to raise a legitimate point about Liverpool playing on Hillsborough, I am going to the Chelsea semi-final on Sunday and there is a minutes silence there as well for no reason. As a Chelsea fan who remembers LFC blaming Chelsea fans for the Heysel disaster I dont appreciate LFC forcing us to have a minutes silence for Hillsborough. I feel very sorry for everyone who lost someone at Hillsborough but find it intolerable how much the scousers go on and on about it” LFC fans blamed Chelsea Fans for Heysel? Really & when or where was that? Ive been to numerious Chelsea v Liverpool games and heard the “killed your own fans” chants from Chelsea fans throughout the game. I hate to say it but I feel Chelsea fans will disrepect the 1 minutes silence on Sunday… I would LOVE to be proven wrong.

    Gaffer: No point in reposting old articles to try and defend yourself but put it into context. You let this article go up how about you re-running those old articles now or re-commissioning some new ones to counter balance the arguement put forward in this article or remove it completely? That would go someway to dealing with the can of worms you opened in the first place by posting the original article.

    1. Kopite, you’re more than welcome to write your own article for consideration to be published on this site, if you believe it’ll balance things (I don’t agree with you, but that’s your opinion). More info is at http://epltalk.com/get-published

      The Gaffer

    2. Sorry Kopite, but as another Liverpool fan I also agree with Clampdown and The Gaffer. You’re being way too over sensitive here.

      The example you gave of a Chelsea fan saying something obnoxious in the comments section may be valid, but you have failed to show where Mathew, the author of the article, has said anything remotely offensive, and therefore why the Gaffer should feel obliged to remove it.

  11. Play or don’t play it doesn’t bother me or 99% of other fans if Liverpool choose not to play on that date. If the FA can plan around that date and the opposing team agrees to move the game then it’s not a problem.

    Me personaly I like when UTD play on day of the Munich air disaster, it’s the one time the result for us comes second.

  12. If you dont agree with me then there really wouldnt be much point would their Gaffer? What you have done is the same as the kid at school who stirs up a fight and then walks away and says its not my fault… shameless attempt at getting traffic to your site and I’m no longer going to contribute to you getting more hits and thus putting money in your pocket.

    You had an option to recitify this issue but have chosen the easy route out to save face rather than being the bigger man, admitting it was wrong to post the article with no counterarguement over an emotive issue for LFC fans and not post anything else around the anniversary of Hillsborough to educate the masses.

    There are many that know the truth but instead they get a kick out of upsetting people with posting ignorant comments on the net about rival club no matter how low they have to go which is sickening.

    Its your website, you can do what you want but if you lose traffic over this or get flack from LFC fan sites dont say I never told you so! You seem to be co-signing all of the negative comments which I find astonishing…

    1. Kopite – The comment from ‘Average Joe’ is wrong and inaccurate – I totally agree with you on that one. I don’t agree with how you’re focussing on ‘The Gaffer’ though. I can’t see what he’s done wrong? At the end of the day, the author of this piece has come forward to offer his take on the subject seeing as it was thrust forward this week courtesy of Alan Davies. You may not agree with him but that’s the beauty of sites like this where you’re able to discuss it below the piece. Asking for the article to be removed completely is a slight over reaction. We don’t live in a dictatorship and freedom of speech is accepted 😉
      I’ve had my fair share of debates on this site, which is great, but everybody is entitled to their own take on things and in honesty, I don’t think the author has said anything out of turn, he’s just writing about his own thoughts on it. He’s not disrespected the dead, he’s not blamed anybody for this or that on the day, he’s just written a simple take on things. Why don’t you counter-balance the argument by doing a piece on ‘Why I Disagree With Alan Davies That Liverpool Should Play on April 15’? It’d be only fair to have one argument from each view point in the interests of balance so long as bias doesn’t cloud your writing.

    2. Kopite, even if I don’t agree with your stance, I’d be open to posting your article on the site.

      The Gaffer

    3. Kopite – no-one enjoyed Hillsborough but it doesnt mean Liverpool fans have the sole right to say what can and cant be said about it. I was 13 when it happened and watching on TV and I’ll never forget watching it with my Dad.
      Liverpool fans have got to learn that what happened what day was an affront to football and resonates with every fan who has stood in a stadium in the 80’s – not just Liverpool fans.
      You’ve made valid points above yet cloaked it in “I’ll never come here now” and “how dare you have a view that’s different than ours”.. its the worst kind of paranoia as your points stand by themselves and are only demeaned by your insular view of Liverpool or nothing.
      Incidentally Liverpool dont have a singular voice – because you only had to be following Tony Evans, (Liverpool fan and Times Football Editor), twitter feed to see him taking piles of stick from Liverpool ‘fans’ because he told the mindless keyboarders to move on from Alan Davies after his apology.

    4. Kopite,

      At no point in my article did I disrespect those who died. I know someone who was at the game that day so am aware of the sensitive nature of this issue.

      My point is that playing a game on the date is not disrespectful. To ask for the article to be removed is wrong – the whole point of this article is that there needs to be freedom top debate the issue at hand without resorting to censorship or abuse.

      As has been stated in numerous comments this is only my opinion and you are entitled to disagree with me – in much the same way that I am entitled to agree with the basic premise of Alan Davies’ point.



    5. Look, as an LFC supporter I think you are off the mark attacking the Gaffer or the author of this article. I am sure The Gaffer does not agree with every opinion piece posted on this site, but as long as they are not disrespectful or inaccurate in the facts stated, then he has every right to post them.

      The author is not being insensitive even if you don’t agree with what he said.

  13. I don’t necessarily disagree with what Alan Davieshe title says regarding whether Liverpool should play on the anniversary of Hillsborough or not. What I take issue with is the manner and tone with which he said it. I belive those that disagree with this article do so because the writer does nothing to distance himself from the vitriolic nature of Alan Davies rant about the subject. The title itself can be taken as condoning this.

    I will however state that Alan Davies is a complete and utter c*ck who will bottle his tour date booked in Liverpool. If he’s free to say what he thinks then people should be free to respond in kind, and where used, with the same vitriol.

  14. not a problem with him sayin it what i do have a problem with he has had weeks 2 say but waits till the week of the semi finals 2 say it he is a bonehead

  15. I understand Chelsea supporters feeling aggrieved in playing their cup semi 72 hrs before Barcelona tie, however, you have to try and understand the viewpoint of Liverpool. The 96 fans, someone’s son, daughter, father, or brother went to a game of football and never cam back. Do you really think playing a game of football on the Hillsborough anniversary brings any sort of comfort? When there are so much painful memories of your loved ones going to a game and never returning, would you feel alright going to a game on the same day ever again? Heck it is once year. It is unfortunate that Chelsea has to suffer, my blue mates, we are sorry for the inconvenience. But since when did grieving and life become more important than a game of football. Non-Liverpool fans, imagine your family went down to watch a game and never returned home…I’m sure you would understand..

  16. wow…

    Posting a story that agrees with an already insensitive statement that has already generated an apology and overwhelming “your wrong alan, be quiet” response on many other sites and twitter is pretty naive.

    what was the thought process when posting this?

    Gaffer is getting grief because as he has stated, he is in control of what stories get posted. By giving a voice to someone to express an opinion you tie yourself to that opinion good or bad. When it is a story that just echo’s an already insensitive position what do you expect…seriously?

    The free speech argument is crap, as is the neutral editor stance…insensitive is insensitive.

    Just own it…this story didn’t need to get posted, now move on to something like “the top 10 fa cup goals” or “how many scapegoats before kenny gets fired” or “is a vote of confidence code for win the cup or your out”.

    1. dust,

      In his apology Alan Davies still states that he believes that LFC can play on the 15th April. That is the point of this article. Apologies if you find that offensive or insensitive.

      This is an opinion article – I offer my opinion and I put across my argument for why I believe that and I also try and show why I do not believe that playing a game of football is in any way insensitive or disrespectful to those who died.

      Also I would disagree that the response elsewhere has been overwhelmingly anti this opinion.



  17. Just to add my two cents. Manchester United played a Manchester derby match on the anniversary of the Munich Air Disaster. With doing so paying tribute to those who passed, and created a feel good factor surrounding the match, it was a few years back I still remember it. Maybe Liverpool should take a leaf out of the United book?

    Also, to see death threats about a different opinion is fascicle football is a game of opinion. Personally it made me feel football took a step backward.



    1. Ahmed, it’s not a competition by which points are awarded for who marks the anniversary of a tragedy better or worse than another club. If Manchester United choose to play on the Munich date then that’s entirely their choice but it’s neither here nor there when it comes to what Liverpool choose to do on their own particular date in time so enough of the ‘Maybe Liverpool should take a leaf out of the United book’ nonsense . If United feel they’re fine to play on that date then that’s great for them, I respect that and I’ve never even thought to comment on it before now. If Liverpool want to attend a memorial service for the families affected on the 15th then I also respect that!

      1. Paul,

        I agree in principle but the issue arises when their decision affects other clubs. Chelsea will have one less day of rest before their game with Barca because of Liverpool’s decision – this then affects their ability to prepare, their ability to win and this has financial implications.

        The comparisons with other clubs become valid because they show that there is a way to honour those who have died whilst not impacting on other clubs.



        1. Matt – I’ll refer you back to all my previous posts above. There is no argument at all. Chelsea are fine to play Sunday – Wednesday. Like I said earlier, have you heard Barcelona complaining over their fixture list? Behave they’re professional footballers. Like I also said, if Liverpool would have ‘demanded’ this a couple of weeks ago then there may be a case for something but when a request is made before each season commences then it’s not Liverpool you should be making silly cases against… try the FA. They’re the ones who accommodate Liverpools request at the start of every season, they’re the ones who run this competition they’re taking part in, they’re the ones who could have made Chelsea’s life easier by scheduling them on another day (although obviously Sunday-Wednesday is fine!). If they were that bothered, they could have had both matches on the Saturday – early and late. Then again they wouldn’t want to annoy the TV companies and lose out on money. There are more issues here than you’re recognising – mostly by the incompetent Football Association – and yet you still insist on blaming it on what must now be a 9 month old request submitted by Liverpool Football Club.

          1. Paul,

            I think you are missing the point. This year it is Chelsea, next time it might be another club. It is not a reasonable request to make to put aside a day where you refuse to play.

            Any club would prefer to play on the Saturday if they have a midweek game and in any other circumstance they would have that request granted. The reason this can not happen in this instance is because of Liverpool’s refusal to play. I believe that this is wrong.

            As for the FA, the less said about them the better.



  18. Matt, don’t insult me by telling me you think I’m ‘missing the point’. If anybody is missing the point it’s you.

    1. Chelsea are professional. Sunday – Wednesday. 3 days is ample. As to why they’ve been asked to play at 6pm… blame that on TV ratings as it creeps into peak time. They were fine to play on the Friday but were told no because it didn’t fit into the master plan of the FA and ITV1.
    2. “This year it’s Chelsea…” – please do some research and come back to me with your findings of how Liverpool continually disrupt the order of play on the 15th April. I look forward to your response!
    3. If teams have a midweek game on a Wednesday they are fine to play Sunday. They live and die by TV regulations. If they’re booked in for a ‘Super Sunday’ live on Sky they can’t then request an extra days relaxation period because they’re playing on Wednesday.

    Lastly, as a Sunderland supporter what the hell does any of this have to do with you anyway? For somebody not concerned with any of the clubs this involves, you seem to have an awful lot to say on the matter. There’s a big difference between being a casual observer offering your thoughts but you seem to have some sort of major issue. At the end of the day, Liverpool will continue to respect the families and will continue to mark that day with a memorial service. The players are there instead of being able to play. Case closed. There are 364 other days in the year. ONE DAY is what it comes down to. LFC could not care less about what you or anybody else thinks because that one day of the year is set aside for the families who lost loved ones. Don’t like it, tough.

    1. Let’s also not forget that if Liverpool weren’t in the competition, Chelsea would be requesting they play Saturday instead of Sunday, therefore giving the other teams no option at all as to what day they play. Would that be alright though? Or is this a Liverpool only issue?

    2. Paul,

      What this has to do with me is the fact that I am a football supporter. Whilst I am fortunate to have never been involved in a tragedy like Hillsborough I know people who have. As a fan I have been affected by that day. The issues that were raised by Hillsborough have affected everyone in football not just LFC. To claim that it has nothing to do with me is wrong.

      To your points:

      1 – I am not talking about the TV companies, I am talking about the refusal of Liverpool to play on that day.

      2 – I am aware that this is a situation that does not occur very often but that does not lessen the principle of the matter. As a poster further up stated if we have this situation continuing ad infinitem then it will occur again.

      3 – I actually agree that clubs should not moan about the schedule so much but the fact remains that CFC would much rather have played teh Saturday game and in nay other circumstance this would have happened – therefore LFC’s refusal has had an effect on another club – hence the debate.

      1. So, Liverpool wishing to respect the families of 96 people who lost their lives is in your eyes outweighed by Chelsea wanting an extra days rest because they’re playing Barcelona? Truly pathetic.

      2. And in any other circumstance as you point out, Chelsea would have got their way therefore making them EXACTLY the same as Liverpool and for a far lesser reason. They would have got their way if Liverpool were knocked out earlier but so far I’m not seeing any comments on that. What would make that any different in your world?

  19. Paul,

    The point is that Liverpool refusing to play that day affects another club who have a game a few days later. The normal protocol has been changed to accomodate LFC’s request – a request that appears to in no way be open to debate. I have put across my point of view – that the memory of those who died would in no way be tarnished or lost by playing on that day.

    Paying your respect to those that died does not mean you can not pay a game of football – play for the momory of those lost. The two are not mutually exclusive events.

    And please do not try and paint this as some sort of anti- Liverpool point – it matters not which club this is.



  20. Normal protocol is that 3 days between games is fine.

    Nothing to do with memory of those who died being affected by playing – it’s down to the fact the football club have an annual memorial service!!! Should people stop commemorating the war because it was so long ago? Last time I checked they still have remembrance services each year. Just so happens to be the remembrance service in this instance is the 15th April. How can they play football whilst doing such a small thing (but incredibly heartfelt to those involved) for the families by simply turning up to sit and listen to a service? Not asking much of anybody in the bigger picture and to hear people like yourself with such alarmingly massive issues about it is in itself incredible to read. We’ll never agree on it so I’ll leave it at that.

    1. Paul,

      I agree that we are not going to agree on this one. I disagree with your assertion that I have “massive issues” about this.

      Anyway, thanks for the debate.


  21. To actually have this debate is disresectful. Liverpool FC would rather there was no minutes silence or debate about 15/04/1989 and whether they play on 15/04 as it would have meant 96 FANS would not have lost their lives attending a FOOTBALL match! To then be villified for not playing on this date subsequently is a disgrace.

    The FA know the significance of the date so to schedule the semi finals for this weekend was gambling that Liverpool would not be in the Semi. Maybe a resolution is to make sure no further semis are played on such a weekend. It is not about Liverpool FC it is about FOOTBALL FANS. Why was the game not played on Fri? Oh thats right because the police did not want it so allow them to play the game at 6pm on a sunday when fans could drink all weekend never mind all day. Are Liverpool to be villified for showing RESPECT?!!!! I think anyone who does needs to look into the mirror and realise the selfish and twisted person they have become. Stop debating and find a solution…no cup semi finals if weekend includes 15/04.

    1. Willetts,

      I disagree that to have the debate is disrespectful. We all wish this was something that had never happened. There is not enough room in the calendar for the fixtures as there is – there is no way that we can just expect them to stop arranging matches for that weekend – not practical.

      I am not vilyfing Liverpool for showing respect – I think that the Justice for the 96 campaign is a sign of the good that football fans can do when they come together and the dignity that LFC remembers those who lost their lives on that day is a tribute to the club and the fans.



  22. what exactly is wrong playing on sunday then wednesday? i could maybe understand chelsea complaining if they had two away trips. but they were at wembley on sunday then at home on the wednesday.

    regarding lfc playing on the 15th, why should they?games get rearranged for all kinds of petty reasons these days,none not nearly as important as remembering hillsborough.

    the fa have a bit of a guilt complex about hillsborough. it was the fa who refused the request to give us the kop. it was the fa who refused the request of a change of venue to old trafford and it was the fa who staged a major game at an unsafe ground.

    lfc fans are still waiting for the truth to come out and be recognised. while we still have idiots blaming the disaster on drunken ticketless fans who stormed the gates. robbed the dead and beat up police……..how can we stop fighting for justice?

    as for alan davies. he wasnt bothered about chelsea having to play twice in 3 days. he was just using hillsborough to poke fun at scousers and liverpool. i supposed washed up “comedians” like davies have to stoop low to get laughs and media coverage. a bit like frankie boyle.

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