Phyllis Chesler Interviews Carol Gould

carol gould

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Liverpool Football Club
Last uploaded : Tuesday 15th Apr 2008 at 15:23
Contributed by : Mark Chamberlain

 

Dear Carol

Thanks for your reply too and yes your welcome to print my comments.

Two things I would reiterate.

One, despite what may be said and portrayed Liverpool fans have no wish to
see Hicks or Gillette or any of their family dead, injured or anything else.
As in all societies, people make statements in the safety of print, but in
real life would find such an act completely abhorrent, and while I have seen
messages on the RAWK (www.redandwhitekop.com) web site where people have
said they have wished Hicks was dead, I have seen plenty more stating such
stupid statements should be removed. So to portray our feelings as hatred
and violence and deep rooted in British football would be as incorrect as my
saying that the majority of Americans wanted the assination of Kennedy,
clearly someone did and actually went about doing it, I hope my poor example
helps explain that 99.99% of LFC fans worldwide wouldn't want to be even
vaguely associated with such actions and threats. However we do want Hicks
and Gillette out of our club and for that matter Rick Parry too (the CEO
who's English)

The second point I'd like to restate is it's not really an anti American
thing at all....although Yanks Out is an easy chant. we welcomed them both
to our club, we think of it as inviting them into our house. Of course we
welcomed their promises of money and investment in our team and our new
stadium and while all new architectural designs raise various comments, most
of us were impressed by the new thought out stadium and accepted that things
like corporate bunkers would be places that we wouldn't watch a match from
(to be frank even if I personally owned the club, I'd still want to watch
the game from my beloved Kop) but were essential to making money for the
club and for Hicks and Gillette. Fundamentally I haven't got a problem with
them making millions out of my club, so long as they deliver what they
promised. I can't make my mind up about Gillette because he's been so
quiet, and in Hicks case he could learn a valuable lesson from the song
"Silence is Golden" especially in the week of Hillsborough.

In terms of everything turning to gold for Hicks and Gillette in their long
lives, well from my research it's been an up hill and down dale kind of life
including both nearly losing everything and then rebuilding things back up.
Liverpool FC is not Dallas Stars or Montreal Maple Leafs although I had
heard of the latter prior to Gillette acquiring LFC. Liverpool FC is a
worldwide brand, the most successful football club in English history and
wherever you go in the world people will know of Liverpool, it's history and
it's players both of today and yesteryear. Our traditions are legend and
admired throughout the football world, our fanbase is a huge asset
(admittedly not successfully marketed by the previous regime) and Hicks and
Gillette just seem to want to rape the image of our club in the full public
gleam of the media spotlight.

help us, we don't hate Americans, find me an honourable American with the
financial wherewithal to back up his or her statements and the commonsense
to embrace and look after the fans (customers) something I thought Americans
were experts at and I'll show you a bunch of people who are loyal to the
core, will fight for you and back you publicly and will happily spend
millions upon millions of pounds in the support of their (my) club. Don't
forget nearly 60000 people paid an average 900 to go to Istanbul for 24
hours in May 2005 and 50000 paid an average 1000 to go to Athens in May
2007 and if we can get to the Moscow final in May this year and get visas
maybe as many as 40000 people will pay an average 1500 to watch our team in
just one game.

I'm sure you understand what I mean by now, it's just a pity that Hicks and
Gillette lied at the beginning, have fallen out with themselves so publicly
and are now happy to use my club as a political football between themselves
without a care in the world for my club or their customers and the fear we
all have is that they may actually break our club beyond repair.

Best wishes

Mark Chamberlain

PS sorry to hear about your investment crash, never really had enough money
to make investments but I know about the difficulties of paying the
mortgage.

-----Original Message-----
From: Carol Gould]
Sent: 14 April 2008 21:16
To: Mark Chamberlain, Cartridge Swop Shop
Subject: Re: Soon You'll Walk Alone, Liverpool fans


Dear Mark,
Thank you for your thoughtful reply. One thing that baffles me is why
everything Hicks and Gillett touched in their long, shrewd lives turned to
gold -- most particularly the Dallas Stars and Montreal Maple Leafs, but
here after one short year it has all gone sour. Although I am not making
excuses for Hicks and Gillett and how they may have wronged the club, you
cannot imagine what it is like for an apple pie and mom's ice cream American
to come up against death threats, the hatred and violence that seems to
pervade football and much of British society these days. In 2005 Melanie
Phillips printed an article of mine in her column about an extremists' rally
in Canary Wharf that I had attended, and I began to receive death threats
from people in places like Leeds, Birmingham, Glasgow etc etc Someone found
my ISP address and wiped five years of my email. (A senior producer at
'Panorama,' who is a friend later told me that the same had happened to him
.) Whatever people may think of America and Americans, millions upon
millions of fans get on with it and go to matches and enjoy it and eat and
go home. No death threats to anyone.
Interesting, too, I am ending my life in the UK ( after 32 years) without a
penny because every investment I made here crashed; I have had my lovely
flat for sale for fifteen months and twelve English agencies cannot shift it
so I will now have to go into arrears and be repossessed. Perhaps we Yanks
should not invest over here! And look at how working with Ken Livingstone
reduced the powerful CIA tough-guy and wizard of the New York Transit
System, Bob Kiley, ended up a gibbering alcoholic, talking sorrowfully to
the London papers about his problems in his unshaven, disheveled state for
all to see. We share a common language but perhaps not much else...
May I print your response in its entirety on my site (Current Viewpoint)?
Regards
Carol G
----- Original Message -----
From: "Mark Chamberlain, Cartridge Swop Shop
To: Carol Gould>
Sent: Monday, April 14, 2008 5:56 PM
Subject: Soon You'll Walk Alone, Liverpool fans


> Dear Ms Gould
>
> Somewhat later than the many others, I have just read your article.
>
> I'd like to try to explain what Liverpool FC means to me and many of the
> 100's of 1000's of fans who follow our club.
>
> First of all on any internet forum you'll find people whom fail to express
> themselves in a sensible manner and idiots who simply choose foul and
> abusive language.
>
> I have followed LFC since I was born in 1961 and on an active basis since
> May 1971, nowadays being a Kop season ticket holder. My team in the 70's
> and 80's were the epitome of success both in England and across Europe.
> They flirted with commercialism being the first English team to have shirt
> sponsorship and in a day when there wasn't the huge amount of money
> involved
> as in the modern day game, reinvested the money back into my club so we
> could continue to win trophies, the maxim of Liverpool being it's purpose
> in
> life is to win trophies.
>
> In the 1990's with the advent of the Premier League and the aftermath of
> the
> Hillsborough Football disaster which is often misreported (anniversary 19
> years on 15 April 2008 Please click on this link if you'd like to know
> more

> http://www.redandwhitekop.com/forum/index.php?topic=217050 .

I would agree
> with you that Liverpool Fc's board under invested in the infrastructure of
> the club both in terms of stadium size and in terms of marketing the club.
> As the 90's turned into the 2000's LFC refound it's sporting success,
> embraced the idea of refinancing the club, decided to build a new stadium
> which wouldn't impact upon the team and conducted a worldwide search for
> investors.
>
> Fast forward to late 2006 and we the fans were being told by our key board
> directors David Moores and Rick Parry that DIC were going to be the best
> thing since sliced bread and then all of a sudden we were presented with
> George Gillette and Tom Hicks who had apparently conducted due diligence
> in
> about 3 days and were going to buy the club for more money (For Mr Moores
> and the clubs shareholders) whilst embracing the traditions and mystique
> that is Liverpool FC. they even said if I recall correctly that they were
> merely stewards of our club. They took us all in hook, line and sinker.
> They promised no debt on the club, using Manchester Utd as their example,
> they massaged our egos by talking adoringly of the Kop and believe me
> there
> was no anti American or religious protests from Liverpool's fan base at
> that
> time.
>
> Since then they have taken it upon themselves to do almost anything that
> is
> against the best interests of the club. We are up to stadium design 3 and
> there's real worries that Hicks and Gillette don't have the funds or the
> wherewithal to generate the funds to build the stadium, there's real
> concern
> that as Hicks and Parry have fallen out with each other so spectacularly
> in
> public that they won't be able to agree to deliver a cent or a penny to
> buy
> new players in the summer transfer window and the worst element of all is
> they have completely undermined our hard working manager whom most LFC
> fans
> and "experts" in the game believe is doing a half decent job. In addition
> they have loaded the club with debt, which while I can understand the
> business models, is totally against what they first said and their PR
> methods of informing us why is beyond a joke. True the League title hasn't
> been won, but to take a squad from that inherited in the summer of 2004 to
> a
> minimum of 2 European finals ( 1 won), a FA Cup victory and to leave us
> all
> with hope of further European success this spring is outstanding. In the
> league progress can be seen and with Benetiz in charge we all believe that
> LFC will go on to be a hugely successful club again.
>
> Although sentiments are expressed nowadays in a lazy anti American type of
> way, believe me it isn't really felt that way. I and my fellow fans
> couldn't care if the owners are American, English, Irish, Spanish or
> anything else.....we simply expect them to deliver the promises they made,
> know the value of silence and managing a business in-house...and have
> respect for our club and because of the way Hicks and Gillette have
> conducted themselves , we simply don't want them as people not because
> they
> are American. I don't wish them any ill harm, I just want them to walk
> away
> from my beloved club.
>
> Finally I attach a posting from the RAWK website
> http://www.redandwhitekop.com/forum/index.php?topic=217281.0 Now I know
> that
> it includes some foul language near the end, but the reason I've attached
> it
> is because this poster expresses the feelings of me and many other people
> as
> to what our club means to us and until Hicks, Gillette or DIC understand
> they'll never win the support of their customers.
>
> My best wishes Ms Gould, maybe you could incorporate some of this into
> your
> next article, or bring some much needed publicity and pressure on the
> powers
> that be regards To Hillsborough and Justice for our 96 brothers and
> sisters
>
> Mark Chamberlain
>
>
> Topic: Tom, why Liverpool is different. What you ought to understand about
> us.
>
> There are some, on here as well as elsewhere, who argue that Hicks isn't
> all
> that bad for Liverpool. That his business approach to the club, his
> attitude
> to Parry (wanting someone else in to "take the club forward") and his
> money,
> is a good thing and that so long as "we win trophies" well, what's wrong
> with him, isn't it about time we invested in Liverpool, didn't he pay for
> Fernando and so on?
>
> They would also point out that Bill Shankly himself said "coming first"
> was
> all important, and (with perhaps a modicum of truth) that most of us agree
> that so long as we win, who cares how we play or who writes the cheques..
>
> Well to a degree that's true. We all want to see Liverpool win; we mock
> the
> Arsenal fans who would rather see lovely football than be in the
> semi-final
> of the Champions League if we win 1-0 in a final, the cup and the history
> books tell us all we need to know, Liverpool won.
>
> But I'd like to say to these people, these hard-headed fans, these Thicks,
> sorry T. Hicks apologists, you're wrong and you're wrong for one reason.
>
> We are Liverpool.
>
> Now, before you all start calling me an old sentimental idiot, one who
> yearns for the pre SKY days and that all football is a business, let me
> put
> my argument forward why I believe the statement in bold, above, makes all
> the difference.
>
> Firstly, I believe that football has always been a business, from the
> business decision orientated day of the formation of Liverpool, "Take your
> ball and piss off" said Mr J Houlding; to the days of the maximum wage, to
> today's minimum wage being more than my dad would've earned in his life.
>
> So its not that I think there was a golden age when football was run by
> kindly local businessmen who wanted the community to have something to be
> proud about.
>
> No, what I truly believe is that I happen to support a unique team in the
> world. One that has (but sadly is rapidly losing) a direct connection with
> the community, with the fans and that a spiritual bond exists between the
> fans and the 'Club' whatever you take that word to mean.
>
> Parry himself said that no individual is bigger than the club, and he was
> right. I and many others on here have written before that what Liverpool
> means to us, is individually unique, intangible and a wonderful concept
> that
> is 'Our Club'. Certainly not anyone elses.
>
> Liverpool has always been my club. Not David Moores when he owned it, not
> even Shankly or Bob's club, it was the club I supported and followed and
> it
> accompanied me through life, above all else it was and remains the one
> thing
> that stays constant throughout my life.
>
> Now, I don't doubt fans of other clubs will think that too, that to them,
> all of the above holds water for them. But without saying "We're the best
> fans in the world" because we're plainly not, what is true is that
> Liverpool
> fans do have a unique and strong bond with that concept that is our club.
>
> Think about it, even Arsenal players talk of the atmosphere, of playing at
> Anfield, even John Terry talks of how the noise and the home support
> scared
> him, how he was envious of Liverpool's 12th man, the Kop, the ground, the
> man and woman in the street.
>
> Listen to BBC Radio 5 Live pundits talk about how they think Liverpool is
> different, even though they support other teams, how Liverpool has a
> proper
> link with its fans.
> And there lies the rub Tom.
> You see the supporters, create what Liverpool is to the rest of the world,
> for without us, the club would be just another football club. Without the
> fans, Liverpool FC wouldn't be the Liverpool FC that you bought, that the
> media talk about and that other players and fans secretly envy.
>
> Look at the all the Liverpool fansites, how many threads talk about games
> where the noise, the support, the flags the fans raised the hairs on the
> back of your neck.
>
> We have flag days, threads on how to make your banners the size of a
> football pitch, Chelsea have a thread telling you what time to pick up
> your
> plastic flag.
>
> The Kop is but a set of seats without us. The Anny Rd too. The Lower
> Centenary, well I'll stop there but you get the idea.
>
> The world of football knows our anthem, they love to talk about and listen
> to Anfield on a European night, even our players talk about it. And that
> would be nothing, NOTHING, without OUR voices singing, shouting and
> chanting. It would be like the British Museum on a European night, or even
> worse, Chelsea v Rosenborg.
>
> Tom, this isn't a franchise of soccer. Each football club in the world
> claims to be individual, but Liverpool is the epitomy of that. It isn't a
> commodity to be bought and sold - well to you it is, but you are missing
> the
> point. You are playing with my emotions, my history, my memories, my hopes
> because I love my club. And Liverpool fans, as hoodwinked and seduced by
> your patter as we were (well if Parry and Moores fell for it, can you
> blame
> the fan in the street?), each have that connection to the club and that
> sentiment and that emotional bond.
>
> So for you to come out and in public tell the world how terrible things
> are,
> its like shitting on my living room carpet, taking a photo of it and
> showing
> everyone else. You don't do it. I can slag off my mum and dad, but not
> you.
> And if Liverpool FC is what it is, because of us the fans, then you are de
> facto, criticising us, the fans. Well fuck you for that you ignorant shit.
> Because no-one, NO-ONE, tells me or other Liverpool fans how to support
> our
> team. We know how to and we've been fucking good at it since 1892.
>
> It's not about bad PR Tom its about trying to understand that Liverpool is
> different, that it is envied and admired in equal amounts across the
> nation,
> partially because of its success, but also because of the its culture,
> which
> is us.
>
> The title of my thread is why Liverpool is different, what you ought to
> understand about us. The link between the fans and the club at this
> football
> club is different to anywhere else.
>
> You have bitten off more than you can chew Tom. And we're not ending up in
> your spittoon.
>

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