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Shankley was wrong – that’s why we should end it now



By CandH’s top blogger Allen Cummings


It was the late, great and legendary Bill Shankly who, when all-conquering manager of Liverpool in the 60’s and early 70’s, was famously quoted as saying: “Some people think football is a matter of life and death. I can assure them it is much more serious than that.”

Contrast that with the recent words of the present Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, who in a statement addressing the impact on football of the current coronavirus said: “I’ve said before that football always seems the most important of the least important things. Today, football and football matches really aren’t important at all.”

To be fair Shankly’s words came at a time and in an era when passion in football was exceptionally high. Players felt pride in the clubs they played for, and a genuine responsibility to the supporters who idolised them. For their part the fans frequently believed their football clubs took precedent over almost everything else.

Fast forward to football today, and while pride continues to play some part, nowadays the game is sadly more about money than anything else. Money for the players, money for the clubs, money for the clubs to buy even more players – in an endless crusade to accumulate even more money. Football is now, first and foremost, business and big business at that.

No-one knows how the current coronavirus crisis will pan out for society as a whole, which has to be the overriding issue in all this. In reality football is almost an insignificance in the grand scheme of things.

As Klopp rightly says, do winners and losers really matter, so long as the vast majority – but sadly not all  of us – come out of this nightmare able to carry on with our normal lives once again.

I’m of the opinion this season should be null and void. A line should be drawn under it now. Not from a selfish point of view because then the club I support will retain the right to play Premier League football next season.

I simply believe that to hang on to the thought that somehow you can attempt to finish a race when the finishing line is nowhere in sight anyway – and seems to be disappearing ever further into the distance by the day – is a pointless exercise!

Terminating the season will clear the decks – end all the speculation and uncertainty  – and allow the clubs to have a clear focus on starting afresh with a brand new season. Promotion hopefuls will be gutted. Relegation threatened clubs relieved. But the alternative is ongoing chaos?

Klopp will be massively disappointed if his team – who we all know are champions in all but name anyway – are denied their final crowning. But his words are fair and honest – no matter how much they must hurt! I raise my hat to you Jurgen!

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About Hugh5outhon1895

Hugh Southon is a lifelong Iron and the founding editor of ClaretandHugh. He is a national newspaper journalist of many years experience and was Bobby Moore's 'ghost' writer during the great man's lifetime. He describes ClaretandHugh as "the Hammers daily newspaper!" Follow on Twitter @hughsouthon

8 comments on “Shankley was wrong – that’s why we should end it now

  1. I heard another option yesterday that I thought made some sense and that is if football can’t resume until near the end of this year, then cancel next season and finish off this current season and then just play the league & FA cups to finish off the 2020/2021 season and then start afresh for the 2021/2022 season.

  2. Sorry to disagree but you are wrong!

  3. Completely ridiculous article, written by a biased fan with self interest. The season must be finished come what may, to void the season so far into it is sheer madness.

  4. Good article Allen , it’s difficult to see how the season can continue if the corona virus carries on through the summer months. If they decide at some point to continue the season then teams will have the problem of totally unfit squads that will take several weeks to get somewhere near match fit and presumably have hastily arranged friendlies as well. It’s a difficult situation and I for one am glad I don’t have to make the decision. Aesops Fable comes to mind as whatever the decision, there will be a lot flak incoming from those left disappointed. But whatever happens we all have far more important things to worry about just now.

  5. Allen, if West Ham had played an incredible season; perhaps the best Premier League team ever, and were 2 wins away from winning a title that was deservedly theirs, would you call for the league to be null and void? I don’t know what will happen, but Liverpool deserve to be crowned Champions.

  6. Personally I think Liverpool should be declared Champions and end the season . The current top six clubs should be declared eligible for the corresponding European competition’s .
    And the top two clubs from the championship should be promoted thereby creating a 22 Club Premiership . It will mean an increase of just 4 games to 42 to complete a season .
    That’s how it was years ago anyway . This naturally would need European approval and alignment of all leagues . It’s one of many ideas , I know , but if This virus is not beatable in the foreseeable future there aren’t too many options .
    That’s just my view of course and I’m sure people have varying views

  7. I think you are all being a little optimistic in
    Thinking it will be over and done with this year
    Though I really hope i am wrong not for football but for people

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