“We are Liverpool. This means more” – this is the motto that Liverpool FC came up with for its image campaign in spring 2018. The slogan is based on a quote from the legendary Bill Shankly, whose wish it had been in his lifetime to be remembered as a selfless man – who built a family whose members can walk the streets with their heads raised to say: “We are Liverpool. “
As a coach, the Scotsman founded the club’s myth with his successes and his socialist outlook. The club boss Peter Moore, 65, who was born in Liverpool, proudly told in an interview with the left-liberal-oriented Spanish daily six months ago El Pais, For Shankly, football always consisted of cooperation. Therefore, the club decided to write down in words that Liverpool is more than just winning and losing. Before making business decisions, Moore said, the question today is always: “What would Shankly have said? What would he have done?”
Dietmar Hamann is outraged, Jamie Carragher also finds the decision “poor”
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At the weekend, he quickly overruled the sense of community that the club would like to act in – and of course caused his marketing campaign to sound like smoke and mirrors. On Saturday afternoon, the Premier League leaders released a letter entitled “Covid-19 Update”. In the fifth paragraph, the club announced that due to the suspended games in the Premier League since March 13 due to the corona pandemic, some of its employees were forced to go on holiday, about 200 employees. What was not mentioned in the closed communication: The professional team around coach Klopp continues to receive full payments; in the previous season, Liverpool FC had the services of the kickers 310 million pounds. What would Bill Shankly have said about this approach? What would he have done?
As the fifth club from the Premier League after Tottenham Hotspur, Norwich City, AFC Bournemouth and Newcastle United, Liverpool FC is now using the government’s emergency program. In order to preserve jobs, the UK government has decided to retroactively take over 80 percent of employee earnings for businesses up to £ 2,500 a month for three months from March 1st. This means that the general public, which in the first place has ensured the wealth of the English clubs with its irrepressible interest in football, now also pays for Liverpool FC’s personnel costs.
Mind you, for a club that only reported £ 42 million in pre-tax profit in February – and even had a year earlier with £ 125 million the highest profit a football club had ever made in one season. With equity of around £ 250m, the Reds are among the wealthiest clubs in the world, with a market value of just under £ 2bn. Behind it is the sports marketing company Fenway Sports Group, which also has the Boston Red Sox baseball team in its portfolio and is majority owned by the American businessman John W. Henry. Its assets alone are estimated at around £ 2.5 billion.
The measure undermines the social commitment of Liverpool FC players
FC Liverpool attempted to limit the presumed loss of reputation by pointing out that it would at least take on the rest of the salary for its workforce in order to avoid financial losses for the employees – but that of course did not change the outrage. Immediately after the decision was announced, angry employees and former players turned against the club. In addition to the German Dietmar Hamann, who flagged the decision as a contradiction to the club’s morals and values, the former defender Jamie Carragher, who was influential on the island, went one step further: “Jürgen Klopp has shown a lot of sympathy since the pandemic began. And then everything is forgotten. Poor LFC! “
An anonymous employee complained to the BBC that the club would label its employees as a family: “I don’t feel like a family member, I’m disappointed. Why does a club that turns over £ millions a year use a government model to pay employees when others do Companies have much greater hardship? ” The association has so far failed to answer this question.
With the measure, Liverpool is jeopardizing the social commitment of his team to captain Jordan Henderson, who is setting up a multi-million-dollar aid fund with colleagues to help those in need of Corona. The balance sheet-driven action in Liverpool, on the other hand, matches the quarrel over money in the Premier League. This requires the professionals to waive 30 percent of their wages, which the players’ union rejects for reasons of solidarity in the country: After a waiver, the state would lose £ 200m in tax money with its health care system. The 20 million that the Premier League now wants to donate are significantly less. The clubs fear big losses, with the end of the season threatening a partial repayment of the TV funds of around £ 750 million. Oliver Dowden, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, wrote on Twitter that people don’t want to see “struggles within our national sport” in times of crisis. Bill Shankly would have seen it that way.