1992 saw Jack Nicholson take on the role of Colonel Nathan Jessep in “A Few Good Men”. The story of a so called leader, a man believing himself to be above the system and his fellow men, able to play by his own set of rules, someone who had lost the meaning of honour and truth.
Jessep was faced by Tom Cruise playing the part of Lt. Daniel Kaffee, a rookie JAG lawyer, a man he saw as many miles beneath him, incapable of upsetting his world, someone who could be brushed under the carpet or side stepped. While Jessep tried to manipulate those around him like pawns on a chess board, saying what they could say and what they couldn’t, he never showed Kaffee the respect he deserved as he had no understanding of it.
Whilst Jessep tripped over his own ego to scream the line “You can’t handle the truth”, proving to be his own undoing, as mouth went on to engage before brain, many similarities can be quickly drawn between this Oscar nominated film and the Liverpool fans continuing to hold their club’s owners to task over their actions. The difference being that Liverpool however have many more than a few good men available to them.
While Nicholson was applauded for his performance, even nominated for an academy award, there will be no prize for Tom Hicks or George Gillett, few would even be prepared to spend the postage on sending them a wooden spoon. Our owners are no more than a poison chalice in their own right, a plague of locusts devouring their way through sport, harvesting on whatever they can possibly lay their hands on that isn’t there’s. This is no truer than at Liverpool Football Club but voices are growing louder and like Jessep underestimated his opponent Kaffee, they have.
As Sunderland arrive at the once known bastion of invincibility called Anfield, they do so on the back of a difficult week for their hosts. Defeat at the hands of historic rivals Manchester United was surrounded by email campaigns from the ever increasing restlessness of the Liverpool fan base. Campaigns that certainly registered on the radar of the likes of RBS, Blackstone and Deutsche Bank and will continue to do so for any other financial institution that is seen to be, or known to be, a possible stepping stone for Liverpool’s custodians to continue their reign at L4. With Liverpool crashing out of the Carling Cup to League 2 opposition in Northampton Town, without much more than a whimper, crisis continues to be the word on the lips of many a fan, pundit or journalist.
The column spaces have been dominated by a truth that may well lie a bit deeper than the surface presented by Christian Purslow and apologies for schoolboy errors from manager Roy Hodgson. While the playing staff and its management team refocus its efforts to learn from lessons harshly delivered to them and to provide overdue performances worthy of the clubs name and its fans, unequivocal support for them must remain whether they are on the field or off it.
A string of results as consistent as the voice heard for the owners removal will certainly bring new light, that voice is set to be considerably louder later today as a Spirit of Shankly organised direct action protest will see the true thoughts of Liverpool fans echoed around the ground long after the final whistle. As they rightly say “It is our responsibility as supporters to invoke change. We have to do all we can.” – that effort has to be unified.
Every single action that the clubs existing owners take, that isn’t to quicken their exit is potentially a damaging one, the future of Liverpool FC depends on it. That is not a dramatic conclusion to an article for effect, simply a statement of reality.