The British media and the “Perch Prophecy”

Posted by

Watching English Premiership matches in Mauritius back when the football rights were still affordable to developing countries in the early 90’s, I remember noticing how commentators would always be in awe when Manchester United was playing. Listening to them, one would think that everything was perfect in that team; they would remind the viewers at every possible turn of a sentence that the manager was given enough time to build his team and how he promised to “kick them off their f***** perch” or how Peter Schmeichel used to be a handball goalkeeper and how good Eric Cantona was despite being exiled from France.

On the other hand, the old Liverpudlian guard was starting to get slow – John Barnes and Ian Rush knew they should stop soon. No sooner had the new generation of Steve McManaman, Robbie Fowler and Jamie Redknapp come up with performances that one would expect from Liverpool players that the media stripped them of all credibility by throwing the nickname of “Spice Boys” at them. At that time, the media discourse was clear: Roy Evans was no Alex Ferguson. To some, those were the dark days.

While I watched Eric Cantona ruin my weekends as the years rolled, frustration and disappointment fuelled in my biased Kopite mind a conspiracy theory that the media coverage was nothing but a very offensive and successful marketing from our bitter rivals. My idea was that TV pundits were secretly remunerated as Manchester United promoters who used their global coverage to bolster their foreign legions and secure massive revenue from merchandising. As far fetched as it sounds, with hindsight, this practice now seems in line with the aggressive business model of private television back then.

I must admit that this theory received responses ranging from sour grapes to bitter or sore loser from the adversary, but twenty years later, with Manchester United gunning for their 19th league title – as are we – the difference in commercial positioning and merchandising generated funds from far corners of the world is more than ever visible. They are making more money than we are. However, what is even more visible, is the media bias in favour of Manchester United.

Such is the power of the press in England that gutter press like “The Sun” claim to decide who should rule as Primer minister. More so, on the back pages, there seems to be an unwritten coordination between the different sports newsrooms, as the national press regularly decides who should be appointed as manager of the England national team, or who should be sacked. Despite all his technical lacking, poor Sven would have a lot to say about this.

How else would you explain what seems to fit the definition of a “coordinated media campaign” for our best players to quit Liverpool ever since we stumbled out of the Big Four last season? It would actually stretch before that, when there was Steven Gerrard and Chelsea, then Fernando Torres, followed by Javier Mascherano. Then Pepe Reina. Repeatedly. Despite the latter saying he doesn’t want to leave Anfield. And now Fernando Torres again. It’s almost looks like wishful thinking from the press, which is translated into agenda-oriented texts, pushing our players towards other teams.

What am I coming to, you might ask. That the British media has a general and coordinated agenda to the realisation of the “perch prophecy” of “Sir” manager? Unfortunately, that is the conclusion I come to when I bring all the pieces together. From Roy Hodgson’s unilateral support from the press, despite Liverpool flirting with the relegation zone, to the constant leaks about every stage of negotiations in the Adam and Suarez transfer talks, thwarting even further the deals – unseen, as far as I am concerned, in the sports reporting for other teams – and now renewed media agenda-pushing news of Fernando Torres and Chelsea, I find it hard to think otherwise.

On the other hand, as soon as Edwin Van der Sar announced his retirement intentions at the end of this season, media texts appeared all over the web, with editors short listing the world’s best goalkeepers that should migrate to Manchester United “in the interest of the latter”. To the Liverpool fan that I am, the British media – as a whole body – clearly has a favourite. Whether in the noble interest of drama or in the not-so-honest interest of other dark vested interests, the British media is pushing for a realisation of the “perch prophesy”. It may sound like another conspiracy theory. Remember, I am a very biased Liverpool Football Club fanatic. But throwing all the media texts around me, that is what they lead me to.

More Stories lfc


  1. Brilliant article. Only issue I have is the spelling of prophecy. Apart from this minor niggle I have to agree wholeheartedly.

  2. Jesus, I’ve read some paranoid nonsense on football blogs but this really takes the Hob-Nob. So none of those players or their agents spoke to representatives of other clubs?
    Liverpool fans are like children- the whole world revolves them and their “enemies”. Even the blog name shows Napoleon Syndrome. “Empire” ?? You puffed up, self-regarding jokers.

  3. You do have some point there. But my analysis is Satan loves those who worship him.Which team uses his insignia proudly on their chest? SYMBOL SYMBOLISES any faith,schools,clubs and football teams too. Look at Nani’s countenance and tell me he is a humble guy inside? Look at how sober Ronaldo is now that he is out of The Devil’s den

    In Harry Potter’s movie you will notice that there is a scene where a Phoenix Bird which looks very much like a Liverbird was in a battle with the Voldermort’s Serpent.Off course the bird blinded the serpent for King Kenny ooops sorry I mean Harry Potter finish off the serpent with his sword.

    You see, in all religions around the world since time immemorial, SATAN is human greatest enemy. So any one who promotes them in any peiod of time will definitely be supported by them with all his “spiritual” support including the media.

  4. If I had one pound for every time my Dad has said something along these lines, I would be a very rich woman! He has told me that before Munich, and for sometime after, there wasn’t a problem between ‘them’ and ‘us’. It was only when the press decided to hail all things United that the real hatred began. This bias has continued ever since and shows no signs of ending. And no, I don’t think it’s paranoia by Liverpool fans….the facts speak for themselves when two of their managers have been knighted while Paisley was ignored. That was solely down to pressure from the press!!

  5. @Jack

    Well spotted! My bad… sorry.

    @Farty Foulke

    Well mate, I did say it was a very biased piece of opinion. Thank you for reading it, but please feel free not to agree. This is not objective journalism and there’s a reason for it to be called “opinion”.

  6. @ Farty…so why dont u go ur own Scums blog and shit urself there..why dont u even bother coming here?? As for the Empire, yes we do have an Empire…but you jokers cannot understand what its like being a member of the mind ur own business and lick so called ‘SIR’s A**

  7. There are a lot of good points in this article and as a Liverpool Supporter you have to be able to see that the writer has given good evidence, evidence that every person who picks up a newspaper in England can plainly see. Why is it always our players? We are not as bad as our league position suggests but still we are written off. We have found new owners in Fenway Sports and the debt saddled to the club under previous mis-management has been eradicated, so, unlike in the last few years, we really have no need to sell OUR players to anybody. Another good point is why did the press give Hodgson so much support? Is it because Ferguson was on record every week saying how good a job Roy had done? Was that another way for him to implement his ‘knocking off perch’ programme by publicly backing a manager that had a team of our quality going for draws away from home and being perillously close to the relegation zone. That way the media, which has always been Man Utd-centric, could back him also and keep him in a job. Luckily, Fenway saw sense and sacked him for below par performances. Liverpool is not the massive rebuilding job that everyone has been led to believe. A couple of quality players and we will be back up there.

  8. Great read! I’ve been convinced of a conspiracy for years… Just look at SKY and their insistance of employing a very biased shister like Andy Gray for 2 decades! You could be forgiven for thinking he played for the scum….. probably just another one of fergayson’s lovers in line with Howard Webb and other sell out refs who ply their trade in the dark corners of the old toilet.

    Come on NESV give Harry a new wand…. or Kenny a new Suarez! ; )


  9. But one day The devil will want his pay and Ferguson will be dragged screaming in to the fiery pit .HAAAAAA HAAAAAAA HAAAAA

  10. It took alex ferguson 13 yrs to win a treble it took Joe Fagan one season to win a treble did the british press scream for the late great Joe Fagan to be knighted NO .The late great Bob Paisley with out doubt should of been knighted for what he won and his service to liverpool fc and the british game did the british press scream for Bob to be knighted there biased there I honestly beleieve there is but I am liverpool fan for 46 yrs and hope I am not being biased. One club has three kights of the relm is this a coincidence or biased from the british press let you work that out for your selves .

  11. Y wasn’t Paisley, Shankly and Dalglish knighted? I’m sure at least two of them if not all deserved it. There is some truth to this article.

  12. Guys I don’t think that its man u who are media favourites, I think the media are just using liverpool to sensationalise their news coz their current form sucks.

  13. I’ll start by saying I haven’t been supporting Liverpool for decades and haven’t seen the Man U L’pool saga unfold from the beginning. I only can testify to what I have noticed since being a loyal and devoted red. We do seem to be the center of much negative news and controversy, but I think more because sensationalist media is what sucks people in and L’pool have one of the largest fan bases around. We have also been going through relatively unstable periods which adds the fuel to the fire. It was obvious that Benitez drew the ire of the British media but I can’t see them turning on Kenny.

    Don’t get me wrong, SAF is put on a pedestal and sticks his red nose where it doesn’t belong, but he has been successful as well. I would sincerely like to know why he was knighted and not Shankly or Paisley. It could very well be a media push, but why? Why would it benefit the media? I could understand in politics how media can make or break a candidate if they so choose in order to pursue an agenda, but why a football manager? That is where this breaks down for me? Motive. What does the media get out of putting United on a perch?

    I think Liverpool gets the negative press because we have been unstable. United receive very little negative press because they are, unfortunately, on top of the world right now. Their day will come though. No one remains on top forever, and their debt will be their ultimate demise. We are so fortunate to be debt free.

  14. @CaseYNWA

    I hear you. Ideally, one could explain the media’s agenda as the noble quest for the “storytelling drama”. It’s a known fact that media have to spin news into “stories”, with the same ups and downs as any drama story/film. It’s the most rewarding one in terms of audience, hence advertising, hence revenue. So much that this is the type of writing that is taught in journalism classes/schools nowadays. In this story, the rise of SAF who conquers the sad LFC is the better story to tell, rather than the old Liverbird desperately clinging to power acquired 20 years ago and sitting on the top ever since…

    But on the other hand, there is the vested interest one. Whether it be because of “friendship”, “loyalty” or worse, which I would hope does not exist, financial interests, some journalists actually want Liverpool toppled off. Working in the media, I would suspect it’s because Liverpool management/staff/wellwishers have never spun good relationship with influential media gurus as Manchester United have. We do not enjoy a “familiar relationship” as SAF has developed down the years that would inspire sympathy.

    Wost still? The British media today is so arrogant, when they decide on some outcome, they will do their utmost for that outcome to become reality, as a way to show their power to the whole world out there, and their self-gratification. It is human nature of the powerful, because power corrupts… and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Like it or not, they have absolute power over their field.

  15. Lol, this is completely ridiculous!!

    All this talk of hell, devil worship, prophecies, sata and even Harry Potter….and all because the forlorn Torres decided to upgrade teams. You’re having a laugh.

    United didn’t hold on to Ronaldo cause he wanted to go. Now Torres is of the same mind…so let him go.

    There’s no need to cry foul and whinge about conspiracy theories.

    Ah well, that’s it from me – I’m off to wear my tin foil hat and find those pesky UFO’s that keep landing in my backyard, hopefully my Scientology prayers will scare the off. All hail Satan.

  16. Can we please stop going on about man united all the bloody time. Its a complete embarrassment to our club ad our history. You think shankly would waste his time whining over man united? Do me a favour. Stop looking for excuses to cover our failures as a team. Thats called a small-time mentality.

Comments are closed