Did anyone really buy that scripted goodbye message our former captain Jordan Henderson uploaded to social media, after he’d already left?
My word, it was vacuous. The midfielder had already been snapped training with his new team-mates when the video was released. We all knew it was coming, as he’d been caught filming it a few days before – so the whole thing was just an uncomfortable, boring goodbye that completely ignored the controversy of his exit.
Obviously. He’s not going to come out and start talking about his own hypocrisies in being an ally of the LGBTQ+ movement at the same time as taking the money from a State in which you can be executed for being gay. Of course he isn’t. Do a nice PR video, say the right things, crack on. Treat us like we’re stupid. The thing that makes me most sad about this is you wonder if he ever meant any of it in the first place.
People are complex, though. Nobody is all good, or all bad. He probably meant the good things he said at the time. They probably came from his heart. Then, the money was too much to turn down. That’s all it is. We’ve all got a price. Mine is probably less than his (£700k/week), but in fairness, I’m not already the captain of Liverpool, a multi-millionaire, a role model for millions and an England international.
There’s still time…
Al Ettifaq obviously rubbed salt in the wound with their hideous announcement video, which greyed out the rainbow captain armband Hendo wore at Liverpool. It was a calculated, premeditated F*ck You to everyone who finds the fact homosexuality in Saudi Arabia is illegal and punishable by death disappointing.
Last year, Saudii Arabia executed 64 people on one day, in one instance. There is a woman spending the next 34 years of her life in appalling prison conditions for the crime of speaking out against the regime on social media.
BuT wHaT aBoUt BenzEmA AnD HenDo AnD KantE ThO!
Yeah, fair enough. The money has won. Maybe it always does. Maybe it always will. But this summer football has gone from being a capitalist venture run by corrupt egomaniacs to something even worse. It’s revealed its soul, or the fact it no longer has one. If Henderson can take the money, anyone can. It’s like the Joker testing and turning Harvey Dent, just because he could. Some people just want to watch the world burn.
Liverpool are not innocent in this. We’re taking the money. We’re part of the problem. £40m for a legless Fabinho is great business. Almost as good as Newcastle selling Alain Saint-Maximimin to Al Alhi for an overinflated £30m. Remember, PIF own both clubs. Newcastle now have a perfect opportunity to balance their books. There are four clubs in Saudi Arabia owned by the State who will always buy the deadwood. There’s always a way around FFP, if you’re rich enough. That’s why Manchester City will employ 500 lawyers to fight their multiple cases until the paperwork mounts so high nobody can do anything.
This summer was our big rebuild. We’ve signed two midfielders, but we need two more and two defenders.
The back page of the Sunday Mirror last weekendhad Kylian Mbappe touted as a loan target. That’d be fun. At least the Frenchman turned down the Saudi billions, but he’s got his own games. He’ll be at Real Madrid by 2024 either way.
That Mitchell and Webb sketch mocking the endless cycle of football news, matches and transfers has never felt more apt. It’s gone from a millionaire’s passion, to a billionaire’s plaything to a State’s image-washing tool.
And it’s only going one way. More money, more problems.
The season starts in eight days.