Hats off to Barry Glendenning at The Guardian, who writes their tea-time newsletter, The Fiver.

If the Fiver was forced to apologise and resign every time we sent an ill-advised email to recipients who found them objectionable, production of the world’s most tea-timely newsletter would have ceased moments after its maiden excursion more years ago than we care to remember. Luckily, our audience is more tolerant than Liverpool supporters’ union Spirit of Shankly, who showcased the fabled Scouse sense of humour by swooning like Victorian ladies overcome by the vapours when a board member from “their” club responded to a series of emails from a disgruntled fan by inviting him to “Blow me, fuckface”.

The carefully worded email sent by Tom Hicks Jr, Dallas-based businessman and adult son of Liverpool owner Tom Sr, prompted howls of faux outrage and wounded indignation from Spirit of Shankly, who despite all their protestations to the contrary, were almost certainly beside themselves with delight that a fan had managed to prompt such a juvenile response from the Liverpool boardroom.

Having called for, and subsequently secured the resignation of Hicks Jr, who has since apologised for sending the email, SoS posted a statement on their website this afternoon. “Spirit of Shankly welcomes the resignation of Tom Hicks Junior from the board of Liverpool FC and its parent company,” it chirruped. “This club has standards – on the field, off the field, on the terraces and in the boardroom.” As luck would have it, the group made no mention of its own standards, which are so low that last year’s end-of-season party climaxed with this rousing ditty making fun of the Munich air disaster.

While it could be argued that the raucous, mob-handed celebration of a plane crash in which 21 people died is considerably more offensive than some dumb Yank losing his rag and sending a chippy email, it’s interesting that SoS chose not to disband or call for mass resignations from among their own rank-and-file in the wake of the notorious sing-along.

The Fiver is as wholeheartedly in favour of football fans sticking it to The Man as the next beret-wearing promoter of people-power, but we find it bewildering that the high standards expected from all connected with Liverpool FC “on the field, off the field, on the terraces and in the boardroom” evidently don’t apply to those most anxious to see them rigidly enforced.

Next to nothing was said in the press at the time about the embarrassing goings on at the Spirit of Shankly end of the season do.




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