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Night promises to be dark: you can't own my club PDF Print E-mail
Written by Mottman   
Monday, 21 January 2008


Mottman's epic prose on the club's current state:

Yonder ground that has wept tears of compassion upon my people for a century, and which to us appears changeless and eternal, may change.

Great foreign Chiefs, unknown to and unknowing of the redmen, drunk with the power of excess money and weaned on strange and childish games, send word they wish to buy our club our team, our history.

Each chief also sends us words of friendship and good will. This is kind, since we know they have little need of our friendship in return.

But we will consider your offer. For we know if we do not sell, you may come with force and take our birthright.

How can you buy or sell our spirit, the warmth of the people, the memories of our tribe, the hopes of our youth? The idea is strange to us redmen.

We do not own anything, we inherit dreams and pass them on unblemished to our children, how can you buy this?

Every part of this club is sacred to my people. Every shining trophy, every green blade of grass, every surrounding street and watering hole. The song which echoes through the Kop carries the memory of the redmen.

Your people forget the country of their birth when they go to walk among the stars.

Our dead never forget this beautiful place, for it is the mother of the red man. We are part of this club and it is part of us. The grass of our field carries the ashes of our fallen, its seed impregnated with their dreams and memories.

The scally scouser throng are our brothers and sisters; The Liverbird crests, the ancient flagpole, the body heat of the man close to fellow man - all belong to the same family.

So, when the Great Chief in whatever foreign country sends word that he wishes to buy our club, he asks much of us. The Great Chief sends word that he will reserve us a place so that we can live comfortably to ourselves. He will be our father and we will be his children. So we will consider your offer to buy our club. But only because we are powerless to prevent it ; but it will not be easy. For this club is sacred to us.

This shining water that moves in the great Mersey is not just water but the blood of our ancestors. If you try to own our club, you will receive no help or welcome from me.

If you succeed in your lust to own our club you must remember that it is sacred, and you must teach your children that it is sacred and that each ghostly reflection in the clear water of the Mersey tells of events and memories in the life of the people. The water’s murmur is the voice of my father’s father.

The red man has always had to dance to the drum of the advancing big money man, but your money will never own us.

The ashes of our fathers are sacred. The histories that they gifted us are holy ground, and so is this grass and ground, this portion of the earth is consecrated to us. We know that the money man does not understand our ways.

One “soccer” club is the same to him as the next, for he is a stranger who comes in the night and takes from the club whatever he needs with no regard to tradition or spirit.

We of the birthright and tradition are not his brother, but his enemy, and when he has conquered us, he moves on. He leaves his graves and fledgling traditions behind, and he does not care. Dreams and his children’s birthright are forgotten. He treats his mother, the club and his brother the redmen, as things to be bought, plundered, and sold like sheep or bright beads.

His appetite will devour the game and leave behind only a desert.

I do not know. Our ways are different from your ways. The sight of the clubs your type already own pains the eyes of the red man.

But perhaps it is because the red man is a savage and does not understand. There are many quiet places in the money man’s clubs.

No place to hear the unfurling of hallowed much travelled banners in early autumn or the songs of the forefathers. But perhaps it is because I am a savage and do not understand.

The silence of your “Experience” buyers insults the ears. And what is there to life if a man cannot hear the strains of “You’ll Never Walk Alone” or the arguments of the redmen around their pints at night? I am a redman and do not understand.

The scouser prefers the sweet silver sound darting over the face of a Kop full of redmen.

The air of the Pool of Life is precious to the redman, for all redmen share the same breath - the same memories and the same sadness.

The money man does not seem to notice the air he breathes, driven only by the lust for possessions and money.

Money man, did your father tell you of the great glories his father saw in 1901, 06, 22 and 23? Did he tell you of the glory he witnessed in 1947, or of the wilderness years that followed so painfully soon?

Did he rejoice to share with you his son the glories of 1964, 65, 66, 73, 74, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 86, 88, 89, 90?

Have you since told your son of these deeds and added with him 1992, 95, 2001, 03 and 05? And told him of the songs sung standing where he now sits?

Or were you and your grandfathers drunk on the power of cash in amounts so obscene as to make the bankbook numbers meaningless to me and allow you to buy the dreams built by those who used cash as a means to an end?

The wind that gave our grandfather his first breath also receives his last sigh. And the wind carried spirit and memories to give our children the same spirit of life. And if we must sell you our club and our dreams, you must keep it apart and sacred; its honour lies in building and creating, not in buying the finished product of some other foundry.

The power of greed may enable you to buy our club. If we are forced to accept, the redmen will make one condition:

You must teach your children that the ground beneath their feet is the ashes of our grandfathers. So that they will respect the club, tell your children that the earth is rich with the lives of our kin. Teach your children what we have taught our children, that the club is our mother. Whatever befalls the club befalls the sons of the Mersey If men spit on the ground, they spit on themselves.

I fear that the price of admission you have in mind for my people will cleave the redmen to come from their birthright. We will live apart and angry. It will matter little where we spend the rest of our days. Our children will have seen their fathers humbled in defeat. Our warriors will no longer be of us and we will feel great shame, and after defeat they will turn their matchdays in idleness and contaminate their bodies with sweet foods and strong drink. It matters little where we pass the rest of our days. They will not be many.

But when the last redman has vanished from this club, and his memory is only the shadow projected onto the wall of the “Anfield Experience” corporate hospitality show, remember that those blades of grass will still hold the spirits of my people.

And the voices of the standing Kop still whispering in the wind will salute the wee Scots redman and he will still walk on.

And your money will have bought you nothing.

(with apologies to Chief Seattle of the Suquamish North American Indians 1786-1866)


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