The torrential rain summed up the situation perfectly for Roy Hodgson.
Not only had he just seen his side lose on penalties to League Two’s Northampton Town, but he had also overseen Liverpool’s worst start to a league campaign since 1992. The phrase ‘it never rains but pours’ had never seemed more apt.
September has been a huge a wake-up call for many Reds fans, who have had little to shout about in the past month. Despite many believing that a corner was about to be turned in the early summer, reality has now bitten hard largely thanks to the club’s American owners.
Broken promises and the lack of potential investors has brought Liverpool to its knees and the club are at the mercy of RBS who are ready and waiting to call in the huge debt placed on the club by George Gillett and Tom Hicks.
Which is why for the past two weeks, fans’ group the Spirit of Shankly have held demonstrations reinforcing their stance that the owners’ are ‘Not welcome here.’
Almost thousands of supporters joined in with the protests to support the campaign, which aims to make it clear to Hicks and Gillett that they will never be welcome on Merseyside for putting Liverpool in hundreds of millions of pounds worth of debt.
However, this week has saw the Liverpool board (without the approval of the owners) recommend the sale ofl the club to another American in the shape of John W. Henry, owner of the Boston Red Sox baseball team backed by the New England Sports Ventures consortium.
Although many fans will be delighted with the news that Hicks and Gillett look to be finally heading for the Anfield exits, lest they forget that they have been here before back in February 2007.
Once bitten and twice shy should be the phrase that fans should remember before they celebrate any arrival of a supposed ‘saviour’. Should Henry and his consortium take over they will be faced with a mammoth task.
On a whole, the club is in dire straits and matters were not helped when the Reds lost 2-1 to Blackpool on Sunday, ensuring that they are spending the international place in the relegation zone.
To make things worse for Hodgson, his side were booed off in contrast to Blackpool being afforded a warm reception from the home crowd for their heroic display. In addition to this, chants of ‘Dalglish’ were heard in a clear sign that some fans already want to see Hodgson leave his post, less than three months after he took charge.
The mere fact that Liverpool are in the bottom three shows how far the club has fallen in a mere 18 months, and equally more galling is the start they have made to this season. Not only have performances been uninspiring (e.g. the goalless draw at Birmingham City) but a lack of goals have left some supporters angry and questioning whether the right man was appointed the manager’s job in the summer.
At the moment this once bastion of invincibility is in limbo with uncertainty surrounding its future. Whatever happens in the next few weeks, both on and off the pitch, is perhaps the most important period the club will ever face.
Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.
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