Excellent article dockers strike, I salute you.This is a good artilce by Simon Hughes of the (UK) Independent about the idiotic chants by the away fans at Anfield and everton. Obviously I cannot speak for everton on this nor their's and others, notably mancs and chelsea's 'victims' and 'murderers' chants, maybe Hughes could do an article about those?
But this piece is devoted to the endless inanne chants we get by away fans at Anfield and on our travels. Newcastle are by no means the only one. I have to say I love the people of the north east, they are one of the friendliest people I know. The support the Sunderland fans gave to the Hillsbrough cause is legion and publically at least, was far more visible than that lot across the park.
It doesnt make it right although we expect nothing better from the united fans and now they think they are somebody, also the city fans. Yesterday we had Newcastle fans signing feed the scousers. I dont get it, the West End of Newcastle has one of the biggest foodbanks in the UK. Dont get me started on the fact that the UK, the 5th or 6th richest country in the world has a need for foodbanks but how can you even think it is banter to chant 'feed the scouser's' when hordes of your own people are having to rely on a foodbank to eat?
It's the same with the 'sign on' song. If you're sat next to me in the SKD Upper, you might catch me asking the visiting fans 'is there no unemployment in your city \ town?' 'Do you spit in the face of your unemployed who have no job and no food on the table?' Of course they dont hear me and the people around me must think Im some nutter.
There's a lot of stuff recently about racist chanting and efforts to cut it out. Some may say it is discrimination so it must take priority. But, isnt taunting someone over having no job and little or no food discriminatory too?
It isnt just racial chanting that needs cutting out, it should also be these other disgusting chants too.
Football supporters are betraying their backgrounds, shared histories and struggles, as well as the dedication of some who follow under the same sporting banner as themselves whenever they mock the poverty of other places.
Three games over Christmas, three occasions where “Feed the Scousers” has been bellowed out by different sets of fans who come from cities where dire employment rates explain deprivation and detail to a large extent why match-goers with a social conscience are leading the foodbank campaigns which have subsequently been promoted by football clubs trying to do the right thing.
When Manchester United came to Anfield eleven days ago, many had travelled from Victoria, a train station where rough sleepers try to get warm. This had been the sight, indeed, which prompted Andy Burnham, the region’s metro mayor, to donate fifteen per cent of his salary to help tackle homelessness, a feature of life in a city whose bishop, the Rt Revd David Walker, has accused ministers of “taking their eye off the ball” on poverty, warning that the crisis in Manchester is now at an “unparalleled level,” with the poorest families “torn apart” by welfare cuts that have led to destitution on an unprecedented scale.
When Liverpool went to Molineux last Friday and were encouraged – just as Evertonians had been in August – to “sign on, sign on”, it not only seemed to be forgotten that Conor Coady, the Wolverhampton Wanderers Championship-winning captain, comes from Merseyside but also the desperate fact that 34 per-cent of children in the Black Country now exist below the poverty line and the majority of those, according to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, live in households were parents or guardians are actually in paid work.
Then yesterday, just Xherdan Shaqiri made it 3-0 to Liverpool – just when those in the away end appeared to run out of positive messages about their own team, it came again. Behind them in the Anfield Road stand had been purple van taking food collections in a joint initiative between Liverpudlians and Evertonians and earlier that day, Newcastle supporters had made a donation as part of a reciprocal agreement between the clubs.
It is a significant and perhaps inconvenient truth that since its launch 22 months ago, the NUFC Fans Foodbank has emerged one of the biggest in the country, having taken in nearly £170,000 worth of goods which accounts for more than 30 per-cent of all donations across a city which has more foodbanks than any other in Britain outside London. While this reflects the generosity of the people that live in the north east, it also reflects the depth of the social issues that exist there, and therefore the muttonheadedness of the chanting.
It will be said that songs directed towards poverty on Merseyside have happened for decades, that it is merely light-hearted “banter.” Yet the singing is a suppressant, rooted in an anti-Irish sentiment that preserves the view Liverpudlians have too much to say for themselves in the same way women with an opinion are feisty or black people who push back have chips on their shoulders.
This intensified as the city resisted the force of Thatcherism, an ideology which injected nearly all of shire Britain with the belief it was following the right path at precisely the point where Liverpool went in the opposite direction, becoming an absolutely Labour council, led by Militant. Sixteen months after the 1983 general election that illustrated this swing, came the release of the Band Aid song that gave football supporters the ammunition they needed – again, just at the point where jealousy towards Merseyside’s football teams heightened, with Liverpool and Everton winning eight out of the ten First Division championships during the 1980s.
With Liverpool on the ascendency again, perhaps the chanting will become even more audible. Perhaps it only happened against United because of old-fashioned rivalry, perhaps it only happened at Molineux because of ignorance, perhaps it only happened yesterday because some Newcastle supporters were fed up with the crap being served up in front of them, fed up with Mike Ashley.
It had taken them 61 minutes to go there, perhaps because there has been an effort amongst senior supporters to stamp out the sort of songs that are led by those without the gumption to realise how self-defeating they are, those who are not creative or alert enough to come up with something new, something that admits of or exposes a wider reality.
“Our cities are under attack and we need to stick together,” Bill Corcoran, a leading volunteer in the foodbank campaign told the Independent in November. “Those kinds of chants are divisive, nobody should be singing them.”