Most unbiased fans would have been hoping for a Luton victory over Liverpool this afternoon in the FA Cup. But for many real fans, there was another reason to see the multi millionaire foreign owned premiership club be brought down to earth, and that was their failure to help Luton Town out of their financial predicament.
Luton are currently in administration and, if the rumours are to be believed, had they not qualified for the third round and got such a plum tie and the Sky TV cameras there, they may well have been out of business by today. So given their plight, Luton asked Liverpool if they might be prepared to forgo their share of the gate receipts (about £100,000). So what was Liverpool's response to the request for them to given Luton this a mount of money (which equates to less than one weeks wage for Stephen Gerrard ? A very firm "no".
A few years ago Chelsea voluntarily gave way their share of gate receipts amounting to more than £200,000 against Notts County, who at that time were in similar financial peril. Whilst when Tranmere had financial problems in the past Everton and Manchester United came to their aid. So it is not as if it is without precedent.
But somehow I expected Liverpool, the club that was managed by the late great Bill Shankly to live up to its much heraalded fottballing traditions. Shankly famously said of football "It's not just a matter of life and death, it's more important than that". And of course, for Luton Town it is.
Luton's players, far from being household names driving around in the latest Aston Martin or Range Rover have bills to pay, have mortgage repayments to make, indeed, have to feed themselves and their kids, and the same goes for the groundsmen and other backroom staff at the club. In the last 9 weeks Luton's staff have been paid for just 2 and a half weeks. Luton's manager, Kevin Blackwell, has forgone his own wages just to ensure that the trainees get paid.
Yes indeed, next time a Liverpool fan lectures you on his love for the game of football, remind him where his club were when a football club asked for a small gesture. I guess the £100,000 will do nicely to ensure that Liverpool's proposed £180 million super stadium gets lovely marble bathrooms for when Liverpool's billionaire American owners come over. Let's hope Luton Town are still in business when this happens.