1993, birth of a monster?

Following on from a side discussion in the post match Brentford thread…re European Cup vs CL.

I call it the European Cup most of the time. The Champions League format started 30 years ago, but at that point Liverpool had won four European Cups. And they are counted to overall totals. The way to look at it is probably, we play the new format to win the same cup. The PL or Premiership started the same time, and no Liverpool supporter thinks that our previous titles are discarded? Leicester supporters claiming they have the same number of titles as us? Its embarrassing to even suggest this.

@Dane commented that football began before 1993, with SKY and PL and CL becoming the new toy. And @Rambler pointed out the gross misnomer of CL when the original format was actually for Champions… now a club that never was a champion can win the CL? Makes zero sense.

So why 1993? Personally I believe Italy 1990 with the Gazza effect whetted the appetite for football in the UK, and subsequently across Europe. SKY saw the potential for a cash cow and began to develop the market. Hence the slow process of building a sanitised version of football that the “family” could enjoy.
Apologies for swear words, introduction of comedic pundits, gender equalisation at any cost, and the occasional pantomime villian to be reviled (Suarez, Vardy etc …)

And the process is working. It invited in the money giants of Olligarchs and Oil Barons, without due diligence. Mainly to keep the product at the top of Europe. City, Newcastle, Chelsea all forgiven for owners behaviour, but all corrupt in their own way. VAR introduced to make it all better whilst blithely making it all worse. The stench of corruption in the air, as City win and only a newspaper delves into their filthy finances. Its all for the “product”.

Fergie was cosseted by SKY, Rafa was belittled. Case in point. The racism issue, sexuality issues tackled correctly whilst songs about people dying and about poverty are tolerated?

I know this is a bit rambling, but the football I loved didn’t need Micah Richards or Gary Neville fawning over pantomime villian Keane. It didn’t need players who never played at the top level analysing how Haaland or Kane score goals. It didn’t need filthy money or sanitised versions of heroes.
Pre 1993 wasnt sepia toned wonderful times either. But maybe the game was ours? Maybe we are being slowly driven out of the thing we love?


Well said QS… The pundits are actually running the asylum now

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Same here. “Champions League” is a laughable misnomer on two counts. Another big problem with the CL was to belittle the UEFA cup (and cup winners cup) into secondary losers’ competitions.

The knock on result of that was to reduce national cup competitions into second rate diddy competitions. At one time the FA Cup was a big deal and the final the biggest sporting event of the year.

The worst thing of all of this was to remove football as the working man’s game. When Liverpool were at their peak in the 80s a match ticket could be under £3 and there was still a chance of getting one.

Now the local working class support are largely an irrelevance. They aren’t needed for income and at the larger clubs they aren’t even needed for background noise.


Thanks @Quicksand loads I agree with and bits I don’t.

I went to Anfield a fair bit in the eighties when I was a kid. We’d drive through to Liverpool and pay on the gate. Imagine that!

In general though what I see happening in football over thirty years is a huge reduction in access to the sport. Both the cost and accessibility to the stadium, and the ability to watch a game of football on TV.

This culminates in a situation where to follow your team you need three different, expensive subscription packages and you still can’t watch all the games. Your bellend at UEFA pontificates that we might need to shorten football matches because kids won’t watch 90minute games. Well, no - you’ve just priced them out, you prick.

That’s capitalism for you. Charge whatever you can get away with today, and to hell with tomorrow.

I remember a line from Rory Smith around the time of the Super League debacle. The sport has welcomed multi-billions into the game, and prostrated itself before their wealth. Did we not think they’d want to change it?

Personally, one way or another I think football’s reckoning is coming. The next generation, having been priced out and denied access, are not that interested. Even the young lads I coach don’t seem that arsed about watching football. Long term, older fans like me are finding more to dislike that enjoy. The world of football ‘bantz’ is just becoming toxic and unpleasant. The money is just becoming more and more detached from reality, and there is a limit to what can be squeezed out of supporters to continue paying out extravagant sums to players.

Coincidentally I had a thought this morning that shook me a little. I’m sure a lot of this is just me being in a mood cos Liverpool are a bit shit at the minute, but I reflected back on the football blackout during the world cup. Did I miss it? I’m not sure I did, and I might have been a bit happier pretending it didn’t exist.


There was a time where I’d have classed myself as a ‘fanatic’.
Travelled thousands of miles and spent thousands of pounds just to be there for my team to watch a 90 minute spectacle.

Now, I can honestly say if football was cancelled tomorrow, I genuinely wouldn’t be arsed in the slightest


Effin’ hell, this is a sad topic… but yeah, I too have noticed that I’m progressively losing interest. First I thought to myself that it was age kicking in, other interests developing etc. but then I thought, why should it be like that? You can appreciate good football as a middle-aged man too, and there have been many generations of oldies loving their team and their sport since football began.

No, it’s really the above-mentioned problems: too much money involved, too many idiots around the game with too much media audience, and then of course the worst, which is the distortion of the competition through oil-state owned clubs. It has led the sport into a dead-end street imo. From year to year, everything becomes more void, more empty noise, and probably also more and more rigged to be honest.

I’m losing interest, it’s a fact. As I’ve previously written elsewhere, I’ll try to go watch some local footy here around next spring, just to see if I can still find something in it. But all this so-called ‘top performance football’ is less and less palatable for me, as it seems rotted to the core now.

As Mascot said, the day of reckoning might come quite shortly, when people will start disinvesting themselves from this sport, also financially.

(Btw, it’s also European Cup for me, very clearly. The term ‘Champions League’ is a fallacy imo.)


Good Post… @Hope.in.your.heart

I have feeling when Jurgen goes so will a lot of fans simply because of the reasons stated here… Wasn’t around to witness the Shankly effect, just glad I have been able to see first hand what Jurgen and his attacking philosophy has brought to the club. To me a Cavalier approach is what football should be all be about - takes me back to the school playground when about 50 kids would be chasing the ball in every direction it was kicked - no-one wanted to be a centre-half, full-back or deep lying midfielder watching the game in front of ya unfold… You took up those positions later on in life when/if you were not good enough to be the centre forward scoring ‘Roy of the Rovers’ type goals every week… you would play any position going if it meant ya got in the school teams for a weekly game.
In short… the fun and excitement has slowly disappeared over the decades… games seemed a lot more fun and exciting to watch.


after half-heartedly watching that last World Cup, I’m a bit jaded against international football in general. FIFA’s corruption knows no bounds. throwing hundreds of billions of dollars at a sporting event which is only a time zone or two away from regions of extreme poverty just exacerbates how completely tone deaf our western society has become to the rest of the world.


Russia should have been a wake up call but it seems football will sleep walk into a disaster.

I’m a bit later and if I’m honest I thought 90s football a bit dire, 00s was fun mind.

I’ve decided 90% of stuff around football is utter garbage, it’s 90 minutes now music on if it’s us and commentary on depending on who it is otherwise. Don’t bother with punditry before or after. Never cared for analysis before a game regardless.

Whatever it is we won 6 of them :wink:


The Women’s Euros in the summer were actually brilliant. Hugely enjoyable and a brilliant atmosphere coming across in every game. The WC was 90% dire. Mostly players going through the motions. Only the African fans seemed to add any authenticity to proceedings.


On a personal note, my interest in LFC is just as strong, perhaps even stronger, than it ever was. There are probably two reasons for that: family and distance.

My son is a Liverpool fan too, and watching the game together is a great bonding thing for us. On a related note we each have a Prem fantasy team to see who can get the better of the other each week.

The distance might be a factor, as I moved to the States years ago, and keeping up with the football, in particular Liverpool, keeps me in touch with where I’m from, and I like that.

Back in the day two of my brothers went to the match all the time. I went less than they did. They were both at Hillsborough, and one of them was in the crush at the Leppings Lane end. Fortunately he survived, but it messed him up, and he has barely been since, though he attends the annual service at Anfield.

My dad went to the match when he was younger, and he talks about St John, Roger Hunt, Shanks and so on. He is well into retirement now, but when I phone him up and ask him about how he is doing we invariably get around to the match.

In some ways it is just football, and it is insignificant. But in other ways we make it what it is, and for me it is a lifeline through which I am connected to my roots and also passing something on to my own son.

As for what has happened in the game, with all the money and the dodgy ownership regimes and so on, it is sickening. The game needs much better leadership, so that sporting integrity might be preserved. The financial cheating is barely concealed, as clubs manufacture fake revenue streams and wage a PR war to normalize what they do.

At that point I am pretty sure that some sort of reckoning, or reset, is coming.

When, and in what form, is hard to predict, but the current trajectory is unsustainable.


Think lockdown was a turning point for me.
Made me more aware than I’d previously allowed myself to be, that football is so unimportant compared to so many other life events that we just take for granted.

Sure, it’s a form of entertainment, but the more thought I give it, the more it sickens me that in a country that has thousands of homeless and destitute people, we have this elite bunch being paid millions a year for kicking a pigs bladder around.

I’ll continue to watch it, but no longer make it a priority above other things I’ve arranged, and I’ll likely never be inside Anfield again


football is now almost 2 sports to me.

1st being the sanitised, robotic, over analised product that is the premier league… i love watching Liverpool with the kids, and its a great way to explain tactics, look at skill levels and discuss what it would take to become a paid proffessional. Its the pinacle of quality (even in our current form) and you have to show great appreciation for what it takes to get there…the noise surrounding it- even on here and at the local club- is weird, in that everyone seems to think they have a footballing degree, and everyone seems to think they, and only they, have the access codes to what makes the ‘correct’ football team, with the ‘correct’ players. as if its all a simple jigsaw…i find that funny in a way and sad in another, as for the kids i see who take a side, theres something about the tribal like banter that doesnt sit right with me, its toxic…for example, a kid will walk to the club and a simple statement like ‘shame about the club’ from an adult to a fucking kid is poisionous…why not just talk to them about football instead of bordering on belittling them.

2nd is the local football…its the real beautiful game, the one with the kid trying her best to improve her technique, the one with the bunch of 20 year olds spat out by better clubs who just wanna have a kick with their mates on a sunday league, its the one with the old men refusing to stop hanging out with each other and playing a decent bit of footy, its the one with the opposition parents congratulating or commiserating the other team becuase they played in good spirit, its the one where the kids score a goal and the look of delight for each other is papable instead of looking for a trademark celebration they can instagram…its all of those things and nothing SKY can do, nothing CR7 can do, nothing Dubai can do, can change it.

people fall into the trap of thinking just becuase hes a better player or he gets paid more or had a better career the game some how belongs ‘more’ to him…it doesnt…its our game and nothing anyone can do can stop it being so.



^^^ Great post

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Be nice :wink:

There is a thread from Gordon Brown on twitter in a similar vein to this.

The only thing is I saw the link to the Guardian and couldn’t help but think that they were missing the bleeding point.


Couldn’t agree more, especially with this. Had this only yesterday. My eleven year old was walking around the house yesterday in his Liverpool shirt, and the builder we had in starting doing ‘bantz’ about football. Junior just looked really confused and I had to explain it’s just banter.


In a nutshell


Ironically it would make more sense to have called it Champions League pre-1993 and to currently call it the European Cup to mask the fact that it’s not just champions who participate any more


Sky call it Champions League but as far as I can make out… there is no league to win…!
The European Cup on the other hand well… What is it Jordan is raising above his head here… Looks like a Cup that was won in Europe :0)