A lot has been made, especially on social media, of some of the songs a section of the Newcastle support were singing at Anfield on Saturday. In short, for those of you that don’t know, although I’m sure you do, the songs are based on poverty in Liverpool.
I for one don’t sing those songs but I’m not outraged by them, I just don’t think they are either clever or original, not particularly funny and most importantly it isn’t really related to supporting your own team. I generally leave it to other people to sing songs aimed purely at opposing fans.
It is important to note as well, that the majority of those singing the songs are just kids, or at the very least, young adults. Groups of lads who have been on the train or the bus all day drinking, generally having a laugh. When I was 16, I think I did sing those songs too.
Whenever a group of lads are having a laugh, it is always a case of asking “who is it at the expense of?” – in some cases chants are obviously unacceptable and shouldn’t be tolerated, including racist songs, sexist songs towards females in attendance, those that are directly offensive to individuals, or a controversial political statement.
Of course, Newcastle supporters would be better off singing songs about our own team for sure and really there isn’t much of a need for them to sing the songs they did. In an ideal world they wouldn’t be singing that – but when did it become so taboo for football fans to engage in (what they see as) banter? What is the world coming to?
What is also funny is that I know many Liverpool fans who have been quick to make jokes about James McCarthy’s recent broken leg at Everton… is that not allowed? It’s just banter between opposing fans, it has existed in football for god knows how many years.
I even read on twitter a few Liverpool fans complaining that we came up with the Steven Gerrard “slipped on his arse” song… I mean, so what if we did? Where do I start? Again, putting aside the obvious inexcusable racism or sexism chants, the minute we start controlling the songs that some football fans sing, we might as well just give up.
If there is anything to complain about regarding songs at Anfield yesterday, it would be the complaint that I usually have at Anfield… the fact that there aren’t any songs!
As far as atmosphere goes, Anfield is one of the worst in the Premier League and it has been since I started following Newcastle (granted that only includes the PL All-Seater stadium era). One of the biggest myths in the PL era is that the atmosphere at Anfield is good.
For the record too, Newcastle fans have done so much for charity, especially in terms of the amazing work that goes on by NUFC FoodBank, and the fundraising, via Gallowgate Flags, that goes to the beneficiaries. On top of this, it’s not as if we play our home games down Kensington High Street is it?
We also come from an area of the country that struggles with poverty and unemployment, equally feeling the full force of Thatcher’s economic policies, so not difficult to appreciate that it is tongue in cheek and a wind-up, not as though we come from a well-off region. It also needs noting the support our fans have provided to the JFT96 movement.
At the end of the day, it is just football fans having a ‘laugh’ at….well, nobody’s expense?
This probably sounds more like a rant, rather than an opinion piece, but including those young lads who sang those songs yesterday, I think everyone else kicking up a fuss just needs to gain a little more perspective.
You can follow the author on Twitter @JonathanComyn