Richarlison: 'Playing without fans doesn't work'

Thursday, 14 May, 2020 60comments  |  Jump to last

Richarlison has expressed his reservations about Project Restart and the prospect of playing football in empty stadiums as the top-flight's club captains shared their thoughts with the Premier League on a conference call today.

The League is actively drawing up proposals by which matches can resume next month, with the initial emphasis on ensuring that players can safely return to training in the next couple of weeks while minimising contact and the potential spread of novel coronavirus.

The Covid-19 pandemic forced the shutdown of professional sport in the United Kingdom two months ago but there are hopes that the 2019-20 Premier League season might be able to get underway in June, possibly a week later now than the date of the 12th that was pencilled in last week.

That additional delay has reportedly been prompted by the players who feel that more time will be needed to sort out the specifics of safe training environments and to get back to a sufficient fitness level.

There have been reports of reluctance among some of the players to the League returning while the levels of coronavirus infection in the country remain high, with many voicing concerns over the potential risk to their young families.

Brighton striker Glenn Murray, who was on the call with the League, is skeptical that “rushing” to get matches played again is necessary.

“Football isn't necessarily a necessity — it's a game, it's a sport,” he told Sky Sports. “I mean, what if we go through all this rigmarole of trying to get back started and we have a second peak and we're stopped anyways?

“I just can't understand after just sort of loosening the lockdown why we're in such a rush to get it back. Why can't we just wait sort of a month or so to see if things go to plan?

“I don't want that to be perceived as sort of this snowflake mentality and ‘we're worried about ourselves' because I don't think that's the case,” he said.

“It's more about the people we're going home to that we're worried about and everyone's in different situations and have different people at home with possible illnesses or pregnancies or children, young newborns. We just need to take everyone's situations into consideration.”

Richarlison, meanwhile, says he doesn't see much sense in taking the risk to play games without the lifeblood of the game — the supporters — and that he would rather wait until it's safe for stadiums to open up again, which might not be until late next year.

“Everyone in their home, playing with closed gates. I don't think we can," Richarlison said on Brazilian TV show Donos da Bola.

"The joy of a football game [is] the fans too. We count on them a lot. Playing without them doesn't work. So I'd rather to stay at home, and protect ourselves.

"There's also that part there that you cannot celebrate with the fans there, when you score a goal, hug them, you get booked. So it's a little difficult. Let's see what happens next.

"It seems that this rule in the Premier League, they want them to train in masks too. But let's see what will happen. I hope they make a decision soon so that we don't get so concerned."

A vote is planned on Monday to see whether the 20 top-flight clubs are in agreement over Project Restart but questions remain over what happens if one or more players test positive for coronavirus and whether that would force another shutdown.

Quotes sourced from Donos da Bala via Sport Witness

Reader Comments (60)

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Mike Gaynes
1 Posted 15/05/2020 at 03:28:03
I understand his perspective, but I'm going to reserve judgement until I see what football without fans actually looks and feels like... in 36 hours, when the Bundesliga kicks off.

I won't deny that I'm selfishly delighted to be able to watch live, top-level footy -- Fox will show me Dortmund vs. Schalke (starring JJK), Leipzig vs. Freiburg and Frankfurt vs. Moenchengladbach -- but this may just serve to expose the process as a farce. Let's wait and see.

Alan J Thompson
2 Posted 15/05/2020 at 05:47:12
I wonder if he's made his feelings known to management at Everton as they seem to be looking at it from different perspectives, and how many other players being fully paid agree with him.
Lyndon Lloyd
3 Posted 15/05/2020 at 06:15:33
You're speaking from the perspective of the TV viewer, Mike, but Richarlison is talking about the experience of actually playing in a stadium that will be silent apart from the shouting from players and coaches which be completely different.

I know what he's saying – the joy of top-level football from the players' perspective is that magic of playing in front of and to a crowd of passionate supporters and it's going to be odd from both ends of it. They will be games of football but they won't be anything close to the real thing and I can't say I'm looking forward to it.

But if they can do it safely and the alternative is no football for 18 months, I suppose it'll be something to keep us occupied.

David Ellis
4 Posted 15/05/2020 at 06:44:14
Footballers I think its missing the point to say it won't be the same without the fans. Of course it won't. But its not a choice between having the fans there or not. The fans can't be there. The choice is playing or not. If you don't play then its pretty hard to see how you can be paid.

Glen Miller saying “Football isn't necessarily a necessity — it's a game, it's a sport” he told Sky Sports. Er…..its also a business. If he doesn't think getting paid is a necessity then he's very lucky, but others in the football business are not so lucky - all the staff, tea ladies etc,

Work out how to make it safe and then get back to work boys!

Jack Convery
5 Posted 15/05/2020 at 06:54:28
What is a play without its audience - a lot of hot air. Cancel the season and start anew when we can. Lives matter a lot Football matters little right now.
Mike Gaynes
6 Posted 15/05/2020 at 07:22:26
Hey Lyndon...

We need a TW party.

I just emailed you to suggest opening up the Forum Saturday morning for the resumption of the Bundesliga. The first game, at least on Fox Sports, is Dortmund v. Schalke... which means WE GET TO WATCH AN EVERTON PLAYER PLAY FOOTBALL.

Whattya say? I'm so tired of talking about this virus shit I could just puke. Let's get hundreds of people on the Forum talking footy again.

And no, I'm not completely sober right now.


Martin Nicholls
7 Posted 15/05/2020 at 08:41:37
Mike#6 - you need to get your "hundreds of fans" to watch it before you can have your "par-tay". I suspect this will raise the matchgoing fans v non-matchgoing fans debate again. As one of the former, I (and my match going mates) won't even watch any of these farces involving EFC (in fact I'll be disgusted with them for taking part) let alone similar farces involving German teams. This will not "raise the morale of the nation" as many with vested interests are claiming - it will provide a dangerous sideshow.
This isn't about "par-tay" - it's about depleting resources available to our NHS and the breaches of lockdown (and risk of subsequent spike in this disease) that will inevitably occur when dickheads assemble* outside grounds where games are being played.
*we all know where the greatest concentration of such dickheads will be - outside the ground of the club that has already been party to spiking the virus levels in our region by hosting a game against Atletico. "Interesting hypothesis" my backside!
On a lighter note, you refer to "this virus shit" - interestingly, my autocorrect facility changes the word "farces" to "faeces" which in my view is a better, if slightly more base word to describe what the immoral PL is
trying to do!
Dave Abrahams
8 Posted 15/05/2020 at 09:21:30
I love football at all levels and always will do. However, I don't need it now, don't long for it, it's definitely not a necessity. When it's safe to play, for players and fans, then I'll oil my rattle and be one of the first in the queue. Until then, it's each to his own.
Pat Kelly
9 Posted 15/05/2020 at 09:49:12
Football without fans will be like training sessions. The energy of a packed stadium will be missing. Players thrive on this energy and interaction with the fans. While we may well see football behind closed doors, it'll be a hollow substitute with little or no heart in it.

And who will remind the referees what they really are?
Tony Everan
10 Posted 15/05/2020 at 09:50:08
They'll play, but it won't really be football will it?

It will be a function, an aneamic exercise to bring in the tv money, that's all.

I won't be getting excited about it but I'll watch it if it's on telly, because let's face it, there's not much else going on.

Si Cooper
11 Posted 15/05/2020 at 09:58:14
Never watched TV or been to the cinema, Jack?

Of course lives matter more and it should only happen if it can be done safely. With the resources they have available, the Premier League should be capable of quarantining the necessary people (players and officials, support staff) and playing these games without increasing the risk of spreading the virus or adding stress to the NHS.

People seem to be inventing some issues to come up with an excuse for this season not to be concluded and the clubs to get their expected (planned for) revenue.

The only real safety issue is whether idiot fans won't be able to contain themselves and behave responsibly and that is a civil issue that the clubs can't really be expected to resolve on their own.

Michael Lynch
12 Posted 15/05/2020 at 10:09:52
I agree with pretty much everything Tony says @10. I'll probably watch it (only the Everton games and maybe a few relegation battles) but I'll probably slag it off too.

I don't think they'll have too many problems making it safe enough at first for the players and officials, but I also wouldn't be surprised if it gets shut down again before the season is completed, as infection rates start to climb again across the country.

My real concern is the bellends from across the park - they'll find ways to be insufferable even with social distancing.

Martin Nicholls
13 Posted 15/05/2020 at 10:14:55
Si #11 - you're obviously correct about idiot fans gathering being a civil issue and beyond the remit of individual clubs. It is however a real and genuine concern – do you think public resources should be diverted to tackle a problem that there is no justification for the Premier League creating?

Police will be unable contain the problem at certain grounds (no need for me to elaborate) leading to a collapse in the lockdown rules that most of us are trying to stick to. A virus spike will then occur.

Do you still think restart is worth it? Do we really want to unnecessarily invite a second spike (think the "Interesting hypothesis" surrounding Atletico's visit) in our area?

Martin Nicholls
14 Posted 15/05/2020 at 10:20:25
Tony #10 - if you're looking for something to watch, try "Curb Your Enthusiasm" starring Larry David (and featuring others such as Ted Danson, Dustin Hoffman, Ben Stiller etc as themselves). It's hilarious (if very politically incorrect!) and I guarantee it'll entertain you far more than televised football, with its ludicrously changed rules, played in empty stadiums!
Tony Everan
15 Posted 15/05/2020 at 10:33:15
Funny you say that Martin, I have been watching Seinfeld again after 10 years, and still laughing out loud. George cracks me up.

I watched the first two episodes of Curb your Enthusiasm a good few years ago and will surely get back on it! I remember Larry going to the vine with his wife's friend, when he sat down next to her his chinos had an erection shaped fold because of the excess material. His friend's wife was shocked by his bulge and informed his wife. The denials and defence was hilarious. I'm still chuckling now thinking about it.

Martin Reppion
16 Posted 15/05/2020 at 11:14:47
I'm with the 'forget about 2019-20 season' brigade. I don't care if they award the title to that lot. I'll accept Leeds being promoted without getting their normal chance to blow the run-in.

I can put up with the whingeing of the relegated clubs. I can't accept that extending the season in any shape or form is a good idea. The health risks to those on the periphery is bad enough. The mixed messages sent out about what counts as 'necessary travel' and the drain on resources that could be used elsewhere remains a major concern.

I would also be surprised if the powers that be have a back-up plan for if the virus is found to be affecting a player or official of any of the competing clubs. Brighton, for instance, have 3 players who have tested positive. Would you want to play them?

Finally, what happens beyond this season? It has not been adequately explained what will happen whether or not we complete the season. Will there be European competitions? Internationals etc? Will we cancel extraneous cup competitions to free up playing time?

Let's face it, it's homes under the hammer and pray for good weather.

Keep safe, guys.

Dave Ganley
17 Posted 15/05/2020 at 11:14:55
Totally agree with what Richarlison is saying, football at this level is pointless without fans. May as well watch a park game albeit with more skillful players.

I'm not a great TV watcher of football anyway these days, the amount of coverage for me reached saturation point a long time ago. Behind closed doors, the intensity level will be nowhere near and, aside from anything else, the players won't be match-fit either. I would just rather they postponed football until fans were able to attend.

Personally I'm just not that interested in watching sterile games on TV in a bid to get the season finished. I get that others want it back as soon as but it's not for me. I'll wait till I can go the game for a proper game of football.

Billy Roberts
18 Posted 15/05/2020 at 11:16:03
David @4

Glenn "Miller" shouldn't be worrying about Coronavirus, he has already come back from the dead!!

Billy Roberts
19 Posted 15/05/2020 at 11:29:19
From the Ridiculous to the Sublime:

35 years ago today, Everton won the European Cup-Winners Cup.

Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
20 Posted 15/05/2020 at 11:33:04
Hi Mike,

I like that idea and will set it up. What time is the kick-off? You've got it on Fox... which channels is it on in the UK?

Tony Abrahams
21 Posted 15/05/2020 at 11:39:27
Has Troy Deeney came out and said he won't be playing?
Billy Roberts
22 Posted 15/05/2020 at 11:47:29
Tony @21,

Deeney has said if he's not happy with the conditions, he won't be playing. He said he's not arsed if he doesn't get paid as he's been skint before (or words to that effect).

I'm glad players like him, Murray, Sterling, Danny Rose etc are coming out saying how they feel, now isn't the time to be quiet.

Tony Everan
23 Posted 15/05/2020 at 11:55:31
This is suspect in the extreme but there are fanatics in football.

What if a club was heading for certain relegation and some nutter with CV19 symptoms seeded a player or staff at that club in order to get the whole thing abonadoned. Hence saving their team from relgation and possible bankruptcy.

Very unlikely I know, but as I said there are some real nutjobs out there. The whole thing is a fragile exercise, so many pitfalls, I'd be amazed if the season continued uninterrupted.

Michael O'Malley
24 Posted 15/05/2020 at 12:09:04
I lost interest in this season as soon as it was suspended and I'm really going to miss the racing, Wimbledon and the British Touring cars this summer.

I definitely won't be watching half-arsed football matches with no fans in the ground. The players can't celebrate with each other after a goal, it just won't be the same. It's definitely a No from me, just cancel this season as it's better to be safe than sorry.

Martin Nicholls
25 Posted 15/05/2020 at 12:31:23
Tony#15 - funnily enough, I've never watched Seinfeld but will get onto it. Similarly, I'd never watched Curb Your Enthusiasm either until the last time we visited our son on the night before lockdown - our intro to it was that night when he showed us the chinos/erection episode you reference! It was that funny that since then and throughout lockdown, my wife and I have watched at least one episode every night! Absolutely hilarious and highly recommended to anyone who's not easily offended!
Stay safe Tony.
Ed Fitzgerald
26 Posted 15/05/2020 at 12:32:11
Football without fans is a dire idea fuelled by the need to fulfil broadcasting contracts with little concerns for safety. To my way of thinking football clubs are their fans - they remain once the transitory players, managers, coaches and owners go. Fans are the club.

As a life- long match going, Blue - I've no interest in watching a passionless, sterile affair involving Everton or any other club. As for watching Bundesliga games in empty stadiums FFS - get a life. As some others have stated watching the brilliant Larry David in curb your enthusiasm will be both more entertaining and passionate
(especially when Jeff's wife is involved.)

Who knows, perhaps this will prove to be a watershed moment in the history of the game? I hope the horrific excesses of the premier league and its attendant lunacy in terms of players and managers salaries, it's reliance and greed for broadcast media revenue will be undergo some much needed evaluation. Perhaps a professional game will emerge in the UK that recognises the need to look after all of the clubs in the pyramid not just the elite and god forbid consider the needs of tthose who rock up and attend week in, week out

Eric Myles
28 Posted 15/05/2020 at 13:54:31
Surely if the local police force, or local authorities, have concerns over congregations of fans they can order the game not to be played?
John Keating
29 Posted 15/05/2020 at 14:11:44
It looks like today's meeting in Scotland will call off the SPL and rubber stamped next week.

Celtic will be declared Champions and Hearts relegated.

Brian Wilkinson
30 Posted 15/05/2020 at 14:30:54
First match back behind closed doors, Everton v Liverpool, you could not script it better, no supporters are going to congrigate anywhere, players are going to keep the 2 metre rule, that should be interesting when the first corner is awarded, no celebrating when a goal is scored.

Might work in Germany, but somehow cannot see our first game back going to plan.

Be fun if after a few games, our neighbours suffers A number of defeats And the gap is closed.

You can bet then, they would be asking for the season to end.

Jay Wood

31 Posted 15/05/2020 at 14:41:20
Did anyone click on the link to watch Richarlison's interview in full?

You have to filter out a lot of noise. Donos da Bola/Jogo Aberto is a dreadful show, usually best avoided due to the talking heads constantly talking over each other, trying to be the biggest personality with the most cutting wit and ultimately confirming they all lack either quality.

When they did get around to talking to Richarlison about football, it does reveal just how highly regarded our man is in his home country.

Richarlison is labelled as 'a esperança do brasil' - the hope of Brazil. They talked of him as a 'Brazilian centre forward' in the mould of Romario, Ronaldo and Adriano. He himself mentions how happy he is that in Carlo Ancelotti Everton now has a manager intent on playing two forwards together.

The interview notes how many adolescents model themselves on him, right down to his pigeon dance. How he resonates with so many Brazilians due to his own humble origins. How touched so many people were at those memorable scenes, sat on the floor waiting anxiously with his extended family around him, watching live TV as the national coach Tite read out his squad for the Copa America last year with Richie the last to be named, and the explosion of joy that followed.

On his origins he is asked to explain what the financial rewards of the game has enabled him to do. He first travelled from his home state as a 15 year old alone with a one-way ticket for a trial in Belo Horizonte. Fortunately he was taken on and even receiving the equivalent of $100 a month, he still sent a little home to his family.

With an improved profesional contract, he bought his retired grandparents a home. Then he was able to take his father - who supported the family by selling homemade popsicles on the street - to live with him in Belo Horizonte.

With his subsequent moves, to Fluminese and then England, he has continued to help many members of his family including his sister, aunts and uncles, to own their own homes. This is in addition to his own charity in his home state and spontaneous one-off gifts he has made to many different causes.

There is a lot to like about Richarlison as a person, never mind as a footballer.

Mike Gaynes
32 Posted 15/05/2020 at 14:56:27
Michael #20, that first game kicks off at 6:30am in your former time zone, which in the UK is either 2:30pm or a week from Tuesday. (I've lost my handle on time during all this.) Can't tell you what channels it will be on over there -- Sky and DAZN, maybe?

Martin #7, thanks for your sour dirge of a response -- it brilliantly encapsulates why some of us need a little escapism in the form of guys in shorts running around kicking a ball. You not interested? Fine. Don't join in. Maybe Michael can set you up a separate Forum for you and other like-minded folks to talk about NHS resources and the morale of the nation and TV sitcom reruns, and dismiss us idiots who just want to enjoy a few hours of live footy before real life weighs in again. You have your fun, and I'll have mine.

Ed #26, "get a life?" Kind of missing the point, aren't ya? Life in my case is sitting in an empty house with my loved ones stuck 7,000 miles away for the last four months. So I'll find my enjoyment where I can. But I do thank you for the chuckle, in the form of the rich irony of folks who find Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld hilarious telling others to get a life.

Alan McGuffog
33 Posted 15/05/2020 at 15:01:36

I detect some sarcasm or cynicism in your post. No, what will happen is that a few thousand, mainly kopites, will gather at the ground. There will be two or three bobbies on bicycles (cue for a song?) who will say ”Nah then, lads, don't you know about social distancing?”

They'll all then say...”Oh, sorry, officers, we forgot" and wander off home, keeping the requisite distance apart. Nowt to be concerned about.

John McFarlane Snr
34 Posted 15/05/2020 at 15:02:22
Hi Dave [8],

Like yourself, I have been attending matches at Goodison since 1948. I have no intention of watching games on TV played behind closed doors. the lifeblood of football is the 'fan', an integral part of the occasion.

I have no doubt that we both attended the Everton vs Millwall Simod Cup game in 1988, when the attendance was 3,703 in a stadium that once housed 78,299, an experience to forget.

I felt that VAR would kill the game; however, the attitude of the cash-worshipping football authorities may be the last straw, and I am losing my lifelong passion for the game.

Tony Abrahams
35 Posted 15/05/2020 at 15:36:30
Thanks Billy, and I still get a shiver in my spine sometimes, when I go back to that unbelievable night in Rotterdam, especially when I think of leaving the stadium, and all the Evertonians, “singing our song”.

We shall not be moved- just like the team that's gonna win the fuckin lot- and even losing to United never put a real dampener on things, because we were going to be the kings for years!

Martin Nicholls
36 Posted 15/05/2020 at 16:00:36
Mike #32 – and it was my response that was sour??

I have never joined in the live forum because I'm usually at the game (home and away) and now I've got your permission, I won't join in now either.

I live on Merseyside and the generally held belief here (notwithstanding the ridiculous "Interesting hypothesis" comment) is that inviting 3000+ Atletico fans into the city has resulted in increased infection rates and no doubt deaths.

I've read with interest of your wife's predicament in being stuck in Wuhan and sympathise with you both – with that in mind, I would have thought that you would agree that we should do nothing (such as giving dickheads the opportunity to congregate and breach our lockdown regulations) that might result in another spike in infections and deaths in the region.

Opinion polls on both TW and carried out by the BBC show that the vast majority do not want the Premier League season to be restarted. Obviously you think differently but, if you lived here, I'm sure you would share our concerns. But it seems that the opportunity for you to "par-tay" is more important.

Si Cooper
37 Posted 15/05/2020 at 16:10:46
Martin (11), sadly I think a second (and 3rd, 4th, 5th etc) spike is pretty much inevitable given how much back-sliding I am seeing regarding social distancing whenever I am out and about. Give people masks and they are virtually cuddling.

Thing is plenty are allowed to continue their business practices as long as it is done safely and so I don't see the legal reason for barring professional footballers from going back to work either. For them it would require a period of quarantine to ensure there are no Covid-19 cases, but once you have established that then playing games behind closed doors isn't a direct risk to anyone. I think you need to prove justification not to let them play unless we are all to be locked down indefinitely.

As far as the lack of crowd / atmosphere I can't say I have experienced playing in front of thousands, but I have played competitive rugby with spectators and can honestly say when I was in the zone I didn't notice anything from off the pitch. Some of the most intense games were 1st v 2nd team practise sessions with a couple of coaches watching on. To me the competitive spirit / will to win shouldn't be reliant on the noises from off the pitch, though I accept it must be a great feeling to have that support. I'd expect the players to miss it, but get on with the job at hand regardless.

Ed Fitzgerald
38 Posted 15/05/2020 at 16:32:34

I have great sympathy for your personal predicament with your wife trapped on the other side of the world that must be bloody terrible.

My comment get ‘a life' is merely intended to convey that there must surely be something more interesting and worthwhile to partake in then watch a football match without fans. I won't be watching Everton without fans so I certainly won't be tuning in to watch the Bundesliga. So please don't get offended.

For many people in Merseyside there is a limited appetite to see the league restarted. in part due to the area having been a hotspot' for infection and deaths. Its my contention that the comments of John McFarlane and others on this thread mirror the views of many lifelong Evertonians they simply have no enthusiasm for watching a game without its ‘lifeblood' the fans.

If you are bored Mike I suggest that you read any of David Goldblatt's books on football they are beautifully written, well researched and are engaging and surprising in equal measure. I would start with The Ball is Round. If you have already read them Mike, apologies - was just trying to think of a viable alternative to watching an eerie silence punctuated by German swear words.

Finally I hope your separation from your wife comes to an end shortly and that you are reunited.

Billy Roberts
39 Posted 15/05/2020 at 16:51:09
Tony @35

That was an expensive season for a 15-year-old's Dad!! I went nearly every league, FA Cup, ECWC, League Cup home matches and some away in the League and FA Cup, so Rotterdam was a step too far for me. I did go to the FA Cup Final (story of my life)!

I remember how unbelievably hot it was for a supporter never mind players 3 days after Rotterdam. That is the only reason we lost that final unquestionably. Oh for just a fraction of that glorious time, eh.

Tony Abrahams
40 Posted 15/05/2020 at 16:56:47
You missed out Billy, but if I'm being honest Bayern Munich, was even better, and I'm pretty sure you was at that game mate!

Mike Gaynes
41 Posted 15/05/2020 at 17:01:49
Martin #36, no, to be clear I do not believe the Premier League season should be restarted, with or without fans. I just don't think the issue is relevant to whether I enjoy tomorrow's Bundesliga games and invite others to do the same with me, if only on a chat board. (The reference to "Par-tay" was ironic.)

Ed #38, about 99% of my Everton fan life has been on TV -- I've only attended three games personally. You and Martin and John and Dave have a different perspective as lifelong "in person" fans (whom I envy for your memories), and I can well understand why you feel as you do.

With regards to restarting the Premier League, I feel exactly the same way, but I can still get excited about even a meaningless game on TV if I haven't seen one in months. We have baseball fans here in the US getting up at 4am to watch live baseball games from Korea (where they are also playing sans fans). It's kinda pathetic, but I get it.

Thanks for the David Goldblatt referral. I'd not heard of him before (only the South African photographer of the same name), and I'm researching his books on Amazon. The Ball Is Round and The Age of Football both look interesting.

Thanks to you both for the good wishes. We're trying to keep our hopes up.

Michael Lynch
42 Posted 15/05/2020 at 17:28:30
Billy, I had to choose between Rotterdam and Wembley cos I was broke, and sadly Wembley won! But, like Tony, Bayern Munich was the best game for me. Oh what a night.
Martin Nicholls
43 Posted 15/05/2020 at 17:53:23
Si #37 – I can't say I've seen much of a breakdown in social distancing protocols but that may be as a consequence of the area where I live (just outside West Kirby). I don't doubt that in other (particularly less rural) areas, there are some who are not "playing the game".

Mike #36 – truce! I think I understand where you're coming from and why. I must confess that, like many others (I have 10 or more mates who I drink with before every home game and a handful that I do the same with at some aways), I have little appetite for football at the moment, particularly as I have been saddened by the way some Premier League clubs (including Liverpool) and individual players (including both Niasse and Kean) have behaved over recent weeks.

Not sure if you can get it but the 1985 ECWC Final is being shown in full on YouTube tonight – I'm sure you've seen it but you might care to watch again.

Didn't mean to put a downer on your viewing plans for tomorrow – it's just not for me.

As a matter of interest, you might care to Google West Kirby where I live – not far from the City (I spent the 1960s, my teenage years, living near to Penny Lane!) that you experienced on your visit, massively different!

Sorry for rambling! Anyway, take care both of you guys!

PS - I don't care what you think of him, Mike, but I've found (the recently discovered, for me!) Larry David to be hilarious! Curb Your Enthusiasm has certainly helped myself and the good lady wife keep our spirits up during lockdown! Each to his own, eh?

Martin Nicholls
44 Posted 15/05/2020 at 17:56:07
Michael #42 – I was 34 with a young family at the time and money was tight so I too had to choose. Thankfully, I made the right choice! The Bayern semi was, as you say, something else!
Mike Corcoran
45 Posted 15/05/2020 at 18:34:15
Miss watching my 2 lads play more than Everton. Youngest was closing in on an U10 treble, he's not whinging on like an RS though. 😁
Brian Wilkinson
46 Posted 15/05/2020 at 19:26:09
Michael @42, I made the same choice Wembley as you due to money restrictions, so you are not alone.

However money restrictions also denied me the Bayern game, if it makes you feel a little better.

Mike Gaynes
47 Posted 15/05/2020 at 20:01:59
Martin #43, West Kirkby, isn't that where Leighton Baines is from? Then as far as I'm concerned you hail from sacred ground. All sins washed away. Hell, if Bleach Boy is re-elected here, I might emigrate to your neighborhood. Right on the water, isn't it?

I understand your preferences and priorities re the virus, and share them as a high-risk person. But I've not had to live through the pestilence itself -- my area of rural Oregon has avoided the virus, and in fact is largely opening up as of today after three months of lockdown. If I want, I can sit in a restaurant (which I absolutely will not).

Thanks for the head's up on the 1985 Final... I've seen only highlights before. Will definitely try to find it. If you have a link, please share.

I despise "cringe" humor, which has been a popular genre in the US for years, so I have zero regard for Larry David et al. But I'm sure "Curb Your Enthusiasm" won't be the last US sitcom you discover and belatedly enjoy. Yes, different strokes for different folks.

Rob Halligan
48 Posted 15/05/2020 at 20:25:27
Mike, Leighton Baines is from Kirkby, where a planned new stadium was to be based. West Kirby is over the water on the Wirral.
Dave Brierley
49 Posted 15/05/2020 at 20:48:31
Mike @47,

You would make upper-class residents of West Kirby shudder at the thought of being compared to Kirkby. Bainsey would probably never have made it if he hailed from the former I would think.

From your postings today it looks like you've had a boozey couple of days. Keep going pal. I'm doing the same. Works for me.

Mike Gaynes
50 Posted 15/05/2020 at 21:12:03
Thanks, Rob.

Dave, I wish I could blame the wine, but I'm just a bit short on temper these days -- and geographically ignorant when it comes to Merseyside.

Billy Roberts
51 Posted 15/05/2020 at 23:07:56
Mike @50 and numerous posts.

Keep your chin up mate in your own very personal isolation, and I for one, if I could watch this first round of the circus, would watch and comment on the Bundesliga. I'm picking Shalke 04 so I will be interested to know how they get on against the redshite yellow and gold Dortmund in the Riverderby?

Sorry your genuine light-hearted post was met with such misery-arse responses.

Karl Masters
52 Posted 15/05/2020 at 23:35:32
I like Curb Your Enthusiasm a lot. Unfortunately so does my 9-year-old son, although it's completely unsuitable for him! I have to redirect him to the Comedy genius of Frasier... almost more British than us Brits ourselves... which is quite brilliant, and has been enjoyed by all my kids for the last 20 years even though it finished in 2004.
Billy Roberts
53 Posted 15/05/2020 at 00:06:28
Tony, Michael, Martin. How I envy you all.

Well, as I said before, fate or bad choices fucked me up a bit that season. I mentioned before how I went to virtually every game that season at home, and some away, and my Da, a taxi driver and a proper Evertonian funded it with me being 15. Well he decided to get pissed off with me of all games at the day of the Bayern Munich semi!!

Maybe he'd already given my older brother money (he was also a proper Evertonian) but he had a groan, so I thought "Fuck off then!!"

My mate was a Liverpudlian, unfortunately most of my closest mates were and are to this day. He had agreed to bum some money off his arl fella and come along for the ride, so I thought, "Well, Mick will have the money – I'll just get it off him?" Well, Mick's dad also told him to do one (more understandable) so I was snookered.

I should have just went down the ground, I'm from Old Swan it's about 3 miles away. I could have walked it, we used to a lot to get in the last 20 minutes when we were skint at both grounds.

I listened to the greatest Goodison match in my lifetime on Mick's radio in an entry. But it was still special, the noise was phenomenal, the drama. We thought it would go one forever, me and my Da. He had travelled to Old Trafford at 15 to watch Everton, he had seen Everton win the FA Cup in 66 and then bunked in with half of Liverpool to see England win the World Cup.

He was the best dad I could have ever had, so when he says he was behind that goal when Geoff Hurst's shot hits the net, I know he was. His timing was right then. But I missed it and, I even know a Liverpool fan who went along, mixed emotions to think he was there but he said it was the loudest noise he had ever heard in a ground.

I read the Daily Mirror today, I was bored I still thought it was a proper newspaper, but inside was a piece on our ECWC triumph. I never went, but I watched it in an Evertonian mate's house: 4 Blues and 3 Reds. We were at our zenith then, fuckin unstoppable, stylish, class, hard. Even our kit I loved was changed, blue top blue shorts and them brilliant hopped socks.

Well, we know the score, but TV viewers remember how shocking the coverage of the trophy award was? The best memory I have was Pat the twat (sorry – that was a compliment in them days) holding the trophy to a fence so Evertonians could get a glimpse. A bizzie came over to get involved and Pat basically told him to fuck off.

I don't want to end on that note but, as I said before, from the sublime to the ridiculous. I missed both those momentous games, but I'd seen so much. I would forfeit seeing many more as long as our team could give today's fans some glory. There is no substitute for what we experienced in '85, we have to emulate it.

Mike Kehoe
54 Posted 16/05/2020 at 09:38:51
Frankie Boyle wrote something along the lines of humanity standing on the edge of a precipice with Boris as the ideal man to take us forward.
Michael Lynch
55 Posted 16/05/2020 at 09:49:40
Billy, that's bittersweet stuff, and you're right – we all thought it would go on for ever. Lovely to read though, your dad sounds a diamond even if he did tell you to do one that day.

If you or anyone else hasn't read it yet, try to get hold of Psycho Pat's autobiography. Fantastic stuff from an absolute one-off.

Without getting too misty-eyed about it – I mean, we are talking the mid-80s here so it was a tough time in the city – one of the joys of match-going in those days was to wake up on a Saturday morning, count your quids after a Friday night out, ring your mates and say "Who fancies going to the match today?". Not like now when there's a waiting list for season tickets and almost no other tickets available.

Dave Abrahams
56 Posted 16/05/2020 at 10:15:04
Mike (50), of course you are a bit short on temper these days, you have every right to be that way, seeing the worry you have had to endure these last few months, it would try the patience of saints, and not many of us are saints. I hope you enjoy the game today, swearing at Dortmund throughout the game will help you get rid of some of your frustration.

Do us a favour Mike, shout a few effs and b's for me please, good luck and good health, the one you love will be home shortly.

Tony Abrahams
57 Posted 16/05/2020 at 10:26:26
I was gonna say Kirkby is like The Bronx, and West Kirby is like Santa Monica, Dave B!

Mike @45, I'd honestly get more enjoyment if they put kids' football on the telly rather than the false game we are likely to get instead.

Tony Abrahams
58 Posted 16/05/2020 at 10:49:35
I've mentioned it before on T/W, but I remember playing United away one Boxing Day I'm sure, and Alex Ferguson dedicated his program notes to the Bayern Munich game, saying it was his introduction to how special those European nights could be.

Billy, I can't believe you missed it, mate. That season against Sunderland was the best I ever saw Everton perform but, if I could close my eyes and go back in time, the place I would go to is half-time against Bayern, just getting ready to relive the finest hour Goodison Park has ever given me.

I can't fault your honesty, though, mate, listening to a radio in a jigger in Old Swan, but I would forfeit with you if it gave my kids a chance to see some silverware. I'd even bring a radio and meet you at that entry – but please don't quote me on this, though – unless it's the only thing that is going to guarantee success!

Patrick McFarlane
59 Posted 16/05/2020 at 12:10:25
A supporter of the neighbours replying on the Echo's news that the BBC could show Premier League games free-to-air says:

As we don't know how long this is going to drag on for I think the best option would be to make a mini league for next season's champions league with only true champions in the tournament. Every champion from every league across Europe should play in this to make it short as possible, so 1 team from each league across Europe and you could start it in maybe the middle of next season. A champions league tournament for true champions.

Despite the obvious irony of his view, I agree with him the Champions League should be for the Champions alone. How different life would have been for us and our neighbours if this had been the case for the last couple of decades.

Billy Roberts
60 Posted 17/05/2020 at 02:24:27
Michael @55, Tony @58, Thanks for your responses, lads.

In such a miserable time, it's always good to engage with Evertonians, I will try and get hold of that book, Michael, and Tony, yes I would listen to it all on the radio in an entry, if our kids could see some trophies!!

Well for one season anyway!

Allan Board
61 Posted 17/05/2020 at 11:15:38
Sky will get their way because money talks. To be honest, sport is irrelevant for now, so just concentrate on staying safe and looking after your own.

Just give the nuggets their title and stop them whinging. It will forever be a hollow victory anyway, and they'll know it. Best case all round, especially for you folks living local.

I have noticed a huge change in attitude since Sunday's Boris declaration, so expect it to come back again strongly – people think it's safe again and are flouting all the rules. Politics aside, we as a nation have to show responsibility and restraint – some hope, I think!

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