We all have come to hate the transfer window. Wait a minute, we do love it too. So I guess it’s the typical love-hate relationship module, more like an epitomy of the relationship between football and it’s passionate fans. The mixture is surreal; we want to hear what we want to hear, and so any other thing that contradicts our personal wishes becomes a case, spawning hate attacks on news agencies and ”ITKS”(People claiming to be in the know regarding transfers), especially over twitter.

Especially from an Liverpool FC perspective(I’m a fan,and doing this piece because of the recent Agger meltdown on twitter),we hear Messi linked with LFC and with tell reality to f*ck off and bask in the absurd fantasy of entertaining the story. On the other hand, we hear Agger might leave, and then it’s a whole new reaction of a high magnitude bitterness. Fans experience the inevitable heated opinion divide. The passionate (dare I say subjective) side that says ”We cant lose Agger, he is irreplaceable,” and the realists lot who believe footballers in general, not only Agger per se, come and go. It’s a business after all, of hurtful sacrifices for business purposes. In addition, it sometimes comes down to the small group of parties involved, Agger, his agent, Liverpool Football Club and the buyers. The fans sadly, dont count as a relevant party.

Sometimes, we need make that matured step of sidelining allegiances/loyalty for objectivity. Passion is beautiful and all, yes, no doubt, but the sine qua non of stability is painful objectivity and realism. That is how we are able to see the true picture, to understand the dynamics of the issue at hand and move forward. Thing is, every transfer window infused with a lot of bogus stories-which can get the average fan that thrives on only passion utterly discombobulated. In such a season of craziness,the football fan must be discerning. He must be able to reach that ultimate conclusion that no matter how credible a ”source” is, no transfer is true until officially confirmed otherwise. Thus taking up a mere story and analyzing it seriously either from a condemnation or praise/excitement angle is not only premature and unecessary, but a waste of time and energy as well.

Of course, that is not to say stay ignorantly locked in the present without making any future projections to as they say ”stay ahead”. It is important to do so. It’s dicey really. Here’s the thing, if it must be done, it must be done in a way that ensures it’s objective and devoid of passion. In short, it must not be corrupted by loyalty induced subjectivity. It must be realistic and empirical. You cant afford to invest emotions in such analysis. Thus for instance, saying Agger is ”irreplaceable” is as impetuous as subjective. As in the long run, we all do know Agger is seriously injury prone, and that even though he is more often than not a key player, cashing in on him(20m+) from every logical angle is considerable. You get an absurd assessment when you let passion talk. You don’t want that, really. That is not how things work.(That is not in anyway to say I believe that he’s leaving or I want him sold)

Football is now a complex sport. It is still hard for fans to accept that though they virtually own their clubs through their support, the mantle of decision making is not theirs for exercise. Clubs are run by people, people who have been put there to make decisions. No matter how much a clubs fan base clamour for a dream signing for eg, there wouldn’t be the slightest influence exerted on the decision makers. So, that said, if a club decides to sell a player, they will sell the player. The fans will in the long run have their efforts rendered cos 90. That is the harsh reality. Fans are supposed to be the engine of football, but sadly the exact border of their influence and functions have been blurred by the fans themselves through their countless expectations . But the influence actually ends there and then, with support. You cant make the decisions as well. Everyone has a part to play, and so another harsh truth is that it’s only logical for administrators to make the decisons, and fans stick to supporting. After all is said and done, a true fan will not relinquish the pride of supporting his team because he disagreed with a particular transfer. Look at the bigger picture.

Twitter is the magical all-embracing forum, where it all happens. That is where
people hide the mysterious obscurity behind their ‘handles’ and say
whatever they want, to whoever they damn well please. Afterall, not
everyone knows who you are, you’re frustrated, and want to vent, so why
not? Abusive language is quotidian on there, especially in the football
circles. Fans are extremely protective and possessive of their clubs on there. There’s tense auror of sensitivity regarding club support, as of course there is in the real world, only crazier. Give one strong opinion, and your mentions will be flooded by
keyboard warriors, threatening to find you and kill you. Sounds funny
now that I think about it.

It is quite sad how people are able to form concrete opinions from baseless rumours. Let me use the Liverpool case for jux apposition. Most fans over the past few days have become detemined to believe owners FSG are ”useless” and have started throwing in all the ugly and bitter insults and credibility questionings. All because of anonymously fabricated twitter rumours(which is the hallmark of tranfer windows on twitter). Now regarding the Agger case for eg, some fans have made the wrong decision to be ignorant, judging the owners of being ”incompetent” in selling an ”irreplaceable” player. Clearly, those are opinions corrupted by(passion fueled) subjectivity and quick conclusions.

Thing is, nobody knows for a fact the player will even leave, and even if he does, Liverpool FC will not cease to exist, and FSG will not leave the club and handover management to fans. The more you look at the bigger picture, the more interesting it gets. From a birds eye view, it all seems like uninformed child’s play. Fans acting spoiled, forcing their personal opinions on others and ridiculously taking things too personal by attacking ”ITKs”, even going to the embarassing extent of sending death threats. It all looks like sophisticated comedy, very laughable to the intelligent onlooker. But it is in many ways, grave.

Opinions are ubiquitous, and diverse. The trained mind knows how to respect them, even when grossly inappropriate/irrelevant. In the long run however, we find out that we stay fighting over opinion imposition while the relevant decisions are made by the people who actually matter. Thus fans will keep battling, ”hating” on each other and their opinions busily, only to turn back and see FSG sell Agger or keep him. Either way, a decision would have been made, without the input of the lot busy battling. That is the reality. The fundamental thing here is, fans worry too much, heck, we talk too much. Most of the inappropriate acts, like insulting people who say something that does not tally with what we want to believe is just wrong. Why follow an ITK just so you can tell him how much of a ‘liar’ he is, or why curse at news agencies when they report something that you dont know for a fact is true or not? Just because you dont feel comfortable with it? (like it being true of false depends on what you want)

The fact is that, the large chunk of speculative info making rounds is just that;speculative. So hastily making extreme assessments without knowing for a fact it’s credibility of falsehood makes one a victim of subjective thinking. Besides, I’m sure Jack Dorsey did not have in mind a forum of disagreements and chaos when he was creating twitter. It is supposed to be for fun, for interacting, agreeing to disagree. But alas, the (beautiful) game of football found it’s way to the address  www.twitter.com, and settled there, with all it’s widspread problems.

It is also worth mentioning that some of this ‘madness’ is inevitable, as long as passion rears up it’s head in any situation. It is also an undeniable fact that fans run football clubs through their support and revenue injection. Which means club’s are obliged in that respect to satisfy the needs, wishes and desires of fans. But that logical arrangement does not practically transcend the realm of ”Supposed to be”. It is stuck there, unfairly, in limbo, disconnected from it’s intended ‘destiny’. That is what it actually is. So in all, it is essential to note that it is possible to accept the unfortunate reality, and deal with it with the required attitude and effort.

Maybe fans should just withdraw their energy from all this hectic hullabaloo and channel it into something else-say, supporting? Maybe we should all admit the sad reality that nagging and brooding etc will not magically carry our personal wishes across to the administrators as influential factors. Maybe we could just be a little more logical than engaging in pointless bouts of twitter ”hatership” and ”opinion imposition/discrimination”. Maybe, just maybe, we could actually do what we are naturally supposed to do, support our clubs ultimately, no mater what.

Fiifi Anaman.
Tuesday August 7, 2012
( You can follow me @fiifianaman on twitter for the best in Ghanaian and European Football news and opinion )