by Noel Draper

A week or so ago I wrote a piece about time and how the F.A, the Premier League and the Football League seem to have their own version of it which is completely different to the rest of football. I wrote that they seemed to pay no attention to the fans at all with their crazy scheduling of football matches particularly the semi finals coming up this weekend. ‘All well and good’ you might say. ‘Well done’ you might continue. ‘I read it and although it was factual it wasn’t the greatest piece of writing’ you may well finish, damn you.

As hurtful as your imaginary comments are I bring this up again because I may have got it a little bit wrong. The F.A have been listening to the fans after all as they have moved the Liverpool v Everton semi final from the Sunday to a day earlier. Granted this game could have been played at Old Trafford, a round trip of around 66 miles, instead of forcing seventy thousand supporters to make the long trek south just to pay for a white elephant that is called Wembley Stadium but at least they listened. They listened for a reason, and that reason is simple.

Sunday the 15th of April is the anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster.

Sure there have been other footballing disasters. The Heysel Stadium. The Munich air crash. The Bradford stadium fire. A great many people lost their lives in all of these disasters but in each and every one of them a reason has been found and a certain amount of closure attained. Of course the memories remain acutely painful and heartbreaking but the victims’ families have been able to find a resolution to their suffering.

The Hillsborough disaster, although it took place in 1989, is still close to the hearts of the people of Liverpool due to a little something called lack of closure. A lack of closure for the families of the victims of the disaster. Until closure has been reached, until the Cabinet documents have been released to the public in general and until a reason for the disaster has been found instead of blaming the fans then every game that involves Liverpool Football Club that is scheduled for the 15th of April will be moved. It really is that simple and not hard to understand.

Which is where Mr Alan Davis comes into the equation. Although he doesn’t deserve the death threats he has received for his podcast rant – no one does – what he does deserve is scorn and derision from the footballing community. His ill-judged comments show a complete lack of understanding of the situation and, although he has since said sorry and made a donation to the campaign fund, there was no need to make the comments in the first place as he is, and always has been, an Arsenal fan. Not a Chelsea or Tottenham fan but an Arsenal fan. A club that isn’t even involved in the semi final.

Next time Alan try and think before saying something that you know will upset a great many people. It really doesn’t take a Jonathan Creek level of deduction to figure out that you’ve been at best insensitive and at worst downright hurtful with your diatribe.

Oh, and one last thing, good luck with your tour later in the year.