Bill Shankly’s grandson has claimed he’d happily see the statue dedicated to his late grandfather outside Anfield taken down following Liverpool’s announced intention to participate in the Super League.
The recently announced breakaway competition has sparked outrage around the world with fans left furious at the prospect of up to 15 clubs being handed a guaranteed place in the event every season.
Shankly earned legendary status during his time at the helm of the Reds, leading them back to the First Division before being crowned champions of English on three occasions.
However, speaking to the Liverpool Echo, Shankly’s grandson Chris Carline – who is also the chair of the Shankly Foundation chairty – has said he would happily see the statue commemorating his grandfather removed, and that the club’s decision to join the Super League goes against everything his grandfather believed in.
“I know my Grandad has been quoted more than ever right now, and rightly so, because what is going on couldn’t be further removed from what he wanted for this football club,” he told the Liverpool Echo.
“I’m appalled and embarrassed. When you talk about Liverpool Football Club and its history and its roots, you could reference seven, eight or nine of grandad’s quotes which are all appropriate to the current situation – socialism, greed and the Holy Trinity – but I also think about one of the less well known comments.
“It’s from his book, when he spoke about wanting to bring the football club closer to the fans and the fans closer to the football club, and he achieved that.”
“It’s not an understatement to say he would be spinning in his grave at the current situation because it couldn’t be further removed from his ethos. Given the chance I’d happily see the statue removed.
Carline added that the move has threatened to undo the hard work of his grandfather at the club and that the Super League proposal was simply unacceptable.
“What hurts most is that Liverpool has a history and a tradition, created by him, of doing things the right way and to be one of the six clubs pushing for this move is unacceptable.”
“The words he made the people happy are emblazoned on that statue and he did just that. He saw it as his mission to give the hard working fans some release at the end of a six-day working week.
“He wanted to bring them joy as a reward for their hard work and he obviously achieved that. But this new competition goes against the grain of that ethos.”