Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySoccer World DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America ClassifiedsGame Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
FA Cup: Stingy Liverpool stymied by Mad Hatters
by Paul Kennedy, January 7th, 2008 8:55AM

MOST READ
TAGS:  england

MOST COMMENTED

The English FA Cup lived up to its reputation for high drama as four teams from the lower half of the third level of English soccer played Premier League teams over the weekend, and none of them lost.

On Saturday, Oldham won at Everton, 1-0, and Huddersfield beat Birmingham City, 1-0. The next day, Bristol Rovers led twice at Fulham and held the struggling Cottagers to a 2-2 tie.

In the biggest surprise, Liverpool got what was coming to it when bankrupt Luton Town held the Reds to a 1-1 tie. The result followed the Reds' refusal to donate their share of the gate receipts to Luton, which has not paid its players in full in more than two months.

Luton's situation is so desperate that the ball company that supplied the Hatters their game balls demanded their return because they had not paid their bill. Two players showed up at training recently with their suitcases. They'd been kicked out of the hotel they were staying in because Luton could not pay their bill.

Luton arrived 25 minutes before its game at Port Vale last Saturday because of an accident on the motorway -- the Hatters can no longer afford to stay overnight.

Bankruptcy administrators set Monday at 5 pm as the deadline for a buyer to step forward -- two buyers were reportedly in contention -- and take over the club, but for a day at least Luton players put their problems of missed mortgage payments and unpaid car loans aside.

Two years ago, Luton led Liverpool, 3-1, in the third round of the FA Cup only to lose, 5-3. Sunday's encounter at Kenilworth Road didn't live up it the 2006 classic, but the result was certainly stunning.

With Spanish star Fernando Torres resting, Liverpool showed little attacking acumen and was lucky to go ahead on Peter Crouch's goal in the 74th minute, but Norwegian international John-Arne Riise gifted the Hatters the equalizer three minutes later.

Riise's own goal was the only gift Liverpool gave Luton.

According to FA rules, the competing clubs are supposed to take home 45 percent each of the receipts to an FA Cup clash with the other 10 percent going to the FA.

Luton manager Kevin Blackwell, who has been going without pay so the club's apprentices could be paid their $140 a week, called the FA Cup clash a godsend to the cash-strapped club and his players. (The game was a showcase for three players -- David Bell, Dave Edwards and Chris Coyne -- whom the bankruptcy administrator has ordered to be sold to the highest bidder.)

But Blackwell blasted Liverpool for not helping.

"They probably said: 'We have to pay players 100,000 pounds [$200,000] a week. You must be joking! Otherwise, we will be like you!'," Blackwell told the Sun.

Blackwell said the Reds' lack of responsiveness was typical of the lack of support Luton had gotten from what he termed "the so-called football family."

"You just have to accept it," he said. "There are people in life who have got a Rolls Royce while some people have a Mini. We are Mini drivers. We tried to live like a Rolls Royce but that's why we are where we are."

 



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
U.S. U-23s fall to England's Young Lions, 1-0    
A goal by Manchster United's James Wilson in the 72nd minute gave England's U-21s a 1-0 ...
Dunn honored after getting Washington into NWSL playoffs    
The Washington Spirit's Crystal Dunn, who is running away with the NWSL scoring race, was voted ...
Breaking: Bundesliga will debut Sept. 13 on Fox    
The German Bundesliga will air for the first time on network television Sept. 13 when the ...
WCQ: Nowak leads Benna Boys against Guatemala    
The third and final knockout round of World Cup 2018 qualifying begins in Concacaf with six ...
Scouting Report: U.S. vets set for return against Peru    
The USA plays Peru Friday night in the first of two friendly games as it prepares ...
NASL Roundup: Freddy Adu ready to play again    
Freddy Adu's hopes of finding his stride at the 12th club of his professional career haven't ...
MLS: Best of August    
A memorable brother act and yet another superb double-save highlight the best moments from the games ...
What They're Saying: Charlie Stillitano    
"I really think they're true friendships. When a manager comes to my house for dinner, they ...
What They're Saying: Jurgen Klinsmann    
"Yes, we fear and don't know. Since they arrested people, things are very questionable with UEFA, ...
What They're Saying: Whitworth athletic director Tim Demant     
''As a Christ-centered university that believes in the value of all individuals, we are seeking to ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives