Families of some Hillsborough victims expressed their upset over the lack of consultation by the club over their new Warrior strip.
According to BBC Sport, Liverpool only spoke to families within the Hillsborough Family Support Group (HFSG) when finalizing the design of their new home strip.
This has led to members of groups such as the Hillsborough Justice Council (HJC) branding the club for changing the symbol without further discussion.
The change sees the club ditch the Shankly gates and the memorial flames in their badge, instead reverting back to the Liver bird crest of the 70’s and the 80’s. However the club has not forgotten the victims, instead placing the ’96 and its memorial flames on the back of the shirt. The HJC have stated they are not upset about the shirt but simply their lack of acknowledgement.
As a Liverpool fan this appears to be a serious own goal by the public relations team. Yes the club took the time to consult the HFSG yet would it really have taken longer to consider the other groups. Such upset could have been so simply avoided through discussion with the other groups.
Liverpool has created a needless, divisive issue for itself in this process. What should have been a celebration of the beginning of their £25 million a year contract will now be remembered as contentious. The club’s actions in this particular scenario have been stupid. Hillsborough is an event in history that has united the supporters in mourning. While this will never change, tensions have heightened thanks to the club’s appeared support group preference.
What could have been a majestic return to their retro strip (and hopefully fortunes) of the teams in the 70’s and 80’s has now become a topic of discordance for the club. Liverpool continue to stress their respect for the ’96 and their families, yet it’s little actions such as this that if altered could make their words so much stronger.
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